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Knitting Needles For Beginners – How To Select The Best – [Guide For 2020]

Learning to knit and choosing the right knitting needles can be a bit daunting. Don’t worry, this post is a knitting needle guide written for beginners. Lots of information and tips to help you get on track to becoming a knitter.

After you’ve read this, you’ll be choosing needles like a pro in no time 🙂

Table Of Contents

What Makes A Good Knitting Needle?

The qualities you want to look for in a beginner’s needle are:

  • Good grip
  • A smooth surface to slide stitches off the needle, but not enough to lose all of your stitches accidentally
  • Larger needle size
  • Needles made of bamboo or wood

How Do You Choose Knitting Needles?

Picking the right beginner knitting needles can be tricky, especially if you’ve just started to knit, but not impossible.

There are many needles to choose from, but don’t worry, here is a helpful guide.

Important Note:

You’re probably hoping not to spend lots of money on materials. Unfortunately, most knitting materials aren’t cheap!

The problem with buying low-cost needles is it can affect your knitting experience, and not for the better. You’re much better off using quality knitting materials rather than some from dollar stores.

It’s better to get good materials, rather than those needles you bought at the dollar store breaking. Not very pleasant! Of course, this is only advice. There are many low-cost quality ones available.

The Best Beginner Needle Sizes

The needle size you use relies on what yarn weight your particular garment calls for. If you’re unsure, the yarn label recommends a needle size. Easy.

If you do many projects, you need to buy different sizes of needles. If you buy only one pair, you’ll be in a situation where you like a chunky pattern, and you have one pair of tiny needles. Different yarn weights, different garments, different needles.

It can be a bother to go to knitting stores to buy more needles whenever you start a new project. (Except it’s an excellent opportunity to buy more yarn!). Don’t worry; there is a solution! Interchangeable needles.

Knitting needles are labeled with sizes If you use a small needle, your yarn is thinner. The same goes for larger needles (the bigger the needle, the thicker the yarn).

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Is It Easier To Knit With Big Or Small Needles?

Bigger size needles are best for beginners because they are easier to handle. Knitting with larger needles and yarn makes larger stitches. Your project knits up much faster than if you used small needles.

It’s best not to use small needles because they are much harder to knit with.

What’s The Best Needle Size For Beginners?

A needle US size 8, 10, or 13 is a good idea to start with.

It’s an excellent idea to go for US Sizes 6 – 8 if you are looking for a smaller diameter of needle.

  • Size 6 = 4mm
  • Size 7 = 4.5mm
  • Size 8 = 5mm

It’s smartest to start with 9-10 inches (22.86cm to 25.4cm) long needles. These are the easiest to handle.

Needle Size Labeling Systems

There are four ways to classify knitting needles sizes.

  • US
  • Metric (MM)
  • Japanese
  • UK

Be careful! All are different. For example, a metric needle size 2mm and a US needle size 2 aren’t the same.

A US size 2 is a metric size 2.75mm.

Straight, DPNs, Circulars, Interchangeables, Which Ones?

Knitting needle types include straights, circular knitting needles, DPNs (double pointed needles) and interchangeable circular needles. Which ones are best for beginners? The main answer is it’s up to your personal preference.

There is no right or wrong type of needle. However, knitters use them for different reasons.

For beginners, straight needles are the most simple. Knitting with circular needles and DPNs are a bit more complicated, but not unmanageable. Some beginners may find it hard to remember which hand goes on which needle.

Circular Needles

You can use circulars for absolutely anything! You can knit in the round, make socks with magic loop, the list goes on. Despite the name, you can knit flat with circular needles. Another brilliant quality of circular knitting needles is their long cords hold lots of stitches.

Straight Needles

Straight Needles are the easiest. With these, you can make everything flat, such as dishcloths and scarves.

DPNs

With double-pointed needles, you can make fingerless gloves, baby booties, hats, and lots more.

Interchangeable Knitting Needles

The qualities of interchangeable needles are:

  • They have a cord like circular needles
  • You can take off the needle part and swap them with different size needles.
  • You can also swap the cords to change the length.
  • You can buy these in sets

Interchangeable needles come in sets or as individual pieces. Most connect with a tiny screw-on joining piece, but some use other mechanisms, and each brand only works with its parts.

Having a needle set is handy because you don’t have to worry about having the right needles for a project.

The Best Needle Materials

Knitting needle materials include:

  • Bamboo
  • Wood
  • Metal (aluminum, brass, nickel)
  • Plastic

Needles made of wood or bamboo are an excellent choice for beginners. Wooden needles are made of wood such as rosewood. But it’s up to you. Experiment with different materials until you find the one you love best.

Bamboo/Wooden Needles

These types of needles are the most grippy, which is a good characteristic for beginners.

The stitches on bamboo or wooden needles grip slightly on the needle and won’t slide off as quickly, which is also a good thing for beginners.

Still, don’t stop experimenting with other materials if using bamboo or wooden needles doesn’t suit you. You could test different varieties and find out which sort works the best for you; the choice is yours!

