Buying needles

I bought whatever needles last time I was in town (we live in the country), and now I’m looking for needles I can do patterns with! I have been looking at online patterns to learn new skills, but they require dpns or circular or longer needles. I don’t just want to make dishcloths!

I will look online (I’m in Australia so will look for stores here) but want to know what I should get? Are the circulars with interchangeable points good, or do the points fall out or catch the yarn at the joins?

Also looking for dpns what are the common sizes? What’s a good size to start with to make the baby sock pattern on the video?

And straight needles- do I even need them if I have a long circular? Can you do straight knitting on circulars? I want to make a sweater for my baby.

And Do I need cable needles?

What is a stitch holder? I see it in many patterns.

Sorry if this has been asked and answered before, I did a bit of a search and couldn’t find it.

You can do straight knitting on circulars. The only difference is that when you come to the end of the row, you don’t join. You just turn the work around like you would on straight needles. I would still keep your straight needles, though.

For common sizes of DPN’s, that’s a tough one for me because I see patterns that call for all different sizes. I think it also depends on what it is you’re going to knit with them. If you plan on knitting a lot of socks, I’d go with a smaller size. For circulars, I personally prefer bamboo, but I hear a lot of people here just rave about Knit Picks Options. I’ve never used the KnitPicks Options, so I can’t really give my opinion on them (although Christmas is coming and I may be hinting to DH to get me a set of Options :slight_smile: ). I had some of the Boye Needlemaster Interchangeable Needles, but I didn’t care for them. If you’re looking for a common length, I’d go with the 29 inch length first.

You might want a cable needle if you feel like you want to try to knit cables.

You don’t have to get stitch holders. You can thread a bit of waste yarn through your stitches to hold them and keep them live.

A lot of people here like the interchangeable points sets. I’ve just bought a lot of plain old circular needles. I started with Addi Turbos (available worldwide, I’m pretty sure) and have added different lengths (36" for afghans, 16" for hats) and some metal and some bamboo. Some yarns are slipperier than others and the bamboo works great for the most “slippy” ones.

DPNs: if you want to do socks/with sock yarn look for dpns around 2mm (go up a few sizes, too). You can also do socks with DK weight or worsted weight yarn, and you’ll want larger sizes for those (US sizes 4 or so for DK, and 7 or so for worsted).

Straight needles - you can do straight knitting on circulars, but there are times when I prefer straight needles. I can knit faster with straights, actually, so I often use them when I’m not knitting in the round. It’s all a matter of personal preference. I do suggest, though, that if you’re buying US 15s or 17s, to keep in mind that the long ones do end up feeling like you’re knitting with trees. For the large sizes circulars might actually be better (though I’m not getting rid of my straights).

You can use a dpn for a cable needle, if you want. I like to have a cable needle, though, particularly since they’re pretty cheap.

A stitch holder looks like a giant safety pin. Get a few of these in various sizes. Some sweater patterns use up to 3 of them. These are a definite for your shopping list. (I see my advice is opposite to annomalley’s. I much prefer having stitch holders to not having them.)

I don’t use stitch holders much, I usually use another circular to hold the stitches. But sometimes I run out because I’ve got knitting on all of them…

I’m a big fan of the Options needle set - you buy on line from Knit Picks. I think you’ll find a lot of people around here are. The advantages are that you always have all needle sizes, and you don’t need stitch holders, you just use the cables as holders (they come with stoppers to screw on the ends) and then you just put needle tips back on them when you are ready to knit those stitches.

I have never liked stitch holders as I have found they pull on my knitting and I used to use scrap yarn instead - it’s’ gentler. Of course, the fact that I would stuff the stitch holders as much as possible might have had something to do with the pulling!

Can I use the Options set to do magic loop knitting? For socks? Or don’t the tips come small enough? I notice they sell in small sizes and large, if you don’t want to buy the whole set at once. I see the North Country baby sock uses 4mm dpns or 3.75.

Thanks for the help so far! I know I will have to spend money, but of course don’t want to spend more than is necessary!:wink:

The smallest size the Options tips come in is 3.50mm, so that would work for your pattern. (Anything smaller doesn’t work with the cables, but they do sell fixed circulars as small as 2.00mm with 16", 24" and 32" cables) and I have heard the 32" Knit Picks cables (interchangeable or fixed) are good for Magic Loop.

I have recently bought some of their fixed circs, interchangeables and DPNs… I love them!

The only “problem” for you with Knit Picks is that they only ship to the US and Canada. You can still order from them just would have to have it shipped to someone in the US or Canada and then have them ship it to you in Australia…

I think they’re available in Australia now, there was mention of it a while back.

My apologies…

I was looking at the Knit Picks website and they said they only send to US and Canada, but I guess some Australian vendors/stores have them for sale there. :blush:

Either way, I love mine cloud9 and would be more than willing to serve as an inbetween mailing address for anyone overseas who can’t get them otherwise. :slight_smile:

How long of a cable do I need for magic loop knitting?

i’d go with 32" for ML. you really can’t go wrong with the options set. and i prefer to knit socks on us size 0 or 1. so i would get 32" or longer in the fixed circular from knitpicks if you can. if you can get your options set locally, but not the circs, i would help you if you want to ship them to me, and then i could post them to you. i’ve done that for a friend in china with other stuff before. and someone else here also offered the same thing.

on another board i frequent, they call me the enabler. :wink: plus, i don’t think ANYONE should be denied access to these wonderful needles!

Thanks Dakatzmeow, I am still wondering… I have been reading a lot about sock-making, haven’t actually got around to making a sock yet (no needles yet!) but when you are doing them on circular instead of dpns, what do you do when you get to the bit where you let two of the needles drop and continue knitting with the others? The heel? I have borrowed a lovely sock book from the library in the shape of a sock, can’t remember the name now, but I’m itching to try some!

when using 2 circs, one needle holds the stitches of dpn 1 and 2. and the other one holds teh stitchs of dpn 3 and 4. so if the heel stitches are made back and forth on dpn 3 and 4, you’d work with circ 2 and let circ 1 dangle, just as if you were letting dpn 1 and 2 dangle.

clear as mud? keep asking questions. you’ll get there.

I’m a bit late, but here’s a basic list of supplies for the beginning knitter. This is really all you’ll need throughout your knitting life, other than a few little implements and needle replacements here and there.

-16" and 24" circular needles in sizes 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 10.5

-Double Pointed needles in the same sizes, or use 2 circular needles.

-Stitch markers (or loops of contrasting wool)

-Stitch holders (or extra lengths of contrasting wool)

-A bag to carry your knitting around.

But, but… if you are working with one of the circulars and letting the other dangle, what do you have left to knit with?

Thank you, I will start collecting!

You would actually let the stitches you don’t use just sit there, while you worked with the other stitches on both needle tips.

you’ve got 2 circs. with two needle tips, one on each end. so while one circ dangles, you have the other circ, with two needle tips, holding the stitches you are going to knit. use the two needle tips on the circ holding your current stitches to work those stitches.

Thanks for clarifying. So, how is it easier to knit socks on circulars than dpns?

with dpn’s, you will have 3 or 4 intersections per round. intersections, meaning when you have to switch to the other needle. so if you have, making up a number, 100 rounds per sock, then with 2 circs, you’d have 200 intersections. with 3 dpn’s, you’d have 300. with 4 dpn’s, you’d have 400. so with 2 circs, you have significantly fewer intersections and therefore chances of dropping stitches and having ladders. does that make sense?