Looking for the best metal knitting needles? Look no further than the Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection Stainless Steel Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles. These needles are top of the line, with sharp lace knitting needle tips, flexible, memory-free swivel cords, beautiful cases and accessories, and smooth, slick, steel needle material.
So why are they the best? Let’s take a closer look!
I first heard of the Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection knitting needles when the folks at Laurel Hill offered to send me some of these needles for review. At the time, they were a brand-new product that had just been released.
I had yet to find a perfect metal knitting needle that fit all of my criteria for a good metal needle, but without the elements I disliked in the metal needles I had tried before.
Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time testing these needles out. In my opinion, you won’t find a better metal knitting needle! The steel Mindful Collection needles are perfect in every way, and they are much better than any other metal needles I have tried.
FYI: Yay For Yarn is affiliated with Laurel Hill. This means Laurel Hill sent me these items from the Mindful Collection in exchange for my honest review. It also means I may receive a commission at no cost to you if you make a purchase through one of my affiliate links. See my affiliate disclosure here.
What is the Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection?
The Mindful Collection from Knitter’s Pride is a complete knitting needle collection, consisting of several varieties of high-quality stainless steel circular and double-pointed knitting needles, along with beautiful, color-coordinating notions, cases, and accessories.
The needles are imprinted with inspirational, calming words that won’t rub off, but they are not engraved so as not to snag the yarn as you knit. A lovely, soothing shade of turquoise is the main color of the collection. This color coordinates every case, pouch, needle cable, and on many of the notions. You can shop the entire collection on the Laurel Hill website.
Why are they the best metal knitting needles?
Here are all of the qualities that I think the best metal knitting needles should have:
- Sharp Tips
- Flexible Cords
- Slick, smooth surfaces with as little friction as possible
- No paint or other markings that can rub off
- No areas where the stitches can get caught as you knit.
The Mindful Collection Stainless Steel Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles have all of the desirable features without any of the flaws found in many other metal needles. Let’s look at all of the things I love about these needles.
Stainless Steel Needles and Needle Tips
The needles in the Mindful Collection are made from stainless steel, a durable, eco-friendly material. Of all the metal needle materials I have tried, steel is the best metal for knitting needles. These needles are lightweight, high-quality, and have the best smooth surface.
What is the best metal for knitting needles?
The most important factor I look for in any knitting needle is the amount of surface friction. It’s super important that the stitches can glide smoothly along the needles. These stainless steel needles have the least surface friction of any other metals typically used for knitting needles.
Aluminum, nickel-plated, and brass needles all have more surface friction than steel, so the stitches cannot glide as easily. Also, aluminum needles typically have a metallic painted coating that tends to flake off and rub off over time. After awhile, colored aluminum needles look scratched and beat up, even though they’re still fully functional.
Nickel-plated and brass needles have a little less surface friction than aluminum, but are still not as slick as steel. These metals can cause an allergic reaction for some people, and can even turn some people’s skin green. Stainless steel is typically a safer option for people with reactions to cheaper metals.
Sharp Lace Tips
The Mindful Collection needles have Lace Tips. This means the tips are sharper, with a slightly longer, narrower tapered area. These sharper tips can more easily be inserted into multiple stitches. Lace knitting usually has a lot of decrease stitches that require inserting into multiple stitches at once. Lace tips can be very helpful for many other types of knitting as well.
I really like the lace tips for all knitting projects and stitch patterns. These needle tips glide in and out of all the stitches more easily.
Flexible, Memory-Free Swivel Cords
The flexible cables on the circular needles in the Mindful Collection are a thin cord of nylon coated steel. They’re pliable, but they don’t kink up or coil over themselves. A special feature of these cables is the swivel mechanism at the cable connectors. This function allows the cord to swivel, so when you turn the work when knitting back and forth, the whole project turns easily.
These cables also have small markings every inch, so you can even use the cable of your knitting needle as a measuring tape!
Clear, Easy-to-Read Size Markings
Most knitting needles have markings to show their size. But when the size is etched onto the needle in tiny print, it can be hard to read. Or worse, if the size markings are painted on, they can rub off over time! I love that the Mindful Collection needles have clearly marked sizing info shown in a larger print. Plus, the markings are not painted, so the size markings will never rub off.
No Areas for Stitches to Snag
As you knit, the stitches shouldn’t just glide easily along the shaft of the needle. They should also glide easily over any connection points without getting caught. If the stitches do catch, you have to stop knitting to slide them along the needle. This is a common problem with circular needles, especially interchangeable ones.
