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Old 04-07-2009, 12:41 PM   #1
purplravioli
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20" vs. 24" circular needles for sweaters
Ok, so I want to be able to knit shirts/sweaters for myself, and I have a relatively small waist (25-26" at the smallest point). I was wondering if 24" circulars would be too big for that size, or if it should be fine as long as the knitting is 24" or more around.

I don't want to buy a set of 20" circs and find they're too small for my bust or hips, but I don't want the 24" circs to be too big for my waist.

I'm assuming the 24" circulars will be fine, but I just wanted other knitters' opinions.

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Old 04-07-2009, 12:49 PM   #2
Jan in CA
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I'd go with 24". If you are doing seamless sweaters you sometimes even need 32" when you have so many stitches on the cable. Better yet consider getting an interchangeable set and you have whatever size you need. No 20's though.. I think those are rare. My favorite and many others is Options needles. Click the Knitpicks linked ad and you can see them there.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:57 PM   #3
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24" circular needles are most commonly used for circular sweater knitting.
I recommend this length.

However, you could cram the stitches for a sweater onto 20" circs. 20" circs are not a common length. 16" are common.

What brand are you considering that offers 20"??
I've never heard of a 20" length in the mainstream circulars.

Circs length is measured from tip to tip, not just the cable.

Knitting on 16" circs 'in the round' can be quite difficult with the wrong brand. KnitPicks are the best for 16" length. It has to do with the pliability of the cable, AND, the length of the needle tip itself. KnitPicks 16" circs are just 3-3/8" tips. Kinda stubby looking, but they allow you to make the circle easily.

Here is what they say:
"The 16" needle tips are 3 3/8 inches long, allowing for an easily formed complete circle for small circumference knitting. The 24", 32", 40" and 47" needle tips are 5 1/8 inches long. "

Here is a photo of the fixed circular 16" needles"
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:17 PM   #4
purplravioli
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Thanks for all the help! I'll definitely get 24" and not 20" circulars then.
The reason I was asking about 20" circulars was because I saw some on ebay (a set of sizes US0-15 bamboo circulars for about $12 including shipping).

I was considering the Options, but then I read about them being really sharp. I tend to push off the point of the needle, so I didn't want needles that would hurt my fingertips. I mostly stick with bamboo because their tips are usually relatively dull.
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:21 PM   #5
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Addis have a 20" length, which would be good for hats, and sleeves up to a point. But it's pretty short to get a sweater's worth on them. So go with the 24", it's pretty useful for knitting flat scarves too, and baby blankets.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:40 PM   #6
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I can't do hats on a 20.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:44 PM   #7
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I detest my Addi's for hats. I have some 16"...and now that I think about it, I might have a 20", too.

The Addi needles tips are so long and and the join is so unbendable.
It drives me just nuts.

KnitPicks is the only way to go. The 16" fixed circs.
I have all of them. In the Harmony wood.

EDIT: I just checked my needle folder over at Ravelry! Yup, I have a 20" Addi in a US 8, and a US 0. Heaven knows when or where or for what I have the US 0. !!!
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:58 PM   #8
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Sure you could. I can knit them on 24" ones. I use the Modified Magic Loop to start them and for the finish. I don't do tight fitting beanies though, I like looser, slouchy berets so by increasing about 10-20 sts, they fit on a 24 just fine.
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:05 PM   #9
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hmm, I really want the Options set after all the good things I hear about it, but I'm paranoid that the sharp tips will hurt my fingers.

Are the nickel-plated Options slippery enough that you don't have to push off the tip of the needle, or adjust the stitches at the join?
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Old 04-07-2009, 05:06 PM   #10
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Well, yeah you're right. I guess I don't LIKE knitting hats on 20's or larger.
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