What’s the best material? Aluminum? Wood? Bamboo? Plastic? Just wondering. I like aluminum but is there a better material needle to work with?
That is completely personal preference. I prefer nickel plated. Don’t care for some metals including aluminum.
Yarn type can also be a factor in what kind of needle to use. I really like my wood and bamboo needles for lots of things; however, I came across some yarn recently that just [I]would not[/I] slide well on my bamboo needles. So I switched over to aluminum and knitting was a breeze.
If you have a local yarn store nearby that will allow you to try out different needles with different yarns, then that’s definitely the way to go. However, if that option’s not available, hook up with some other long-time knitters and see if they’ll let you “test drive” some of their needles with different yarns.
Yeah, I agree with Jan–definitely a matter of preference, but the preference can change depending on what yarn you’re using!
Different needles will also give you different gauges sometimes. I’ve never used any wooden needles except ones my husband made out of dowels from the hardware store. They were not so hot. Bamboo is a little slow with some yarns but just the thing if you need a bit of bite so things don’t slip around. I like the nickle plated ones I have and aluminum have their place as well. I have never used and plastic ones but have a lot of old nylon circulars that I use all the time. They are not as grippy as bamboo, and not as slippery as metal.
I started out with metal needles and didn’t like them. Then I went to Clover bamboo needles. They’re nice and more reasonable in price than Addi and some of those name brands. I now have Knitpicks Harmony Wood interchangeable circular needles that I just adore. I’ve had them for over two years now and the lacquered coating makes them slick as a dream. The only thing I’m sorry about is that I didn’t get them sooner. It’s all your personal preference. Try a few out at a local yarn shop and see what you think.
I’ve always liked wood or bamboo for knitting needles. For crochet hooks, it’s different. I put my Boye metal hooks away. My new favorite is colorful acrylic hooks by Coats and Clark/Red Heart Crystallites. I like the colors and they’re lightweight. Such an extreme in tastes between wood and acrylic!
I love them all (including the old timey Susan Bates aluminum) with the exception of plastic. I don’t like plastic needles one bit. Not wild about Knit Picks Zephyr’s either. (acrylic) Not wild about Denise interchangeables either (plastic-like)
But I’m saying this from my own perspective. Not dissing the acrylic and plastic needles themselves.
[B]For me,[/B] they are not delightful to work with.