New Needles

I love bamboo needles. When I was a beginner, I only knit with crappy, metal craft store needles until I made a super bulky project. The only needles I could find that were big enough were bamboo so that’s what I bought. I was instantly hooked, and I’ve been knitting with bamboo ever since. I slowly replaced all of my needles, buying new ones as my projects demanded them. At this point, most of my bamboo needles have seen their fair share of knitting. They’re glossy, smooth, and amazing to knit with. I adore them.


When I went to start the sleeve of this sweater, I couldn’t find my 5mm needles with a 16in cable. I shrugged it off and continued with my needles with a longer cable. It didn’t make a difference when I was working on the short rows, but when I got to the rounds, using the magic loop got old fast. I’m pretty slow at using the magic loop so I try to avoid it as much as possible. I finally gave in a bought a new pair of needles in the right size. I’m happy to have the right cable length, but man! I forgot how annoying it is to break in a new pair of bamboo needles. I didn’t realize quite how silky smooth I had worn my older needles until I had a new pair to compare them to. I’m looking forward to getting some mileage on these guys so they’ll be nicer to work with.

I know not everyone is a bamboo fan because they can be a little grabby. What’s your favorite kind of needles?






29 responses to “New Needles”

  1. My favorite needles are wood of most kinds. I started out as a bamboo fan, but then my tastes got a little more luxe, and now I knit mostly on ebony circulars (Lantern Moon). I like ebony more than rosewood; they feel harder. Nice sound, nice feel. I also like Brittany birch dpns…

    1. I like Brittany’s to work with, but I inevitably break them. I have a bunch of hand sanded cable needles instead of DPNs now.

  2. I’m a fan of slick metal needles, Addi Turbos etc. Bamboo is a bit grabby for me and sometimes they splinter which makes them even more grabby (granted, these are probably just the cheap-o kind that can’t take much abuse).

    1. Splinters?! That sounds awful.

  3. I started with bamboo needles, I switched the metal though because they’re smoother but now that I know you have to work in your bamboo, I’ll get using them more again, they’re much easier to hold than the metal!

    1. The comfort factor is what got me hooked on them. They’re much easier on my hands.

  4. I love bamboo. I have always been a needle snob. I found some rosewood circular needles from Lantern Moon and I fell in love. But, my favorite needles (and I’m not trying to brag) are my interchangeable ebony set from Lantern Moon which are probably the best gift anyone has ever given. They are SUCH a treat to work with and they’re even amazing just to look at!

    1. There’s interchangeable from Lantern Moon? Where have I been??

  5. I started with the $2 metal ones, upgraded to the $4 wood ones, then on to the $8 crystal palace bamboo, and then to Addi’s. I love my one straight set of lantern moon ebony and I usually switch between crystal palace daisy and addi’s

  6. I love metal needles. I’m a very tight knitter and the bamboo ones just feel so weird in my hands. I also like the clicking sound they sometimes make.

  7. I loved my knit picks harmony interchangeables becos they were slick and easy on my wrists. Then I discovered signature needles – I love the stiletto tips for my lace projects.

  8. I’m in love with Addi circular needles because they have flexible cables and the yarn doesn’t stick to them the way it does on wood needles.

  9. Elisa

    I think I like both metal and bamboo. Normally I use metal (Knit Picks’ NP interchangeables) but when I work with my bamboo DPNs I enjoy it as well. Metal may be a bit ahead ’cause I love the clicking sound. The only needles I have a problem with are plastic/acrylic ones. They have to be smooth as heck, otherwise the stitches just don’t slide at all.. to avoid annoyance I just steer clear of them.

    I’ve wanted to ask someone about using 16″ circulars for sleeves for the longest time, and your post reminded me that I hadn’t yet. I’ve been wanting to get some for a while now but since I don’t make/wear hats often (maybe one a year? Tropical weather and all) I would only use them for sleeves and small, small projects (headbands, bookmarks, swatches, etc.). However, to justify the purchase, I need to think of them primarily as “in the round, no ladders or fussing sleeve needles”. So, question:

    What do you do when you get past the upper arm? I figure I can stretch the stitches until the elbow but do you change to magic loop or DPNs for the forearm? I like my sleeves on the tighter side.

