View Full Version : Need Opinions on Knitting Needles Please!

11-02-2007, 04:51 PM
Hello Knitters -- I taught myself how to knit (thanks in large part to the videos on this site) this year. I am really enjoying it and now want to invest in some better needles but there are soooooo many to choose from. Could you guys sound in about what your faves are? Are wood or bamboo better than acrylic or metal? What about the interchangeable sets? I feel overwhelmed and I am a stay at home mom in a blended family, I have 2 boys in elementary school and my husband's older 3 boys are all in college that we are funding -- yikes!!! So to spend money on myself is something I don't do often but don't want to sink some money into needles only to find out I don't really like them!!! Whatever you can tell me about what you don't like or really like about your needles would really help a lot before I head to make my purchase. . . . Thanks so much!!!

11-02-2007, 05:01 PM
Needles are really a personal preference. I like slick metal needles with a pointed tip (I have 2 sets of Knit Picks Options needles), other people prefer smooth bamboo with a blunt tip. There's no way to tell you which you'd like better. My advice is to buy a set of sever different types (metal, bamboo and plastic) and decide which you like best and invest in those needles to start with.

11-02-2007, 09:52 PM
I prefer the metal ones like Boye, and have some old nylon ones that are great for slippery yarns. I have a couple wood ones, which are okay, and some that are anodized, I think. I don't have a problem with any sort of needle, so would just recommend you try out different ones and see what you like.

11-02-2007, 10:10 PM
Oh my goodness, talk about opening Pandora's Box:) . There are so many options: bamboo, other woods, aluminium, steel, coated metal, plastic, bone, casein (milk protein), glass. . . I actually have some of each, and use each for different things. There is sort of a general rule that you use rougher needles (such as bamboo) with more slippery yarns, and smoother needles (such as coated metal) for more textured yarns. For metal needles, Susan Bates is very good, as are Addis. For wood, I have been very happy with Harmony by knitpicks and for bamboo, I do like Crystal Palace, and Lantern Moon for other woods, as well, and winterrose has some beautiful exotic woods, but her sizes are very limited. The other thing to consider is straights, dpns, and circulars. If money is an issue, keep in mind that you can use circulars for flat or round knitting, but straights only for flat knitting. I personally don't like the interchangeable sets, although plenty of people love them (I find that they come loose as I knit with them). Do you have an LYS or friends who knit, so that you could try a few different types and then make a decision? One last word is that most needles will last a life time, if you don't sit on them or otherwise compromise their integrity:) . Meaning, it's worth the investment over the long haul.

11-03-2007, 07:32 AM
Thanks for the input. I know it is a highly personal decision -- I currently have some Crystallites and some Silvalume (both by Susan Bates) and have been fine with both but I need to get some longer needles and some circulars because I want to make some hats. I had never heard about using rougher needles for slippery yarn and smoother needles for textured yarn, but it makes sense. I live in a little tiny farm town, we do not have a LYS and I was going to Columbus this weekend to do some clothing shopping for my boys and thought of stopping at one of the large craft stores to make my purchase -- I'm sure I could probably get a better deal somewhere online, but I think I'm going to take your advice and try a few different types before I buy a larger set in one certain style. Thanks for sounding in and if anyone else has anything to add, I'm more than willing to listen!!! Thanks!

11-03-2007, 10:01 AM
I have a little bit of everything.

Metal, plastic, nylon, and wood.

Hands down my favorites are the size 10 Brittany Black Walnut needles my Mom got me (I WUV my Momma!) Of course, I LOVE old-fashioned and well-crafted items, so that may have something to do with it.

Lisa R.
11-03-2007, 10:15 AM
If you know anybody who knits, maybe you could try some of their needles.

I started out with joining a small knitting club and first bought the needles for the specific project I needed. Then I bought a little package of the Susan Bates straights, which I liked. Then my MIL found a whole BUNCH of aluminum straights in all sizes (14") That's when I learned I didn't like the long ones unless I needed the space!

Then a friend in our knitting group let me try out her Options, which I fell in love with. So, when I finally reached the point of realizing that it would be a lot cheaper to buy a set than keep on buying individual ones, I bought the Options (and then, of course, they came out with the Harmony!!!)

Anyway, that plan seemed to work for me. I know that I don't like the blunt tipped bamboo ones much at all, the aluminum ones are okay, and I love my Options. But I wouldn't know if I hadn't tried them.

Ultimately, I bought just one or two of various kinds

11-03-2007, 01:25 PM
I have wood needles and metal needles and for me, it depends on what I'm working on. Sometimes metal needles just work better on certain projects with certain yarns and other times, wooden needles work better on certain projects with certain yarns. For me it was a matter of trying them with different things to see what I liked better.

11-03-2007, 01:40 PM
My needles are 10 and a half and is metallic blue and metal

11-03-2007, 03:57 PM
I use different needles depending on what type of yarn I am using. I mainly use KnitPick Options and also their Harmony needles. But if I am working on lace shawls, I use the Inox Greys though their cord drives me crazy. It's such a personal choice that the best advice is don't sink alot of money at first buying a whole set of anything. Good luck and enjoy the adventure!

11-03-2007, 05:13 PM
I have a bunch of everything, and I really don't know what I like best. I just did a cotton blanket on Addi Turbos, and BOY was that slippery. I have some bamboo and acrylic that have been chewed by my cats...
My main thing is that I don't buy straight needles any more.

11-03-2007, 05:38 PM
I do have a set of circular needles, but guess I was thinking of investing in an interchangeable set or would I be better off just buyin a few straight needles (I'm doing a baby blanket right now on needles that are just TOOOOO short), and some varied sizes of circular needles to investigate the different types of materials. Are there any interchangeables made out of wood or they all metal/acrylic???? Just curious. . . . .
Thanks to all who have responded!!!!!!

11-03-2007, 05:44 PM
The Harmony interchangeables from KnitPicks are made of wood and they are wonderful. Very slick and pointy. There are also some interchangeable made of bamboo out there somewhere. But I've never tried them.

11-03-2007, 07:25 PM
Some might call them slippery, I call them smooth!
They cost a little more but are well worth the money.
I have circular size 10s and love them. I was told they
are the Mercedes of knitting needles and I would agree.

11-04-2007, 05:44 PM
I went to the craft store (JoAnn), it was close to where I was in Columbus (which is about an hour from here) and I chickened out. The only interchangeable set they had was the Boye and I read some reviews of it on JoAnn.com and there were many complaints about the tips separating from the cables. Sooooo I finally learned that there is a LYS in Bellefontaine (about half hour away) that I was not aware of . . . . I may make a trip there soon. . . . . I think I want something better than the Boye's but I'd like to put my hands on some before I buy online.