Today’s Thursday Tip post is going to be about the different size needles I have in my needle stash, and what sizes I recommend as the bare necessities.
This post is intended for someone who has mastered the basics of knit and purl, and is ready to move on to bigger and other projects.
In my stash I have at least one pair of straight needles in the following sizes: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11. I have multiple pairs of needles in size 5, size 7 and size 9. Size 7 and 9 needles are the two sizes I most commonly use and I have at least two sets of them. I have a long pair and a short pair of size 5 needles. I also have circular needles in size 5, 7, and 9. I like having a few circular needles for bigger projects so I have more room to spread out the project on the needles.
Once you have learned to knit, and are wanting to start working on expanding the size of needles you have, I recommend size 5, 7, and 9 followed by 6 and 8. I have 3, 4, 11, and a circular size 13 or 15 needles. I will occasionally use the size 3 and 4 needles if I am working with thinner year and want the stitches to be tighter. I will rarely (like a couple times a year at most) use the size 11 needles that I have, and I haven’t used the size 13 or 15 (see I can’t even remember what size they are) since I purchased them. If you are into using really thick or doubling up thicker yarns, or a really loose stitch than the bigger needles would be good, but with the projects I typically work on I don’t have much need for anything bigger than a 9.
I also prefer bamboo and wooden needles to the metal needles, and I detest plastic needles. With the bamboo and wooden needles, the yarn moves a lot easier for me, and I like how they feel in my hands. I can knit with the metal needles, but when I have the option I go for the wooden or bamboo. I detest plastic needles because the yarn catches, and doesn’t move up and down the needle on its own, and I have had to force whatever I am working on, one way or the other to work the garment.