Beginner with Question about needles

I’m just starting out learning to knit and was wondering which type of needles are the best to learn on. The circular or straight? Also are bamboo the best to start with? Thanks in advance for the help in deciding which to buy.

I started with metal straights, but that was back when that was about all that was available.

Which ones feel better in your hands? I tend to gravitate toward my bamboo straights for a lot of my smaller projects, and Addi Turbo or bamboo circulars (depends on the yarn - some yarns slide better on different materials) for larger projects. I like my addi turbos with woolyarns , and my bamboos with cotton yarns. Laceweight yarns are slippery suckers, and I go with bamboo in most cases with laceweight yarns (exception was with some merino wool fuzzy laceweight which would not slide nicely on the bamboos).

Also, feel free to switch your needles if the ones you’re using aren’t working.

Start out with KNITPICKS Harmony circular needles. You can purchase the whole set for under $70…or just a needle at a time.

All very reasonably priced IMO. Don’t waste a dime on straight needles. Invest in circulars from the get-go. More versatile, easier on your wrists. I wish they had been available when I started knitting! :wink:




PS: Welcome to Knitting Help Forum! :waving:

Howdy and welcome,
I also prefer to work with circular needles for their adaptability (flat or round/circular knitting); although, I prefer metal tips to wood. For me the wooden ones tend to grip my stitches to well. I work with wools and or man made fibers (for some charities). I prefer to use sizes from 24" (60 cm) to 32" (80 cm) long.

I also prefer circulars but that’s because I don’t poke people in the eye while knitting in a crowded subway. Also, it depends on what yarn you are knitting with. I prefer the smoothness of metal but once in a while when I use a slippery yarn I prefer bamboo or wood.


Best is subjective.

what is best for me, might not be best for you!

there are straight needle, both long and short…
made from:
metal (aluminum, brass, nickel plated, and steel are the most common metals)
woods (birch, ebony rosewood are the most common woods)
plastic (nylon, casean, (a plastic made from milk) hard clear plastic)
Other (glass, mixed, silver, bronze, etc)

Double pointed and circular needles also are available in most of these materials.

some (nickel plated) are smooth and slick, (fast!)
some (bamboo) are smooth and tacky (slow)

some are warm in hand (brass, nickel plated brass, woods, bamboos, and some plastics)

some are cool in hand (aluminum)

some are more flexible, some are more rigid.

some have pointer tips, some rounder tips.

BEST is what is best for you, your yarn and your project.

Best will change --new knitters often like the grippiness of bamboo, (it helps them control stitches and avoid dropping them)
Me, i like the smooth slick feel of nickel plated brass–that allow me to knit fast!

I agree with of troy. If possible, go to your LYS and see if they’ll let you try diff ndls. As much as I love circs, there are times when I need straights altho I only use slippery metal (but I’m a long-time knitter). Some ppl really dislike circs. Diff yarns sometimes require diff ndl materials. Before investing, and depending on your budget, I’d suggesting trying as many as you can get your hands one.


I bought oodles of straight needles in aluminum when I started! UGH! What a recipe for disaster that was! I agree with ArtLady - but a set of Harmony Options from KnitPicks. It’s an all-in-one kit; wood needles tend to better for beginners since beginners tend to slip stitches easily; circs are all I’ll ever use - they keep the weight off of my wrists and are more comfortable in addition to versatile. Circular needles can be used to knit flat pieces, pieces in the round, or even socks! You get the most bang for your buck!

I can knit with anything. Cheap aluminum straights are fine, I don’t hate them (like them better than wood needles most of the time). But my Knit Picks circulars rock. I have the nickel plated set, and random Harmonies as well (the cables fit both). They’re awesome. I use the nickel plated for some things, the Harmonies for others, just depends on the project. I don’t like straights anymore.

