There are many different kinds of needles on the market, from plain plastic needles to metal, glass, bamboo, woods and many other materials. There are straight needles and circular needles (not to mention double-pointed needles). All of this can be pretty confusing to a beginner. How do you know what needle is right for you?
First, go needle shopping with a project in mind. When youre a more experienced knitter just looking to build up your supplies, you can buy needles with no particular project in mind, but when youre first starting out, its best to buy only the needles you need.
The pattern you choose will say what sized needle was used to complete the project. Thats the size needle you should go looking for. At your local yarn shop or craft store, there will be a limited number of materials for each type of needle, probably plastic, metal and bamboo or wood.
Different knitters like different needles for different reasons. Many knitters love bamboo or wooden needles because of their warmth, the natural feel in the hands, and the comforting but quiet clicking sound they make. Theyre also good for knitting slick yarns because the needles have a bit of friction, which can help keep the stitches from sliding off the needles. Wooden needles are a great choice for beginners for the same reason.
Metal needles are heavy, sturdy and hard to break. Their slickness makes for quick knitting, but can also make it easy to slide your work right off the needles. Metal needles are also cold, so theyre not great for knitting in the winter. The metallic clicking of these needles is also annoying to some.
Plastic needles are similar to wooden or bamboo needles in terms of lightness and smoothness, but they lack warmth. Theyre also very smooth like metal needles so they allow you to knit quickly. They are more flexible than other needles.
Try out different needles to see which kind you like. Odds are you'll have a favorite in no time!