The Mindful Collection needles minimize this problem with a gentler slope for the stitches to slide up from the cord to the needle shaft.
What types of knitting needles are available in the Mindful Collection?
The Mindful Collection offers a wide variety of needle types, including fixed circular needles, short circular needles for sock knitting, double-pointed needles, and interchangeable circular needles. They also have stitch markers, cable needles, scissors, and other notions available.
You’ll find all the tools you’ll need for any knitting project in this collection. They’re all beautifully color-coordinated with the featured shade of teal.
Interchangeable Circular Knitting Needles
Of all the different types of needles, interchangeable knitting needles are the most versatile. A fixed circular needle has two needle tips connected by a long, flexible cord. The stitches slide along the cord as you knit, whether you’re knitting flat or in the round.
With interchangeable needles, the needle tips disconnect from the cord, so you can switch between needle sizes and cord lengths. You don’t have to have a fixed circular needle in 5 or 6 lengths in each needle size to have a complete collection.
The end caps included with the Circular Needle Sets can be super helpful and make your needles even more versatile. If you want to use your size 7 needle tips for another project, you can remove them from your current project. Then, attach the included end cap stoppers to the cable to keep the stitches from falling off the cable.
You can now use your needle tips for another project. This also works well for putting a section on hold to work on another section of your project.
Circular needles aren’t just for knitting in the round. You can knit flat pieces on a circular needle, which is great if you’re making large projects like blankets. When knitting flat, you must have room for all of the stitches to fit on the length of the needle. For larger projects, this is not possible with straight needles. A long circular needle can easily fit all of your stitches onto the needle.
Interchangeable needles also work for small-circumference items in the round, like socks, gloves, or sleeves. You can use the magic loop method to knit small items in the round with a long circular needle.
So if you’re looking for one set of needles that can do everything, a set of interchangeable needles will be the best knitting needles for you. An interchangeable needle set with a good range of sizes will give you all the tools you need for any type of knitting project you’d like to make.
Short Circular Knitting Needles
If you knit a lot of socks, you’ll love the Explore 10″ Circular Needle Set. This set is designed specifically for sock knitters, with 8 popular sizes of 10″ circular needles. These needles eliminate the need for DPNs and are easier to use when knitting small items like socks in the round.
If you enjoy working with shorter cable lengths for knitting hats and sleeves in the round, the Mindful Collection offers options for you. Check out the Generosity Set with 2″ interchangeable needle tips and 10″ and 12″ cords.
They also offer 16″ cables, which are just the right length for hats, but if you prefer to work with 16″ needles, I would suggest going with the 4″ interchangeable needle tips. You can either purchase these individually, or go for the Warmth 4″ Interchangeable Set, which includes 13 sizes of 4″ interchangeable tips, along with a lovely case and several cord lengths, including 16″.
Of course, you can use the magic loop method with longer cables to knit in the round at any circumference, but if you prefer to use short circular needles instead, those options are available.
Fixed Circular Knitting Needles
Knitter’s Pride also offers their steel knitting needles as fixed circular needles. This means that the needle tips and cables are not interchangeable. If you like fixed circular needles, they do have that option, but in my opinion, for longer needles other than sock needles, it’s much better to get the more versatile interchangeable needles.
Double Pointed Needles (DPNs)
Double pointed needles come in sets of 4 or 5. They work well for knitting small circumference projects in the round, but they are a little tricky to master. I tend to prefer circular needles for working in the round, but if you prefer DPNs, these steel double points are a great choice.
Why Only Circular Knitting Needles?
It’s worth noting that the Mindful Collection does not include any single point straight needles. Why no straight needles? Although single point needles can be nice to have, they are not necessary. You can knit anything you want on circular needles, even when knitting flat pieces back and forth in rows. Circular needles work just as well for knitting flat pieces as they do for knitting in the round.
I actually prefer to use circular knitting needles for all of my projects, even when I’m knitting back and forth. With straight needles, you have the length of the needle sticking out on both sides as you knit, which can get in the way. That extra needle length can also make your knitting feel heavier, because you are holding up the weight of the entire project on those needles.
On circular needles, there is a flexible cord or cable that holds most of the stitches, so much of the weight of your project can rest in your lap. You only have to hold the weight of the stitches that you are currently working with.
