Straight vs Circle

I am finding that I just do not enjoy knitting with straight needles unless they are wood. Does anyone else have this problem? Would circulars be more up my alley and if so what brand should I be looking at? I like a really good point to my needles because I do tend to be tight. I just don't know about the investment again. And what about socks? do they have to be on straight or circles do just as good? Websites on the subject? Books? Help me out guys.

Comments

Nashrunner's picture

I have always liked

I have always liked circular needles. If you're on a trip, a plane, whatever, there's nothing to drop and lose as it's all in one piece. You have the option of either knitting back/forth or knitting circularly. I have a variey of materials. On of my favorite needles came from Patternworks years ago, a rosewood size 7 circular needle. It feels good in my hands and the yarn will stay put when you want it to, moves easily when you want it too, etc. Lastly, I had someone tell me I could knit socks on an 8" circular. In my experimenting it doesn't quite work. Even with a larger sock and more stitches, there never seemed to be enough to spread out the entire length of the 8" needle to join in the round without a lot of stretching and distorting the sock. On top of that, the end of a row wouldn't be between 2 needles of your 5 needle DP's, it would be just between 2 stitches somewhere, so you'd have to mark the end/beginning of a row with a marker. No big deal, but it's just something extra to do. As a result I have never liked anything other than a 5 needle set of DP's for socks, mittens, etc. After you get used to knitting to the end of one, starting the next and getting the thread tension right, it's no a big deal. Hope this helps. Oh, don't exlude flea markets and yard sales from your needle buying efforts. I got a great nylon circular needle from a yard sale, I suppose from the 60's, that I really like. Yeah, apparently they did make nylon that tough and rigid at some point.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

You can always use the 8"

You can always use the 8" needle as Magic Loop for a sock. That's what I did with the last 2 pair I made. I just had the work centered on the front and back, as if knitting on my 5 needles, to balance out the pattern and shaping. Still, I knit faster with my DPNs and look forward to using them for a while. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

mrossnyc's picture

Having knit on Addi's and

Having knit on Addi's and Bamboo, I find the Addi's allow the yarn to slip off the needles too easily. So, I use bamboo and I only use circs even if I'm knitting something flat.

I really hate knitting socks (I have a 2nd sock that's been on the needles for 2 years now...), but when I'm faced with a sock project, I also find that bamboo DPN's have a better grab on the yarn and keep the needles from slipping out.

I can knit a little faster with my Addi's, but the benefit of being able to put down my knitting without worrying about my stitches falling off makes it worth it to me.

Ultimately though, you should try out several different types of needles to see what you prefer.

MitchPR08's picture

For me I suppose it really

For me I suppose it really depends on what I'm knitting, I suppose if its a scarf I prefer wooden straights but I'm doing this sweater right now and I have a pair of ADDI circulars (even though the sweater can be knit on straights) which are metal and I love them, the yarn just glides across it. I can get a lot of knitting done with them. The one problem I have is they're not real pointy so doing a psso or something similar where I have to go into the "just worked stitches" side...makes it kind of difficult. I much prefer dpn's hats and stuff though, Magic loop just doesnt work for me.

MitchPR08's picture

For me I suppose it really

For me I suppose it really depends on what I'm knitting, I suppose if its a scarf I prefer wooden straights but I'm doing this sweater right now and I have a pair of ADDI circulars (even though the sweater can be knit on straights) which are metal and I love them, the yarn just glides across it. I can get a lot of knitting done with them. The one problem I have is they're not real pointy so doing a psso or something similar where I have to go into the "just worked stitches" side...makes it kind of difficult. I much prefer dpn's hats and stuff though, Magic loop just doesnt work for me.

Asplund's picture

I don't really have a

I don't really have a favourite material when it comes to needles: it seems different materials work better with certain yarns. For example, I think linen yarn and metal needles is a good combination.
However, I don't use straight needles much (except dpns) but prefer to knit back and forth on a circular needle. It's kinder to my shoulders.

DeceptiveCookie's picture

I absolutely love my Knit

I absolutely love my Knit Picks Harmony Wood Options set... as far as price goes, it's great, and I like the fact that additional tips and cables can be added to most of my knitpicks orders and it'll qualify for free shipping. I went with the wood because I'm not a fan of how nickel plated and metal needles feel... I like feeling the warmth in the tools. Another great thing about them is they're very sharp... sharper than most needles I've seen, and they also work fabulously with the Magic Loop Method,

I also have the Denise Interchangeable set, which was the first interchangeable set I have ever owned. These were okay for regular projects, I just wasn't a fan of the inflexible cords... they had a lot of memory and didn't flex as well. Don't even bother trying the magic loop with these. With that aside, I've had mine for years, and the company will replace any parts that don't last the lifetime of the set (as long as you have one of the sets made in the last 8 years or so... the really old ones with the sky blue cords are not part of this warranty.)

I knit almost exclusively on the KP Options set now... circulars are far more portable and less bulky to carry than straights... I do have a soft spot for my DPN's, especially the Blue-Sky Alpaca Rosewood or the lantern moon ebony sox sticks that I have... they're smooth, warm, and knitting with them is always yummy.

