Types of knitting needles

Types of knitting needles

Different types of knitting needles on a table: straight, circular and double pointed needles

A new knitting project can be exciting, and you might want to start knitting right away, but making sure you have the right needles is very important. Every pattern has a suggested needle size and type required to complete the project in a satisfying manner. There are three types of knitting needles: straight needles, double pointed needles and circular needles.

Straight needles

These are the types of needles that you may imagine when you think about knitting. Straight needles are long needles with pointed edges on one side and a flat surface on the other side. They are used to work rows back and forth. Straight needles are usually more heavy than other types of needles. These needles are good for projects like scarfs, dishcloths and other type of flat projects.

Double pointed needles

Also known as DPN, double pointed needles have pointed edges on both sides, unlike straight needles. These needles tend to be shorter and lighter, usually bought in sets of four or five needles. DPN are used to work in the round with smaller circumferences like socks, hats, mittens and sleeves.

Circular needles

Circular needles are two pointed needles attached with a cable. These needles can be used to work both in rows and in the round, making it the most versatile type of knitting needle and perfect for beginners. Circular needles can be fixed, or you can buy an interchangeable set with different sizes of needles and cable lengths.

Material of needles

When it comes to the material of a knitting needle, there are many options available. The three most common materials are metal, wood and plastic. Each material would be more suitable for a specific project. For example, yarn tends to slide more easily with metal needles and would be better for a project with cables. If you are a beginner, a wooden needle would be better because the yarn won’t easily slide out of the needles.