What needle length?

I’ve got a pattern which says to use US size 3 needles and to cast on 76sts, what length of size 3 needles should i use? I don’t have any size 3 needles yet and was hoping for some advice before i go and buy some.
Thanks in advance.

Is the pattern knit flat or in the round? If it is in the round, you should either get a circular needles that is smaller in circumference than the finished object or a long circular needle to do magic loop. If it is knit flat, the length doesn’t matter as much. 76 stitches on #3s is probably fairly narrow, so you could use a 24 in circular needle.

Or are you talking about straight needles? If so, I’d get the longer ones (12 or 13 inch). Then you’d have room for all those stitches.


I’ve just posted a link for similar question to Nonny

Try here:

Go quite a way down the page until you come to Sept. 27 2005

Title: Info Dump - circular needles

just straight needles, I wouldn’t know what to do it circular needles. have no idea what knitting flat or int he round means :slight_smile:

Lol i’m very new.

Thanks for the advice

If you are buying straight needles I would get 12 inch. If you want circulars I would go with the 16 inch cord.

Hi Bug

Sorry - I thought you were talking about circs. earlier.

What can determine the length of needle to buy is:

How you knit - I always use long straights because I stabilise the right needle under my arm. Other people hold straights in a different way, like a pen, and perhaps would be happier with shorter needles.

It also depends on what you want to knit - trying to knit a large garment, such as a man’s sweater, will obviously need a longer needle.

If you can use the longer needles, then you win both ways, as you can knit very small items on them as well.

Have a look on e-bay - there’s usually bargain bundles of second-hand ones for sale.

All the Best


Most straight needles usually come in 10 or 14 inch length. I think you could manage 76 sts on 10", I found 14 inch to be way too long.

For straight needles, I’d be tempted to get the long ones only because you can always do skinny projects on long needles, but you can’t do wide projects on short needles. Therefore, the long ones will probably get more use.

Of course, when I used this philosophy in buying size 17s to make a scarf, I didn’t realize I would be knitting with small trees.

Overall, I tend to buy more circular needles these days since they also work for many sizes of projects (so long as you aren’t working in the round). I usually buy the 24" or 29" for most regular projects. 16" for projects like hats, and 32-35" for larger projects like afghans.

Thanks everyone, I guess it makes sense to buy a longer one because it can do small projects too.
I’m not sure if i’m ready to use circulars yet, but maybe one day.

Bug, when I bought straights I got 14", too, because it was more versatile, being able to do big or small projects. I think it might be a preference, though, so when you go to the store ask if you can try out some of the needles. The yarn shops I’ve been to will let you do this, and you can see what’s more comfortable for you.

Now I only use circs. Of course we cannot make you use circs if you feel uncomfortable, even if we tell you that there is nothing difficult about it (and pretty much every person who does it will tell you this). Just saying, once I started using circs for knitting flat, I regretted spending money on straights. There’s no magic at all; you just treat the 2 ends of the circ like 2 straight needles.

I haven’t used straight needles in years. When I took up knitting again, I didn’t have most of my needles so bought a pair of straights to work on a project. I couldn’t do it, they were too cumbersome, even at 10". But some people love straight needles, so it would be good to try out different ones and see what you like.