View Full Version : What should a fairly comprehensive needle collection include?

11-12-2007, 07:25 PM
I'm new to all of this and I know I need to buy more needles.

Just wondering what everyone considers a good collection (not brand, just sizes and types) of needles. I want to be able to sit down with any pattern (that I can decipher, that is!) and not have to run to the LYS to pick up yet another needle.

Thanks! :knitting:

11-12-2007, 07:36 PM
That's a hard question to answer. I've collected just about every needle size there is over the years just from, like you say, having to buy the correct needle for a certain project. And, I've gone on E-bay and bought lots of vintage needles at a pretty reasonable price just because....no reason, just wanted some old needles. Your best bet would be to make a one-time investment in the Knit Picks Options, which has just about every needle size you'll ever need. But, unfortunately, I'm one of those knitters that has several projects going at once and ususally have to have several sets of the same size needle. Over time, you'll add to your needle stash and you'll still want more. Trust me....you will. It's a knitter thing.

11-12-2007, 07:45 PM
My advice - dont panic and only buy what you need to.
I keep a list of the needles I own in the back of my purse... you never know when you might find your self in front of a pattern / wool / yarn that you have to have - and have to start work on immediately. Without this essential list you will find yourself buying the same size over and over again. Mind you I have inherited my Mum's and my Grandma's collection - and they had many duplicate needles of the same size. Maybe its genetic and everyone else can remember what they own.

Am a big fan of Addi circular needles - haven't used a conventional pair of needles for some time now.

11-12-2007, 08:03 PM
I built mine mostly through buying what I need. I have metal straights, and wooden straights, and I think one pair of plastic straights since I couldn't find metal ones when I went looking for 10 1/2s. I have 7" straights and 14" straights of differing sizes. I have a lot of circulars - from sizes about 3 to about 17, missing some in between, maybe one pair of these are short (16"), most are 24"-29", and I have maybe 2-3 pairs which are 35" (for afghans). But I've bought all of those over a period of about 15-20 years, and I think picked up some at a garage sale somewhere along the line, too. Take your time and buy what you need - it spreads out the sticker shock.

11-12-2007, 11:07 PM
I use only circs and bought mine one by one, then started adding duplicate sizes in different lengths.

11-13-2007, 12:03 AM
Boo1, I got into knitting a little over a year ago & soon found myself having to buy a different set of needles everytime I started a new project.:wall: This was a little frustrating since I quickly found out that I liked using circular needles for knitting and was shown the Addi circulars. I quickly became an Addi snob, as a good knitting friend called me, until I found the Knit Picks Options interchangeable set. My husband bought me the set for our anniversary and now I have a very very long wish list to add more of the Options to my needle set. Wish I had found this set first before buying one Addi Circular at a time. The $$$ I would have saved! :cry: I have & will continue to recommend the Options interchangeable set to anyone who is serious about knitting once they start and know they will stick with it. I have seen their new wooden needles and trust me they are also on my wish list soon to forwarded to DH for christmas shopping. :) Hope there are a few new ones in my stocking this year.

11-13-2007, 12:12 AM
That would depend on how much you want to spend. I would recommend either the Options or the Denise interchangables, or you could even go with the Boye interchangables. That way you have everything size and length you need in one neat case. I've used almost every size in there since I bought my interchangables in September. It's not a waste of money. Good luck!

11-13-2007, 02:08 AM
My needles were gathered in two ways:
1. "I am going to be working on project A and therefore need the following needles: X,Y,Z (such as circs and dpns in the same size for a hat) immediately."
2. "Oo, look, needles I don't have... I could use those for something like that one pattern I saw that one time..."
My recommendation: decide what you like in needles and stick to it when buying. If you don't care what you are knitting on, this won't matter, but I for one can't stand plastic needles so even tho there have been cases where plastic needles are the only ones available in the size I need, I won't buy them because I know I will only use them until I can get some metal or wood ones. I have to watch myself on buying wooden needles, too, because I love to knit with them, but I have a hard time with knitting on them because I knit too tight. Also, if you find you like knitting on circs best, don't buy a bunch of straights! If you hate circs, don't get an options set! A "comprehensive" needle collection should fit the knitter, IMHO.

11-13-2007, 03:52 AM
Don't know about the Addi's, but the Denise set can be used as straights as well as circular. Just put an end piece on. Bad thing is that they only go as low as 5's. Since I primarily work on socks, that's not low enough. Enter my single purchase Addi's. My LYS doesn't carry the Addi kits, hopefully I would have known enough to buy those if they had.

Lisa R.
11-13-2007, 11:02 AM
I started out by choosing a pattern and buying the needles necessary for that. Then, MIL gave me a set that inclueded pretty much every size from 3 to 10 in the 14" straights. That was great, but I like the 10" straights better unless I need the length. Finally, I bought the KnitPicks Options set---LOVE that !

Basically, unless you're doing socks or other tiny things, you could probably manage with a variety of needles from about a 6 or 7 to 10 or 10.5. JoAnn's always has an online sale on sets of 3 pairs of basic needles. The Knitpicks options is great--much less expensive than buying all those needles individually, even with "lesser" brands. And you can always use the circulars for straight knitting as well.

But really, it depends on what you're knitting as to what needles you'll need.

11-13-2007, 11:24 AM
I also suggest you get a set of interchangeable needles. I bought all different size needes for a year then decided to get the Denise Set and I was thrilled with them! Best thing I ever did...until I got the Harmony set and now I love those even more.:muah:

11-13-2007, 01:01 PM
I, too, vote for getting a set of interchangeable needles. Here's some things a set will do for you:
- you'll nearly always have the next higher or lower needle size to help you get the gauge right.
- it is easy to knit flat with circulars, and you're less likely to lose the other needle because it is attached.
- the tips can serve as DPNs for some applications, like I-Cord.
- you can "fake" a set of double circulars by using the "right needle sets the gauge" principle. A google search on the author "Cat Bordhi" will probably help you find her technique for this.

