Knitters: Picking your needle
November 5, 2010
A knitter's needle is as personal as a favorite pair of pants or how one takes coffee. It is a tiny piece of your personality and thus very important. You will spend many hours with your needles. Picking a tools that can make or break your knitting (and in the end your sanity) is important and should not be rushed into. As a new knitter, I tried everything as I discovered it but I was like a 10 yr old on a shopping spree. As I taught myself, my first needles were metal so I bought a bunch. As I explored more forums, I discovered bamboo so I purchased a set of straight and DPNs. Then I came across my first set of interchangeable in acrylic so that was another chunk of change. After that it was magic loop and the purchase of 40 in. plus cable needle since my Interchangeables were not compatible with magic loop. It went on and on until I finally settled down and found the perfect set for me. I still have many of my original purchases but I only use my "married set": I call them my "married set" because I dated all the others and finally fell deeply in love and have not strayed since.
Many knitters are monogamous with their chosen set but others have not settled down, changing from needle to needle depending on the project and what is new. If you know you are destined to be a monogamous knitter than it is important to find your needle. You may choose to follow my path but there are easier ways to find your needle.
1) Do you have any allergies or arthritis? This will rule out some needle right away. I am allergic to nickel so that was an early indicator and why I was drawn to wooden needles. Wood or bamboo is also key for older knitters.
2) How do you knit? Fast or take your time. If you prefer fast, there are many "turbo" needles out there made with nickels and have pointy tips and slick finishes. If you like to take your time, maybe not slow but not super fast, and precise stitches then wood or bamboo may be for you. Some are well varnished and can be as fast as nickel but I often find that wood and bamboo grip more and prevent slipping stitches. Do you knit more in the round than straight? Then a set of circulars or Interchangeables are for you. My mother in law knits more flat than in the round and sticks to her straight needle and rarely touches her Interchangeables. I knit more round but I only use my interchangeable no matter what the project.
3) Visit the forums and read what others have to say. You might find someone who knits like you and find your perfect needle without spending time and money on others.
4) Do you like trends? Then, my friend, you are probably not a monogamous knitter but enjoy new needles with jewelry on the end, Knit Lite, and anything new and exciting. Go to it if you love it. There is no shame in "dating". If it keeps you knitting and happy- where is the problem? You might have less money for yarn but you do have some really awesome needles!
With our great selection of needles you are sure to find the right one for you. Plus, with our free return shipping if you don't- it's not problem to try them out to make sure. Make sure and ask for a Fabric.com gift card for Christmas so you can pick your favorite needle!!!
Pictured: my fave needles- Lantern Moon
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