Knitting Basics

I'm still a new knitter and as such, I think this basic information is vital to getting starting and enjoying it. And, a great reference guide for advanced knitters.

Needle Sizes (U.S.)

2.25 mm - size 1
2.75 mm - size 2
3.25 mm - size 3
3.5 mm - size 4
3.75 mm - size 5
4 mm - size 6
4.5 mm - size 7
5 mm - size 8
5.5 mm - size 9
6 mm - size 10
6.5 mm - size 10-1/2
8 mm - size 11
9 mm - size 13
10 mm - size 15
12-3/4 mm - size 17
15 mm - size 19
19 mm - size 35
25 mm - size 50

Types of Knitting Needles

Wood. I like these best for a beginner knitter because while the needles are soft, they hold the yarn more so you don't lose stitches. I like the Clover bamboo needles best.

Aluminum. These are best for seasoned knitters because they are slick and you can knit rows and rounds faster.

Plastic. Another great needle type for beginners because like wood, the yarn is held on more. My favorite are the Susan Bates or Lion Brand.

Circular. Took me awhile to get the courage to use these, but you can knit straight on circs depending on what you're making. They can hold more stitches than straight needles plus because of the cord, stitches are not prone to falling off the needle when you put your work down. Best for hats, blankets, throws, anything where you need to cast on a bunch of stitches.

Straight. The most popular to start using. They're terrific for cowls, scarves and you can knit hats and stitch them together afterwards.

Double Pointed. These are useful for shaping a hat because as you work around the crown, you have to move the stitches to these needles and off the circular. Usually 4 needles are holding the stitches and you're knitting them with the fifth needle.

Interchangeable. I think having a set of these is essential if you will be knitting regularly. You can buy a set of these in different lengths and the corresponding needles and just change them out as you need for whatever pattern you're making. The sets can be expensive, so I wouldn't recommend them if you're not knitting a lot. But if you do, getting yourself a set of these is a wonderful investment. I like Knitter's Pride or Knitpicks.

Check out this Needle Style Guide Video

Are you a Loom Knitter?

I got you covered too, check out my post here!

opening photo courtesy of