View Full Version : Knitting needles

11-22-2007, 09:16 PM
I am fixing to learn how to knit. But first I need to know what size knitting needles I need to start out with?
Any other advice for a beginning knitter would be appreciated.

11-22-2007, 09:17 PM
Hello! I would reccomend starting out with about a sixe 10.5 That way they are not too small or too large. Happy Knitting!

11-22-2007, 09:19 PM
Hi! Welcome!

The thing with knitting needles is that they can be really specific to various patterns and such.

I was talking about this with another knitter. We find the US size 7 & 8 are the ones we use the most from our knitting needles.

But the best thing for you as a newbie, is to go to the store and get some yarn/wool. Check the label. Get the needles to go with the yarn and practice away!

I'd personally recommend staying away from really fat yarn and needles. And from the special hairy type yarns!

Best of luck!

11-22-2007, 09:23 PM
A really easy project to learn the basics with is a simple 2x2 ribbed scarf using worsted weight yarn and size 10 needles.

11-22-2007, 09:24 PM
I agree, a worsted weight, or even one step up to a chunky and size 10 or 11 needles on a scarf is good. It'll knit quickly and keep you from getting discouraged.

11-22-2007, 09:41 PM
I agree with everyone else. I personally knit my dishcloths with a 9 instead of an 8, so far the size comes out just about the same. I've checked my gauge with the correct needles and it's fine but still like the 9's better.

Happy Knitting...


Becky Morgan
11-22-2007, 09:43 PM
It depends partly on your hands and your comfort level. I tend to use 8s a lot with worsted weight. 10.5s feel pretty good when I use them with a heavier yarn. Avoid the really huge, tree trunk needles when you're starting out, because they're always a little awkward.

I second the advice to avoid furry novelty yarn. Pick something heavy and smooth, preferably in acrylic because it won't get ratty as fast when you rip out a row or two :) You might try Softee Chunky, Simply Soft Chunky, Jiffy, or something on that order. In a worsted weight, Red Heart Super Saver is revolting to some people, but I like it, it's inexpensive, widely available, and it'll put up with anything.

11-23-2007, 12:26 AM
I would suggest at least a 10 or 10.5 with worsted weight yarn, an 11 with bulky. Use a smooth light colored solid or variegated yarn - it's harder to see your stitches in black or other dark shades, and the variegated works out to about 3 or 4 sts in each color so it's also an easy way to see your stitche.

11-23-2007, 12:45 AM
Some people say that you should start out on large needles so you can see your stitches clearly, some don't. I personally would say pick a 7 or 8 so that way you are investing in a needle that you know you will use again because they are so commonly used

11-23-2007, 01:21 AM
When I taught my nephew to knit, he picked his own needles. Oddly enough, he picked size 6 (he's 6 years old). Never had any issues. They fit his hands and they worked with the yarn. *shrug* I think it's sound advice to pick a moderate size you will use again and again. I'd even suggest going ahead and getting circular needles, since you can use them as straights and circs.

11-23-2007, 01:21 AM
Guess I'm the oddball, I do nearly all my knitting on 10s or larger. And I don't knit tight.

11-23-2007, 03:06 AM
Suzeeq, you're not the only one.

I mostly only use size 10 and 10.5 for practically all of my knitting. Very rarely I'll go down to a 9 or an 8 but anything smaller than that seems very small to me.

I used to use 11s more but it has lately seemed rather big to me. I wish we here in the US had those 2 sizes in between 10.5 and 11 like the Europeans do.

11-23-2007, 03:44 AM
I really dont like those big chunky needles they make my hands ache after a while. I would recommend double knit on 4mm needles (think that is your worsted )
Also choose a smooth yarn in a palish color so that you can see what your doing!
When you get more confident you can swap about with different yarns and needles and start building up your stash!! Good Luck

11-23-2007, 11:11 AM
For worsted weight yarn I almost always use US8. What are you making?

11-23-2007, 02:04 PM
I also prefer smaller needles - say sizes 5 to 7.

That said, I use 10 1/2 to 11 for teaching people to knit. And worsted-weight yarn, medium to light color for visibility.

I'm starting up doing a video teaching folks to knit the Continental way. There, I use the long needles, size 11 and pink worsted yarn. Then I squat on the floor in front of my laptop's camera, put the knitting right beside my face, brace the end of the left needle against my knee - and go to town.
Awkward but fun! I like getting goofy and giving smiles while helping someone discover the joy of knitting.


Jan in CA
11-23-2007, 02:16 PM
You're going to have fun compiling all this info. :teehee:

IMO I'd say to go with a US 8-10 needles and plain, light colored, worsted weight yarn. Plain because fuzzy yarns obscure your stitches so it's hard to see what you're doing, and light colored because the stitches are easier to see.

11-23-2007, 03:00 PM
Yay marj! Glad I'm not the only one. Even 8s feel small to me. You can get the 7 and 7.mm sizes between 10.5 and 11 by looking on ebay, ebay.ca and ebay.uk. That's where I got mine. Addi makes them, but they're expensive like all their needles. I got a Pony brand from a shop in Oregon - http://www.yarn-store.com/circular-knitting-needles-pg4.html and they're much more reasonable.

pauline wrote:
would recommend double knit on 4mm needles (think that is your worsted )

No double knit is thinner than worsted weight. Usually we use 5mm with worsted yarn, though as stated I like using 6-7mm with it. But DK can be knit on 3.5-5mm okay; I've used 5.5mm with it for a scarf.