Choosing Needles Part 1
By Tiffany McGriff
The other day I made a Ravelry post joking about the number of US 7 (4.5mm) needles I have accumulated. This is in part because I do keep multiple works in progress and I want to work on something new without finishing an older project. Looking further over my needle collection, I realized I have different needles because I have different uses for each of them. There are so many needle choices available to knitters; where do you even begin to choose?
Single Pointed, Double Pointed, and Circulars
Almost every knitter I have talked to has started with straight, single point needles.
These needles are great for knitting flat pieces such as scarves, dishcloths, and sweater pieces. As an added bonus, straight needles tend to be a bit less expensive than circulars. But what if you want to make something that isn’t flat? You can either seam together a flat object, or you can use double pointed or circular needles.
Double pointed needles (DPN’s) are similar to single points, as they are still straight, however they are usually smaller in length and you can manipulate stitches from both ends of the needle.
These needles are great for knitting smaller circular pieces such as socks, hats, and gloves.
Circular Needles are the most versatile needle, as you can use them just as you would single points or join in the round for circular projects .
These needles can be found in lengths ranging from 8 inches up to 60 inches, which are great for smaller projects such as fingerless mittens or larger projects such as blankets. Circular needles can also be used for special techniques such as using two circulars at the same time or magic-loop.
In “Choosing Needles Part 2” I will be talking about the various needle materials and how they work with different yarns!