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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?

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  • Joann

    I have some of the plastic crochet hooks I bought to work with your fun fur — I tried using them for another project, but they just didn’t “flow” — so for any other yarn I trust my metal crochet hooks. In the summer they feel nice and cool and in the winter they warm my fingers. I don’t know — maybe it’s all in my head — but I am most comfortable using them.

  • CrochetWithDee

    I use hand-turned wooden crochet hooks for nearly every crochet project. These hooks do not have thumb rests which allows me to jut & twist the hook with my fingertips rather than with the wrist (resulting in no fatigue pain!).

    However, if I am doing fine thread work I use a steel hook; and if I am doing Tunisian, it is usually a metal hook with a cable.

  • ekgheiy

    Nickle all the way :)

  • Terry

    My favorite hooks are the Susan Bates bamboo handle metal crochet hooks. The bamboo feels very nice in my hands and the metal just seems to work the best with yarn. I’ve tried the plastic hooks but they seemed to catch on the yarn and they felt “icky”.

  • Andrea

    For knitting I prefer casein on account of my bad wrists. Failing that I use lion SP and a set of Denise interchangeable circulars.

    Right now I’m using metal crochet hooks (I just started to crochet) and they’re killing my hands, so I’m looking for alternatives that go small enough for amigurumi.

  • Kelli

    I love bamboo knitting needles and crochet hooks, unless I’m using a “stickier” yarn, in which case I’ll use metal. Wood just feels better on my hands and they don’t slide out of my work when I shove it in my bag (or my kitties get hold of it!).

    I was given a set of ergonomic crochet hooks (with interchangeable handles) and those are also quite nice, since I tend to grip tightly!

  • Marnie

    The yarn chosen for my project controls the type of needles or hooks I will use. If I can’t get into the right knitting groove, I will use a different set of needles. I have knitted with bamboo, metal, and plastic.

  • becomewhatyouare

    Always metal, preferably nickel, on every kind of project. I really do not like using wood of any kind. I tried and tried but in the end gave all my wood needles away except for 3 sizes of 9 inch circulars. I have only found them that short in wood. I hardly ever use them, though. I never use plastic.

  • Grace

    I use plastic, bamboo and nickel needles. Never/rarely aluminum.

    For hooks, I like plastic or bamboo, although I have plenty of aluminum ones. My real preference is for the shape of the head/hook, rather than the material.

  • Anne (of Stonington)

    I like the bamboo circular needles followed by the plastic ones. For straight needles I use whatever I have accumulated over the years; 50/50 plastic and metal.
    Haven’t done much crochet lately but have used metal ones with plastic handles. Hope to do some crochet, after I finish the KAL shrug, to make a shawl for myself.

  • Andrea J

    I like wood best. I like the way wood feels in my hands. Plastic and metal both react with my skin so they start feeling sticky. I’ll use them if I have nothing else in the needed size, but otherwise, it’s wood all the way.

    I’m currently using Knit Picks’ Harmony needles (DPN’s and circular Options), and wishing they’d make crochet hooks in the same wood.

  • Carrie

    Knit Picks’ Harmony are my very favorite! They feel good in your hands and have very clean points.

  • Leslie

    Primarily I used wood and bamboo for the hand comfort factor. I am a huge fan of my KnitPicks Harmony Woods, particularly for lace knitting with their lovely points. I don’t get fatigued as fast using the springier woods and bamboo and can knit for longer periods than if I use metal.

    I do have metal and use them for socks as they are quick knits. I also use it f or knitting wire, as I don’t like to chip up my woods or bamboos with the wire..

    I don’t use plastic at all as they are generally too flexible in the smaller sizes and tend to be slippery as well.

    Great question in light of the fact we were discussing today as to what type of needle to use when knitting wire.

  • Erin

    I also prefer nickel.

  • Lea in Roswell, GA

    I just LOVE bamboo knitting needles! I had kind of gotten away from knitting until I discovered them, but I’m back with a vengance now!

  • Karen Angold

    I prefer my Harmony wood needles. They are very smooth, and all yarn seems to just slide off of them. I also use my reg. bamboo needles. The wooden ones seem to be a lot quiter also.

  • julie

    I use them all! I have bamboo that I love for most any yarn, metal (Harmony is my favorite), wood (favorite are Lantern Moon), plastic – you name it, I have and use them all. It definitely does depend on the project and/or yarn being used. Great question :)

  • Joy

    For some yarns like cotton, I use plastic. Otherwise I prefer metal.