Knitting on circular needles is more ergonomic, because your hands only need to support the weight of the part of the project that is directly under your hands. With straight needles, your hands have to support the weight of all the fabric hanging from the entire length of both needles, which puts more strain on the hands.
Other Tools & Notions
Cases & Accessories
All of the needle sets in this collection come with beautiful cases and accessories, all color-coordinated with the featured shade of teal. Some of the cases fold to close, while others zip, and many of the sets of notions and tools have their own little cases and pouches as well.
There are even matching project bags available that coordinate with the entire collection, so all of your knitting tools and notions can match.
Blocking is an important step in any knitting project. This step neatens up the fabric and helps it drape and flow better. The blocking tools from the Mindful Collection can help you block your projects quickly and easily, and of course, they match the rest of the collection.
They have teal blocking mats that interlock together, on which you can pin your project, and a set of knit blockers, which I have and love! The knit blockers are way faster than using t-pins to pin out your project, as they are like a row of pins connected together, so you can insert the equivalent of 4-8 pins at a time.
The Mindful Collection also includes a variety of other knitting notions, including yarn needles, stitch markers, needle gauges, and row counters.
The yarn needles in the Mindful Collection are made of plastic or wood and have a nice blunt tip. They are great for seaming and weaving in ends on projects with thicker yarn.
The plastic stitch markers in the collection include both ring markers and locking stitch markers that open and close. They come in a variety of sizes, so you can use them on any size needle. I love that the colors match the rest of the collection.
The needle gauges are included in several of the needle sets, and are made of metal or durable plastic with both metric and US sizes marked. The US sizes are on one side, and the metric sizes are on the other side. You can insert the knitting needle into the different holes to determine what size it is.
Rainbow Folding Scissors:
The rainbow folding scissors are my favorite scissors for knitting and crochet! They’re very nice quality, made from solid metal with a rainbow reflective coloration. These scissors fold up nicely and fit into their compact canvas zipper case so they won’t poke anything when you throw them into your knitting bag.
Retractable Measuring Tape:
This compact retractable tape measure is covered with a soft teal leather-like material, with a teal tab on the end to make it easier to pull the measuring tape out.
The Mindful Collection Knitting needles are available as full sets of needles with beautiful cases, but you can also purchase the needles individually.
Individual fixed circular needles and sets of DPNs start at about $10 USD. Sets of multiple sizes of DPNs start at about $60. Sets of fixed circulars start at $85, and interchangeable circulars start at about $110.
These are not the most inexpensive metal knitting needles, but they are the best I have tried. I think they are definitely worth it!
My Personal Collection of Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection Items
I have a pretty wide variety of these items in my personal collection, from needles to project bags to notions and accessories. Here’s a complete list of all the Mindful Collection items I have.
– The Gratitude Set: This set includes 14 sizes of interchangeable needle tips, from size 2.5 / 3mm to size 17 / 12mm. It also includes 6 End Caps, 4 Cord Keys, 1 pair of Cord Connectors, 1 Needle Gauge, 2 Darning Needles, 10 Locking Stitch Markers, 10 Split Stitch Markers, and 30 Round Stitch Markers, which all fit conveniently in a beautiful zippered fabric case.
– The Explore Set: Do you enjoy knitting socks? This set is for you! The Explore Knitting Needle Set includes 8 sizes of 10″ circular knitting needles perfect for making socks.
(US Size: 0, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4 & 6 / Metric Size (mm): 2.00, 2.25, 2.50, 2.75, 3.00, 3.25, 3.50 & 4.00.) Set also includes 1 Needle Gauge, 2 Darning Needles, 10 Locking Stitch Markers, 10 Split Stitch Markers, 30 Round Stitch Markers, Pair of Scissors, and a folding circular needle case to store everything.
– The Mindful Tote Bag: This durable canvas tote is great for carrying your knitting projects around with you. There are multiple inside pockets to keep your tools and notions organized.
– Knit Blockers: I love these for blocking my projects! Each blocker is like a row of t-pins connected together, so you can insert 4 or 8 pins at a time to pin out a project much more quickly. These come in a teal plastic case for storage.
– Rainbow Folding Scissors: These are my favorite scissors for knitting and crochet. Of course, they’re beautiful, but they also fold up for storage. They’re sharp enough to cut through thick yarns easily, but with blunt tips so you don’t poke yourself. They fold up and fit in their zippered fabric case. This prevents them from damaging your project when they fall to the bottom of your project bag.
