As knitting becomes more popular, there are more and more types of knitting needles to choose from. While many knitters prefer traditional straight needles, circular knitting needles are much more versatile. Whether you are knitting in the round or not, consider buying circular knitting needles for your next knitting project. There are many different kinds, but you can find the needles that are right for you if you take a few variables into account.
The first order of business when buying circular knitting needles is to determine what size knitting needles you need. There are three different sizing methods for knitting needles: US sizes, metric sizes, and UK sizes. for the purpose of this article, we will assume that everyone is using US sizing. If you are confused, most needles are labeled with at least the metric size and US size.
In US sizing of knitting needles, the smaller numbers refer to the smallest diameter needles and the larger numbers refer to the knitting needles with the widest diameter. Generally, you will want the size of your knitting needles to correspond somewhat to the kind of yarn you are using. Therefore, very thin or lace weight yarn might be knitted on size 3 needles, and chunky or bulky yarn might be knitted on size 13 needles.
The next step in buying circular knitting needles is to know what length of needles is best for you. The length of circular knitting needles is measured from tip to tip, including the cord which connects them. You will need to take into account the size of your knitting project when buying circular knitting needles. If you are knitting in the round, the length of the needles should be less than the diameter of your knitting project. If you are knitting flat you have more leeway — just make sure that all the stitches of what you are knitting fit on the circular knitting needles.
Knitting needles can be made of many different materials. When you are buying circular knitting needles, you need to determine which material is best for you. Wooden needles are generally quieter, so if you are planning on knitting in a church or theater, you may want to go for wood, even though they tend to be a little slower. Metal knitting needles vary quite a bit, and the quality generally corresponds to the price. The more expensive metal knitting needles are very smooth and help you knit much faster. Plastic knitting needles fall right in between wood and metal in terms of noise and ease of knitting.
When you have decided upon all of these variables, there are just a few details left to think about. Before buying circular knitting needles, see if you can hold them in your hand or even knit with them. Different knitters prefer different things in knitting needles, and you may just want to get the feel of them. If you can knit with the circular needles, see if your yarn slips smoothly over the place where the cord meets the needle, as a common source of frustration for knitters is yarn which gets stuck at that spot.