One of the most frequently asked questions we have here at Loop is “what type of needle should I use for this project?” The difference between materials can be a little confusing and it's hard to know what needle to use with a particular type of yarn. The needles’ material affects how it behaves with yarn depending on how slippery or sticky it is, and how comfortable it is to hold.
Metal needles are slippery, so it's easy to quickly slide stitches from one needle to the other. Our Addi Turbo needles tagline is actually "Knit faster!" However, because Addi needles are slippery with a blunt tip, they can be challenging for beginners to use. Don't let that stop you from trying them out though, as they are the preferred style of many a Loop employee!
It’s best to use wool or other animal-based yarn fibers with metal needles since those yarns have their own, natural stickiness, especially mohair. It's also important to note that since metal needles lack flexibility and can be uncomfortable for those with muscle or joint pain in their hands or wrists.
People that need a bit of grip in their needle, especially when working with plant fibers such as cotton, might enjoy wooden needles. Wood is a flexible material which makes these needles more comfortable to hold. These are not as slippery as metal needles so your stitches will move more slowly across the needles.
We carry Dreamz needles which are a hard wood. Each size is dyed a different color so you'll always be able to distinguish one size from another. Our Lykke needles are a smooth, beautiful birch wood. Both have excellent, sharp tips and are suitable for lace knitting.
Bamboo needles are great with very silky yarns, since they are the stickiest of the three types of needles we carry at Loop. These are also ideal for people that have a lot of hand or wrist pain (such as carpal tunnel or arthritis). These can be slower to work with, which makes them a great option for beginners that need more control or struggle with their stitches slipping away.
Traveling with Knitting Needles
Most airlines allow metal needles. However, when traveling, it may be smarter to bring wood or bamboo needles just to be on the safe side! It's always a good idea to check with your airline, especially when traveling internationally.
Article by Jillian Guerra