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 Now that you have knit for a while ...
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
1953 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2013 :  08:32:52 AM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
how have your preferences changed?

How do.

When I took my 1st class at a LYS (11 or so years ago), it was suggested that I use wooden needles. Being someone whose friends would call a granola type of person, the idea of bamboo needles felt good. While the very bulky yarn I used for that sweater ended up being easier to work w/ on circs, I did not cross over to my love of circs for a while.

Now circs are the VIPs of my needle collection w/ just a few straights & a few DPNs. All the rest have been given away or are going to the KR Retreat this year for the Swap Lounge!

How 'bout you - what are your faves? While those big bamboo wooden circs no longer exist in my collection - again, given to my partner's daughter or to other folks - I do have some wonderful Lantern Moon circs along w/ Addis, Inox, HiyaHiya & Signature (slowly adding those as $$s permits) + some vintage Susan Bates & Boye circs.

Martha

http://marfasmewsings.blogspot.com

EmEm
Warming Up

Ireland
87 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2013 :  12:59:34 PM  Show Profile Send EmEm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I still use all my different needles. I find that airport security is less intimidated by my bamboo needles. I love using circulars for sweaters and large items. And my straights are fun for small projects. I knit socks with don' sand circs. So whatever the mood I am in I have the needles. But I do admit, if I had to choose just one type, it would be non wooden circulars.
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
508 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2013 :  3:08:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My first needles were some aluminum and some plastic straights from Sears, back in the early 1960s; I still have most of them, but rarely use them unless it is for casting on. I "left" knitting for awhile, but when I took it up again, circulars were much improved and I immediately went for what I thought would be the best, the Addi turbos. After spending a small fortune on them in many sizes, plus some Hiya Hiya stainless steel and even some Signature Needle Arts, I realized the glare from shiny needles contributed to vision problems and headaches.

So ... for several years now, my absolute favorites are bamboo and/or wood, especially the Hiya Hiya bamboo. I have those in many sizes, both fixed and interchangeable sets. Bamboo is a bit slower than the nickel-plated needles, but for my comfort level, it is a good trade. The new Kollage square circulars don't seem to have so much glare, and I do use some of those, too, with little discomfort to my eyes.

I am a big fan of circs, and use them almost exclusively for most items I knit nowadays. Although my extensive (and growing) needle collection does include double points, I will almost always change over to circulars, even when I begin with them "just for old times sake."

I also enjoy using some hand-made wooden straights (several custom types in lengths from about 8 to 10 inches) for scarves and dishcloths.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Nanaknit
Chatty Knitter

287 Posts

Posted - 09/28/2013 :  5:29:38 PM  Show Profile Send Nanaknit a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I first started knitting again I purchased a set of Denise needles. I have tried others since; bamboo, plastic, wood, but I still prefer my Denises.

Linda

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
-Eleanor Roosevelt
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Jane
SustaYning Member

USA
4369 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2013 :  04:40:56 AM  Show Profile  Visit Jane's Homepage Send Jane a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I use circular needles for almost everything, and I've tried almost every kind (square needles just make my hands hurt!). I have a huge collection of Addi circs, along with bamboo, but when I got my set of Dyak Interchangeable needles, I fell in love. They suit my hands perfectly, and they're really smooth. I have Set #18, so I didn't have to wait, but it's true that adding to it, ordering extra cords, etc. can take forever. For socks, I prefer dpn's. For hats and small things, I use circs until the circumference gets too small, then I switch to my trusty dpn's.

Thanks for asking this question, Martha, because the answers tell us about each other, and about all the wonderful tools that are available these days!


Jane

Betty deserves everything and more: Make a Donation
Blog: Not Plain Jane
Photos: Flickr Album
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kbshee
Permanent Resident

USA
4153 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2013 :  09:53:35 AM  Show Profile Send kbshee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I too started with wooden needles (Clover bamboo), which are great for beginners since the stitches are less likely to slide off.

Now, I tend to use circs (either Addis or Knitpicks) for most things, but I do love the swallow casein straights for projects--love how they feel. Hate that the dogs and cats chew them up though.

I keep some bamboo circs on hand for airline trips, just in case.


kim in oregon
http://kbshee.blogspot.com
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purlthis
Permanent Resident

USA
2749 Posts

Posted - 09/29/2013 :  12:56:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlthis's Homepage Send purlthis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am primarily a Knit Picks circular, but a pricey lesson was those hideous Boye interchangeables. They were terrible!

