View Full Version : Question for Knitters
02-05-2004, 05:36 PM
I just got into knitting over the holidays and I'm well on my way to becoming addicted to the craft. I've been devouring books like you wouldn't believe. Anyway, I have all sorts of projects I want to do but only have a set of size 10.5 birch needles. A lot of the patterns call for circulars and/or double pointed needles in addition to the single points. I'd like to get a collection of needles that would take me through most simple projects-bags, hats, scarves. Should I just jump in and buy a needle set? Should I buy them one at a time per project--dangerous since things always seem to basket jump in the yarn store? I heard that there are some circular needle sets that can work as flat knitters. Are they worth it? Any recommendations as far as brands and are there on-line sources that may be less expensive than my local yarn shop?
Nathan's Mom 12/19/03
02-05-2004, 11:50 PM
Well, I prefer to buy my needles as I go along. I tend to use a lot of particular sizes. I probably have 3 or 4 sets of size 6 circulars, all in use! I also like different needle materials for different yarns (metal for wool, bamboo for acrylic, etc.). You'll develop more of these preferences as you knit more. And those needles won't go to waste.
You can knit almost any "flat" pattern on circulars. I actually prefer to knit this way. Just go back and forth like they were regular needles.
02-06-2004, 02:15 AM
Welcome to the world of knitting! If you are a brand new knitter, I would just go buy what you need as you go. Needles can get really pricy. That said, after I discovered Addi Turbo circular needles, which are fantastic, I am replacing my old susan bates with these as I go along.
In general, wool knits better with metal needles, and cotton works better with bamboo needles.
Another idea: A lot of people love the circular needle set from Denise. It's an interchangable kit with the needle size of 5-15, also with interchangable cable length so you can make socks as well as adult sweaters.
I think $45 is a great price for this.
I don't think there is a cheap online source for the needles. Needles almost never go on sale (the good stuff, especially).
02-06-2004, 01:59 PM
So if I just buy as I go along, if the pattern calls for size 7 needles, should I buy size 6 & 8 needles as well or am I reading too much into the guage thing?
Nathan's Mom 12/19/03
02-06-2004, 10:01 PM
Well, after awhile, you develop a feel for where your gauge will be. But ALWAYS check your gauge!!!!!!! And at first I did tend to buy 3 sets of needles at a time. As you go on, you likely won't need to buy so many.
02-07-2004, 12:53 AM
Well, that's a tricky question. Do you know if you are a loose knitter or tight knitter? you mentioned you have 10.5 needles, did you get the gauge in the book? I would probably just go ahead and buy size 7, and if that didn't work out buy 6 or 8 dependig on the gauge you got with the 7s. Also, if you purchase yarn at your local yarn store (meaning a place that carries expensive but nice yarns), they should have a supply of needles for the customers to use, frequently on the table with chairs. Since you are going to buy the yarn, they don't mind that you sit and try to swatch there to see which needle size to get. Also, a nice owner should help you get started also.
Also, if I am knitting for a baby, I usually knit really big so that they can grow into it, I just roll up the sleeves. I almost never make anything under 12 months size, unless it's debbie bliss pattern which runs huge. Anyway, since you are making things to not fit perfectly, if you don't get the 'exact' gauge it's not the end of the world :) I don't think I did for my first 5 baby sweaters or so, and they all turned out fine and wearable. I'm not saying you shouldn't swatch, you really should, but I won't get super upset if you are knittng for the small baby. Now if you are knitting something to fit 'snugly', then you really need to check your gauge. I learned this the hard way, when I made myself a fitted cardi that was a bitch to make and was too big.
I will be happy to help you if you have more questions!
02-07-2004, 02:12 PM
Thanks for your help guys! I haven't progressed much past rectangular knitted pieces--scarves & bags--but I want to try making hats and these cute elf socks I saw in the weekend knitting book. :)
Nathan's Mom 12/19/03
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.