Knitting Needles are important if you are planning on learning how to knit. You are going to need to get yourself some needles before you can knit a single stitch and it pays to do a bit of reading before you head to the store!
Needles come in a wide array of sizes and there are also quite a few different types of needle, and the ones you choose will depend on what you intend to knit, the pattern you are using and the knitting wool you intend to use.
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There a number of different types of needles, each suited to a different purpose.
Most beginners start with single point needles and only need to invest in the other types as they widen their experience and begin to try more advanced knitting techniques like knitting in the round, or Aran knitting.
Another way needles can vary is what they are made out of. Each knitter tends to have a favorite kind of needles, and once they have found the ones they prefer, they tend to stick with them.
Which style do you want to try?
Needles come in a range of sizes from 2.0mm right up to 25.0mm, and just to make it even more complicated there are three main sizing schemes.
Depending on where you live the needles you can buy will either be in metric sizes, UK/Canada sizes or US sizes. That is only a problem if you pattern uses one sizing scheme and your knitting store only stocks one of the others!
If you run up against this problem, you check out the comparison on my needle sizes page to convert the sizes from one sizing scheme to another.
There is no reason why your needles cannot be used for years and years if you look after them. My mother still has knitting needles in her collection that belonged to my grandmother, still in perfect working order and they are older than I am!
Once you have bought you first few sets of needles, you will need something to keep them in. Whether you buy a needle case or you keep them in a vase (like my grandmother did) you need something to keep them together in. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing that you have a pair and only being able to find one!
If you have small children in the house or pets, you might like to invest in some needle point protectors which not only protect the tips of your needles but also prevent potentially nasty accidents!