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New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2004 :  11:16:40 AM  Show Profile Send mlamartina a Private Message
Hi! I am new to the forum so maybe this topic was already covered. Can anyone explain to me what is the benefit of using circular needles for a scarf, for example. Also, how do you use them? Like straight needles? Thanks!

of troy
Permanent Resident

2474 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2004 :  11:35:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit of troy's Homepage Send of troy a Private Message
an old saying is: Its a poor workman who blames his tools--and yet.. there are many different tools that do the same thing..
so it is with knitting needles..
i have almost a complete set of all three styles.. (straights, DP's and Circ's) i often use them interchangabley.

i know my tension/gauge varies slightly with all them. (and it varies slightly when i move from circular knitting (in the round) to straight knitting.

Yes, you can use circulars as extra long straight needles. they come with different length cables, and will hold more stitches. and you can use cable neeldes like double pointed ones, to knit in the round. there are methods to deal with the excess cables (magic loop is the common name) alternately, you can use 2 cables to simulate 4 DP's.

Yes, needle are expensive (but they last forever!) --the needles i moaned and groaned about in my teenage years--the ones that cost $1.25--now would require $5 to replace.. (or about 1 hours of babysitting then, or 1 hour now!) but i still have them.

invest money in different styles of needles, and learn to use them. you might find you love em, or hate em, but you won't know till you try.

needles come in different materials (wood(s), bamboo, metal(s), plastic(s), in different styles (straight, both long and short) cable, flexible, DP's, and "kits" of points with interchangable cables. They come long and short, thick and thin...
there is no one single answer to what is the best needle. its very personal.
(and yes, this is a perennial topic, you can search for more info!)
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Permanent Resident

1040 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2004 :  12:48:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Spinnerella's Homepage Send Spinnerella a Private Message
In the past, I rarely used circulars, but oh, how that has changed! First of all, I discovered Addi Turbos, but then I realized that you can knit anything straight or round on circulars, but not the reverse. I would still probably use straights for a scarf, except for this one benefit to the circulars: if you get bored and put it aside, you won't get a ridge with the circs. I read somewhere that you can't even BUY straights in Norway....they don't understand why anyone would WANT to! I do like double pointeds, though.
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Sustaining Member

124 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2004 :  1:27:18 PM  Show Profile Send JoyLinn383 a Private Message
I like the Addis and use Inox sometimes as well. What I like about the circular needles is that they are easy to pick up and put away. Your knitting just stays suspended in the middle when you aren't doing it and I haven't ever had to deal with dropped stitches when picking up my knitting after setting it down.

The best thing I like about them is that the bulk of the knitting rests in front of me and not on the other needle, so my arms don't feel as tired (in my opinion). I also like that you don't have the ends of your needles poking into the space of anyone sitting next to you

Joy Linn
'A Joyful Heart is Like Good Medicine'
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Seriously Hooked

950 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2004 :  2:04:18 PM  Show Profile Send SusanT a Private Message
I have a love/hate relationship with circulars. I like the weight distribution but I also like to hold my knitting fairly close to my body and the circ makes me hold it a little farther out than I would really like. For smaller projects like scarves and baby sweaters, I prefer short straight needles.

I'm also the odd knitter who doesn't like the Addi turbos. I'd rather sacrifice a little bit of speed for control over the stitch so I prefer bamboo or birch. The one time I used Addi's for a project I dropped stitches like crazy. Like others have said, it's a very personal choice so try enough differen types to find what you like. If you find yourself with needles you don't like and can't return, you can swap them with another kitter.
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Chatty Knitter

129 Posts

Posted - 03/14/2004 :  11:23:00 PM  Show Profile Send unorthodox a Private Message
i started with circs and can't imagine myself going to anything else. i have used dpns and actually do enjoy them for a quick washcloth. but, circs are comfortable for me. i actually find that i can hold the project CLOSER to me with circs. considering that the NEEDLE is your CREATIVE INSTRUMENT, experiment with each type to see which will inspire you the most.

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New Pal

16 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2004 :  07:53:58 AM  Show Profile Send J.M.W. a Private Message
Don't know why..circ.needles turn on me,and I'm in that Im older(69)and more exp.I'm trying them again...I've mastered old computer thats loaded,but no modem or cd-rom, but learned how to operate itand the MSN, so I'm ready to master the circ. needles...I'd call myself an Easy-Interm.knitter for most part,but have accomp. some more difficult things,like a Baby Layette,knit/crochet clothes for AM. Girl18" doll and 24 and 12" Goose clothes,also sewing Goose clothes,which is great fun...joan
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Seriously Hooked

812 Posts

Posted - 04/14/2004 :  7:17:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wovenflame's Homepage Send Wovenflame a Private Message
Can anyone explain to me what is the benefit of using circular needles for a scarf, for example.

Hi Maria.

Ahhhhh, the benefits of using circular needles (even for a "flat" project like a scarf.) For me anyway, they are:

-COMFORT! I have a bad back and find it is strained less if I can get my work up real close. Unlike Susan, I find I can get MUCH closer with the stubby ends of the circulars.

-No matter what size the project or the weight of the yarn it is never too heavy for me. By the time the project is large enough to be heavy it is sitting in my lap not dangling from a needle.

-Another benefit to not having all that weight, like on the end of a straight needle, is you can manouver the needle much more effectively thereby gaining speed and accuracy......maybe even more consistant gauge?

-They fit into a smaller knitting bag.

-You can put the work down even if you are in the middle of a row.....simply slide the stitches onto the cable portion and you won't lose any stitches.

-There is no fighting with bunched up stitches as you get toward the end of a long row....which can effect tension

-No lost needles! I often knit in the car and with the old straight needles I was forever dropping the needle with no stitches on it. It invariably went between the seat and the door and we would have to stop for me to retreive it. One time I actually lost one out the door at our next stop (had forgotten about it).

-Doesn't matter if the project is flat or in-the-round, large or tiny my 36" circulars do it all. I love the Addi-Turbos and can justify their expense knowing that I don't have to buy the same size needles in circular, straight and double-pointed. And as someone else said, they last a lifetime anyway so it is a one time investment. Besides, I'm worth it. My husband likes to buy good quality mechanics tools so it was no problem at all convincing him that I *need* my Addi-Turbos.

-No poking myself or the person sitting next to me like I do with straights.

-No long needles rubbing your arms or sides raw. (For marathon knitters like myself.)

-The needle does not fall out of your knitting causing dropped stitches.

-For the BEAUTY of them! So far no one has mentioned how beautiful those slick, shiny Addi-Turbos can be. Hee, hee.

Also, how do you use them? Like straight needles?

Yes, if you are knitting in the flat they are used just like straight needles. You knit to the end of the row and then turn your work around and knit back. You always know which side you are working on because the end with the yarn attached needs to be in the correct hand to start.

When you knit in the round you start off the same but join the end of the row to the beginning and then keep going around and around. If the "start" of your row is important a marker can be placed and moved up with each subsequent row.

I hope this has helped?

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