– Sterling Needle Gauge: This durable needle gauge is plated with sterling silver, and has precisely sized holes in it so you can check your needle size.
– Row Counter: This cute counter will help you keep track of the rows and rounds you’ve worked in your project. Just click the button at the top each time you finish a row.
– Stitch Marker Mega Pack: The stitch marker pack includes 100 color-coded stitch markers, with locking and split ring markers, and closed ring markers in 3 sizes. They come in a lovely zippered pouch with smaller mesh pouches for organization.
– Retractable Tape Measure: This is the prettiest tape measure in my tool collection. It’s 60″ long, covered with soft teal faux leather.
– Wood Darning Needles: I typically use metal darning needles, but for larger yarns, these wooden needles are lovely. They come in a cylindrical wooden case.
My Experience with the Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection Knitting Needles
I have been using the Mindful Collection knitting needles for over a year now and I absolutely love them! The tips are nice and sharp, which is great for lace knitting and all other knitting projects, and the cord is very flexible but doesn’t kink. And I love how all of the items in the collection coordinate with each other.
Compared to other metal knitting needles I have tried, these are the best! I have used nickel-plated knitting needles, which are nice, but not as slick as steel. Other brands of steel knitting needles I have tried did not have the wide variety of needle types available.
One brand in particular (Chiaogoo) had a bend at the connection between the needle and the cable, which I did not like because it made it more difficult to slide the stitches up the needle shaft. I have even tested out carbon fiber needles (Knitter’s Pride Karbonz) with brass tips and connectors, and I still did not like them as well as the Mindful Collection Needles.
These interchangeable circular knitting needles from the Mindful Collection are perfect in my opinion. They have the best tips, cables and connectors, and overall the best design of any other metal knitting needles I have tested. I love that the needle tip is all one piece from one material. There are no seams when transitioning from the needle material to the connector.
I love my Mindful Collection knitting needles! Everything about them is exactly what I would want in a knitting needle. I will definitely continue to use and love them for years to come.
Which set do I recommend?
You can’t go wrong with any of these needle sets, but of all the needle sets in the Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection, I would recommend the Gratitude set. This set includes a set of 5″ interchangeable needle tips in 14 sizes. Those sizes will cover most every project you’ll want to make.
The set also comes with 6 End Caps, 4 Cord Keys, 1 pair of Cord Connectors, 1 Needle Gauge, 2 Darning Needles, 10 Locking Stitch Markers, 10 Split Stitch Markers, and 30 Round Stitch Markers. The items are beautifully packaged in a high-quality zippered fabric case, with an interior pouch for all of the notions.
Get this one set of needles, and you’ll have the perfect needle for most projects. For many knitters, this will be the only set of knitting needles you’ll ever need, and they’ll last for many, many years.
Honestly, the only reason you would ever need any other needles would be to knit socks with needles smaller than size 2.5 / 3mm, or to use extremely thick #7 yarn. (This is the thickest yarn category available. Crafters usually use it for arm knitting, and is not nearly as common as other yarn thicknesses.)
If you knit a lot of socks, you can grab a few of their circular sock needles, or long, fixed circulars for magic loop. Better yet, grab the Explore set, which includes 8 sizes of mini circular knitting needles in sock sizes.
Should you buy the Mindful Collection Knitting Needles?
If you’re looking for the best metal knitting needles, then you should definitely check out the Mindful Collection Knitting Needles. They have sharp tips, flexible cords, and a smooth, slick, steel surface. Plus, they come in a variety of needle types and sizes to suit your needs.
But most importantly, they’re the most well-designed, high-quality metal knitting needles I have been able to find. Get a full set of the interchangeable needles, and you’ll have a complete set of quality knitting tools. They’ll last for many years, and will be the ideal needles for any project you’ll ever want to make.
So if you’re looking for the best metal knitting needles, I highly recommend the Knitter’s Pride Mindful Collection! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂
Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Knitting Needles
Are Steel Knitting Needles Good?
Yes! Of all the metals that are used for knitting needles, stainless steel is one of the very best options. It’s durable, and doesn’t cause allergic reactions in most people. It also has the best slick surface of all the other metal knitting needle types I have tested. The Mindful Collection steel knitting needles are the best metal needles. They have all of the ideal features a good knitting needle should have.
Are Metal Knitting Needles Good for Beginners?
Yes! Metal needles like stainless steel are a great choice for beginners, especially if you have trouble with tight tension. Although some types of laminated wood can also be great for beginners, bamboo knitting needles are not a good option.