In short, an interchangeable set seems expensive, but is much cheaper than getting in the car to go out and buy new needles every time you have to get gauge.

11-13-2007, 01:52 PM
I highly second (third, fourth, fifth?) getting an interchangeable needle set. I am SO glad that I did that when I first started knitting, rather than spend loads on individual needles. I use my KP options and harmonies for everything. Knitting flat and in the round. Will definitely save you money in the long run.

of troy
11-13-2007, 05:03 PM
a comprehensive needle collection ?

i have millions (ok, not really millions, but 2 sets of Boye needle masters to start!)

the oldest are 40+years old.

the most used sizes?

lately.. 0's, 1's, 2's (i've knit a lot of socks in the past 4 years)

in a lifetime?
a range (from size 3 (first set of needles i bought, metal size 3 DPN's (a brand no longer marketed!)

to size 10.5.. (used for a few afghans.--but i haven't used once in the past 5 years..)

i have (amazingly enough!) metal, bamboo, plastic and wood size 15 needles (straights and circ's) i have never used them for anything but a display! (the wood ones!)

I have 000, and 00, and have never used the 000's--but have used the 00's.

some of my needles were purchased new, some come from thrift stores (and i took the "lot" even if they didn't seem to be sizes i need (and ended up with a US size 15 circ!) some have come from family (as they stopped knitting)

it might be possible (but i don't think so) to have too many needles.. but i don't yet!

11-14-2007, 04:35 PM
As you can tell we're all individuals in our tastes and habits. I started collecting as I needed particular sizes for projects and then started buying what I found at yard sales. DH loves to go junking at St Vinnies and Goodwill and has bought more that I go through and pick out what I want. I am still buying needles and will probably always as long as I try new patterns and yarns.
Wish I could justify an interchangeable set, but it's too much money at one time right now.
I might try a few projects and see what you like to knit and then go from there. Some don't like to knit with fine yarns and tiny needles and others prefer lighter weight projects.

11-14-2007, 05:33 PM
I have finally decided that I am going to get a set of interchangables. I have lots of needles but never seem to have quite the one I need. Plus, having them all stored in one place will save me lots of time. It is going to be my Christmas present to myself.

Now I just have to decide which one I am going to get!:yay:

11-15-2007, 03:16 AM
Over the years, I've found that I need at least 2 in every size, preferably 2 circs and 2 sets of DPNs. Straights - I haven't used straights since I discovered circs! ^_^ Also, good to have a variety of cable needles, stitch markers, tape measure, knitting thimble, scissors, notebook and pen/pencil, graph paper, Palm, favorite portable knitting book of general info, etc. (... mebbe I obsess over my knitting bag/stuff a bit much, yeah? Oops. ^_^)

of troy
11-15-2007, 06:52 PM
it doesn't much matter which set of interchangable needles you buy.. you'll end up with another!

I love my boye's (i have 2 sets!). (and don't like the denise)

i don't much like bamboo needles either, so i have no interest in the crystal palace interchangeable set..

but i do like the Knit picks set.. and the harmony needles..

OTHERS have totally different opinions!

I know several knitters who have (in addition to some individual needles) boye and denise sets, and knit pick sets..

other have boye and denise and bamboo sets..

I've never met a knitter who hasn't keep (just in case!) all their individual needles when they gotten a set of interchangeable.

and if you like interchangable (any set) YOU'LL LOVE having 2 sets!

(the more the merrier!)

11-15-2007, 07:10 PM
It all depends on what youa re knitting. Sock knitters will want lots of smaller needles in either dpn or circs (depending on their preference) Sweater knitters will need anywhere from size 5 and up depending on what kind of yarn they are knitting with. I would hazard that most average knitters use a size 6-9 needle for worsted weights. But gosh, it just all depends.

I'm another KP Options owner and just LOVE their needles. The beginning set can get you started with most average knitting projects. If you like bulkier yarn you may want to invest in a few sizes larger than what comes with the basic set and if you are a sock knitter either some of their lovely DPN's or circs that work best for you.

The took I find invaluable is my gauge tool which magnifies the stitches for me so I can count them more easily. That and stitch markers. I can never have enough stitch markers!

11-15-2007, 07:12 PM
I know several knitters who have (in addition to some individual needles) boye and denise sets, and knit pick sets..

That would be me! I have two cases of needles and then a whole drawer full of various other needles. Even though I have my lovely Options, I still have all my bamboo circs and straights as well as the various metal needles I've picked up over the years. Sometimes I just want to hold a different needle or want to use wood or bamboo with whatever fibers.

11-15-2007, 08:30 PM
Probably the best thing I ever bought was the Boye interchangeable set. It has size 2 up to 15, you can make them circular or straights. I love them. I also have a ton of straights/circs/DPNs, ranging from acrylic to metal to bamboo to plastic. I have to say though, my favorites are the glass needles I have. I got them on eBay, they were a little pricey, but they are so pretty and the yarn really slides easily on them. I keep meaning to make a list of all the needles and sizes I have but can't seem to get around to it. I usually buy needles when I go to the craft store, if I am pretty sure I don't already have them..... just because some day I am sure I will need them and I like to be prepared. :teehee: Therefore, I have a few duplicates but that is a good thing. That way, if I have something going on and want to start something else with that size needle, I have it! I'm not stopping until I have circs, straights and dpns in all sizes they make!!!! :woot: But I digress... I suggest getting a set of interchangeables. The Boye set I have is really good, and the KP Options are pretty popular.