May 10th, 2012
Just as there are many different variations of yarns, there are types of needles and hooks to choose from as well. Hooks and needles come in different shapes, sizes, and textures to help you achieve your best results when yarncrafting. They even come in fun colors and designs, allowing you to add a personal touch to your collection of supplies! Imagine your friend handing you a pair of needles in that royal purple color she knows you love so much; you’ll always remember that moment when you work with those needles.
The most common materials you’ll find your needles or hooks in are plastic, wood and metal. Needle or hook choice is entirely up to you, but it might be beneficial for you to know that the different materials of the needles/hooks can affect the way your knitting or crochet may feel (and sound) as you work.
It’s good to consider having multiple needles and hooks in varying materials, because their properties may have different effects on your gauge. In other words, you may find that you get a slightly different gauge when you knit/crochet with bamboo compared to when you knit/crochet with metal. Read below for more info on how the different tool materials affect yarncrafting styles.
|Plastic needles/hooks are usually made of acrylic, and are lightweight. In terms of performance, they are a middle ground between wood and metal; they are smooth and not too slippery. Plastic needles have a pretty moderate grip, so they’re good for yarns with halos, such as Amazing, and yarns more prone to splitting. A great benefit to using plastic needles is their durability; they’re easier to work with for knitters’ who have repetitive stress injuries or arthritis. Because plastic is a light material, knitting with plastic needles will make little to no sound while working.
Click here for plastic knitting needles.
Click here for plastic crochet hooks.
|Wood needles/hooks come in different types of wood materials such as rosewood and bamboo. They are also smooth, and relatively light. Wood will have a stronger grip on your yarn, which helps prevent it from accidentally slipping off (great for beginners). It’s a good tool for yarns such as Martha Stewart CraftsTM/MC Extra Soft Wool Blend, and Nature’s Choice Organic, and makes for great double pointed needles (DPN). Wood needles/hooks are warm to the touch and splinter free; and it’s great for yarncrafters of all skill levels. Because they’re so light, wood needles are typically pretty quiet to work with, especially bamboo.
Click here for wood knitting needles, and click here for bamboo needles.
Click here for wood crochet hooks.
|Metal needles/hooks are strong, durable and smooth, and are most commonly found in the aluminum form. Metals typically have a looser grip on yarns – allowing you to knit/crochet faster. Metal tools have a cool hand, and are a preferred choice for lace knitting, as their needles can come in small diameters and sharp heads. Since the metal is a heavier material, it may tend to make slight “clicking” sounds while knitting. Metal needles and hooks are great for yarns like Sock Ease.
Click here for metal knitting needles.
Click here for metal crochet hooks.
Share with us, what kind of needles and hooks do you prefer? Do you prefer one type of material over another?
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- How to Choose the Best Yarn for Your Project; Understanding How Texture and Color Interact
- Math + Yarn = Great Results (or 7 Articles to Read about Adjusting Your Pattern)