For example, bamboo has a lot of surface friction. If you’re struggling with tight stitches, bamboo needles can make that problem much worse. (Side note, plastic knitting needles don’t have quite as much surface friction as bamboo, but can still contribute to tight tension problems.)
Steel needles, on the other hand, with their slick surface, can help quite a lot with tight tension. However, if your tension is too loose rather than too tight, loose tension is actually quite simple to fix.
For loose tension, just change the way you wrap the yarn through your fingers to even out your stitches and get correct tension.
So if your tension is too loose, metal needles can still work well for you if you change the way you tension your yarn in your hand. In summary, stainless steel needles are a great choice for beginner and experienced knitters alike.
Are Wood or Metal Knitting Needles Better?
There are benefits to both metal and wooden knitting needles. Wood and Metal knitting needles each have their own lovely characteristics, and can both be great choices. Which is better for you depends on your personal preferences. However, there are some types of metal needles and wood needles that are not so good, so choosing the right metal or wood knitting needle is critical.
The best wooden knitting needles are lightweight, with sharp tips and a smooth, coated surface. My favorite wooden knitting needles are laminated birch wood. They are finished with a slick surface coating that allows the stitches to glide smoothly, unlike uncoated woods like bamboo.
There are other needles out there with coated surfaces, like ebony and rosewood, but these tend to be more expensive.
Wooden knitting needles are warm, and can also be quieter to use than metal needles. They don’t clink against each other as you’re knitting like metal needles do. If you prefer wooden knitting needles, you can check out my top pick here.
The best metal knitting needles are also lightweight, with sharp tips and a slick, non-painted surface. The best material for metal knitting needles is stainless steel. Steel needles have the best smooth surface compared to other metals.
They’re not painted like many aluminum knitting needles. Those colored coatings on aluminum needles will scratch off over time.
Metal knitting needles are cold when you first pick them up, but as you use them, they warm to your hands. They can be a little more slick than wood needles.
They do make little clinking sounds as they tap against each other as you knit, but metal needles are an equally good option as wooden needles.
If you’re not sure whether you prefer metal or wooden knitting needles, I would suggest ordering one of each. Order a steel knitting needle from the Mindful Collection and a laminated birch needle from KnitPicks. Then, test them out and see which type you like better.
What Knitting Needle Materials Are Best for Knitters with Arthritis or Hand Pain?
If you experience pain or discomfort in your hands while knitting, there can be several contributing factors. One major factor is the motions you’re using to make your stitches. However, your knitting needles can also contribute to hand strain while knitting.
High-quality metal needles, like stainless steel, allow your stitches to glide smoothly without tiring your hands as quickly. I recommend switching to interchangeable circular knitting needles. Interchangeable knitting needles do not require your hands to support the weight of your entire project like straight needles do. They are easier on the hands and easier to maneuver.
Another significant factor when addressing hand strain while knitting is the material your needles are made from. Bamboo needles, for example, have a lot of surface friction. High surface friction does not allow the stitches to glide smoothly. Plastic needles have quite a bit of surface friction as well.
Switching to a slick needle with very little surface friction allows the stitches to glide much more easily. When stitches glide easily, knitting requires less effort from your hands and wrists. Stainless steel is one of the best slick needle materials, and can be a wonderful upgrade if you experience discomfort in your hands and wrists while knitting.
What Knitting Needle Materials Are Best for Knitters with Arthritis or Hand Pain?
If you experience pain or discomfort in your hands while knitting, there can be several contributing factors, including the motions you’re using to make your stitches. However, your knitting needles can also contribute to hand strain while knitting. High-quality metal needles, like stainless steel, allow your stitches to glide smoothly without tiring your hands as quickly.
I recommend switching to interchangeable circular knitting needles. Interchangeable knitting needles do not require your hands to support the weight of your entire project like straight needles do. They are easier on the hands and easier to maneuver.
Another significant factor when addressing hand strain while knitting is the material your needles are made from. Bamboo needles, for example, have a lot of surface friction, which does not allow the stitches to glide smoothly.
Plastic needles have quite a bit of surface friction as well. Switching to a slick needle with very little surface friction allows the stitches to glide much more easily, which requires less effort from your hands and wrists.
Stainless steel is one of the best slick needle materials, and can be a wonderful upgrade if you experience discomfort in your hands and wrists while knitting.