What Kind of Needles Should I Use?

Pro-Tip Tuesday


As a knitting instructor, I get this question all the time. There’s no single answer to this question, rather, it triggers a barrage of questions of my own:

 Are you a loose knitter or a tight knitter?

  • A loose knitter may be better off with bamboo or plastic – something with a bit of friction
  • A tight knitter may prefer metal, to allow his or her stitches to slide more easily

What kind of yarn are you using?

  • If you use a slippery yarn, like silk, you may be happier with a “grippy” needle.
  • If you use a grippy yarn, like wool, you may be happier with a slick needle.

What are you making?

  •  I nearly always recommend circular needles to people knitting anything wider than a scarf (or hats, socks, gloves, you get the picture).

What have you used before? Did you like them?

  • If you learned with 14” long metal needles and were comfortable with them, by all means, keep using them, unless you really want to try something else.
  •  There’s no reason for a beginner to buy needles in a range of materials, unless you really want to. It’s more important to spend your knitting money on yarn and on the correct size of needle
  • Inevitably, if you keep knitting, you’ll have all the needles. Trust me.