Best Knitting Needles For Beginners

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In this post, you will see the best knitting needles for beginners.

Knitting needles come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials.

What you need most from the needles that you choose is to be able to work with them comfortably.

Best knitting needles for beginners

The Best Knitting Needles For Beginners

When you are starting out and learning how to knit, you will need to buy some supplies to get started.

This means getting your first pair of knitting needles, some yarn, scissors, a tape measure, stitch markers, and darning needles.

The needles I recommend

For those of you in the US, I highly recommend using Knitter’s pride wooden needles or Susan Bates Aluminium.

If you are in the UK I recommend using KnitPro’s wooden needles or their lightweight Zing range which I love to knit with.

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Susan Bates knitting needles

Choosing Your Needles

The needles you choose need to be smooth and strong so that you can get on with doing your projects with ease.

Before you buy any needles, you should think about the different yarn fibers you will be working with.

Plus your gauge/tension and knowing that one pair of needles will not do for all of the projects that you want to make!

You will probably invest in several pairs of needles in a range of different sizes over time.

wooden knitting needles

Sizes + Thickness

The first thing you need to know about knitting needles is that they come in different sizes and thicknesses.

When you are knitting, it is important to choose the right size needle to knit with whichever yarn weight you have chosen, different yarn weights require different knitting needles. 

For example, if you have chosen a super bulky weight yarn, you will need to use a thicker needle size, 9 mm (US 13) or above.

If you use a smaller size needle with a super bulky yarn you will have trouble knitting with it and it will be hard work for your fingers!

Knitting needles bamboo

How To Know Which Size To Use

When you are first learning how to knit, it is always best to look at the information on the yarn label to see what size needle has been recommended.

For example, DK yarn will normally recommend that you use a size 4 mm (US 6) needle. 

Check out this post to learn more – How To Read A Yarn Label (Step By Step)

Image Source / Check out the recommended needle sizes on this label.

Knitting Needle Conversion Chart

Once you get more confident, you can vary your needle sizes to achieve different effects with the yarn that you want to use.

Most needle sizes are measured in millimeters (mm) but on some vintage patterns, you may see traditional British Sizes (in numbers from 000 to 14) and traditional US sizes (in numbers from 0 to 50).

Here is a handy knitting needle size chart below so you can see the numbers and the conversions.

Knitting needle conversion chart

What Needle Sizes Are Best For Beginners?

You don’t need to have a collection of all of the sizes you can find in order to begin knitting.

You’ll find it handy to have a pair of 4 mm (US 6) and 5 mm (US 8) needles and perhaps a pair of 9 mm (US 13) if you want to start off with a super bulky weight yarn, while you practice.

Straight knitting needles are ideal for a beginner knitter.

If you have any vintage needles (metric) that your grandma or neighbor gave you, these sometimes don’t have any numbers on them so it can be hard to tell what size they are. 

This is where you can invest in a needle gauge – an inexpensive tool that will help you to determine the size of your needles.

Clover Swatch Ruler & Needle Gauge, White

Knitting Needle Guide

  • The most commonly used needle is the straight needle, they are easy to use and perfect for knitting pieces flat – back and forth.
  • Double-pointed needles are used in sets of four or five, these are used to knit in the round.
  • Circular needles – two needles joined by a flexible cable are also commonly used to knit in the round.
  • They are also great for knitting garments or shawls flat if the project has a huge number of stitches.
  • You can buy interchangeable needle sets with cables and needles in various lengths and sizes, which are great for small projects like socks to large projects like blankets.
  • The standard length for straight needles are 25 cm, 30 cm, and 35 cm, and 20 cm to 100 cm for circular needles.
  • The best length for you to use will depend on your project.
  • Crochet hooks are also useful to have as they can be used to pick up dropped stitches, weave in yarn ends, and add edgings to your knits.
  • Check out this post to learn how to pick up stitches in knitting.
yarn and needles

1. Straight

Perfect for any beginner knitters are straight single-point needles that come in pairs and can allow you to create large, flat pieces of work (flat knitting…knit row by row and not in the round).

They come in a range of lengths and different materials – from wood, bamboo, plastic, and metal.

The KnitPro Ginger Single Point Needles are a good pair of knitting needles.

An excellent choice for a beginner, or an experienced knitter who is in need of new knitting needles. 

KnitPro Ginger Single Point Needles

Or the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Single Point Needle 35 cm if you prefer a pair of metal knitting needles.

Perfect for small projects or larger projects

Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Single Point Needle 35cm

And of course the Addi Bamboo Straights Single Point Needles 25 cm if you want a pair of bamboo knitting needles.

Addi Bamboo Straights Single Point Needles 25cm

Knitting needles

2. Double Pointed Needles

Double-pointed needles (abbreviated dpn) are sold in sets of four or five, and they enable you to knit in the round.

It can be a little tricky to get used to but you will only knit with two, as the others hold the work.

Knitter’s Pride Karbonz 6″ Double Pointed Needle (Set of 5) is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to start experimenting with double-pointed knitting needles. 

Ideal for all types of yarn and for any circular knitting project, these needles have high tensile strength while remaining flexible and warm to the touch.

Knitter’s Pride Karbonz 6″ Double Pointed Needle (Set of 5)

And if you prefer bamboo needles the Pony Bamboo Double Point Needles 20 cm (Set of 5) is an excellent choice. 