Hello. I am new here. Anyone tried Aero/Prym circs? They were recommended to my yesterday at my LYS. Under $6. I am learning to knit via books/vids and this website.

i use susan bates circs. I found that with my carpal tunnel, Circs in general are easier and Susan bates are just what i happen to have available at the stores near me (i HATE boyes with a passion, they’re so pointy that they hurt my fingers and split the yarn). I have to say though, that part of the fun being on the oddball blankets is i get to try a variety of needles and all it costs me is the fun I have working on the blankets and a bit of yarn plus postage :slight_smile:

Aero/Prym/Inox are great needles. I use them all the time. The price is perfect too.
They are pointy and I like pointy needles for knitting–I never liked the regular Addi’s because they weren’t pointy enough the Addi Lace needles are much better–I’ve purchased some for the metric sizes that aren’t available with the Inox.

The Aero/Prym/Inox needles have a bit of drag to them–they are smooth, but not as slippery as other brands that I’ve tried. I also think that they are lightweight to compared to other brands.

What I don’t particularly like are the cables on the circular needles. These needles always need the hot water treatment to relax the cables. Then when I store them, I don’t try to put them back in the package, I try to store them as open/loose as possible.

As ArtLady said Knit Picks Options. I have the metal set AFTER investing in straights. Bought the whole set of straights and all the y do is sit in my case.

i have finished most of my projects with bamboo needles. :knitting: while each kind of needle has its own strong pionts. i prefer the bamboo needles because of their warmth and the nature feel in my hands. and according to my knitting experience :slight_smile: the bamboos can keep the stitches from dropping off.

I think I have a zillion knitting needles … I love them all, even the ones I don’t use… they go with my zillion knitting books and magazines and my zillions of “notions” (needle sizers, stitch markers, etc) and zillions and zillions of skeins, hanks and odds and ends of YARN … all of this… thanks to KH and threads like this :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Way back when I first learned, it was pretty much plastic straights, with a few circulars. After for whatever insane reason I put my knitting aside for several years, the only ones I could find were aluminum. Hated them. I was basically reteaching myself, and they were too darn slippery for my skills…stitches would slip off, I never could retrieve them properly, and it caused much frustration.

I knit exclusively with Clover bamboos, and LOVE them. My work has NO tendency to slide off, yet when knitting the stitches move easily. Other than dpns, I don’t use straights anymore - everything is done on circs. No worries about the work slipping off the end, the weight of big projects is spread out over the entire needle, and you can pretty much knit anything with them.

My favorite needles by far are Clover bamboo circs. Can’t guarantee they’ll be yours, but I think they’re great!!!

I learned on alluminum straights. They were ok - i didn’t know better. Then I got a pair of bamboo circs to make a hat. LOVED them and they got me to knit a tab bit looser - helped my hands not to cramp.

Then, since i wanted all the sizes in circulars, i bought the Denise interchangeable set. I will probably never pick up straight needles again, regardless of what they are made of. I’m saving up for the Harmony options, or the nickel version. I can’t decide which to get, but the wood ones are just beautiful.



Well, I guess I’m in the minority, but all I have are Boye needles and I like them just fine. However, I’ve never tried anything else. :slight_smile: I had bought Boye needles in most of the sizes that I need, and I haven’t bought any new ones in a long time. I do agree that circulars, really a set of interchangeable circulars is the most efficient set to get, since you can use them for anything. My only complaint with circulars is that sometimes when I’m using really big needles, like size 10, the stitches will sort of ‘stack up’ at the point where the narrow cable tapers up to the wide needle, and I have to stop knitting and fix them.

For very, very small diameter knitting (the tops of hats or socks), you’ll either need a long enough cable to do magic loop (I don’t have this), or circular needles of the same size, OR a set of double pointed needles.

I have at least half Boye needles, some older, some newer. Most of them I like because of the pointy ends, though in the bigger sizes (over size 11) I like blunter tips. I have a few wood one that are nice, as are some of the old resin ones. All of them are circs.