My take on knitting needles
The thing about knitting needles is that like yarn, there are tons out there that one can choose from. TONS. And they come in different types and sizes.
But the choice of needles varies from one knitter to the other. What I prefer might not be what you prefer. People tend to stick to what they feel most comfortable with and what works the best for them.
Knitting needles generally fall into three main groups or types: straight, circular and double pointed (DPNs). They are made of different materials as well the common ones being aluminium, plastic, wooden and bamboo.
Knowing basic information about needles such as needle types and sizes will contribute towards creating a wonderful knitted piece that you can be proud of.
As a beginner when I first started to learn how to knit I watched videos online and my first thought when I saw the straight knitting needles was “those needles are really long, do they have to be that long?” I soon realised there was a reason why they were made that way. I was glad when I learned about circular needles. In fact I enjoy knitting with my circulars more than with my straights. I thought and still think that DPNs are tricky to handle.
I learned to knit using aluminium size 10 (US)/6mm straight needles. I had no other choice as that was the only type available in the stores where I live.
Generally for a beginner I think it is easier to learn knitting with straight needles (and large sized ones) first before moving on to try other types.
My first circular needles were 3.5 mm alluminium ones as well (surprise). I would love to try other types as soon as possible.
The alluminium needles are okay although it took me a while to get used to them. But I suspect it was because my stitches were tight and I had trouble sliding them off from one needle onto the other. Thankfully I’ve loosened up with practise and I now enjoy my alluminiums 🙂
So the key things to know about knitting needles in my opinion are:
1. Type – what are the different types? and which type(s) work for you?
2. Size – know the different sizes and what items they can be used to knit
3. Gauge – how size of needles and type of yarn used affects gauge or tension, which in turn affects the quality of a finished piece.
I want to share with you in my upcoming posts some information I have gathered about these very topics – needle types, sizes and the importance of gauges. Plus other related information.
Knitting accessories, tools and supplies
Moving on to accessories, tools and supplies. By this I am referring to things a knitter uses during knitting apart from the basic yarn and knitting needles. Things such as, yarn bowls, needle cases, needle gauges, stitch markers, pompom makers, yarn needles, cable needles, yarn storage items, yarn ball winders and swifts, knitting looms even, and the list goes on.
A lot of these you may find to be optional but for the sake of completeness, fun and the love of knitting, I will in future posts be talking about the above and more, and how they help to make knitting not only enjoyable but very satisfying to the average knitter.
What needles did you learn to knit on? I would love to hear your story. Drop me a line and say hi!