What to look for in good quality needles


#1

Hi Knitters!

I am fairly new to knitting and have mostly collected needles from thrift stores (craft stores, etc.), but was wondering what to look for in good quality knitting needles (circular and DPNs too). The general quality of both the needles and the plastic tubing in circulars is of course fairly obvious, but what about the smaller details? For example; are bamboo needles really the best? (I’ve used wood and aluminum needles and I like the feel of the wood better, but they are harder to find than aluminum). I don’t know exactly what I’m asking, I suppose, but I wanted to know if there were any big things (in the smaller details :wink: ) that were really important or made a big difference. I would also like to know about any really good (slightly reasonable :sweat_smile:) brands to trust. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have some extra expertise to share :slight_smile:.

I wanted to share with you a story that maybe some of you could relate to… In December 2017, I was knitting my first hat (in adult size). It was for me, but it was just a test one and not anything fancy. After that hat turned out successful, I decided to knit one for my mom a little more complicated. It was also mostly a success with minor problems that got figured out. I knitted some in between last year and this December, but I don’t do much knitting other than Christmas (I’m hoping that will change). Anyway, this Christmas I wanted to knit a couple hats for my aunts, and wanted to get some wood circulars. So I went to that craft store and got some! I knew that 16" were the standard size for adult hats, so I got some. You would not BELIEVE (or maybe you would :wink: ) how frustrated I was! The first hat I tried was turning out great, till I was realizing that the hat was way to big around. So I ripped it and started over, this time with what I thought was cutting down quite a bit. When It was almost done I knew it was going to be too big, so I just finished it… It was too big and too small. I was exasperated, so I counted the stitches on my original hat, and they were practically half the amount. So then I tried putting the correct amount of stitches on my circulars and they wouldn’t fit, so I ended up magic looping, but this didn’t make sense so I just ripped out the hat. I was trying to figure out the problem, and I just didn’t get it! Was I casting on way too tight? was the diameter of my needles the wrong size? But that was the size suggested on the yarn I was using! Am I not supposed to use the suggestions on the yarn? I was at my wits end, when I decided to ask about it on the forums. I thought, “Well, before I ask, I should get all the details of the yarn and needles, so I’ll just go collect all the info I need”. I got out the package for my circulars, and they were 24". Ahhh! I had accidentally picked up the wrong needles! Well, I should have just eyed the size of them in the first place and know that they were definitely not 16", but I suppose I’ve learned my lesson :slight_smile:. I guess I’ll just have to pick up some new ones at the store!

 Thank you for reading and considering my question!

                - SnowyPines

#2

Welcome to KH!
The needle material is really a matter of personal preference. To some extent that depends on whether you’re a tight or loose knitter. I like metal Addis and wood myself but I use plastic and bamboo, too.
We’ve had a recent thread about interchangeable needles that may help.