Tell Me All About Needles

Hi fellow sisters and brothers:
Please help a real dummy here. :blush: All I ever used were size 10 aluminum and size 10 bamboo dpn’s. I don’t like either material. Now, what is interchangable needles and what are they for? Why are some straight ones longer than others? What is the most durable and smoothest? Any input is welcome.
Thanks in advance.

There is a huge thread in the forum here that you can read and get some insight.

Everyone has their favorites so and some of them depend on what yarn you are using.

Me? I like bamboo DPN’s because the yarn doesn’t slide off as easily as it does on the metal ones. Until I bought bamboo I’d just about given up learning to use them. Now it’s a breeze.

I also have some Denise Interchangeables. Interchangeables are needles and cords that you can mix up for either circular knitting or flat. I like mine, but the yarn doesn’t always go easily on the cords.

I also have several Addi Turbos which I love, but they are very expensive unless you buy them on ebay.

I don’t have interchangeables, mainly because by the time I found out about them, I already had so many.

Jan covered most of it, but I want to point out that you can use circular needles and dpns for all your knitting. You really don’t need straights at all.

I love my Addi’s–very slick and smooth with a flexible cord. I, too, like bamboo for dpns, though.

Everyone has their own faves. I love Brittany birch; much nicer than bamboo and a set of Denise interchangeable circs, which I wouldn’t give up for anything. However, unlike Ingrid, Iwill purchase more needles (Addi’s are my next on the list) even tho’ I already have them. (Bad gladys, bad, bad!!)
Gotta have Addi’s

The best thing you can do, really, is try out different needles and see what works best for you. I’m an addi turbo fan and I like Brittany birch dpns. I don’t really use straights so much anymore although I do have many sizes and lengths just in case…there are so many brands, etc. out there that I’d recommend finding a knitting buddy and seeing if they’d mind loaning you a pair that you’ve never tried before…kind of a try before you buy kind of thing…

I’ve been recommending the Denise Interchangeable set because of its very flexible cables, which are easier on the wrists, and the convenient 17" cable needle length, which is 3" shorter than other sets, and a great size for hats.

If you’re interested in the Denise set, stay tuned, I’ll be selling them on this site starting this week. Not only that, but I’ll be offering a Rainbow Colored set (same Denise set, in vibrant color), which will be available only on this site!

Well, I’m jealous. My Denises are grey and black/blue? Vibrant colors sounds cool.

How cool! Can’t wait to see the colored ones.

argh why did I buy my denise’s last week! Rainbow coloured sounds excellent =D :roflhard:

Thanks for all your help. Here are more questions from me:

  • Isn’t straight the same as dpn?
  • Why some needles are longer than others?
  • Is there material like bamboo (I see some likings here) but smoother? The reason I didn’t like it is because the pair I used scratched my jacket !

Amy: I am waiting axiously :cheering:

no DPNs are double pointed needles. There is a working point on both ends. Straights have a cap of some sort on one end to keep the work from falling off.

they are various lengths for different projects. For example circulars. You wouldn’t want to knit a hat in the round on a 42" circular. You also wouldn’t want to knit an afghan flat on a 16" circular.

there are lots of woods out there but i can’t imagine why the bamboo would have scratched your jacket. can you take them back to the store where you got them? mine have always been super smooth though not as “fast” as metal.

DPN have a point at either end - usually used for sock knitting
Straights have a point at one end only and the other end has a ‘stopper’ on it
Some are longer than others because if you are doing say… a large sweater, you might need needles longer than if you were doing a scarf. Longer needles would be used for bigger projects with more stitches cast on.

You can sand down the bamboo to make it smoother - they often come with scratchy bits still on them.

There are many types of materials, from plastic, resin, glass, bamboo, pine and rosewood. It’s worth taking a look at Amys video on this site on how to make your own DPNs. There is a grade of sandpaper she recommends which is useful for carrying around in a small square with you. You can use it to sand down the scratchy bits left on wood / bamboo needles. This will stop the yarn catching on them and should prevent jacket scratches!

Well, you wouldn’t want to use a 10 inch set of double points for socks. 14" straights work well for knitting up two sleeves at once. And you might want a 30’+ circular for an afghan. I like 10" straights for scarves, dishcloths, baby stuff. It depends what you are working on and what is comfortable.

As I said, I like Brittany birches because they are so smooth and nice points. Some people on the forum have invested in ebony and even glass. You can get rosewood, too. The material you use is sort of what you prefer and what is comfortable and how you knit. I have clover bamboo circs which are nice, but I like the points on my Denise set better. Bamboo is definitely lightweight. I suppose they’re really nice in the big jumbo needles (Size 35’s). I liked bamboo until I bought a couple of sets of birch needles. I have a lot of old steel needles but I’m forever dropping them and find they slide out of my knitting.

I’ve been thinking about this ever since I saw this…I feel like an impatient 2-year-old! :smiley:

:roflhard: yep, once you get denise’s in your head, it doesn’t go away until you get them!