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New to Knitting - Need Better Needles - What Should I Try?

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I go to a few yarn groups.  I crochet and almost everyone else knits.  I received a Boye Learn to Knit Kit for Christmas.  So, I finally decided to bite the bullet and learn to knit.  I took my first knitting class in Continental Knitting yesterday!  (I'm supporting my LYS by taking their class.)  I used the Boye straight, Aluminum needles that came with my kit.  The points are blunt and I'm struggling to use them.

 

I know that if I really want to knit, I'll need circular needles.  When I started crocheting, I bought 1 of each of the major brands in the same size and tested them.  When I wanted to switch to hooks with an ergonomic handle, I did the same thing.  I think that's the best strategy for determining what kind of knitting needles I'd like.  So, I went to Amazon and starting looking and reading reviews.  There are a LOT more brands of knitting needles than brand-name crochet hooks.  The better ones seem to be a lot more expensive than hooks.  I'm SO lost!  LOL

 

I only want to buy 3-4 needles in size 8, since that's what I'm learning on.  I can't spend a fortune on them.  What do you like and why?  Which ones should I try?  What are the top brands?  Wood, metal or plastic (and what type)?   What else do I need to know? 

 

Please help!!!

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This is what I use in knitting needles  At one time I bought the whole set that was pretty cheap.  You can see the bamboo are not expensive.

 

Unlike crochet hooks, you have to know what size you need in length, so you project will fit.  with a small project you can use 8" and the larger you project, the longer the needles.  It is the same thing with circular needles.

 

I would stay away from the interchangeable needle sets.  I found the yarn gets caught in the space between the needle and the plastic you attach it to.  It also has a tendency to unscrew.

 

This is just my opinion.  But until you are really into knitting, I would stick with the bamboo.  I am not partial to the aluminum either.  I use when I have to.

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Since you are taking a class at the LYS, i would ask for advice there.  That way you can at least see the different needles, and they  might have sample sets that you can try out.  

 

Also in the groups you go to, you might ask for opinions and maybe another member or two would let you knit a few rows on their needles to try them out.  

 

I started out using Boye aluminums and I really can't stand the finish on them (well this was about 8 yrs ago so the finsih could be different now)  anyway i quickly got some Takumi bamboo straights at Joann and found them easy to work with.  the bamboo has enough grip to help prevent dropped sts but is smooth enough that it's easy to move the sts along.  

 

When I bought my first circulars I got Addi Turbo as that was recommended by my LYS at the time and I have pretty much stayed with Addis for my whole collection of circulars.  These are what I use for almost everything i knit.  The US distributor for Addis, Skacel, provides a lifetime guarantee.  http://www.skacelknitting.com/addi-Turbo-The-Original/   

 

I seldom use my bamboo straights anymore.   I do like bamboo for double points because they don't slide out like metal ones can.  

 

A lot of people like the interchangable circulars but I am with Mary Jo  on that, I just don't want anything that could possibly come apart or that I have to fiddle with.  Wrangling the yarn and keeping track of the pattern is enough fiddling for me!  

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Love bamboo, you can find them cheap on ebay.  If you really get into knitting, I love interchangables I use knitters pride.  Love, Love Love them.  My faves are the bamboo or the carbons.  I do have some Addi turbo and Addi lace love the tips, but like the others the metal is so slick. I just bought a set of symphonie wood double points from knitters pride, haven't used them but they are real smooth.  Any way I agree with magic crochet fan, ask around at your LYS maybe ask to test drive a pair see what you think. Some needles may work great for one person, but not you.  But ebay is a good bet to buy different types of needles, maybe find them used, thats how I got alot of mine.

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Thank you, everyone!!  I wound up buying 3 different circular needles - bamboo, nickel and rosewood.  I like the rosewood (knitter's pride dreamz) the best so far. 

 

I finished taking my class and am SLOWLY working on a simple scarf.  I learned the long tail cast on, knit & purl and a bind off.  I've got a lot more to learn, but it's going to have to wait until I get the basics to where I'm comfortable.  It takes me a while to get to where I think it looks OK.  One row at a time ... *sigh*  :)

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I saw this thread and wanted to follow up because I'm curious. How do you like knitting now that you have a few months under your belt? I knitted before I learned to crochet and now that I can crochet knitting makes me crazy because of how slowly things work up. How do you find it compared to crochet?

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The first couple of weeks I was knitting on that simple scarf from the class more than I was crocheting.  Then I got a deadline to finish the baby things for my new grandson's baby shower.  So, I put the knitting down.  It's been over a month since I've touched the knitting. 

 

I prefer crocheting for so many reasons.  Since it's what I know, it's faster and easier.  Knitting is so tedious and time consuming compared to me crocheting.  I've spent hours and hours knitting that scarf and I've only got about 6" of fabric.  In the same amount of time, I could have finished 1-2 scarves in crochet.  Plus, I know I need to learn a lot more about knitting and put in a LOT more practice time to get to where I enjoy it.  I just don't the ambition to pursue it right now.  So, it's on the back burner for the day that I get tired of crocheting and need a break to do something different. 

 

The reason I want to be able to knit is because I want to make sweaters and tops that are dense enough to wear without a shirt underneath, but not as bulky as densely made crochet.  Plus, there are a lot of patterns that combine crochet and knitting that I'd like to be able to do.  Someday I'll wake up and say to myself, it's time to get serious about learning to knit.  Today is not that day!  LOL

 

Thanks for asking!  :)

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Just curious. Are you picking or throwing (aka English or Continental?) Everybody around me knitted English, and in a really tight, slow way that produced a stiff, heavy fabric less flexible than crochet. They were so sure that it was the One True Way that I quit trying, only to find yearslater that Continental was much faster and easier.

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Becky, I listened to the many knitters at my yarn groups and did some research online about English vs. Continental.  What I learned was that Continental is not only faster, the yarn is held similar to crocheting.  So, the class I took was a beginner class for learning Continental.  The owner of the LYS knows both, but primarily knits Continental style. 

 

I think my main problem with knitting is that 1) I haven't done it enough and 2) I don't know enough.  People that I've talked to that are proficient in knitting (either or both styles) and crocheting say that they love both and like switching back and forth between them.

 

If you're interested, it's definitely worth learning Continental.  Then you can make up your own mind of what you like.  :)

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I've been knitting for over 40 years and crocheting almost as long. I absolutely love the Knitpicks needles. I have the straight ones and a set of interchangeable circular needles, which I've had no problems with. They are light, warm and have more of a point than any others I've used. Here's a link to show the different ones they have. Mine are the Rainbow needles. You can click on the left side to go to the circular needles.  http://www.knitpicks.com/needles/knitting_needles.html

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