I think every knitter has a preference for needles. I know some knitters who will only knit with single pointed needles that are massively long, some who prefer them short , some who use mostly double points and some who, like myself, almost always use circulars.
When I first started to knit, I was a single point girl. In fact, my needles were so long I had trouble holding them. I held my arms so far apart that I can only imagine how awkward I looked. The lady who taught me to knit was constantly reminding me to bring my hands farther down the needle, almost to tip and she promised my knitting issues would be solved if I complied. I listened for all of two seconds and by the time she made her way around the room again my hands had made my back up to the tops of the needles.
This is went on for the better part of a month until one week, my knitting teacher had a present for me…. a pair of smiley faced yellow plastic, child sized needles. I loved them and by the end of that class not only could I cast on and I could also knit a stitch or two. Since then I have acquired more short needles because, for a while that was my preference. I happily knit along for a year or so with my kid needles and stayed away from anything too long. I lived in fear I would regress and lose all my knitting knowledge as my hand would naturally creep up the length of the needle . After I had mastered knitting back an forth, I then was introduced to knitting in the round. How cool I thought! Even shorter needles and when you knit in the round there is little to no sewing! Except I soon realized ,there is four ( or five) “short” needles. I was always dropping one my straight needles so, guess what happened when I knit with double points? yup, lots more needles on the floor. It was actually probably dangerous to sit within 10 feet of me when I knit with them because, one could lose an eye from flying needles.
Somewhere along the way, I don’t remember when, I was introduced to circulars. It took a little bit but, the more I used them the more I realized these were the best thing ever invented. I found I wasn’t dropping my knitting or my needles. I could stop half way through a row and I could both knit in the round and back and forth. There is one problem I found however, most circulars are too long. Anything over 16″ confused me. So, as I have been building my knitting needle collection I have been extremely picky on how long my circulars are.
If I need to knit a large project, I will use a longer cable. In fact I kind of have this list of preference of needles.
It goes something like this
When in doubt use COLOURFUL 16″ circular needles
If I have lost my colourful needles resort to grey, boring, 16′ circulars
Larger project ( sweater, shawl, blanket) only go up in cable length if your knitting is literally falling off the needles and theres no way you can just jam all 100 plus stitches on your 16″. If a larger cable length is needle use the shortest possible, and remember try to go with colourful needles.
If you daughter hid your 9″ circular needles and your making a tiny project..search for max of two hours and then dig out the double points…(try to get away with only using 3 and again pick the colourful ones)
Only use straight needles if the world is ending and all the circulars are destroyed and if there is no short straight needles around…quit knitting and learn to crochet….
See? When I say I love my circulars…I really do love my circulars! However, it is really hard to find, short colourful needles.
I have found some I like though and those would be Knit Picks’ Harmony wood 16″
However, I have yet to find my perfect needle..as the Denise needles don’t come in anything smaller than a 3.75 mm needle tip, however, they do make cables as small as 9″. Knit picks has all the tip sizes I need but, the cable lengths don’t go shorter than 16″. So, although both these needle sets are amazing, I am still on look out for those perfect circulars.