  • Joy

    I recently started knitting after many years of crocheting. The knitting needles that I have been using are circular bamboo and I love them. The yarn flows so easily to and from each needle. Very effortless.

  • Michelle

    I have crocheted since I was about 10 years old. My grandmother taught me and last year she gave me all of her old steel and aluminum hooks. The newer Chinese manufactured ones just aren’t the same. For knitting, always bamboo. Never plastic for either.

  • Kelly M

    I like metal crochet hooks and bamboo or birch knitting needles. The exception is my Addi Turbos that I use for magic loop or for sweaters! I don’t care for bamboo/wood with circs, as most of the time the yarn is fingering weight and the joins aren’t the best for thin yarns.

    Not a fan of plastic hooks, but will use them if I have to!

  • Rhiannon Strickler

    crochet hooks ~ metal, colorful metal.

  • MissK68

    For dpns, 0-3 I really prefer metal. I have pretty tight tension and have snapped many a bamboo and plastic needle in these guages.

    It depends upon the yarn I am using and the level of humidity I am knitting in what type of single point needles I work with. I am always around humid environments due to DD who swims. I find plastic and metal single points to not let the yarn “seize-up” or “stick” on the needles in these environs. But, that being said, I LOVE wooden needles and will use those whenever I have the opportunity.

  • Deborah Jennings

    I prefer metal needles and hooks. If I can bend a meatal one, who knows what would happen to a plastic or wooded needle or hook.

  • Tena

    My favorite hook is bamboo without a thumb rest. But in general I use what is best for the yarn.

  • Cindy

    I love wood knitting needles, but I will use metal as well. I’m not keen on plastic as they seem to pull on the yarn too much, but I have a couple pair and they do work well for really slippery yarns, like fun fur. Definitely wood or bamboo are my favourites though. I don’t really crochet much, but my set of hooks is metal and they seem to work just fine for my minimal needs.

  • rebecca

    metal… and pointy (for my knitting) and i prefer the more rounded and open hooks of boye vs the angled slit on susan bates.
    wood is okay, but it slows me down.

  • Cindy

    I am a beginning knitter and have only used metal needles. I am part of a group of crocheters and knitters that meets every week at our public library. The other ladies use metal crochet hooks, but one of the ladies has purchased hooks made of wood. I’m looking forward to getting to try different needles and hooks as I progress.

  • Bobbie

    For knitting I dislike the metal needles and have started using the Harmony woods with the sharp points and I love them.
    For DPN I use bamboo, metal and plastic and each has its own problem, though the plastic doesn’t lose stitches as easily as the metal and if there are a lot of stitches on the needle I’ll switch to plastic.
    For crochet I finally invested in a set of interchangeable heads with the big rubber shaft. I can knit forever but crochet sets off the carpal tunnel and this is more comfortable.

  • Gail Hollingsworth

    I always use the ergonomic crochet hooks. I love them because they fit my hand nicely and I can interchange the hook size. They keep my hand from getting so tired and cramped.

  • Josette

    I enjoy using a variety of needle materials. For straight needles I seem to prefer aluminum – very fast knitting. For circular needles I prefer plastic but various metals are a close second. For double points I seem to prefer metal, but I like a coated surface so the yarn doesn’t slip off. I’m not fond of wood usually, tho I do have a set of bamboo double points I love. For crochet hooks I like the aluminum espcially in pretty pastel colors. I think a lot of it has to do with what yarn you work with, the climate, and visual and tactile whims. I find it fun to use different needles, just like using different yarns.

  • Linda Kennedy

    I find that I use different types of hooks according to how the yarn feels on them and how my hand feels at the time.

    This sometimes makes it hard to stay with one hook for a large project!

  • Karen

    My use depends on both the fiber and the weather. I live in a really hot (100+) and humid (90%+) part of Texas, so sweaty hands play a role…. Plastic needles for worsted cotton, Aluminum or Boye Baleen II straight needles, LB dpns for larger sizes, aluminum dpns for socks, Boye Baleen II plastic circs or Boye Needlemaster interchangeables.

    For crochet hooks- steel for small sizes (are there other kinds in the small sizes, i.e., size 7 or 6?); Boye aluminum for A-K, crystalites for L and larger. I like the head shape of Boye Aluminum so much better than Susan Bates. Colored hooks are great for contrasting with yarn when you want to hook quickly. My only LB hook is a really large one (size P).

  • mesha

    I love wooden knitting needles, but prefer metal crochet hooks. I don’t care for plastic at all. It feels off.

