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MadelineM 03-03-2008 01:09 AM

round v. straight needles
I am SURE this has been asked before, so if you don't feel like answering, feel free to just point me in the right direction. :) Historically, I've bought fairly cheap needles, because (a) I'm a college student and spend most of my knitting budget on nice yarn, and (b) I do different kinds of projects which require different sized needles all the time, so I'm loath to spend a lot of money on any one size without an idea of when I'll use that size again. This has lead to a serious splintering problem (I only use bamboo), so I've been considering treating myself to nicer needles.

I'm attracted to the Options set that everyone's been raving about (particularly as I've been doing more lace lately, and I hear they're sharper than what I've been using). As I understand it, though, they only come round. I do some scarves and things, but the truth is, I don't really like straight needles, because I'm constantly misplacing whichever one I'm not using. So my question is--is it as easy as it seems like it should be to knit flat things on round needles (just by turning it around the way you would with straight needles)? Are there any downsides to this strategy? Should I go ahead and splurge on this fancy, beautiful set of rounds and feel confident that I will be able to knit flat things perfectly well?

Mike 03-03-2008 01:35 AM

If a flat item on a single circular is too confusing you can treat Options as 2 straight cabled needles. That's why they include 4 cables in 2 sizes and stoppers.
They're only circulars when you have 2 needles on one cable :wink:

I imagine Options would be much better than my 16" bamboo circular but the only issue I've found was casting on and having the cast on stitches tighten to the cable.
But it works itself right when they get back on the needle so it's more of an annoyance than a problem.
I'm guessing it's really annoying depending on what cast on you use judging from when I've used a cabled Tunisian crochet hook.

I plan on getting Options eventually. It's just not high on my list at the moment.

Jan in CA 03-03-2008 01:47 AM

Knitting flat with circulars is just as easy as knitting with straight needles. No losing that other needle though! And you have the option to use them in the round when you need to as well. I have Options and love them!

Debkcs 03-03-2008 03:59 AM

I'm with Jan. Knitting with circular needles is so much easier I can't see ever buying another set of straight needles.

Currently I have a set of Denise needles, but you never know when the 'need' for another set of needles is going to hit. :cool:

BTW, welcome to Knitting Help, this is a wonderful place to come to learn about knitting and crocheting and to meet some really cool people.

nonny2t 03-03-2008 07:04 AM

I received my Options set for my birthday last year and I knit with nothing else. It is easy as pie to knit straight with the circ needles and believe me, it helps when you are knitting something that starts to weigh down on your hands.

The set is $60 + shipping. If you figure you spend at least $5 a set for cheaper needles, if you purchase sizes 4-11, which is what options has, it would be $45 for a set of straights, at least that for a set of 24 inch cable circs and another $$ for a set of 32 inch cable circs. It also comes with end caps like mentioned previously to make them straights if you prefer and this lovely carrying case, which I now have been able to put everything I need in, darning needles, stitch holders, stitch counter, needle sizer, point protectors, a couple crochet hooks, ink pens, notepad, tape measure, scissors, the whole shebang. It is well worth the money spent, believe me.

KnitNess 03-03-2008 08:24 AM

I often knit scarves on round needles with no problems. My suggestion is that if you want to make a set of two round needles into a individual needles (with a stopper at the end), just cut a cork and pop the unwanted end through it. Works wonderfully well for doing things like baby blankets.

Knitting_Guy 03-03-2008 09:03 AM

I pretty much knit everything flat or round with my Options.

WandaT 03-03-2008 09:23 AM

I treated myself to a set of Options Oct/Nov 07 and LOVE them! I added a few sets of the Harmony tips a couple of weeks ago just because I was dying to try them (and they're SO PRETTY! LOL). The ONLY time I ever use my straight needles anymore are if I'm just playing with new yarn, trying to find a stitch pattern and gauge I like. It's easier just to fiddle with straights instead of screwing and unscrewing the tips. Other than that, I knit EVERYTHING on my Options. It really is no different knitting flat on the circulars than on straight needles. You just turn and flip the same way.

Did I mention I LOVE my Options!? :)

boo1 03-03-2008 10:08 AM

Circulars rock!
I pretty much don't knit on anything but circs, whether I'm knitting in the round (which I love) or knitting flat/back and forth.

Not sure when I used straight needles last.


KnitTwit 03-03-2008 10:25 AM

Madeline, you're going to love knitting flat with the Options. I, too, detest straight needles. I have a pair of Crystal Palace 10" #8 that I use for the "Squares of Many Colors" project but that's it for me when it comes to straights. The rest of my straight needles are stuck in a drawer somewhere and I'll probably end up donating them to the local nursing home.

I'll never regret buying the Harmony's. It was a great investment as far as I'm concerned. :thumbsup:

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