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Knitting needles for a beginner?

I have the opportunity to take a beginner's knitting class for free at a local church. The article said to bring knitting or crochet needles & cotton yarn. Which kind of needle would be best (metal or plastic?) & how do I know what size needles I should use? I have rather small, slightly arthritic hands, so I want a set of needles that will be comfortable for me to use.


Asked by mom2aspclboy at 8:30 PM on Oct. 7, 2011 in Hobbies & Crafts

Level 26 (26,686 Credits)
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Answers (7)
  • I have arthritis in my hands. I find the wooden needles to be the best. You don't lose stitches as easily as with metal needles and the wooden ones are kinder to your hands. a size 8 is probably best to start out with. That is what I am teaching my 7 year old grand daughter with.

    Answer by kbpegasus at 12:07 AM on Oct. 9, 2011

  • Bigger are usually easier to learn on. Then you can work down as you develop control.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 8:33 PM on Oct. 7, 2011

  • I agree with tootoobusy... You don't want to get one too thin but I wouldn't get a huge one either.... Middle of the road would probably be best as far as size. A metal needle would be best. I would also get a regular no frills yarn, the fancier the yearn the more difficult it usually is to use, and don't get the cheep stuff either it tends to split apart easier and just causes more headaches. I found a kit for about $10 at Joann's that had a bunch of stuff including needles for knitting.... It was really easy to get started with. Also Knitting is rough on the hands if you have arthritis... I know it hurts my hands.... but crochet is much easier on your hands, I have no trouble with my hands hurting after crocheting. :) Good Luck :) Hope this helps.

    Answer by Finkette at 9:23 PM on Oct. 7, 2011

  • Needle size depends on the gauge(number of stitches within 4 inches(usually) the project you want to make works in.

    Stick with a worsted weight yarn(the weight will be on the label, but sometimes it takes some looking!) and anywhere from No. 5(4mm) to No. 10(6.5mm) needles.

    It would be best to find a scarf or pot holder or some simple pattern to take to the class and it will tell you what size needles you need to make that item.

    Answer by desert_diva at 9:26 PM on Oct. 7, 2011

  • You will probably be starting out making wash cloths. I suggest getting the sugar and cream from Hobby Lobby and size 7 needles. I prefer using circular needles for everything and for cotton yarn I would get metal tips. For a yarn that is silkier i would use bamboo.

    Answer by Keksie at 10:39 AM on Oct. 9, 2011

  • if possible, go to a craft store & see what size feels best

    Answer by kpav at 8:31 PM on Oct. 7, 2011

  • Thanks everyone for your input, I really appreciate it! I went to JoAnn Fabrics yesterday & they were having an open house event, so I was able to talk to the teacher of their knitting/crocheting classes. She recommended size 8 needles to start with and I liked the bamboo ones, so those are what I'm going to start with.

    Keksie, washcloths are actually one of the things I want to learn how to

    Comment by mom2aspclboy (original poster) at 3:50 PM on Oct. 9, 2011