  • Patty

    I’ve found it’s not so much what the hook is made of, but the shape that I like. Susan Bates Aluminum work best for me, because of the shape of the hook, but the plastic SB squeak with with my yarn, which is annoying! Boye hooks split my yarn too much. I’d love to try wooden ones, they seem like they would be warm and smooth to work with (not squeaky or splitty!).

  • Michelle

    I prefer the aluminum crochet hooks over wood. The wood seemed to stick to my yarn. I have a few plastic hooks that I use for larger gauge projects, but would rather use the aluminum.

    My favorite yarn is the sports type, baby yarns and Lion Brand homespun. Vanna’s Choice is also really nice to work with.

  • Ronnie

    I love bamboo – how the yarn glides on it, how it feels in my hands, and the weight of it. I look to a time when I have bamboo in all the sizes and types of needles I use.

  • Karyn

    I mainly use interchangable nickel plated metal needles but will use bamboo if the yarn is too slippery for the metal. My interchangable set has nice points for lacework so I really like to use them . . . they are speedier most of the time.

  • phillygirl64

    I do yarn crochet…My current go-to hooks are the light-up ones, which are ergonomic…I have mostly Boye aluminum…I have the Crystallite ones, but they kinda squeak, so I don’t use them as much

  • sandra

    I love to use bamboo needles for my knitting.

  • Louise Litton

    I prefer wood and have been slowly converting my most popular sizes. I find the nickel needles too slippery and heavy but the wood, and particularly bamboo seems to be easier on my athritic fingers.

  • Teresa Wiggers

    Absolutely the rosewood Lantern Moon knitting needles are the most decadent needles I have ever used. It’s like driving a really expensive car. Plus, they pay fair wages to the women who produce them and ensure their health and safety in the factory. I also have some of their ebony ones but they are a little heavier. And, they look really cool!

  • Diane Wiman

    In my craft drawer, there are hooks made of steel, aluminum, walnut, bamboo, plastic, and even one carved of ivory found at an estate sale.
    The crochet hook I choose to use depends on what I’m sitting with.

    If it is a big project (I’m currently working on a 4-ply cotton, granny squares aphgan for a queen size bed as a wedding gift for my son) then I prefer my ADDI Turbo with the grooved plastic handle and the metal hook because it is most comfortable in my hand, and the point goes easily through the loop.
    If I had the money, I would own every one of ADDI hooks.

    The last baby aphgan I crocheted with Vanna’s Choice, I used a 4.5mm AERO aluminum hook ordered from Canada, but I believe the hook itself was made in Europe.
    For lace and bookmarks with size 10 cotton, I use BOYE or HERO stainless steel hooks which I’ve had for years, even inherited some of my grandma’s. All were made in the USA.

    I have tried a few times, but I refuse to use more modern metal hooks made in China. Something is “off” either in the balance or the inner curve of the hook. A friend in my Yarn Group tried to trick me by trading hooks, but I could not even finish one row using a hook she had bought at a big box store and was the same type and size BOYE that I had been using.

    I have another friend in my Yarn Group who sings the praises of Susan Bates, but I’m gonna stick with what I have.

  • Joyce Servis

    Whomever has the most knitting needles when they die, wins. I am sure I will win. For regular knitting I love the metal, it allows me to knit faster and it feels good. I love the square needles and prefer circular, but I don’t like the plastic connector on the square needles (also they are very expensive) but they are great with arthritic hands. I have a lot of bamboo and I use them also, I don’t like the old nylon ones and the plastic needles by lion brand. I use circular almost all the time.

  • Martha Pierce

    I only use wood needles – circular, sock needles, etc. I love them!!

  • Don

    I recently returned to knitting after a loooong lay-off, and had never used anything but aluminum. I have discovered birch needles, and I use them almost exclusively.

    The only exeptions are that I use metal for sizes under 3, bamboo for DPs, and metal circulars.

  • Cheryl

    I am new to knitting projects and using bamboo needles. I just started a project in which the yarn is cotton/silk /nylon blend. What type of needles might be best?

  • Rebecca

    I choose metal every time (except when on an airplane) I bring plastic then just in case. I don’t want my good metal hooks taken away from me. :)

  • Alice B

    I prefer wooden knitting needles, but most of mine are metal and some are plastic.

  • Jannette

    I’ve tried almost every kind of needle out there, and can’t beat bamboo. They’re ultrasmooth, comfortable to work with, and the yarn just seems to slide on them in a way that it doesn’t on anything else (including the Addi Turbos). So, if my hubby or kids are reading this – you know what to get me for my birthday!