Let’s Talk Needles – What Do You Really Need?

Knitting needles come in all materials, brands, and sizes. But what do we really need in our “must have” toolkit? 

Recently, I cleaned out my drawers of unused knitting needles and donated them to my child’s school. The librarian had a knitting elective for the middle school students and needed starter needles. (Wish I had gone to that school!) I learned a lot myself, seeing what I kept and what I donated.

I’ve gone to almost exclusively bamboo or wood needles. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I seem to be able to knit longer and more comfortably with bamboo needles. However, I had a surplus of my favorite size, 8, and still had to go to the craft store when I needed yet another size I didn’t have. I finally purchased a set of interchangeable bamboo needles. Not only are my knitting needles much more organized and in one place, I have just about every size I could possibly ever need. It was a good investment.

And then I took up sock knitting, which I quickly learned needed a whole new set of knitting tools. I’m adverse to double pointed needles, so I got myself a teeny-tiny set of interchangeables just for socks. They came in a cute little cloth pouch that’s handy when travelling and includes teeny-tiny markers I didn’t know I needed until I began using them. Once I got to the toes of my first socks, I grudgingly realized I did need a set of double pointed needles. Having read reviews saying the small wooden double points tend to snap in two, I got an inexpensive set of metal double points to cover most projects. They get the job done. 

Despite the cost, I’ve become a fan of sets of needles sold in organized, built-to-last packaging. I’ve ultimately saved a lot of time scrounging around my needle supply drawer, wondering if I have the right sized needles for a new project. Now I know I’m set for life (I hope). Are the sets more expensive? Yes. I wish I had started out with sets years ago, but they weren’t available back then. 

And is my beloved craft of knitting worth an investment in the most effective and comfortable knitting needles I can afford? You bet!

Happy Knitting, Cindy

Cynthia Coe is the author of The Prayer Shawl Chronicles, a book of interrelated short stories and women who knit and those who receive their wonderful gifts, mostly out of the blue. The first chapter of The Prayer Shawl Chroniclesis available to read as a free sample by clicking “Look Inside” at this link