    Every time I think about asking someone I realize how…. stupid it sounds. And I’m sure the answer will be the most obvious one possible. Still, the question lingers. I might as well get it over with. 😉

    1. It’s not a silly questions, but the answer really depends on what you like doing best, so I’d suggest just trying different methods until you find your favorite. I use a modified magic loop for the most part. I pop out a loop of excess cable at the join of my right hand needle that travels around for a bit, and then I readjust as needed. When I have too few stitches to do that comfortably, I’ll switch the regular magic loop. I have to do it like that because I’m too stubborn to switch to needles with a longer cable.

      I’m not sure if you’re a fan of knitting flat, but I think 16″ cables are the perfect length for knitting something like a sweater back or sleeve flat. There’s less cable to get tangled up. I find it to be an incredibly useful cable length.

  10. I started with Takumi Bamboo (Single Pointed and Circular), and I was okay with them. I noticed how the needles had the tendency to be a little grabby when brand new, which I thought was annoying. I eventually discovered Addi Turbo Click Interchangeable Needles, and have been using the same set since. I love the slick feel and the sound they make.

  11. Bamboo are wonderful!! I have a few pairs of aluminum addi’s & also some interchangeable knitpicks that I quite like (I dream of a full set of addi’s interchangeables), but I love bamboo. I can’t believe how cheap they are for nice needles!

    How do you store your circs?

    1. Does “tangled mess” count as a storage method?

  12. I loathe bamboo needles. My Mother always told me they get better with age but it took way too long for them to get to that stage. I started out with them but much prefer metal ones. I then switched to metal straights but they were too heavy in the bigger sizes. Then I moved onto nickel-plated circs and learned magic loop…NEVER GOING BACK!

  13. What a beautiful picture! I like bamboo for the most part, but it depends on the fiber I’m using.

  14. I like bamboo because you can get some traction out of them. Metal can be too slippery for me. That is a lovely yellow!

  15. Misiula

    My absolute favorite are the wooden needles from KnitPicks.

    Sometimes I knit with metal needles (Prym, a cheap German brand), but only with cotton and circulars rather than straights (straights weight too much for me).

    I like straight needles in Bamboo and I would like the circulars more if I found some with a less stiff cable – I find those sturdy transparent cables very difficult to work with.

  16. I love my new Hiya Hiya Sharp Interchangeable needles. They’re lightweight, very smooth with a teeny tiny bit of grab, very pointy, and the cables swivel nicely in the connector. I’ve used them for everything from lace to sweaters and have been happy across the board.

  17. I typically stick with KP needles, and I have tips in metal, and a few sizes (the basics: 6-8) in wood as well. For socks and shawls, I definitely prefer wood. I have a couple of bamboo needles, and I like them, but once I got the interchangeable set, I’ve used it almost exclusively.

  18. I love my slick metal interchangeables, but I wouldn’t use anything but bamboo for dpns. The friction they provide is invaluable.

  19. I started with bamboo needles, and I liked them a lot at first, but then I ordered the Knit Picks NP interchangeable set. They’re super pointy and slippery, and I took to them almost instantly. I recently tried knitting with my old bamboo needles, and was surprised to discover that I didn’t enjoy it at all. It’s too bad, really, ’cause I think bamboo needles are beautiful.

  20. For Christmas in 2007 my parents bought me a set of Knit Picks wood interchangeables, and I haven’t looked back. They’re smooth and have great sharp points. I replaced all my double points and smaller gauge fixed circs with the Knit Picks, but haven’t bothered with the larger (size 4 and up) fixed because I’m horrible about losing them. My go-to fixed needles are Hiya-Hiya Sharps, which I like almost as much as my Knit Picks.

  21. Amanda

    I started off knitting with metal but, I like the Bamboo needles better. There not heavy like the metal ones. I’m a Bamboo girl!

  22. grabby? I LOVE bamboo, only frustrating to have so many cable lengths and sizes etc and sometimes needed two sets of neeldes for projects.

    i have knitted and crochet with both but LOVE BAMBOO!

    total way to get n00bs into it aswel 🙂


  23. Eileen

    Personally, I prefer Quicksilver needles or the Boye needles. Except when working with rayon and other slippery yarns – then the bamboo are suited perfectly for that, as the stitches tend to not slide of the needles as easily. I always knit with circular needles and gave away a duplicate set of straight needles to a church knitting group in Virginia who had requested donations online.

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