Lion Brand Notebook

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Wood, Plastic or Metal?

June 16th, 2009

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What type of material do you prefer your knitting needle or crochet hook to be made of?  Do you always use the same material or does it vary depending on the project?

  • Jennifer S

    I am a crocheter. I most use aluminum hooks (I like the smoothness and durability; don’t need to worry about them getting broken when stuffed in tote bags and banged around), second hooks of various woods (I like the naturalness, historical aspect; do worry about taking my more expensive wood hooks away from house due to possible damage out in the world). I do not like plastic hooks, although do own some in larger sizes (above K) (they are not as smooth, can get scratched and snag on yarn, don’t feel as comfortable).

    Regardless of the hook material, I always prefer the type of hook shape that is found on the Boye brand hooks (this hook style is called a non-inline hook, as opposed to the Bates type of hook which is called an inline hook).

  • Mary-Ann L. Gendron

    I have knit since I was taught by my Grandmother at age 7. For myself I prefer Metal, I find the others tend to bend after using & I didn’t like trying to hold on to them, with the Arthritis in my hand & fingers. Thanks, Mary-Ann L, Surrey B.C.

  • Carol

    I prefer wooden needles. I find them the easist to use to controll the yarn and keep the stitches even.

  • Carla Phoenix

    I’ve only been knitting for a few years. I’m pretty flexible as to the types of needles I use. I’ve used metal, plastic, wood and bamboo.
    Given a choice, I really am partial to bamboo.
    I’m 50 and was diagnosed with arthritis @ 25.
    The bamboo’s weight and texture really suit
    my hands. Also, I’ve found I can knit for longer periods of time with bamboo. Great question!
    And I am learning from the others answers !

  • mary

    I like my Surina needles for knitting, or the bamboo I love Knitting..I have tried the plastic but they are slippery & bend over time with heavy projects. I like the teflon coated metal crochet hooks by Susan Bates…smoother than regular metal & more durable than plastic. However you cannot find the real large hooks other than plastic.

  • Andrea

    Metal knitting needles, all the way!

  • Jody

    I prefer metal crochet hooks for all projects. I have used metal and bamboo for knitting and feel I have better control/tension on my yarns with the metal. I do like to try differnt things though!

  • Debbi

    I have crocheted since I was 7 years old. I have used metal, plastic, and bamboo hooks over the years, with the metal being my favorite. However, since I retired I have found hand-carved Graydog “Big Puppy” acrylic hooks (sold on eBay) work best for me; they flow so easily through yarn. I love these hooks!! I also have several Graydog wooden hooks, but the acrylics are my favorite. I recently used a Boye metal hook and it ‘stuck’ and I was pushing and pulling it through the yarn and finally got tired of it. Back to my Big Puppy hooks!! They can be a bit expensive, but they are SOOOO worth it!

  • Red

    Metal for everything, always.

    I’ve been knitting/crocheting 49 years (learned at age five!), and the plastic needles have never been any good for me.

    We’re ALL correct — our choices are part of what makes US crafters.

    For me, I need to feel the needles in that metallic way (hope that makes sense). I usually make things with size 2 to 4, so plastic needles can break in my tighter grip.

    Susan Bates always — the heads are much different than Boye and work excellently for my crocheting style, yet I have always loved both Boye and Susan Bates circular knitting needles — excellent products, both!

    The Susan Bates greyish-Teflon needles (can’t think of the name!) are wonderful, but the very small multiple sock needles slip out of my grip; here’s where the Boye product works better for this arthritic.

    Plastic knitting needles and crochet hooks? As my late mother, she who infected me with the joyous gift of CRAFTING, always said, “FEH!”

    I got a big splinter from the only bamboo knitting needles I ever bought and never looked back again. Suppose they’re much better now, but…

    Tunisian/Afghan hooks MUST be metal, preferably Boye for the aluminum.

    And what’s with not being able to get instruments in colors/multiple colors in metal like the old days? Now they use one color for each size. There was a REASON we bought needles for different-colored projects: contrast.

    I tried those bright plastic crochet hooks in the kit and didn’t like the plasticky feel even more than usual.

    To sum up: Boye for sock needles, either Boye or Susan Bates for knitting depending on the project, Susan Bates for crocheting.

    And color choices and metal all the doggone WAY.

    Thank you. *curtseys to Craftdom Assembled*

  • TRACIE

    I ACTUALLY JUST DISCOVRED BAMBOO AND LOVE THEM. I USE MOSTLY METAL BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I HAVE THE MOST OF. I HAVE A FEW HOMEMADE WOODEN CHROCHET HOOKS, MADE FOR MY GRANMOTHER BY MY GRANDFATHER. I HATE PLASTIC, BUT HAVE TO USE IT IF I USE THE HOOKS BIGGER THAN K. I FIND THAT PLASTIC MAKE MY HANDS AND FINGERS SWEAT AND THEN THE YARN DOES NOT MOVE THROUGH MY FINGERS SMOOTHLY. I HOPE TO AQUIRE A FEW MORE BAMBOO KNITTING NEEDLES AS THEY HAVE BECOME MY FAVORITE.

  • Marda Keith

    I love the Brittany wood crochet hooks (walnut and birch) and the Artwood rosewood hooks. I have arthritis in my hands, and when I use metal hooks I end up with aching hands. The plastic ones, for some reason, cause sore spots on my hands. For anything from F to L it’s wood all the way.

