View Full Version : how to choose needle length?

02-27-2006, 12:24 AM
Hi, I am new to knitting and have a question about needle length. I am working on a roll raglan sweater that my motherinlaw swears is very easy. So far, I am doing ok. The pattern has one starting at the waist and working up. I had to cast on 115 stitches. My mil loaned me her 14" size 7 steel needles and I am finding that as the sweater grows in size, it is increasingly hard to pay close attention to the work. There is so much yard on the needle it is starting to look ruffled. The pattern does not say anything about length of needle. I am supposed to work in a stockinette stitch for 19 inches and have done only about 3 so far. At what will be the underarm. I will need to bind off, decreasing for raglan armholes.

So, my question is, what would be a better needle to use right now so that the sweater is not bunching up so much on the needles? I would like to have it more flat so I can see what I am doing better. I have already dropped stitches twice because it is just to bunched up that I cannot easily follow what I am doing. Should I get a longer steel needle or a circular needle? Which length?



02-27-2006, 12:34 AM
I'm doing a baby afgan on a 29" circular right now and it's working well for me. If you're going to go buy a circular, I'd go bigger is better. But the circular will allow you to work while not being incredibly awkward.

02-27-2006, 12:38 AM
Needles don't come longer than 14", so I'd suggest getting a circular needle that you can work back and forth on. 24" is a good length for this and many other things in your future, so I'd go with that.

02-27-2006, 12:40 AM
Thanks! Seems to me, from watching my mom, mil, and sil knit, that circulars are more useful anyway?

Thanks again!

02-27-2006, 01:01 AM
Thanks! Seems to me, from watching my mom, mil, and sil knit, that circulars are more useful anyway?

Thanks again!

Absolutely!! You could knit your whole life and never need straights. I use them occasionally for small things, but only because I already have them, and it's a bit nostalgic for me. ;)

02-27-2006, 01:20 AM
I :heart: knitting with circs! The first time I knitted w/circs was for my very first knitting project. It was a baby afgan and the pattern said to knit w/ circs because then the needles don't get weighted down by the blanket. I haven't knitted with straight needles since my practice runs- unless you count DPNs as straights... :thinking:

lisa e
02-27-2006, 02:07 AM
I :heart: knitting with circulars! Very seldom do I knit with straights. I even finally found the 2 circ sock book! 14" straight needles to me are too long and I constantly bump the ends, so if I knit with straights, I usually use 10" length.

Go for the circulars.....you will never look back!!

02-27-2006, 11:55 AM
Circs will make your life so much easier! I never even use straights.