Jill Wright

Choosing Your Knitting Needle: Circular vs. Straight

Jill Wright
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Duration:   4  mins

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right knitting needle for you and your project. In this video, knitting expert Jill Wright looks at both circular knitting needles and straight knitting needles. She discusses their features and what kind of projects will work for each type of knitting needle.

Jill starts by looking at circular knitting needles. These needles have two tips that are attached by a flexible cord. The length of the cord can vary. Most commonly, you’ll find circular knitting needles that are 16 inches in length, going up to 32 inches in length. There are shorter circular knitting needles for small circumference knitting, and longer circular needles in lengths of 47 inches or more that are commercially available. The length of the knitting needle tip can also vary. Jill notes that most circular needles have tips of 4 to 5 inches.

Circular knitting needles can be used to knit flat (back and forth in rows) or to knit in the round. Knitters that knit using the Continental style of knitting may prefer circular needles for all projects, as it’s quite easy to “pick” the stitches when using a circular needle.

Jill then looks at the straight knitting needles. These needles come in single-point or double-point form. The single point needles are typically 10 inches or 14 inches in length. Double-pointed needles are usually 4 to 8 inches in length. The single-point needles can be used for flat knitting projects only. A disadvantage to straight needles is there are only so many stitches that can comfortably fit on the needle. The double-pointed needles can be used to knit flat on very small projects, but are typically used for knitting in the round.

Ultimately, it’s up you to decide what needles you like best. Depending on your style of knitting or project, you may choose one type of needle over the other.

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