Newbie Knitting 101: Knitting Needles
How much do you know about knitting needles? Do you know your DPN’s from your circulars? Your single points from your cables? Your fixed from your interchangeables?
Single Pointed Needles
They’re exactly as they sound; they’re straight, with one point on one end, and a stopper of some sort on the other. You tend to only ever use two of these at a time.
Double Pointed Needles
These sound like they would be pretty similar to the single point, but other than the fact that they’re straight, they’re actually quite different.
They are made up of a flexible cable, which joins two needles together.
They come in one needle size, with one cable length, for example, you could have a 9mm needle on a 20cm cable; great, if your project calls for a 9mm needle on a 20cm cable. But what if it calls for a 9mm needle on 30cm cable? Or an 8mm needle on a 20cm cable? Well, you guessed it, you need to go buy a different size.
The photo only shows interchangeable circulars, as I donated all of my fixed ones a long time ago. Fixed circulars look almost identical, it’s just that the tips of the ones shown screw off.
NB: At this point, it is worth mentioning that if your pattern calls for a shorter cable than you already have it’s not quite so bad, as you can use something called “the magic loop” method. More on this in another post.
There is really only one needle type I would classify as a miscellaneous, and that is the cable needle. In fact, I would say it’s more of a hybrid between a needle and notion, however, I think it would be amiss of me to leave it off the needle list as if you are a beginner it could seem confusing.
A cable needle is a very short knitting needle, usually with a kink of some sort in it. It is used to slip stitches onto, to hold them in place whilst working cable patterns. At this stage, this will probably all seem somewhat over your head, and you don’t really need to know it just yet, but it’s worth bearing in mind!
So, there we have it, a high-level view of all the different types of needles you might come across as a new knitter! I hope it helps you understand things a little more, but if you have any queries, please let me know and I’ll try my best to help!
Next week we will be looking at some of the most common materials knitting needles are made out of, and the pros and cons of each material, and how to choose the right one for your project, so keep your eyes open for that one!
Related Post: Knitting Needles: A Guide to Material Choices
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