Pony Bamboo Double Point Needles 20cm 

Plus if you want to have the complete set the Knitter’s Pride Ginger Double Point Needles Set 15 cm (6in) (Set of 60) has great value. 

Knitter’s Pride Ginger Double Point Needles Set 15cm (6in) (Set of 60)

3. Cable Needles

Used for creating cables, these needles come in various sizes and are great for holding a small number of stitches when you are knitting your cable designs.

If you don’t have a cable needle then you can use a spare needle instead.

Addi Cable Needles

4. Circular Needles

Circular knitting needles are made of two needle tips connected by a cable and can be used to knit in the round or knit flat (back and forth).

If you knit flat with circulars the cable can take the weight of the fabric if you have many stitches. 

Long cables are perfect for large knitting projects like garments, shawls, and blankets.  

Knitter’s Pride Ginger Fixed Circular Needles 120 cm (47 in) is a great choice for small projects and larger projects.

With a 47 in (120 cm) length, this pair is made from laminated wood which offers great grip while minimizing hand fatigue.

Ideal if you prefer wooden needles.

Knitter’s Pride Ginger Fixed Circular Needles 120 cm (47 in)

Another excellent choice is the Knitter’s Pride Smartstix Pink Fixed Circular Needles 100 cm (40 in).

Durable, smooth, and color-coded, the aluminum needles prevent snagging and the cable is flexible and strong.

Ideal if you prefer metal needles.

Knitter’s Pride Smartstix Pink Fixed Circular Needles 100 cm (40 in)

Or the Knitter’s Pride The Mindful Collection Needles 60 cm (24″).

Made out of stainless steel this pair of needles is a good idea for anyone. 

Knitter’s Pride The Mindful Collection Fixed Circular Needles 60 cm (24″)

5. Interchangeable Circular Needles

Circular needles come in various sizes and lengths.

Interchangeable knitting needles allow you to mix and match needle tips with cables so you don’t have to buy one of every thickness and length.

You can buy sets as well as individual parts.

Also great for having different projects on the go at once, you can screw the end caps onto the cables and use the needles for another project with ease. 

If you love knitting in the round, interchangeable knitting needle sets will be extremely handy.

The Knitter’s Pride Zing Special Interchangeable Needle Tips 16″ is the best knitting needle set with different needle tips, various cord lengths, end caps, and cable keys.

Knitter’s Pride Zing Special Interchangeable Needle Tips 16″

The Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Deluxe Set (Normal IC) Interchangeable Needle Tips (9 pairs) is also a nice set of knitting needles. 

With all the necessary accessories for a knitter. 

The Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Deluxe Set (Normal IC) Interchangeable Needle Tips (9 pairs)

Interchangeable knitting needle set
Lykke Gift Set 12 Pairs of Driftwood Interchangeable Wooden Needles In Pouch.

Beginner Knitters May Also Be Interested In…

For those of you who are learning how to knit as a new hobby, you may also be interested in these posts:

What size needle is best for beginner knitters?

You don’t need to have a collection of all of the sizes you can find in order to begin knitting.
You’ll find it handy to have a pair of 4 mm (US 6) and 5 mm (US 8) needles and perhaps a pair of 9 mm (US 13) if you want to start off with a super bulky weight yarn, while you practice.
Straight knitting needles are ideal for a beginner knitter.
If you have any vintage needles (metric) that your grandma or neighbor gave you, these sometimes don’t have any numbers on them so it can be hard to tell what size they are. 
This is where you can invest in a needle gauge – an inexpensive tool that will help you to determine the size of your needles.

What knitting needles are ideal for beginners and are the least expensive?

The KnitPro Ginger Single Point Needles are a good pair of knitting needles.
An excellent choice for a beginner, or an experienced knitter who is in need of new knitting needles. 
Or the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Single Point Needle 35 cm if you prefer a pair of metal knitting needles.
Perfect for small projects or larger projects
And of course the Addi Bamboo Straights Single Point Needles 25 cm if you want a pair of bamboo knitting needles.

Are metal or wooden knitting needles better?

Metal needles are more durable and sometimes easier to use than wood or plastic. They are smoother and this can help you to knit faster. Metal needles are particularly useful with yarns that tend to catch (like cotton) and can make knitting with them a smoother, more fun experience.

What are the most versatile knitting needles?

Circular needles are definitely the most versatile needles you can have. These are two needles, joined together by a cable. They’re great for knitting back and forth (the stitches don’t slip as easily as from regular needles) and also for knitting in the round. I would suggest buying an interchangeable knitting needle set so you have different size cables for both small and large projects.

How do I know what knitting needles to use?

The weight of your yarn is the most important factor when it comes to choosing the right size knitting needle or crochet hook. Most patterns will specify the yarn that they used to make the project. You can also check the information on your yarn label.

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4 Comments

  1. I really appreciate all your patterns and tutorials! Thank you so much for helping this beginner knitter. I recently purchased your pattern for snow mountain mittens. Is there some other yarn I could use?

    1. Hello Connie,
      Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m so happy you like the patterns.
      You can substitute with any yarn that is super bulky/super chunky/14 ply.
      Have you looked at Paintbox Yarns from Love Crafts?
      They have some great colors and have acrylic or wool/acrylic blends.
      Happy Knitting!
      Louise

  2. I really enjoy all your helpfull tips, charts and free patterns!
    I’m always excited to get your e-mails!
    Thanks so much 🙂
    Patricia

    1. Hello Patricia,
      Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m so happy you enjoy the patterns and emails!
      Happy knitting 🙂
      Louise