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The Tools Of A Knitter
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The Tools Of A Knitter

What are the tools of a hand knitter? The answer is knitting needles. Without these valuable tools, hand knitting would not be possible. There are different designs, types and materials used for this important apparatus that, it can be, confusing for people wanting to learn the craft.

CHOOSING KNITTING NEEDLES

Selecting needles is dependable on the chosen project and the type of yarn being used. Experienced knitters will have a wide variety of these tools, but for beginners selecting the correct pair can be a minefield.

The basic needle for creating a flat design is the straight or single pointed needle which, is ideal for the majority of basic projects. These needles are pointed at one end and have a cap at the other to prevent stitches from slipping off the end. When selecting needles it is also important to consider the length, as the wider the project, to be knitted, the longer the needles required.

Stitches on a needle need to have a reasonable amount of movement and not be bunched up too much near the point. This will, reduce the chances of dropping stitches and will also ensure that knitting remains consistently at the same tension throughout.

OTHER NEEDLES

The other types of needles available include circular needles which are basically two straight needles with a flexible card attached linking them together. These are used for flat, circular and seamless items such as socks. Double pointed needles (DPNs) are usually package as sets of four or five. These again can be used in the same way as the circular ones.

Then there are the short double pointed cable needles, which are used for creating cable designs and other intricate patterns. These tend to be used in conjunction with the other needles, as cabling tends to be worked in small sections at a time.

KNITTING NEEDLE MATERIALS

The majority of knitting needles that are available, are made from either wood, bamboo, plastic or metals.

Bamboo and Wood

This type tends to be more suitable for beginners and people who have arthritis in their hands, as they are lightweight and the yarn tends to slide less on these than the others. However, it is not recommend, to invest in the smaller finer sizes in these materials as they can bend and break easily.

Plastic

Plastic used to be very popular and is still used for the larger sizes and childrens' needles. They are usually flexible and low cost, coming in a variety of colours. The surfaces are slippery making it faster to knit as the stitches glide smoothly on these.

Metal

Generally aluminium, steel and nickel based materials are used to create these knitting needles. They tend to be the heaviest and are therefore, not suitable for people with arthritic hands. Like with plastic they have a slippery surface, making it possible for more experienced knitters to knit quicker without dropping stitches.

BEST KNITTING NEEDLES FOR BEGINNERS

Bamboo or wooden needles, are therefore considered to be, the best choice for people just starting out and learning to knit. It is worth ensuring that you invest in a good set as they will last for years and you will enjoy creating many wonderful projects with them. Also, ensure the right length needles are obtained for the project in hand.

Have fun with your knitting projects. All the best. Lis.


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