Needle length

I’d like to make a prayer shawl, but I’m not sure if I can use the needles I currently have, or buy a set of the longer ones. Is there a “rule” concerning the number of cast-on stitches and needle length? I appreciate your help!

Well you want a needle that will hold your stitches comfortably without them falling off. Many people knit shawls on circulars because they can hold more than twice as many sts as 14" straights, the sts don’t fall off easily, and the cord helps hold the weight of the growing item in your lap instead of your wrists holding up really long needles. A 29" would be a good size, and you can also use it to make blankets or sweaters.

Thanks Suzeeq, I thought of getting circulars, but I’m a bit intimidated I guess. Still [B]very[/B] new to knitting. I’ll give it a try.

Knitting flat on circs isn’t much different than knitting flat on straights. When you get to the end of the row, you swap the needles and start the next row. They’re just short needles joined with a cord.

I’ll stop on my way home (if it’s not snowing!) and pick some up. I appreciate your help!

Once I decided to try circs, I never wanted to go back to straights hardly! Just love my circs; I have back/shoulder problems, and for the larger projects it sure makes a difference being able to have the weight in my lap and my arms more ‘down’ than ‘out’.

Me too, I can’t use straight ones anymore, even for scarves. The extra needle length (I’m talking 10") is cumbersome and gets in the way.

OK ladies, I’m convinced. Are there any considerations I should take into account before I buy some, or are they all pretty standard?

only if you have a preference to what your needles are made of - metal, pastic, bamboo, other wood. If you prefer a certain type of straight needles, you may want the same in circs. Or, since you’re new to knitting, you might want to try something different.

For length, probably want 24". 29’s will probably be OK, too.

Depending on where you’re getting them, you may not have much choice in what they’re made of or how long they are. I find places like Michaels/AC Moore/Joanns usually have 24 or 29’s.

I appreciate your input – thanks!

If you want to go wild and crazy, Addi Turbo circulars are the best, IMHO. They are sort of expensive, but worth it. I’ve slowly built up my collection over the years by only buying one for a specific project. Not as pricey that way. :slight_smile:

I just bought a pair of Addi Turbos. I haven’t tried them out yet…haven’t tried out any circular knitting yet. They were pricey, but I have heard so many good things about them. I am looking forward to finding my first project to use them on!