Metal Needles

Click-clack. The sound of knitting with metal needles.

You may think the best needles for beginners are the preferred needles used by knitting masters. These include needles such as speed knitting needles, which are usually made of metal.

As you may have imagined, speed knitting needles have an extremely smooth polished coating, which makes it easier to slide stitches off the needle faster.

These needles are easy to use and exceptionally fast, which makes them an excellent choice for experts, not for beginners. A beginner using them will get irritated by their stitches sliding off the smooth points.

Plastic Needles

Slipping stitches off these is easy. Plastic needles are usually cheaper, and very lightweight.

The Best Knitting Needles For Beginners

Addi Linos Circular Needles

addi Knitting Needle Linos Circular Skacel Blue Cord 24 inch (60cm) Size US 08 (5.0mm)

Designed to make the dive into using circular needles much easier, these are the perfect choice for your first set of circulars. With the quality from an excellent company like Addi, these are guaranteed to last for years.

Features

  • Made by the family-owned Addi in Germany
  • Smooth, slick surface but with still plenty of grip
  • Simple and easy to use

Pros

  • Designed specifically for beginners, children and those with smaller hands
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Shorter, blunter tips
  • Two different colored coatings for easy learning; one tip is brass, the other is Turbo (nickel plated)

Cons

  • Might be a bit small for those with larger hands
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

Clover Takumi Straight Needles

Clover Takumi Straight Needles

These excellent bamboo needles are made in Japan from ethical, sustainable material.

Features

  • Handcrafted in Japan from locally sourced Takumi Bamboo
  • All needles are 9″ long
  • Excellent quality needles

Pros

  • Perfect length to handle, but not too much to be cumbersome
  • Fair return policy
  • Many different sizes available
  • Light, smooth bamboo
Click to Learn More / Buy from Amazon

What Needles Are Best For Kids?

Sunstruck Knitting Needles by Knitpicks

Length-wise, a needle 7 – 10 inches long is suitable. You need to make sure the needles kids use are rounded at the points. .

Knit Picks Sunstruck needles are made from laminated birch and have a pointy but not too pointy end. They are lightweight and easy to handle.

Your Questions Answered

What Does A Beginner Knitter Need?

Here is a short list of what a beginner knitter needs.

  • Needles
  • Yarn
  • Tapestry needle
  • Crochet hook
  • Scissors

Why Do I Need A Tapestry Needle?

You use a tapestry needle for:

  • Weaving in the ends after you finish a knitting project
  • Putting together multiple individual pieces of garment
  • You could also use yarn and darning needles.

These needles have large eyes, making it much easier to poke the yarn through. Unlike sewing needles, all three needles have unsharpened tops, it avoids splitting the yarn. You can find them at most craft stores.

Why Do I Need A Crochet Hook For Knitting?

You can use crochet hooks in knitting for all sorts of things, such as:

  • Picking up dropped stitches: for hooking them back on the needle
  • Picking up stitches along an edge
  • Casting on/off, casting off using a crochet hook in knitting is faster.

What Is The Easiest Thing To Knit For Beginners?

Some of the easiest projects for beginners include:

  • Bulky scarves
  • Infinity scarves
  • Dishcloths
  • Afghans

Bulky scarves, infinity scarves, and dishcloths are great for beginners. You use chunky yarn for bulky scarves. Easy to see the stitches.

Knitting a dishcloth is also pretty simple. You knit a square, and the most straightforward pattern is usually in garter stitch.

Although you may think knitting an afghan will be difficult, there are loads of blanket patterns only with the knit stitch, which is pretty easy! Knitting an afghan in garter stitch helps you improve your speed.

You’ll also feel more comfortable with the knit stitch after you finish.

Is It Easier To Learn To Knit Or Crochet?

People often debate whether knitting or crochet is better than the other and whether it’s easier to learn to knit or crochet. Some people like knitting, some like crochet, and some like both!

On the one hand, we have knitting, with two needles, and is more intricate than crochet. Knit stitches have ‘V’s.’

On the other hand, we have crochet. Crochet only requires one hook. Crochet stitches are bumpier and less intricate than knitting. They also look like knots.

It’s hard to determine whether knitting or crocheting is more comfortable to learn. People who like organized, logical crafting and have patience would probably find knitting better.

People who don’t mind making mistakes, and like quick projects would find crocheting better.

What Is The Best Size Knitting Needles For A Scarf?

If you’re doing a bulky scarf with super bulky weight yarn (size 6), size US 13 is the go. You can use a needle size anywhere between 11 – 17 for super bulky weight yarn.

If you’re using:

  • Medium-sized yarn (size 4), use US size 7 – 9 needles.
  • Bulky yarn (size 5), use US size 9 – 11
  • Jumbo weight yarn, use US size 17+

Hopefully, now you have a greater understanding of selecting beginner knitting needles.

Once you’ve decided on your needles, yarn, and embroidery needle, you’re ready to knit. Happy knitting.

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

Please say hello!

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