  • MJ Daniels

    i’ve only used metal, can’t stand plastic. just was given my first wooden crochet hook so will be trying it soon. A bit wary of using it as i tend to grip so tightly and don’t want to snap it, but here goes….

  • Crystal

    I prefer metal needles. I find the wooden ones good for something slippery or making lace but other than that they are too slow. Metal is definately faster for me to knit with.

  • Sandy

    I have fallen in love with bamboo knitting needles. I’ve never had anything lighter weight. My circular needles are Denise interchangeable needles which are plastic and light weight. Except for tiny crocheting with steel hooks, I use a matching set of Bernat-Areo plastic hooks(with case)that my husband bought for me in 1976.

    Sandy

  • http://www.fantasymarks.com Rhiannon

    Interestingly, I can’t say metal are my favorites anymore. I’ve been noticing that the glare that can shine off of many metal hooks actually hurts my eyes and gives me a headache. I’m ordering a hodge podge of hooks, will post which variety wins my preference!

  • Cindy

    I almost always use nickel circulars for every porject except when working with slippery yarns or intricate lacy patterns. In those cases I prefer wooden needles. I also use wood for making socks. Nothing is worse then working with multiple needles and having one (or more) of them slip and fall off the knitted stitches! But most times, I’m just happy to knit.

  • Regina

    It depends on the size of whatever hook or needle I’m using. I pefer using plastics when it is 5mm and above and metal for smaller sizes. But I like bamboo in ALL sizes, it just feels good in the hand.

  • Tami

    I much prefer wood knitting needles but strangely enough lean toward aluminum crochet hooks. I think it’s because I like the crochet stitches to slip smoothly but prefer that the knitted stitches not slip too easily!!

  • Dee

    I love the metal addie turbo circular needles and I also have tried Bamboo straight needles. The last I like because they are nice & light. Although occasionally they break.

  • Anne Godsey

    If knitting I prefer plastic circular needles.
    If crocheting, I prefer metal.

  • Brenda Stevens

    When I started crocheting I used metal because that’s what I was given. A couple of years later I noticed that my hands were cold, especially when crocheting. Then it occurred to me that maybe the metal hook was sapping all the heat out of my hand, so I tried plastic. That was better, but there was something about the feel of the plastic hook, it felt like, well… plastic. Then I found bamboo. Bamboo was better, but I still wasn’t completely satisfied. Then I found Palmwood hooks, which I LOVE! The wood is silky smooth and they were available at a local yarn shop. So, I prefer wood and hope to someday find double-ended crochet hooks in wood too!

  • Sue

    I use wood for everything except very fine work when I use metal, but even then they are customized with wood handles. For my carpel tunnel, it’s the most comfortable and allows to me to enjoy my crochet longer. To me they move more smoothly. I love them.

  • phillygirl64

    Boye hooks are my personal faves, but I don’t mind plastic all that much; just got the LB ones and so far so good

    I really like ergonomic handles, especially the Crochet Lites by Clover

    Zontee says: Hi phillygirl64, don’t forget to check out the Ergonomic Crochet Hooks, available both online and at the Lion Brand Yarn Studio, that are designed to spread out the tension in your hand.

  • Theresa

    I have found in my experiences that for crocheting, I LOVE the aluminum hooks. My great-grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 10 years of age and I learned on an aluminum needle. Tried the plastic and wooden too, but just love the metal needles. I taught myself to knit about 2 years ago. For knitting, I have tried metal, plastic & wooden needles. I LOVE the wooden needles best when knitting, no matter what the yarn is. Of the wooden needles, I’ve tried bamboo & rosewood. OMGosh, rosewood are exceptionally outstanding…I only have a couple of pair of theses…VERY PRICEY. In the meantime, the bamboo is great, and way more cost effective. The website that I’ve found to be VERY inexpensive for bamboo needles is http://www.stanwoodimports.com. From my personal experience, VERY prompt shipping and nice, smooth needles. HTH.

  • Mary

    I much prefer wood to plastic or metal for knitting. It has a warmer feel and is a little flexable in my hands. Of course for the really small needles (0, 00,…) you need to have metal or they wouldn’t last at all.

    For crochet I like the metal ones.

  • Patriotschick

    Crochet: Metal
    Knitting: Bamboo

  • Denise d’Entremont

    DPN definitely bamboo.  Not crazy about metal

  • 2010

    Bamboo.  Don’t like the big plastic ones.  Metal would be my 2nd pick.  The smaller plastic ones aren’t too bad but the bamboo seems to be the easiest with which to work.

  • Jrf213

    I have circular knitting needles. For some reason, the yarn sticks to the plastic. Am I doing something wrong or how can I tell what is wrong with the plastic needles?

  • Kit

    I use different knitting needles with different types of yarn. I find some yarns slicker than others, and for best knitting I want the yarn to move easily when I move it and stay still when I don’t. Metal is the slickest so I use it with the “stickiest” yarn, but even there, some metal is slicker than others.The harder plastics are next, then good wood, then softer plastic for very slick yarn. Bamboo is also good for slick yarn. The one type of knitting needle that I like least is wood that has a finish that isn’t polished. The yarn does not seem to want to slide at all.

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