Rachel
------------------------------------------------------
As I get older, I prefer to knit. Tracey Ullman
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azblueskies
Permanent Resident

2362 Posts

Posted - 09/30/2013 :  07:38:28 AM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree with you re Boyle interchangeables, Rachel, but like my Denise set although I don't use them often. My straights look very pretty in the vase I have them in (probably dusty but the colors are pretty). I use circulars exclusively (dpns when needed). Best thing I learned was making two socks at the same time on circs. So nice to have both socks done at the same time. Have lots of Addis and am trying out square needles. I like the fabric the square needles produce but haven't had a chance to do anything but swatch with them. I like bamboo, too. I don't have any lace needles but want to try them next.

azblue
------------------------------------------------------------------
Reminder to myself: PROVISIONAL cast on for EVERYTHING except toe-up socks.
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jtamsn
Permanent Resident

USA
1673 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2013 :  3:40:44 PM  Show Profile Send jtamsn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned on aluminum needles back in the 60's. I now much prefer circs for almost everything (except mittens). I do like the short straight neeedles for baby sweaters. I have a considerable selection of straight needles (both 10" and 14") that I just cannot part with. Many of them belonged to my mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother-in-law, and have a great deal of sentimental value as I looked up to all of these women. I might be odd, but I just like looking at them every so often. I also have a number of old pattern that belonged to these ladies and find them interesting to look through. How styles and fibers have changed over the years!
judy
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purlthis
Permanent Resident

USA
2749 Posts

Posted - 10/02/2013 :  6:30:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlthis's Homepage Send purlthis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Judy, I have all my late mother-in-law's needles, also. I can't part with them. My husband is also an auctioneer, and I can't even imagine not rescuing them at auctions, either. Save the straights! Lol I have them all in a giant Kodak chemical tumbler.

Rachel
------------------------------------------------------
As I get older, I prefer to knit. Tracey Ullman
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kkknitter
Seriously Hooked

680 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2013 :  05:05:07 AM  Show Profile Send kkknitter a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I started out like many of you on straight metal needles back in the dark ages. These days I use almost exclusively circs. Socks and mittens I do on the magic loop with Addi Turbo Sock Rockets. I love the long points on the Rockets.

Kristina
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Schaeferyarnlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

513 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2013 :  06:08:18 AM  Show Profile Send Schaeferyarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I started with a circular bamboo needle. I use only circulars and dp's but now am acquiring Singnature needles. I thought the Denise needles were the answer for me, but I make a lot of sweaters and the join failed one time too many, so goodbye to them. I have accumulated a lot of different dp's including Kollage, Pearl and various Knitpicks type as well as Signatures. Love the Signatures for socks and any yarn that is not slick like cotton pima.
I recently started making shawls and the stiletto Signatures are perfect for them.

Debra
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2345 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2013 :  07:34:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Martha, I love the "now that you've been knitting for a while" title. I'm almost to the age that I can't remember when I wasn't knitting! (Started at 7 y/o)

I think I've tried everything, but still like my DPNs, all kinds but the old colored aluminum are my least favorite. I like straights when the work isn't too heavy, my favorites are the Montana Mountain exotic woods. I have a complete 10" set in Holly, lovely and very light in both color and weight. The 14" ones aren assortment of woods. I might start getting some DPNs from him soon.

I use lots of straights, but I especially like Suzanne's, Addi Lace (never regularAddis), Crystal Palace bamboo, and the old nylon circs that aren't made anymore. I'm always looking for them in second hand shops.

Shelia
www.breezyridgestudio.com
ravelry name - sheliaknits
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EmEm
Warming Up

Ireland
87 Posts

Posted - 10/03/2013 :  09:09:17 AM  Show Profile Send EmEm a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Rachel, what memories. When my mom first taught me we kept our straights in a Kodak slide tray. The square box had a tight lid and would stay put when you set it down. I still have 2 of them!
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Luann
Permanent Resident

USA
2656 Posts

Posted - 10/05/2013 :  8:32:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit Luann's Homepage Send Luann a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned to knit on aluminum needles from my MIL, but once I started buying my own supplies I too stocked up on Clover bamboo, both straights and circs. At some point I acquired a pair of size 8 Brittany birch straights and fell in love with them. I gradually accumulated a full set... just in time to discover Addis and the Magic Loop technique. Most of my knitting is now done on 40" Addis, except for the occasional project where DPNs or straights feel right, when I reach for the Brittanys. And my most favorite needle of all is a size 4 Knitter's Pride square circ that came from a KR Retreat goodie bag several years back, I believe from the year they first came to market. I love it for traveling because the wood and plastic construction doesn't show up on the X-ray machine. It's perfect for my long-term portable knitting project, strips for a sock-yarn blanket. Great question, Martha!


