Lion Brand Notebook

News, Ideas and Information for Crafting with Yarn

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Are You Straight or Circular?

January 29th, 2009

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Most people have a preferred type of knitting needle.  We’re wondering, what’s your preference and why?  Do you tend to use one over the other?  What are the pros and cons of each?

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  • Beth

    I love circular needles. They keep the work centered over my lap instead of pulling from side to side and getting jammed up onto a too short needle. I can store all my circular needles in an accordian sectioned pouch in my workbasket sorted by size. I especially like the system that allows you to buy just the needle ends and interchange the cables. The only drawback on these is that the cable can come unscrewed during working so tighten it with the tool included.

  • Karyn

    I usually go for straights, but after reading all these comments I think I’ll try circs a little more.

  • Mary de Jong

    Comment for Ekghey regarding working small circumference items or binding off small areas like the toe of sox or top of hats, I learned an incredible tip form Debbie MacComber’s The Shop on Blossom Street – you use 2 round needles to knit sox. I tried it and it really works. Of course you have to have 2 round needles in the same size, but it is much easier than working dpn’s.


  • Theresa Sage

    I love straight needles for casting on stitches, but always, always try to use circular needles for my knitting projects. I like the fact that I always have my needle(s) with me and also I like that I don’t have those long ends sticking out and poking into my favorite chair’s arms. Silly I know, that this is my reasoning.

  • Karen

    I learned to knit on straights, and still prefer them. I think (although I may be wrong), that it’s the US that uses circulars more than anywhere else. Ask this question in the UK, and you might have different results!
    When I’m looking for patterns, I’ll always pick one using straights rather than circulars. I am, however, trying circulars if necessary. I don’t knit socks (and am rather surprised at the sock mania I see!), so haven’t had to use them too often.

  • Anne Godsey

    circular! By Far!!! I learned to knit on straight needles as a child and they still drive me crazy. I keep poking myself!!

  • BEV


  • chandis fischer

    I use circular needles almost exclusively, for convenience and speed.

    Last winter I used circular needles to knit a zillion afghans I’ll be ‘finishing’ this winter! I love the knitting but for some reason don’t ever want to do the tucking in of ends, etc.

  • jan

    I have a llike to knit with a circle needlE.Put I have a promble with it,It curls up how do I shraight it out ? thank you

    Zontee says: Hi Jan, a common tip that we hear is to dip your circular needle’s cable into very hot water to loosen it and then to pull it straight and let it cool that way. Hope that helps!

  • Mary

    It totally depends on the project. The needle size, number of stitches, yarn type, etc. straight works better for some, circular for others and DP for still others.

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