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How to Choose the Right Needles for a Knitting Project

Knitting with the wrong needles is like playing soccer with a bowling ball –you’ll end up frustrated and disappointed.


  • Step 1: Check instructions Check the instructions of the pattern you’ve chosen. It may require certain specifications for your needles.
  • Step 2: Consider needle width Consider the width of the needles you'll need. European needles use millimeters sizing and American needles range from size 000 to 50--thin needles are used for tighter knits and finer thread, and fat needles are for chunky yarn and larger loops. A pair of 8 or 9 needles are a good, average size for beginners.
  • TIP: Needle size also affects the gauge, or the number of stitches per inch, so the larger the needle, the fewer stitches you'll need per inch.
  • Step 3: Pick needle length Decide your required length for needles. If you're working on a large project, like a blanket, you may need long needles to fit on lots of stitches. Otherwise, choose a length that feels manageable and comfortable in your hands.
  • Step 4: Pay attention to needle material Pay attention to the material that the needles are made of, like aluminum, wood, or plastic. Needles with a slick surface, especially metal, can be slippery--and difficult for beginners.
  • Step 5: Consider needle style Consider the style of the needles you'll need. There are single-point, double-point, and circular needles, but single-point are best for beginners and simple projects.
  • Step 6: Shop in-store Shop at a knitting or craft store, looking for a pair of needles of the width, length, material, and style that you need. Hold them to get a feel for whether they’ll be comfortable.
  • FACT: Knitting as we know it has been around since roughly 1000 AD.

You Will Need

  • The pattern for the project you plan to knit

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