Just Wondering

Do you prefer knitting with thicker yarn and bigger-sized needles or with thinner yarn and smaller-sized needles? I am knitting a project on size 10mm needles and find them quite cumbersome when winding the yarn around the needle each time compared to when I am using the smaller-sized needles. Just wondered what other people found.


I won’t use a needle smaller than an 8 and that rarely, I usually knit with 6.5 to 8mm for most things, sometimes a 6mm which I don’t consider that big. I don’t use bulky yarn much, but will knit worsted on the 6.5mms to 7.5mms. If it’s a lacey wrap I use fingering or dk on 5.5mm to 6.mm.

I don’t like the bigger needles or yarn myself. I find big needles hurt my hands and I feel like I’m knitting with bats. On occasion I do use a larger or smaller needle, but generally I use DK to worsted weight yarn (usually worsted) and size US 5-8 (3.75-5mm) needles. As you can see from the two responses you’ve gotten so far that it’s personal preference. :wink:

Right now I have a fingering weight scarf with size US 8 needles and a worsted weight sweater with size US 7 needles.

Definitely a preference yeah. I’ve got 7s and when I use them or the 8s, they hurt my hands more than the 7 or 8mms.

I started out using only large needles at 10 1/2, 11, or 13. I’ve since learned how to use smaller needles and like them better, maybe a 5-8 range. I use baby sport, sport, or worsted mainly. Personal preference. You might want the bigger needles if you’re trying to get a gift done in a hurry or need some quick hats or mittens when winter catches you off guard.

I spend most of my knitting time on 2-4mm needles but find it’s fun to go up to 8mm and higher every now and then. It feels like a totally different sport until you get used to it. It’s all good.

I know this is entirely wrong but whenever I knit on my 7mm or 10mm needles it is something else. When I first started I thought it was a joke, but I liked it after a while. However, I normally knit on 4-5 mm needles.

I knit a lot of socks so I like small needles and thin yarn. I just started some slipper socks with chunky yarn (two strands together) on size 9 DPN’s. It seems to bother my hands a bit since they aren’t used to that kind of workout!

If you’re using 2 strands of yarn to make a chunky weight, you need larger needles. Bulky and size 8 or 9s make my hands hurt too because of the dense gauge, since I’m used to heavier yarns.

My favorite is the itty bitty sock dpn’s. I love knitting socks and using the small needles. At first, I had a problem with them making my hands sore, but now it is just the opposite as knitting socks is much easier on my arthritic hands for some reason. I do know that for me nickel is lots easier to use than bamboo and I can’t use plastic at all even with a crochet hook. My crochet hooks are metal too for use in picking up stitches or having to do a single crochet row, etc. I don’t crochet per se.

I like both. I’ve used large needles and chunky yarn to make some great scarves and cardigans. They really seem to fly off the needles, and I love that I can finish something quickly in this way. I don’t recall having any problems with pain or with it being cumbersome, though. Of course, I was using circular needles for the cardigan, so that helped.

I also like knitting with smaller needles, too. Right now I’m working with fingering weight yarn and size 5 needles, as well as dk and size 8 needles. Switching between the two (as someone else pointed out) is very interesting. Right after I switch projects, I always feel as though the larger size needles are [U]much[/U] too large and the smaller needles are way too tiny (even though the knitting up to that point looks fine). It’s kinda fun to get used to each needle size again.

Is there a different way you can wrap your yarn to make this process less cumbersome? I find that I learn a lot from watching other people knit. Even after several years of knitting, I’m always finding slightly different ways to hold the yarn or wrap the yarn or move the needles. It might be worthwhile to just browse through some videos and see if you get any new ideas for how to do things differently!

I rarely use anything over a worsted weight yarn and I rarely use anything over a 7 needle. I would if I needed to to get gauge but I guess I’m rather a loose knitter. I use a lot of DK or sport yarn and some fingering (sometimes held double). I think I use US size 3-4 needles more than other sizes. I’m not real comfortable with great big needles but have used them a few times for a special project like felted hats or slippers.

I usually have a bit of trouble when I start out on a new project with anything more than 5mm needles, mainly because the weight of the yarn required by larger needles is, well, heavier. I normally use something between a 3mm-4.5mm.

Having said that, I am currently working on a sweater in unspun roving for DH that requires I use 8mm needles. When I first started out it was awful…I knit for a half hour and my hands were exhausted. HOWEVER…I finished the back and it was a major success. :woot:

It’s definitely a matter of preference. I would prefer to use smaller needles and lighter yarns because the project is lighter, but the speed of production with the larger tools and thicker medium has its definite advantages, too.

How’s that for ambiguity? :roflhard:

I prefer to work with thicker needles/yarn. Mostly because my projects go faster and there’s not as many stitches to work with! I have made afghans with 4 strands together on size 50 needles and LOVE IT!!

I have to laugh when I look at some vintage patterns where they tell you to cast on over 100 sts just for the BACK!!! That’s one of my deciding factors in choosing a sweater pattern – if there’s more than 90 sts to cast on for the front or back – forget about it!!

That’s just me!!!

Up to size US 10 needles are OK, I don’t often go that big a needle but will. Right now I’m using size 15 and it really feels awkward, I mostly just want to be done this project and the yarn used up. It’s LB Incredible ribbon yarn I’ve had for ages and I just want it gone. I guess it’d be gone faster had I gifted or Goodwill’ed it, but I’m nearing the end of the project so it will soon be done.

I make a lot of socks so I’m happy using 0, 1 or 2 needles. I also do a lot of lace with fingering weight so that’s usually size 5 or 6.

I don’t know if there is a different way to wrap my yarn. Are there any particular videos you would recommend?

Having said that I prefer working with the smaller-sized needles, when it comes to that fuzzy yarn I am using, I find it much easier to use it doubled-up as I can see what I am doing more clearly.


I can’t say what I prefer…but I can say that I avoid knitting with fingering & lace weight yarn for garments which require teeny needles such as US000-3. But I’ve done it, reluctantly, for baby sweaters.

I’m not wild about super bulky weight yarns which require huge needles either, but I’ve done it, too!

Usually, my garment knitting ranges around dk weight, worsted weight, and aran weight. And the needles usually are US5-US9 to get gauge.

I don’t mind knitting on the US5 or US6 using dk weight. You get used to it. I always knit a 4"x4" gauge swatch, and this gets your hands used to smaller needles again.

I have circulars ranging from US000-US19. And I bought a straight pair of needles in sizes US35! They are hollow plastic needles, not too heavy. I think I even have a pair of straight US50! For rugs…using BIG YARN, or numerous strands held together. Saw it done on a Knitting Daily TV dvd video. Real cool. So I purchased the super gigantos when I spotted them somewhere.