I'm back again and have some answers for you new knitters. I hope that the new knitters will find this guide useful. Well, I think the 1st and foremost question I have come across is, "What kind of needles should I use?" It can be rather scary to walk into a knitting shop and see all of those needles, wood, plastic, metal, bamboo,circular, double pointed, glove needles, etc... The answer is a two part one, first some needles work better than others for certain types of yarn or projects. The other is personal preference of the knitter. There really isn't any right or wrong but this will help you sort it all out. Here are some suggestions to those new to knitting:
What kind of project are you working on?
Some needles are better suited for certain projects. If you are making a blanket you should use circular needles.Why?, because you don't want all your knitting to be scrunched up the needle. It will make it extremely difficult to work with and you may drop stitches. Plus it can hold a lot of stitches and give you more room to knit.Circular needles are knitting needles connected by a piece of plastic cord. They are meant for working back and forth and circular knitting.These needles come in different lengths as well as sizes and materials. These needles have many different uses. Then one I mentioned before and, making hats, mittens, sweaters and sweater sleeves, purses, etc. All are worked in a circle and have minium sewing.
Straight knitting needles have a point at one end and a cap at the other end. They are generally used for all kinds of projects and the cap keeps the stitches from falling off.
Wood and bamboo needles are nice to use. They come in straight, double pointed and circular. They are not as heavy as metal needles. Wood needles are nice for natural fibers like wool. I find that they tend to help the yarn to stay in place and prevent stitches falling off the needle, especially if you are using double pointed needles.
Double pointed needles are needles that have a point at both ends. They come in wood, bamboo, plastic and metal. They are used for socks, gloves, mittens, hat or any small project that needs to be knitted circularly. They also come in different sizes, lengths and materials. Glove needles are smaller double pointed needles used to work the fingers of the glove. They are not as cumbersome as the regular double pointed needles.
Metal needles are also straight, double pointed and circular. They are heavier than wood. Sometimes you really feel it in your hands after knitting for a long time. Some of the metal needles are highly polished and feel slippery when you are knitting. They are made for faster knitting the most common of these are addi turbo needles. They are very highly polished and circular.
Plastic needles come in straight, double pointed and circular and they are lighter weight than metal needles. They can be use like the wooden needles.
I hope that this guide has cleared up any confusion for you. So when you buy or bid for needles you can purchase them with confidence. Happy Knitting!
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NJKnits of All Things Knitted