What is the most common size knitting needle?

I am going to a quilting and knitting festival this weekend and I was thinking of picking up some nice knitting needles (if there were any for sale). I was just wondering, since I’m new at knitting, what is the most common size knitting needles pattern ask for ? I was thinking of buying one or two pairs and your feedback would be great !
Thanks :slight_smile:

It depends what you want to knit and the thickness of the yarn… socks are done with thin yarn and need very small needles, sizes 0 to 3, mittens; scarves, hats, sweaters are made with medium size yarn on sizes 6 to 10; and if you like chunky knitting or using 2 strands together you need size 11 or bigger. For just starting out sizes 8 and 10 will get you through most anything.


I agree, I find myself using my 8s, 9s, & 10s more than any others. If you are knitting scarves, I say go with the 10s otherwise those scarves seem to take forever (IMO, I am very impatient w/scarves and rarely do them). If you think you will be doing a lot of sweaters, I would pick up some 8s and 9s. I have noticed a lot of patterns have you cast on w/8s for a few rows, then swap out to 9s.

I knit a lot of socks, so I use my us 0’s and 1’s the most. I also knit a lot of baby items with worsted weight yarn and I typically use a 7 or 8 on those.

That is really a hard question to answer - it depends on what it is you like to knit. If you’re buying them for me (LOL), please get me 1s 2s or 3s as I’m on a pretty serious sock binge lately. Seriously, what have you been knitting and what do you plan to knit in the near future?

Size 8 is a great middle of the road size. You can knit sport weight to worsted weight yarns on size 8s.

If you prefer quick knits with a thick yarn, also get a pair of 11s or 13s. If you prefer working with thinner yarns, grab a pair of 2s or 3s.

My knitting teacher had us begin with 8’s. :thumbsup:

I still think 8s are small though… a 10.5 is my mainstay. It makes nice firm stitches that you can see.


I agree that 8s are small. I was teaching some friends to knit, and I noticed that SNB recommends starting w/8s so I told them to get 8s. They decided to make scarves and I felt so awful for them, trying to finish a scarf on those little things. One of them got wise and made the scarf for a little kid.

from another’s perspective…8’s are HUGE. They’re what I use when I want something finished quickly. Anything larger than an 8 is just too freaking big for me to comfortably hold, which is making my niece’s birthday gift take for-freaking-ever (size 10 1/2 's).

It depends on what you use most of the time; if I’m working on 9s or 10s, the 11s seem huge. But if I’m doing something on 13 or 15, the 10.5s seem small.


Personally I’d buy 6s :smiley:

i prefer over all others the 6 to 8’s for everything…i like the worsted or dk yarns the best…my tension seems to look the nicest with this size…right now i am doing mittens and socks for charity and use worsted for those as they are for orphans in europe and it is very cold and a lot of them do not wear shoes so they need the heavy socks…

when i first started knitting i rarely went below a size 9. now i pretty much hover around 6-8 for most projects. of course when i was using those they seemed super tiny to me… now anything above a size 9 takes a bit to get used to again.

oddly… the needle size i have the most of is size 3… i have no idea why… i rarely use that size since i rarely make socks…lol

i bought extra size 4 tips for my options. but they are all i ever use anymore. i rarely use straights for anything!

that being said, i’d have to say 7 and 8 would be a good middle of the road size to get you started.

I have three pair of 10.5 and three sets of size 1 DPN’s. I like extremes. :lol:

Hmm… Honestly, I started out buying individual sets of needles and after shelling out quite a bit, decided to just buy a pair of interchangeables (Denises, the brand available at my LYS).

At around $60 for the set, it might be worth it if you’re sure you want to be a knitter, considering that one pair of straights at a shop will cost you $5-10.


I bounce around a lot with sizes so it’s good for me.

When I started kinitting I bought a beginners kit at Wal-Mart that had sizes 6 & 8 which I used for practice, and making my first dishcloth. As you gain experience in knitting, you’ll find yourself buying larger size needles.