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View Full Version : Wooden vs. Metal vs. Plastic needles


Kaillech
02-27-2008, 03:06 PM
Hey everyone. I'm new to knitting but after figuring out the knit stitch last night and sort of mastering it, I'm finding that I like it and may well prefer it to crochetting. What I'm curious about is the different needle materials. For crochetting I use metal hooks as that's what I was given. With knitting it's sort of the same. I was given a starter set which are Boyle 8s. They're metal and I have to say that I'm not overly fond of the metallic click while working. So I've been thinking about trying different needle types. I've read a bit about the stickiness of bamboo and pretty much nothing about plastic ones at all and I'm curious about the opinions of those here. Which type do you prefer? Do you have a recommendation for a beginner? Does the needle material really matter?

Sunshine's Mom
02-27-2008, 03:21 PM
It's all a preference. I learned on plastic. Currently, most of my single point needles are plastic. I have one pair of aluminum, but I don't like them because of the clicking noise (drives me crazy) and one pair of bamboo, which I love.

My first foray into DPNs and circular needles was with bamboo. I like them and will use them, but if given a choice I will use Harmony wood needles or aluminum as the points are more pronounced. Bamboo doesn't let the stitches slide as easily for me as I knit on the tight side.

I've never used plastic DPNs or circulars.

I've been using aluminum DPNs for socks and recently invested in a set of Harmony wood needles to see if I would like them better. I love them and will be buying more in different sizes.

It can get expensive, so if you have a friend or family member that knits and uses a different kind of needle, ask to borrow them to try it out before you buy.

Miss Moosey
02-27-2008, 03:30 PM
I like plastic and wood needles best. I don't like the feel of metal needles. My stitches also tend to slip off of metal needles; they don't have enough cling.

The one problem I've found with straight plastic needles is that if they are too long they sometimes bend because they aren't as sturdy as other materials.

As for wood needles, I love the way they feel. My only fear is that I'll break one!

Rebecca

Knitting_Guy
02-27-2008, 03:31 PM
It really boils down to personal choice. I prefer metal needles.

mwhite
02-27-2008, 03:32 PM
I prefer bamboo or wooden needles. They seem to be easier on my hands and my tension is medium so the sts slide off easily without sticking. I started with metal/aluminums and the clicking sound is disturbing to my cats and husband....far be it for me to disturb either of these two deities! :teehee: Anyway, Clover is my choice of knitting kneedles! Mary

bambi
02-27-2008, 03:54 PM
I have aluminum needles and bamboo needles. I like them both for different projects. The stitches sometimes slide on metal but sometimes the bamboo are too clingy. I guess it depends on the yarn type, too.

The only pair of plastics I had snapped with a project on them. Not cool.

Bambi

suzeeq
02-27-2008, 03:59 PM
My favorites are a few nylon ones from the 70s, but they're only in the larger sizes. Generally I prefer the metal ones; some have a coating on them so they're not as slippery if you have slippery yarn. I have a couple bamboo, they're okay, but I like the metal better.

knit2btied
02-27-2008, 04:12 PM
My one experience with plastic needles was terrible. They stuck to the yarn, and I felt as if I were fighting a war the whole time I used them. I went back to the store and purchased metal of the same size and switched to finish the project.

I like wood and bamboo or metal for mine...

kellee0302
02-27-2008, 04:23 PM
I prefer metal needles myself. I have used plastic and broken 3 pair so I have half a set left, I have also used the bamboo but the yarn doesn't seem to slide as easily. But if you don't like the clicking bamboo is the way to go. I heard somewhere if you slide wax paper over the bamboo needles the yarn will slide easier and you can use sand paper if there is a part that sticks more than another on the needle. Good Luck in your experimenting.

sue in canada
02-27-2008, 04:32 PM
I love bamboo needles and recently bought a set from ebay. Very good price and they are great. I also love my Addi circulars.

