Leading knitting needle brand KnitPro guides us through how to pick the perfect ones
Knitting needles are the essential tools with which knitters and fibre artists create. However, finding the right needles for you and your project can take a little time and practice, and there’s several important things to take into account.
Know Your Needles
There are four main types of knitting needles, which are:
Fixed circular needles
When choosing your needles for a project, you might wish to consider which type of knitting needles you learnt on. Was it a pair of straight needles or circular ones? What material were they? You may be comfortable with that style of needle, or perhaps you are curious about other types or materials. Don’t rush to buy until you know your options; there are many online sources (like this one) that can educate you about the different kinds of needles and their variations on offer.
Complement your yarn
Is the yarn you are using lightweight or heavy? Is it wool, acrylic, cotton, bamboo or something else? Different fibres behave differently and so they suit some types of needles better than others. For instance, wool often works best on wooden needles, while acrylics tend to glide better on metal or aluminum.
Consider what you like about knitting
What kind of a knitter are you? Do you enjoy the process or are you eager to get to the finish line? If you like speed, you might prefer stainless steel or carbon fibre knitting needles, which go lickety-split. Sometimes they can be too fast, however, and if you enjoy the steady, rhythmic feeling of knitting, some type of wooden knitting needle might be best – and there are many, from bamboo to rosewood to ebony.
Match your needles to your project
What is your current project? Is it flat, like a blanket, or round, like a hat? Is it wide or narrow? If you are working on a blanket or shawl, you will probably be going back and forth. You can do that most easily with straight needles or with a circular needle that you turn at the end of every row. If there are a lot of stitches on each row, consider giving a fixed circular needle a try. Too many stitches on a straight needle can weigh it down and create stress on your hands. If you use a circular needle, you can still work back and forth, but the lightweight cord that connects the needles will hold most of the stitches in the middle and it can rest on your lap, alleviating the weight and making it easier on your hands than straight knitting needles.
If it’s something knitted in the round like a hat, you could consider a circular needle. When joined, it forms a circle that allows you to knit round and round, creating a seamless piece of fabric. For a good tutorial on knitting with circular needles, click here
Knitting tools, like knitters, come in all types and styles. Due to technological advances and better engineering, our options are endless and it helps to be in-the-know (and curious) about what’s available. The largest compendium of knitting needle brands and types to be found online. The reason is simple: most retail stores are relatively small, and space is limited. For that reason, they usually only stock one or two brands of needles and may not have a full selection of sizes or types in stock. Since few knitters like to wait to begin a project, you might wind up settling for what’s in stock.
That’s why we recommend reading about knitting needles online and finding out which online retailer carries which brands. You can do research there and decide what makes the most sense for you. In time, when they have found the needle type and style they like best, many knitters buy a knitting needle set. While it is an investment, it can often be a great value and it ensures that you have what you want, when you need it.
Where to buy
When it comes to purchasing your needles, whether that’s a full set or just one pair, WEBS and Jimmy Beans Wool are great choices, with both carrying a good assortment of needle brands and types, and shipping very quickly. In terms of brands, KnitPro has one of the largest ranges of types, materials and styles of needles, as well as knitting accessories and more. Be sure to check KnitPro out to see what treasures await.