Needle Advice

Hey guys!

I've been thinking about buying some bamboo double pointed needles. I was perusing on Amazon and found some sets with 15 different sizes for an affordable price. (At least I think it's a good price.) The problem is that they come in lengths of 5"- 8" and I'm not sure what length would be best. Do certain lengths work better for certain projects? I would plan to use them for a variety of projects and since my budget is modest I only plan to buy the needles in one length.

I would really appreciate any comments or advice you might have.



Tom Hart's picture

I'm not sure how much this advice is worth (I'm a relative newbie) but I like a long needle. I've got big hands and when I work with a small needle sometimes it just feels too damn small, like I'm working with a kid's needle or something. But I haven't done a lot of dpn work and I could see how long needles could get in the way and work against you. You might consider just going out and buying one set of long ones and one set of short ones in the same size and knitting up a tube on each of them and seeing how they work and feel for you.

Chris Vandenburg's picture

I agree with Tom. Although bamboo has less of a tendency for the work to slide off the needle I still prefer the security and comfort that the 8" gives me. Go to your local LYS and test drive both sizes and get the feel of what length would be right for you. (God, that last part is gonna get me a lot of mail). Best of luck, Chris

"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

bigrich5885's picture

Chris, I thought you told me size didn't matter to you *grin*

Bill's picture

you might also check ebay...I've bought sets of bamboo needles very cheaply, and they're fine. Later, when you find the right length for most of your knitting, you can buy the sizes you need in a better quality bamboo. Start with the 8 won't have to worry about stitches falling off.

james's picture

Is there a particular reason you want bamboo? Years ago, when I first started knitting socks, I started using bamboo needles. My love affair with them didn't last long once I discovered how easily they warp and how the points can chip. If you are specifically looking for wood, you might consider Knit Picks dpns. I have several sets and use them on the rare occasion that I need/want wooden needles. I am addicted to Blackthorn needles, which are neither wood, nor inexpensive, but hey . . . it's just money and they make me happy every time I pick them up. As for sizes. I do use different sizes for different projects. I find 6" the most comfortable size for socks--it allows me to have 1/4-1/3 of the stitches on a needle without it feeling like I'm going to lose them, and still maneuver around the sock easily. For making hats, I like 8" because I'm usually using a heavier weight yarn. I have a couple of sets of 4" for glove fingers.

JDM511's picture

Have you considered interchangeable needle sets. I have the knit picks harmony set. It comes with some of the most common sizes of needles. By varying the size of the cable you can work on big or small projects. Everything from socks to sweaters. extra cables and points are fairly inexpensive.

Hope you find an option that works well for you.


purlyman's picture

I love bamboo double points. I would go with the 8" size too. I know it's possible to work on things like socks and sleeves and the top of hats with circulars doing the magic loop, etc. but I really much prefer to just switch to the double points. I have the Denise and Addi-click sets (neither bamboo) and I've tried using them instead of the double points, but I keep going back to the bamboo double points. Good luck!!


gardenguy42's picture

About a year and a half ago I purchased a complete set of the 16” and 24” circular bamboo needles from (they look very similar to the ones on Amazon from Stitchberry if you go by the description and the picture, although they offer 6” and 8” DPs, no 5") and I have been very happy with them. They are my “disposable” travel needles. They sell straight needles, circular needles with pretty thin aquarium-type tubing that is glued to the points as cables, DPs, and crochet hooks, all out of bamboo. Individually they cost about the same as needles you could buy at Hobby Lobby or Michaels but the complete sets are an amazing bargain. A very nice budget-wise choice in my opinion.

Here’s the link:

I bought them to use when I travel for work so if they somehow get confiscated, broken, or lost I wouldn’t have to feel too bad about losing them. At $25 for a set of 15 different sizes I felt I couldn’t go wrong. $1.67 per needle is about as cheap as you can get unless you make your own out of twigs, LOL. They don’t have the pointy tips I like for lace work and cables and they are not the same quality as my Takumi Bamboo needles but they do a nice job. They are so cheap they could be easily replaced without hitting my pocketbook too deeply.

As far as the length goes, with the 8” you have more options as far as projects go. They might be a bit awkward when doing small work like the toe of a sock but otherwise you can do just about anything with them -- it depends on what you plan on knitting I guess. I have full sets of both the 7” and the 5” Clover Takumi bamboo DP needles (which I love) and frankly I rarely use the 5” -- they are just too small to feel comfortable in my big man hands. I think I’ve used them once to make Christmas ornaments and a few times on the toe of a sock in very fine wool. I’d go with the bigger needles too.

I’m anxious to hear your thoughts if you purchase them.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Kerry's picture

I prefer the larger size size, I bought a smaller set but only used it once as the needles didn't feel comfortable in my hands.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I think that a longer length works better, regardless of a knitter's gender. I feel it offers more versatility and security, and the average of my dpns is about 8". I like bamboo - even though I don't own many - but have to second the concerns over warping, especially in the thinner gauges. I had one friend's size us1 circular turn into a corkscrew; then snap as we were transferring stitches to another needle. If your local yarn shop (or a friend) will let you do a test run for the various types, that would be a big help. Good luck. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

jmmattes's picture

Thank you for all your tidbits of wisdom! It is much appreciated.
I'm going to try and get my hands on some needles and see how they fit my hands. Based on the advice given, I think I might get the 8" length. That way I will have more options for future projects. I'll give you an update when I make a decision.