Knitting needles help you in making stitches, hold your work together and carry the weight of your knitting project as you are working on it. They usually come in pairs and can be your best companion in creating beautiful knitted pieces. Depending on the shapes, sizes and material, you can have various types of knitting needles as discussed below.
Types of Knitting Needles to Consider While Choosing a Pair for Yourself
Depending On the Shape
1. Single Pointed or Straight Needles
This is the most common kind of knitting needles. One of its ends is pointed, while the other end is shaped like a knob. The pointed end helps in making stitches while the knob prevents them from slipping off. The straight needle is usually 10-16 inches in length but can produce knitwear of much wider dimensions due to the high compressibility of the stitches. Suitable for beginner knitters, it works best for smaller pieces of knitted fabric that need to be worked flat like scarves, washcloths, afghan squares, etc.
2. Double Pointed Needles
Double pointed needles are tapered at both ends allowing you to knit with both of them. They are commonly used for knitting in the round. You can mostly make small tubular knitwear like socks, sleeves, gloves, mittens, collars, and toys with them. Having a length of around 13-20 cm, they are shorter than the other two types of knitting needles. They come in handy when you are knitting with just a few stitches or working with decreases. They are mostly available in sets of 4-6.
3. Circular Needles
Circular needles are a pair of straight needles, 4-5 inches long, which are connected by a flexible cord on one side. Their overall length ranges from 9 inches – 60 inches. They can be used to knit flat or in the round. Allowing easy knitting, they are a favorite among many knitting enthusiasts. Slip stitch and double knitting suit them best. Apt knitting projects are those knit in the round like sweaters, cowls, hats and socks (using the magic loop method).
Depending on the Knitting Needle Sizes
The size of your needles is an essential aspect of your knitting project. It depends on the yarn weight and the knitwear that you intend to make. Check the pattern details to find the appropriate needle size. You can refer to the below chart for knitting needle size conversions.
|2.0 mm||14||0||The smallest needle sizes are used for intricate, detailed work like lace|
|2.75 mm||12||2||Small needles suited for knitting socks and shawls|
|3.5 mm||–||4||Thin needles for making baby blankets, light sweaters and socks|
|4.0 mm||8||6||Most of the things that you can wear, ranging from sweaters to scarves and gloves|
|5.0 mm||6||8||Most popular needles that are suitable for beginners and used for a variety of projects|
|6.0 mm||4||10||Knitting chunky sweaters, pullovers quickly|
|9.0 mm||00||13||For super bulky garments and accessories|
|16.0 mm||–||19||Making thickly knit jumbo-sized blankets, afghans, etc.|
Depending on the Needle Material
The choice of material for your knitting needles largely depends on your personal preferences. Some yarns feel better to knit with certain types of needles
- Wooden knitting needles – Though they are a bit on the heavier side, beginners find it easy to work with them as the stitches hold on to the material and don’t slip off easily. They are mainly made of bamboo.
- Plastic knitting needles – These are lighter and more flexible than the metal and bamboo ones. Though they are good for any type of yarn, they work exceptionally well with chunky yarns.
- Steel and aluminum knitting needles – Expert knitters would be at ease with these metal needles since they are slippery and make knitting quick.
Choosing the right needle can help you create enchanting knitwear that would gift you fond memories of your loved ones. Many a winter evening can be spent creatively with their soothing touch between your fingers. Those moments would be cherished long after they are gone.
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