Knit and let knit!
http://www.luannocracy.blogspot.com
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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
1953 Posts

Posted - 10/07/2013 :  04:29:14 AM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How do.

Many thanks for such wonderful answers. I love your details & history, your memory for your very important needles. After all, they are the tools of our trade.

Please feel free, folks, to add to this list - we would love to hear from you.

Martha

http://marfasmewsings.blogspot.com
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sockjoan
Warming Up

Australia
57 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2013 :  03:52:11 AM  Show Profile Send sockjoan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I started knitting in the 1950s (as a child), probably using plastic needles though I don't recall; they may have been aluminium. Once I discovered circular needles it was goodbye to straights; they make fine spool racks when combined with a cardboard box! At first I used Aero or Birch needles - whatever I could get. Then I discovered Addi Turbos, which ruined me for cheap needles. Now I have a set of KnitPicks (which are called KnitPro in Australia where I live), starting with the Harmony wooden tips but adding other tips and cables as required/discovered. I rather like the square tips, though I only have couple of sizes of them; and I prefer nickel tips for some yarns. We don't have such a vast choice of brands in Australia, and as I'm a pensioner I can't afford to spend large sums... Yes, those cheap bamboo circulars are a boon for flying, though the airlines are getting better.
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scarfitup
Chatty Knitter

191 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2013 :  04:10:08 AM  Show Profile  Visit scarfitup's Homepage Send scarfitup a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I too started in the late 1950s, and I must be just a relic from the past. I still love my long straights (plastic or aluminum) with very pointy tips. They work well for my style of knitting (where I can jam the long needle into my leg or the seat cushion for support). Even if I have to convert to circulars once my project reaches a certain size, I always cast on and start with straights. I tried Clover bamboo when they first came out and found that they weren't pointy enough and also tended to split. My all- time faves are Susan Bates Quicksilver size 15, but they have even changed them so that the tips are less pointy.

For travel, I usually take circulars even though they allow the others on (so they say, but I never would want to have to give up my favorite needles. BTW, it amazes me that I could bring those long, pointy ones on the plane, because I KNOW I could do major damage with them if truly threatened.

Scarf It Up!
http://scarf-it-up.net
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TinyDogDaisy
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2013 :  05:21:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit TinyDogDaisy's Homepage Send TinyDogDaisy a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I love the "sound" of the cheap aluminum straight needles. It was the sound I always heard growing up. I would be playing in the middle of the living room floor, while my mom was sitting in a chair behind me knitting away. I'm quite partial to the Knit Picks Harmony interchangeable circulars myself, which my husband, yes my husband, surprised me with a few years back! Every once in a while, I'll pick up a pair of aluminum straight needles to knit up a quick little project. I just love that sound!
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PatT
New Pal

USA
9 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2013 :  05:42:25 AM  Show Profile Send PatT a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I started knitting in the 70s with those aluminum straight needles, now (like so many others) use circulars all the time (I'd rather use 2 circulars than DPs), keep trying the new models. But the ones I especially cherish are my old plastic circulars (Susan Bates brand, maybe?). The points are sharp enough for most yarn and not so pointy they de-ply the lace yarns. And no joins to snag the yarn! I haven't seen these in shops for years, so I take good care of my valuable antiques! My second favorites are bamboo tips, and I also liked the lucite KnitPicks ones that seem to be discontinued (though I broke a few doing the tight first part of a mobius cowl).
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Schaeferyarnlover
Gabber Extraordinaire

513 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2013 :  06:17:12 AM  Show Profile Send Schaeferyarnlover a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Correction and addition to my answer. I also have Pony Pearl dpns and also Casein, the milk product dpns. I feel like I should warn those who buy the Casein: don't put them in your mouth. They are beyond nasty tasting. I do like knitting with them because they have a very nice grip, tiny little ridges which manage not to impede the knitting.

Debra
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