Knitting Needles

I visited a LYS near where I live and the owner told me that "straight" knitting needles are steadily being replaced with circular needles with separately sold different exchangeable points. Have any of you heard this or know if it is true?

I purchased some wool for a new sweater that I'll be working on soon, it's a fisherman's knit pullover style with the most dominate pattern called the "ladder of life." It is a very handsome sweater.


AKQGuy's picture

Good luck on the sweater!

I think there is a growing trend for a lot of people to use circulars instead of straight needles especially when working on larger items. Do I think straights will be pushed out entirely? No... I still prefer a good straight needle for smaller projects that have no need to be on the round, especially something like a lace scarf. They, as most knitting tools have their time and place, but I do have to say, I much rather use a circular than a 13in needle with so much weight out on it my fingers feel the strain.

Masala's picture

Thanks for your very useful information! Cheers, Sid

rmbm612's picture

Ergonomically speaking I think circular needles are more comfortable to use because the weight of the project is evenly distributed across the cable. As the project grows in size and weight the stress on the arms, shoulders and wrists is less than on straight needles. The bulk of the weight rests on the lap. From an economical point, anything that can be knitted on straight, single pointed needles can be knitted on circular needles. The converse is not true. Tubular items are knitted with double pointed needles usually sold in sets of 4 or 5 needles, or circular needles. From a practical point of view, its easier to knit with circular needles or double pointed needles when confined to small spaces (i.e. airplane seats) or when sitting in armed chairs.
I personally have both straight needles and circular and have a fortune tied up in Turbo Addi circulars in all sizes and cable lengths. But I have been knitting for decades, before the advent of interchangeable circular needle sets. I still use the Turbo Addi needles the most, but have to admit I purchased first the KnitPicks circular metal needle interchangeable set and most recently the colored wooden circular needle set. The KnitPick cables are very soft and flexible....more so than the Turbo Addi cables which have a lot of memory. especially on the older Turbo circulars. The newer Turbo Addi cables are much better than those on the ones I bought 20 or more years ago. I especially like the KnitPick needle points for lace projects and the price for the KnitPick needle are very reasonably priced compared to the Turbo Addi Needles. I highly recommend checking out and look at their needle options. I've had wonderful service and have been very happy with the quality of their yarns, needles and accessories.

TomH's picture

I only use the Options circular needles with interchangeable points from Knit Picks.
NOTE: I do have a zillion straight knitting needles and many circular needles from other companies but they just mostly stay in my knitting bag. I probably should just get rid of them.

Mnjack's picture

I always used straight needles until I began traveling more. After dropping a needle down into the plane seat, where I could not retrieve it, I switched to circular, No more problems of losing a needle unless I lose the entire project. I also like the way I can leave my work and not worry about stitches coming off the end, unless I use a cap. I have bags of straight needles now just gathering dust.

Kerry's picture

I mostly use circular needles and my favourites are ones with interchangable points. I find the wooden points better for lace work as they seem to grip the stitch more and there is less chance of stitches slipping off the needle which has occasionally happened with the metal points.