How To: Choose the right needles for a knitting project

Choose the right needles for a knitting project

Knitting with the wrong needles is like playing soccer with a bowling ball –you'll end up frustrated and disappointed.

You Will Need

* The pattern for the project you plan to knit

Step 1. Check instructions

Check the instructions of the pattern you've chosen. It may require certain specifications for your needles.

Step 2. Consider needle width

Consider the width of the needles you'll need. European needles use millimeters sizing and American needles range from size 000 to 50—thin needles are used for tighter knits and finer thread, and fat needles are for chunky yarn and larger loops. A pair of 8 or 9 needles are a good, average size for beginners.

Step 3. Pick needle length

Decide your required length for needles. If you're working on a large project, like a blanket, you may need long needles to fit on lots of stitches. Otherwise, choose a length that feels manageable and comfortable in your hands.

Step 4. Pay attention to needle material

Pay attention to the material that the needles are made of, like aluminum, wood, or plastic. Needles with a slick surface, especially metal, can be slippery—and difficult for beginners.

Step 5. Consider needle style

Consider the style of the needles you'll need. There are single-point, double-point, and circular needles, but single-point are best for beginners and simple projects.

Step 6. Shop in-store

Shop at a knitting or craft store, looking for a pair of needles of the width, length, material, and style that you need. Hold them to get a feel for whether they'll be comfortable.

Tip: Needle size also affects the gauge, or the number of stitches per inch, so the larger the needle, the fewer stitches you'll need per inch.

Fact: Knitting as we know it has been around since roughly 1000 AD.

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