"Starter" Circular Needles

I’m just getting into knitting and still getting my feet wet – no real projects yet, I’m only knitting little squares of different patterns from my pattern book.

I’m very intrigued by the idea of circular needles and being able to use them exclusively. Eventually, I will probably purchase the KnitPick interchangeable set, but in the meantime I thought I might try just one set of circular needles and see what I think.

I’m considering 24" ones, but I thought I should ask some experts first. :wink:

What do you think? I’m currently using 8" bamboo straight needles; I had some 16" acrylic ones and I didn’t like them.


For length, it depends on what you’re thinking of making. If you’re just going to knit flat on circular needles, then the cord length isn’t too critical, and a 24" would be good. If you want to make something in the round, you have to make sure the circumference of what you are knitting is bigger than the length of the needles you are using. For hats, 16" circulars are what work, but even then once you start decreasing you either need to switch to DPNs or use two circulars, or do magic loop (Amy has videos of all these techniques).

For material of the needles, its all about preference, what you like to knit with. The only cords I’ve found that don’t get twisted are my options. Otherwise, the twist is something I’ve just learned to deal with.

i am a newbie to knitting
(well i learnt ages ago but never really took it anywhere and this christmas my mum taught me again)
so i’m interested in knitting hats.
I just knitted the freebee ‘apple hat’ pattern which came out very cute but far too small, i didn’t have dpn’s and i wouldn’t know what to do with them even if i did have them so i knitted it on size 5 straight needles flat and joined it up. (should have been size 6 or 7)
I created the stem bit, by knitting six stitches and then transferring them back to the other needle each time, so it was going in one direction and it kind of worked.

So, what would you suggest i buy next to continue knitting hats, dpn’s or a circular one?

which is easier?

any info appreciated.


Thanks for the comments.

I thought I would start with something relatively cheap – maybe the same needles I use now but circular – and see how it feels before I invest in those awesome looking Harmony interchangeables. (Although browsing this site and reading everyone’s enthusiastic gushing makes it hard to resist them! :lol: )

Are you using Clover bamboo’s? If so, their circulars are also really nice needles. Sometimes their cords can be pretty stiff after being curled up in the display packages, but several people on here have methods to fix that. I use Clover circs almost exclusively (sometimes use dpns, but have really gotten away from straight needles almost entirely), and really like them.:knitting:

I second the Clover bamboo circs and straights. I use the Michaels 40% off coupons to buy them, which makes the cost very reasonable.

I really like the Clover bamboo too… and I always buy them with the 40% coupon at Michael’s, They are usually $8.99 at my store so with the coupon they are only $5.40. I would get the 29 inch ones as they will be more suitable for most things you would want to use them for unless you plan on making hats in which case you would need the 16 inch.

Good luck!

if you get knitpicks classic circs, which are available individually, you will not regret it. i suggest starting out with 1 or 2 sizes you think you’ll use a lot. for me, a 4 and a 7 would be ideal. it all depends on your personal knitting style/gauge. you will only spend a few dollars on each needle and you can get a good feel for what you are doing. as long as you are starting out, you might as well jump in with learning magic loop and/or knitting with 2 circs at the same time. in this case, get at least a 32" cable. doesn’t cost much more, if at all, and you’ll be able to do about anything. i don’t use dpn’s anymore at all. have a full bamboo set. should probably sell them except i use one on occasion for a cable needle. :wink:

The 29" would be good to start on. They’re not so long to be cumbersome for knitting scarves (you can use them like straights too), they’d be about right for sweaters, good for shawls or afghans. And long enough you can use the magic looop technique to make hats with.

I bought them at Michael’s and I do think they are the Clover ones. My plan was to use the 40% off coupon – I see that’s a pretty good idea! :wink:

Thanks for the input; I’m glad to hear they are well-received. I’ll dig through the threads to find the suggestions for uncoiling new ones. :thumbsup:

Where’s this freebie pattern?

Thanks for the recommendation! So far I have a set of 8 and 9 needles and I was thinking about getting the circ in either a 7 or 8.

I don’t have much of a knitting style yet, but I do have a tote full of yarn that has a recommended needle size of 8, so I think I’ll stay close to that gauge while I build up my skills.

I’m trying to resist buying any new yarn for a little while (I hear that once that first batch of yarn comes, there’s no turning back – my budget isn’t ready for that! :roflhard:) and I think if I order from KnitPicks now, I’ll end up ordering some yarn in order to get the free shipping! :aww: I’m not ready to take that plunge! :shock: :stuck_out_tongue:

Cool! Thanks! :thumbsup:

(The magic loop technique intrigues me and I definitely want to check it out.)

I took a coupon to Michael’s last weekend and I bought a set of #8 29-inch circular bamboo needles. The straight bamboos I have are #8 and I had already started a project on them, so after much internal debate I decided to stick with that size. (Besides, all the yarn in my stash is the same brand/type and all recommend #8 on the label.)

I transferred my work over to the circular needles last night (starting with the fourth row) and I really love working with them. It isn’t that much different than using straights, yet somehow it is so much better!

Here is a picture of my work so far.

(The three balls used to be different sizes and I wanted a picture of them all together. The largest is being re-rolled into a center pull ball, the second largest is being used for my WIP and the smallest one is just sitting there for reference. :))

Thanks again for all your advice and encouragement. I can see why some people use circular needles exclusively and I have a feeling I’m going to become one of them. :wink: