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Old 01-07-2009, 10:41 PM   #1
osmom
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New knitter question- circular or straight?
Hello everyone! I am new to knitting and I am wondering if it is easier to use circular needles or straight? What do you prefer and why? Thanks
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:47 PM   #2
KnitTogether
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Good question - each has its benefits... then the next question is what surface, metal, bamboo, plastic, etc.!

It is an individual thing, but I can say why I prefer circular needles:

1) The 'weight of the work' falls into my lap, and I can keep my arms down instead of my elbows out. Since I have back and neck problems, this is important for me, and reduces pain, and I am able to knit longer than I could if I were using straight needles.

2) With a circular needle, I always know where my "other needle" is, because it is attached.

3) Circular needles can be used for knitting in the round (such as socks, sweaters, mittens, hats, etc.), or for doing flat knitting. Whereas straight needles can only be used for knitting flat.

Those would be the 3 major reasons I prefer circular needles over straights.
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:55 PM   #3
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I ditto the above. I was scared of them at first, but now cringe when I have to use straights.
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:04 PM   #4
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I also prefer circulars, although I'd recommend that for beginning, try making something relatively narrow, like a scarf, and use a 16" needle. Larger ones can be a bit awkward to work with at first. But overall, circulars are definitely the way to go, for the reasons already mentioned in this thread.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:09 AM   #5
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I'm okay with both I just prefer the circular ones cause all you have to do is keep doing the knit stiches and it stocknitts itself :D
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by sorifes View Post
I'm okay with both I just prefer the circular ones cause all you have to do is keep doing the knit stiches and it stocknitts itself :D
This is true for knitting in the round--another good reason to use circulars. Knitting flat on circulars still requires knit one row, purl one row for stockinette.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:12 AM   #7
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You never lose one of the needles in the couch. Or forget it when you leave the house and plan on knitting where you're going. Just ask me how I know.

I haven't used a straight needle in years.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:01 AM   #8
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I am also very new - I started out with a scarf on acrylic straight needles. It wasn't bad, since it was narrow, it didn't weigh too much before it started resting in my lap.

Then I started a baby blanket.... It's knitted on the diagonal, with a CO of 3 stitches and an increase every row. I couldn't control very well with the circs I picked up (I have 14 in straights and it was supposed to be almost 30 in across at the widest) with just three or four stitches, so I started over with the straights and moved to the circs after the fabric was established. There was an instant difference in the weight, and I really like the circs.

Plus, my straights are acrylic and my circs are aluminum. When I had to move the knitting from the circs to the straights (to straighten out the cord) the difference in surface was very noticeable. The acrylic was more grabby, which makes sense because I preferred it for the first couple of rows. The aluminum is slicker, and I can knit faster and easier. I might change my mind AGAIN once I start doing something that is more complicated, but for now, that's where I stand.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:58 AM   #9
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I only use circulars now for all the reasons mentions above and the fact that my 2 year old used to get a kick out of yanking my straights out of my knitting just for fun and running away and laughing at my state of panic. (evil child) She has not been able to do it since I started using circulars.

I would definitely recomend that you invest in a couple of the knit picks options/harmoneys or another good quality make. The cheap grey ones make knitting hard work as the join is not smooth and getting the stitches from the cord onto the needle is hard work
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:00 AM   #10
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I prefer circs (even for flat knitting) because of the flexibility and ease of use. I would recommend trying both if you're new to knitting to see which you're most comfortable learning with. I learned on straights and for a long time was intimidated by circs, however, once I was confident enough, I tried out the circs and just about never use straights anymore.
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