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The different types of knitting needles

As a knitting enthusiast, you know that the choice of needles is essential to the successful completion of any project! There are knitting needles of all sizes, all diameters and even different materials. Your choice will depend on your level (beginner, intermediate, expert), your preferences (type of wool, material, specific project,...) and your way of knitting (loose, tight,...). Today, in this article, we are going to tell you a little more about knitting needles so that you can find THE right pair of needles.

Categories of knitting needles 

First of all, there are 3 main categories of knitting needles: 

  • The straight needles. Among them are:
  1. Single point needles are highly recommended for beginners as they simplify the use and handling;
  2. Double point needles are used by the most experienced knitters. They allow you to knit with both sides of the needle.
  • Circular needles. The 2 needles are then connected by a cable and will allow you to knit normally but especially to knit in the round, which does not allow the other types of needles. It is in particular thanks to circular needles that you will be able to make hats or socks! Also, the other main advantage of circular needles is that they allow a comfortable work. Thanks to them, no more joint pains in the arms when you knit! They are also easier to carry and you will logically have less risk of losing them (and yes, the needles are linked together!).
  • Ergonomic needles. A revolution in the world of knitting with this new patented material that makes the needles lighter, more flexible and quieter. The new teardrop-shaped tips allow for smooth and safe thread guidance. The new tips allow you to clip your needles together and use them as a stitch stop. The adaptable needle body from round to triangular section will make your stitches slide more easily. 

Also, for specific knitting and crochet projects or stitches, there are other types of needles such as twisting needles, lace forks, Tunisian hooks and many others that you can find on our website in the sections Other needles or Other accessories.

The diameter and length of the needles

Next, you need to know that knitting needles are based on a simple numbering system with a diameter ranging from 2 to 25. To choose the size of needles you need, you must first know if you are a beginner or an advanced knitter. We invite you to take a look at our knitting essentials, where we recommend a minimum size 5 needle for beginners. Then, for the more experienced among you, the choice of needle size will depend on your preferences but also on your way of knitting: loose or tight. If you prefer to knit loosely, we recommend larger needles and smaller needles if you prefer to knit tightly. 

In addition to the diameter of the needles, you should also consider their length. Did you know that the world record for the longest knitting needle is 3.5 meters? Not to hide anything, needles of this size are reserved for the world champions of knitting ;)

Otherwise, most of the time, needles are between 20 and 40 cm long. If you are an expert knitter, you may be used to tucking the needles under your arms, so it is best to use 40 cm long needles. However, for beginners, we advise you not to complicate your task with long needles, smaller ones such as 30 cm needles will do perfectly well ! 

The materials of the needles 

There are several materials for knitting needles but the most popular are plastic, stainless steel and bamboo.

Plastic needles are recommended for beginners because they are very light and easy to handle, but beware, they may stain and/or bend over time. At La Lainière de Wazemmes, all our classic straight needles from size 8 to size 25 are made of plastic.

Secondly, stainless steel needles are heavier than plastic ones but much more slippery. It is therefore quite easy to start with stainless steel needles because you will not have any trouble sliding the thread on the needles to make your stitches and rows. Unlike plastic, stainless steel needles are strong and durable.  At La Lainière de Wazemmes, all our classic straight needles from size 2 to 7 are made of metal.

Finally, bamboo needles have the great advantage of being very light, more so than metal needles. They are also quite slippery. They don't stain but they may bend a little over time. They are also a little more expensive than plastic or stainless steel needles because bamboo is a natural material and its production is different. At La Lainière de Wazemmes, we offer 40 cm bamboo straight needles from size 3 to 12.

Want to start your own project? Find all our haberdashery accessories ! 



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See you soon, for new knitting tips, with La Lainière de Wazemmes !
Written by Pia on Wednesday 15 March 2023 à 10:24, in Advice .

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