For magic loop, you need a pair of circular needles that is at least 32 inches / 80 cm long, and that has a flexible cable.
I have a lot of needles that my Mom bought in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Those suckers will last forever, but the cables are also very stiff and can not be used.
Here are the types I’ve tried:
- Addi “Lace” – http://www.addineedles.co.uk
- Knitter’s Pride “Karbonz” – http://www.yarn.com
- Signature Needle Arts – http://www.signatureneedlearts.com
- HiyaHiya – http://www.tallyarns.co.uk
These all work very well for Magic Loop. I had the cable/needle join slide a little apart on a pair of Addis, but if you’re a little careful that shouldn’t happen. (The folks at Addi also replaced them for me completely hassle-free.)
The Signature needles are beautiful, and so are the Karbonz.
With Signature needles, you get to choose the length – 4, 5, or 6 inches. 6-inch needles are nice if you have big hands. They are also colour-coded. I think all needles should be 🙂 The cable on these is the most flexible I’ve come across.
Nice to know: Knitter’s Pride and Knitpicks are the same brand, as marketed in the US and in Europe, respectively.
Fun fact: HiyaHiya needles come in ridiculously small sizes – here’s an order of 0.7 and 1.2 mm 32-inch needles, as well as a 9-inch circular needle which are allegedly becoming popular for knitting e.g. mittens and socks in the round. It is also supposed to be a good helper needle for making cables, which is why I got it.