TheKnittingMill's picture

I also wanted to mention

I also wanted to mention Knit Picks has the BEST customer service department I have ever experienced! They are always so polite, helpful and very friendly. When I got my options NP set my set included 1 size US4 and 3 size US7 causing a mismatched set of tips. I didn't have the receipt or order no. since they were a gift, but when I called them they rushed out a set US4 tips and also included an extra US7 tip so I could complete the couplets! Another time, I ordered some City Tweed for a vest and they sent me two extra skeins I hadn't ordered/paid for. I wrote them an email asking if they could add the skeins to my credit card so I could keep them. Not only did they tell me to keep the skeins as a gift, but gave me a gift voucher just for being honest and informing them!

DeceptiveCookie's picture

Yeah, they're pretty nice

Yeah, they're pretty nice over there. The case mine came with had a faulty zipper and they replaced it no questions asked. They're pretty good for standing behind their products.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I use circulars for a lot of

I use circulars for a lot of my knitting anymore as it is easier on my wrists. For socks, I prefer my DPNs but that hasn't stopped me from doing Magic Loop and 2 circulars. I knit faster with my DPNs for socks but I think that is due to familiarity. Lots of luck finding what works for you. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

TheKnittingMill's picture

I knit faster with the DPN's

I knit faster with the DPN's too Joe. For me, it slows me down using ML and 2 circulars to make sure each side of the sock is knit tightly enough as to not get ladders.

Mill

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

After all the years of

After all the years of knitting with my DPNs I haven't much problems in my knitting. Still, I always keep an eye on what's happening so I maintain control over how it all knits up. In fact, it is most of my plain knitting [especially stockinette] where I Really have to watch my gauge. Crazy, eh? -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Andy's picture

With sock circulars, it

With sock circulars, it could just come down to hand size. I have large hands, so find the small circulars uncomfortable to use - bit like eating with children's cutlery! If you already knit tight, maybe avoid the square needles as they seem to knit more tightly anyway (Google them - Kollage - for more reviews).

davidUK's picture

I have a short pair of

I have a short pair of bamboo needles which I'm attatched too as they wer eth first ones I bought when I took up knitting - but circular are much better generally as they don't get in the way. I'm using some addi wood ones at the moment which are sharp and I like them. There's also some square ones out that are supposed to be very good. I fine the metal addis good but slippy!

All the best

David

TheKnittingMill's picture

I knit almost exclusively on

I knit almost exclusively on circulars nowadays. I do have a full set of bamboo 14" needles (I rarely use) and DPN's (of which I use often). I love my DPN's! They are made by Clover and are Takumi velvets. The more used sizes are developing a wonderful patina and keep getting better and better. I do knit socks using Magic Loop or using two circulars, but I most enjoy knitting them on the DPN's.

My first circular set was a Boyd Interchangeable and actually have served me pretty well despite hearing lots of complaints from others. Their big draw back is inflexible cables. They work fine for most things, but you can't do Magic Loop and doing small diameter knitting with two circulars is possible, but not comfortable. Their positives are affordability (you can find sets on ebay for around $50.00), very pointy tips and sizes of tips (they are one of the only sets that come with size 2 & 3 tips). They have VERY smooth joins which screw together. The tips are a coated aluminum and are color coded.

The Knitter's Review offers thorough comparisons and contrasts between KnitPicks (Options/Harmony/Zephyr), Addi Turbo Clicks, Addi Lace Turbo Clicks, the Denise set and the KA Bamboo interchangeable set. I have a set of Addi clicks and Options Nickel plated by Knit Picks that were both gifts. The Options set is much more affordable, has pointier tips and the most flexible cable on the market. The Addi Clicks have more of a rounded tip, the needle tips are more "weighted" due to more brass content, and have smooth, quick, easy joins that won't come loose. I've never had a problem with the Boyd or Knit Picks tips coming unscrewed, but I've always used the included key to give a quarter turn after hand tightening them. The little hole used for tightening the cable joins on the Knit Picks and Boyd sets allow you to run a lifeline through lace very efficiently.

The Addi's are the highest in price (around $160 on a basic set with no added cables or tip sizes). The KP set is around $60. I'll tell you I use my KP options the most. Hope that helps, if you have any further questions, just send me a pm.

Mill

Thepook's picture

I have the Addi Clicks, too.

I have the Addi Clicks, too. At least one or two sets of tips are pretty much always on the go. They are coming out with a set of the lace tips now as well and will be all interchangeable. I just ordered another set of cables and will be ordering tips for the lace set as soon as they are out.

Thepook's picture

I love my circulars. Rarely

I love my circulars. Rarely if ever do I even use straights anymore. My favorites are Addi Turbo and Addi Turbo Lace. The difference is the lace needles have a pointier tip and the surface is not quite as smooth as the regular turbos so there is a little drag. This is handy when using smooth cottons, silks, and lace weights. Otherwise the turbos just fly through stitches like butter. Addi also makes a bamboo circular if you prefer the wood. The Addis are a little more expensive ($13.95-$17.95 US depending on size and length), but they really are worth it and they are guaranteed forever. The joins are smooth and the cables are reallllllllly flexible. Hope this helps.

Cheers!
Thepook

Bill's picture

Harmony wood circulars from

Harmony wood circulars from Knitpicks.
http://www.knitpicks.com/needles/Options_Interchangeable_Harmony_Wood_Circular_Knitting_Needle_Tips__DKPNDETipWD.html

...but I prefer double points for socks.