Ellieblue
02-27-2008, 04:40 PM
I'm with you in regard to metal needles but I tried the options from KP and was surprised to find them very quiet to use. Most metal needles today are aluminum and when they rub together it sets my teeth on edge.:gah:Ellie

evona
02-27-2008, 05:39 PM
It's all a preference. I learned on plastic. Currently, most of my single point needles are plastic. I have one pair of aluminum, but I don't like them because of the clicking noise (drives me crazy)

I totally agree! Most of my needles are plastic right now. I prefer them to the metal ones for multiple reasons. My stitches slip too much on metal ones as well, but that click click click is really the clincher for me. I still use some metal needles when I need 8s and 10.5s because finances have not allowed me to replace the ones I have yet . I can't judge wood yet as I haven't had the chance to use them. I would really like to try some bamboo needles soon. Maybe I'll get some for my anniversary in April along with some nice yarn :poke: My birthday is all the way in November so I hope I don't have to wait until then :-P

cindycactus
02-27-2008, 05:46 PM
I do not like plastic needles. Love Knit Pick's Options. Both metal and Harmony. They are wood but very slick. It is a matter of choice.:knitting:

wingem
02-27-2008, 05:47 PM
I really like the metel needles because I can knit faster. Although I did sit on a metel needle size 10 1/2 and it went right though my behind and into the muscle about 1 inch. I have never lived that down! The paraedics had to pull that out!!!

sabrinasmom
02-27-2008, 09:27 PM
I love Clover bamboo and Denise interchangable plastic.:knitting:

box_of_cereal
02-27-2008, 09:41 PM
I prefer metal, probably because it's what I've started with. I like the fact that the stitches move well on them (and unlike someone here, I find the clinking sounds satisfying). I find the plastic ones have too much friction between one another. Same thing for wood.

vaknitter
02-27-2008, 09:48 PM
I have all needle types and for the most part my favorite by far are my Boye Needlemasters - I can't remember the last time I knit with anything else. For DPN's I have plastic, metal, and bamboo and I think I tend to prefer the bamboo as they hold onto the stitches a little better. The metal are sooo smooth they have sometimes fallen out on me. It will take a little while to develop a preference.

figaro
02-27-2008, 09:52 PM
I tried starting with metal but since I was unable to even knit one stitch cause the yarn kept slipping off, I tried bamboo and never looked back. Yes, bamboo can be a little "sticky" but not like sticky so much as it holds the yarn more than metal and not so much that it keeps holding on to it. I buy my Clover Bamboo Takumi needles from Micheals so they are definatly (sic) on the less expensive side without being cheap.

Plantgoddess+
02-27-2008, 10:58 PM
I have accumulated a variety of materials and never paid much attention to how they felt, but having bought the Harmonys I love the feel and the pointy tips. I would have to say that any needle that has a pointy tip is my favorite.

get_her_donne
02-27-2008, 11:12 PM
I love metal needles because I'm a rather tight knitter and need more slippery needles. I also love the clicking sound, it calms me down...but obviously that's a matter of personal preference =)
Have fun experimenting!

Sunshine's Mom
02-28-2008, 10:47 AM
I really like the metel needles because I can knit faster. Although I did sit on a metel needle size 10 1/2 and it went right though my behind and into the muscle about 1 inch. I have never lived that down! The paraedics had to pull that out!!!

Holy Cow and Yikes!!! My DH always says that knitting needles can make great weapons. Impaling yourself has to be unbelievably painful and, unfortunately, hilarious!!! I'm sorry for laughing but the visual in my head is cracking me up!! :roflhard:

wingem
02-28-2008, 11:18 AM
I found it quite funny also, that is of course after the paramedics and pain went away!!! I can't forget getting up from the chair and turning around to find the yarn and it was hanging off my behind, I tried to pull it out and it was stuck in my muscle! I passed out right after I called my step-mother. I woke up to find 4 paramedics around me and they were, of course laughing and saying something about giving me a shot of the whiskey that was on top of my intertainment center!! Ahahahahhaha!!!

Plantgoddess+
02-28-2008, 11:22 AM
:roflhard: :roflhard: :roflhard: It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who can injure myself doing something so simple as sitting in a chair.