Types of Knitting Needles I Own and My Thoughts About Them
January 3, 2022
Hi everyone! As you probably know by now, I’m currently having body movement problems connected with healing from health problems I had for years. I am also taking time off sewing and traveling to take a lot of photographs in order to conserve my energy. Even though I’m taking time off two hobbies of mine, I’m still trying to do things to cheer myself up. One of those things is knitting.
Knitting and crocheting are two hobbies I don’t think I’m good at, especially crocheting, but I surprise myself whenever I take on a new project and can find errors in the pattern. (Especially knitting) I don’t know why I think I’m so bad at knitting, but I’m not. Very inexperienced, but still. Not bad.
As my confidence in my ability to knit grows, I’ve began to need new knitting needles in different gauges and lengths. I’m fortunate to have been left many knitting and crocheting needles from a relative that passed away several years ago, allowing me to not need to constantly buy new needles in different gauges.
Even though I’m fortunate to have many knitting needles, some of them are better than others. Some of the needles are also made out of various materials. I also purchased some knitting needles I liked way more than others I purchased. Since I’m working so much with these needles, I wanted to talk about the materials my knitting needles are made out of, if I like them, and how well they work when using them to knit.
Yes, you read that right. I own plastic knitting needles. The needles I own are straight needles with a metal stopper on the ends with the gauge number stamped into it. These needles came from my relative’s knitting needles stock that I inherited and I have no idea if they can actually be purchased today. (I believe the needles are from the 1970’s and 1980’s, but I won’t be surprised if they are from a more recent decade) Still, I use them every now and then, so I wanted to talk about them.
To be honest, they stink. And I don’t mean in a “these needles have an odor” sort of way. (Although some of them did have an odor when I pulled them out of storage for the first time in years) Plastic needles do not work well when using a coarse yarn because the plastic is not smooth enough to allow the yarn to glide easily up and down the needle. Plastic can be made smooth by polishing, but it will never work as well as metal.
In addition to this, my plastic knitting needles are also brittle. This is because of their age and where they were stored (In a place that becomes very hot in the summer) but they are not durable.
Aluminum knitting needles are very common and relatively inexpensive. I like this as a cost friendly option. They do have their drawbacks though. Aluminum needles are usually covered in some sort of paint. This paint will eventually wear off the needles, but the loss of paint usually does not prevent the needles from being smooth enough to move coarse yarn easily up and down it. This is not true for every aluminum knitting needle set, but it usually is that way.
Another problem using aluminum knitting needles is the points of the needles will wear down much faster than stainless steel needles. Other than that, the aluminum knitting needles that I own, both inherited and purchase myself, are fairly durable and way better than the plastic knitting needles.
I didn’t inherit stainless-steel needles from my relative. I purchased mine from Amazon and are a higher price than the aluminum needles. Despite this, I really like using them. The points stay sharper longer than the aluminum needles and overall doesn’t wear as easily as the aluminum needles. The needles I own are not painted so I don’t need to worry about paint wear. They also retain their smoothness, allowing for the yarn to move easily up and down the needles easily.
Overall, I really love the stainless-steel needles very much. I don’t have anything negative to say about them except the price. For the price of two or more sets of aluminum knitting needles, you can buy one set of stainless-steel needles. They can be found for much less on Amazon, but they still cost much more to purchase than any other knitting needle set on this list.
I know I’m not mentioning every type of material knitting needles are made out of, but this is because I didn’t purchase many types of knitting needles due to lack of availability in my area. This problem predates the pandemic and shipping problems, so, if I wanted to buy them, I would need to order them online. I plan on purchasing more types of knitting needles in the future, but these are all the kinds of knitting needles I own right now.