Wooden Knitting Needles Buying Guide

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Wooden Knitting Needles Buying Guide

Knitting needles are available in a variety of materials, sizes, and styles. The three most common styles are straight, circular, and double pointed and each is used for a different style of knitting. Knitting needle materials include metal, plastic, and wood. The material chosen depends on the knitter's personal taste and budget. The size of the knitting needles chosen depends on the knitter's style, the pattern or projects, and the type of yarn used. The suggested knitting needle size is usually indicated in the pattern and this can be used as an easy reference when searching for knitting needles.

Before shopping for wooden knitting needles, learn about different knitting needle designs and their uses. Know what materials knitting needles are made of and what sets wooden knitting needles apart from the rest, the advantages and disadvantages they offer, and the types of wooden knitting needles that are available. A handy knitting needle size conversion chart lists metric sizes and their UK and US equivalents to help buyers to find the right size of needle. Knitting needles are available from craft and sewing shops, and online from eBay.

Styles of Knitting Needles

Knitting needles are available in different styles, each appropriate for different tasks. The three basic styles are straight, circular, or double-pointed.

Straight Knitting Needles

Straight knitting needles are used to knit small, straight items, for example, scarves, baby blankets, or assembled bags. Assembled items are made up of panels that are sewn together after they are knitted.

Circular Knitting Needles

Circular knitting needles are joined together by a flexible cord, which is usually made of plastic. These needles are best suited to knitting larger items, for example, larger blankets, as the item is held easily while the knitter works. The weight is also distributed better, which means that less stress is placed on the knitter's wrists. Circular knitting needles are also used to knit round items and items with no side seams, such as tube dresses.

Double Pointed Knitting Needles

Double pointed knitting needles are short needles that have points on each end. These needles are designed specifically for knitting socks.

Wooden Knitting Needles

Wooden knitting needles are a favourite among knitters as they are warm to the touch. The heat of the knitter's hands warms the needles and most people enjoy the feel of the needles as they turn knitting into a more tactile experience. Wooden needles tend to be smooth, but not slippery and are good for a range of knitters from beginners to advanced. These needles are often the most expensive, especially those that are handmade. They are the least durable, tend to be brittle, and can be broken easily.

Common Varieties of Wood for Knitting Needles

Common varieties of wood used to create knitting needles include birch, ebony, and rosewood. High quality wooden knitting needles are typically made of hardwood as these types of wood are strong and rigid, but not brittle, so they do not splinter easily. The wood can be stained, dyed, polished, or finished to a high gloss. Both solid and laminated wood are used. Laminated wood may feel more substantial and dense. Some wooden needles may feel sticky to the touch, depending on the finish used. These needles are designed to hold the stitches securely and while this is handy, the knitter may need to move stitches along manually as required.

Characteristics of Wooden Knitting Needles

It is important to note that wooden knitting needles can be fairly delicate and that small needles can break or warp easily. While knitters of all skill levels can use wooden needles, they are especially good for beginners as the stitches tend not to fall off accidentally. They are also recommended for lace knitters, those with repetitive stress injuries or arthritis, and anyone who simply enjoys a more tactile knitting experience.

Alternative Materials for Knitting Needles

In order to choose the right wooden knitting needles it is helpful to understand how the alternative materials compare to wood. Knitting needles are available in a number of materials, with the most common being metal and plastic. The type of material chosen depends on the the knitter's tastes and budget.

Metal Knitting Needles

Metal knitting needles are the most common type available. They are usually made from aluminium, are strong, durable, and able to hold a large project. Other metals used to make knitting needles include nickel, chrome, and brass. Metal knitting needles are relatively inexpensive and virtually impossible to break. They are smooth, cold to the touch, and make a clicking sound that some knitters find irritating. Their smoothness can be a problem when knitting with fine yarn.

Plastic Knitting Needles

Plastic knitting needles are the least expensive option available. They are durable, lightweight, more flexible than metal needles, and not as loud when they touch. These needles are very smooth and some knitters find that this helps them to knit faster. Larger needles sizes are often only available in plastic.

Glass Knitting Needles

Glass knitting needles tend to be heavy and extremely smooth. While they are cold in the beginning, they warm up while they are being used. These needles are often made of Pyrex for greater durability.

Resin Knitting Needles

Resin knitting needles are strong, resistant to breaking, and very light. They are similar to plastic needles in appearance and price.

Bamboo Knitting Needles

Bamboo knitting needles perform like a hybrid of metal and wood. They are usually imported and tend to be more expensive than metal needles, but less expensive than wooden needles. They have the same feel as wood, are warm to the touch, and are far lighter than metal needles. They tend to be tougher and more durable than wooden needles and can be fairly smooth, allowing the knitter to work quickly.

Sizes of Wooden Knitting Needles

Wooden knitting needles come in a range of sizes. Finding the right needle size depends largely on the project, the type of yarn used, and the knitter's style. Searching according to a pattern or project is the easiest way to find the right size of needle as the pattern usually indicates a recommended size. If the knitter tends to work tightly or loosely, then they should adjust the size of the needle accordingly. The needle size conversion chart below can be used to determine the correct UK size according to the metric or US size recommended.

UK Size

Metric Size (mm)

US size

14

2

0

13

2 1/4

1

12

2 3/4

2

11

3

-

10

3 1/4

3

-

3 1/2

4

9

3 3/4

5

8

4

6

7

4 1/2

7

6

5

8

5

5 1/2

9

4

6

10

3

6 1/2

10 1/2

2

7

-

1

7 1/2

-

0

8

11

00

9

13

000

10

15

-

12

17

-

16

19

-

19

35

-

25

50

Finding the UK size may be necessary if the knitter is working from a US pattern. It is important to note that UK sizes decrease as the metric size increases, while US sizes increase.

Finding Wooden Knitting Needles on eBay

Finding the perfect set of wooden knitting needles on eBay is easy. Simply type a phrase, for example "straight wooden knitting needles", into the search bar, which is conveniently located on each page, to see the items available from eBay sellers. Refine your search by choosing the most suitable item features. If you would like more control over your search results, use the advanced search function.

Before You Buy on eBay

Before you buy on eBay, learn about the item and the seller. Click on an individual listing to go to the item listing page. Here you will find details such as the full item description, product images, the seller's accepted payment methods, buying options, postage and packaging costs, and the seller's feedback information. If you have any questions about a listing, contact the seller via the "Ask a question" link. eBay's seller feedback feature is designed to allow buyers to leave feedback about specific sellers' products and customer service.

Conclusion

Although wooden knitting needles are some of the most expensive needles available they are a popular choice among knitters. The feel of the needles and their warmth while in use appeals to many knitter's sense of touch, turning a project into a tactile and sensory experience. The knitting needle material chosen depends largely on the knitter's taste and budget.

In order to choose the right wooden knitting needles it is useful to understand how the alternative materials, such as metal and plastic, compare to wood. Metal knitting needles are the most common type of needles available. They are durable and relatively inexpensive, but some knitters dislike their cold feel and the sound they make while knitting. Plastic needles are the least expensive, are durable, lightweight, and less noisy than metal needles. Bamboo knitting needles are a popular choice as they are less expensive and more durable than wooden needles, but feel nearly the same.

Buyers should choose wooden knitting needles that are appropriate for their project. The design of the needles determines what they are used for. In addition, choose the right size for the knitter's style and the type of yarn and pattern used. Use the information included in the pattern as guide when choosing the size of needle. In some cases it may be necessary to convert the needle size from US to UK sizing. eBay sellers offer a wide range of wooden knitting needles at competitive prices.

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