My Creative Life

Knitting needle length matters

The length of the knitting needles that I use and my comfort when knitting is more evident now that I knit every day.  Since it is often as many as 6 hours in a day, my hands and fingers are feeling the strain.  I wanted to share with you some of the things that I have discovered.

Circular Knitting Needles

One of the best examples is this beautiful blanket that I’m knitting now.  The yarn is worsted weight, doubled on U.S. Size 15 knitting needles.  The finished width of the blanket is approximately 45 inches wide and I cast on 112 stitches.  I do not use interchangeable circular needles as I haven’t ever been happy with the joins so I own many circular needles although most are 24 or 30 inches long.  Here’s what the blanket looked like on the 24 inch needles.

These stitches are so bunched up on the needle that as I knit, I was constantly pushing the stitches with my thumb.  This leads to a lot of discomfort in my thumb.

Then I stitched to a 47 inch circular needle.  What a difference!

The stitches have plenty of room to move easily on the needle and I’m no longer pushing them with my thumb.  So much easier and more comfortable.

Circular needles are best for most of my knitting.  The 24 inch length is generally good for most projects although, I’ve learned that the finished width of the project should determine the length of the needle that I’m using.  Here’s a scarf on a 24 inch circular needle.  There is plenty of room for the stitches to move easily and the weight of the scarf is on the cable.  I can knit a project like this for a long time with no fatigue to my hands or fingers.  I also have begun to use the Kollage Square needles as I discussed in this blog post.

Straight Knitting Needles

I find that I still enjoy knitting with straight needle for smaller projects.  I only use a 10 inch long straight needle so I use them for things like dishcloths, my dishcloth dresses, and modular knitting where the width of the piece is no more than 8 inches.  Aluminum needles still are comfortable for some projects but most times, I prefer the wooden ones.  Here’s an example of Let’s Visit Hawaii in progress on my favorite Knitter’s Pride Dreamz U.S. size 7 straight needles.

I also use a variety of double pointed needles and will share my favorites with you in another post.

So what are your favorite needle lengths?  Do you use different types of needles for your projects or a you happy with just one style needle?

What knitting needles add to the joy of your knitting and the comfort as you knit?


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