How do I decide how long my needles should be?

Hi, new member here so excuse me if this is something everyone knows. I did try to search, but my poor eyes (I have difficulty seeing print) can’t read 500 posts to see if the answer is there. When I decide to start a pattern and it says size 10 needle…well I have a number of needle lengths in size 10. The patterns don’t say so I assume it is common knowledge :wink: . I cast on 100 stitches on my size 10 (10 inches long) and it seems to be a bit too small in length for comfort. But it seems a bit drastic to use 14inch length needles for just a hat ??? So how does one know B-4 trying? Also is there a guide that says type of yarn texture works best on metal…wood…or plastic, etc? Oddly enough…all my books don’t address these issues even when I use magnifying glasses…LOL! Thanks for any help!

I think this is one of the reasons so many of us use circulars as straights. I always found 14 inch straights too long–they kept hitting things, but were necessary to fit the stitches sometimes. They got awfully heavy after the knitting got longer, too.

This doesn’t really answer your question, I know, but I’d say that it’s better to have more room on straights than too little. The stitches want to jump off the ends of the needles.

You can start small, and if there are too many stitches, switch to longer needles (or circs).

I think needle material is all a matter of personal preference. I prefer metal circs, but bamboo dpns.

If there is a rule, it would be that you might be more likely to like using wood or bamboo with slippery wools especially acrylic/synthetics, and you might prefer slippery plastic or metal for fuzzy sticky or natural wools. But there are plenty of people who only want one or the other. Try them until you know what kind you prefer.

Thanks for the info. Local shops for knitting is just not around for me to drop in and ask these questions, even if I could see to drive. I am having a bit of trouble with a hat in worsted wool on my favorite acrylic needles, so I tried steel in same size and length and that is too slippy and didn’t solve the problem of working 100st on 10 inch needle. So I went to wood at 11 gauge and 14in. sigh The control is better, but 14 is hard to manage knitting in bed. Since I have ALOT of needles that I sort of inherited I thought I had everything I could ever possibly need, LOL! However if I do go to circular I will have to purchase some cause mine are 2s, 4s, 6s and that means I’ll probably have to change plans. WHY OH WHY didn’t I have a granny that knitted?? I can handle a mean crochet hook having learned that in the early sixties…but I never was around anyone that knitted so I am trying hard to learn from books more than my basic knowledge so my only granddaughter will have someone to teach her needlecrafts. At least she will inherit a pretty large knitting needle assortment …LOL!

Knitpicks Options–all the circs you’ll ever need, especially since you have small ones already.

Thanks for the info…when I am able to go into an actual store I will check those out. Not having a local shop can sure save me money…LOL.

Heh. Wait until you discover online yarn stores…

Just throwing in my 2 cents here: as for the suggestion to try Knitpicks “Options”. They come in metal and in Harmony, a new colorful wood. I actually do not like the changeable style needles-- I have always had problems with yarn catching at the join, or the join coming loose. (But to be clear-- I’ve never tried the Options, so this has been my experience with other company’s changeables.) But I have some of the dpns in the Harmony and LOVE them. So if you’re thinking of trying the changeable Options, I can recommend getting the Harmony tips. They are so smooth and easy to work with!

That’s the thing I love about the Options–no catching at the join. I rate them up there with Addis.