Ivan Zamorano

Acupunture Treatment

Needle Characteristics

Needle Characteristics

The idea for this video came to me from a
comment that someone left on one of my videos, asking about the different characteristics
of the different types of needles and different things that needles can be made out of. So first we’re going to talk about the different
materials used in making needles. We’ll start with the stickiest, and we’ll
go to the most slippery. Slipperiest? The first ones are aluminum needles. And these
are what you’ll find mostly at craft stores that carry a lot of different stuff. The real knitting stores and yarn stores don’t
usually carry these. They’re really inexpensive, they’re pretty
lightweight, they’re not the greatest for knitting with, really. I think they’re pretty, and so I keep them
in a jar in my office, but I never ever knit with them. They really don’t have a smooth enough finish
when you’re knitting with them. They kind of stick, unpleasantly, to the yarn. So these are aluminum needles. I would call
these the stickiest kind of needles you can knit with. Next up I have here a set of acrylic needles. And there are very very nice acrylic needles
out there. They’re a little bit stickier than anything
else, but the stickiness in them can be good if you’re worried about dropping stitches. The more slippery you get the faster you can
knit, but you do run the risk of your stitches just falling off the end of the needle. These are a set of double pointed needles
I actually really like working with. Next up on the sticky line would be wooden
needles. Wood or bamboo. And this is what I really recommend for beginning
knitters. Especially if you’re using double pointed
needles. These are a perfect combination of holding
on to the stitches pretty well, but letting you move through without having to really
shove things along, because they’re not that sticky. And then the slickest needles out there are
nickel plated brass. And these happen to be Addi Turbos, and these
are the fastest needles. They’re called Turbos, of course. These are the fastest needles, not only because
the needle part is really slick, but the shape of the tip actually I think contributes to
the speed that you can use these. Um, so those are the different materials,
going from stickiest to slickest and I would say that you usually find more confident knitters
happy to use the nickel plated brass. Because they’re not worried about stitches
jumping off the ends of the needles. Now let’s talk about the different shapes
that needles come in. When you started knitting you probably used
these. They’re called straights. They’re, they come in all different lengths,
but they have stoppers at the end, and they’re perfect for knitting scarves, like this. And they’re limited, because you can really
only knit flat pieces with straight needles like this. Next up, when you start wanting to knit in
different shapes, you’ll want to use double pointed needles. And these come in sets of four or five, and
they allow you, by using three or more of them, they allow you to knit a tiny tube. Um, it just so happens that these are bamboo
double pointed needles, and I love these. Double pointed needles, when you have all
the different needles going, sometimes the needle that’s hanging there, that you’re
not working with, will try to slide out of your work if it’s heavy, and if it’s really
slick. I really like bamboo double pointed needles.
They’re my favorite. The last shape of needle that you’ll see
are the circular needles. And these come in all different cord lengths. For knitting tubes or for just knitting straight
back and forth. You’ll want to pick a cord length that works
with the size tube that you’re knitting, and usually your pattern will tell you what
you need. I’ll tell you that I use circular needles
for all knitting. I use them for knitting scarves, flat things, sweater pieces, everything. And the reason for that is when you’re knitting
with straight needles, like this, and the work starts to get heavy, it causes more stress
on your wrists if the weight is hanging out here at the ends of the needles. And when you’re using circular needles,
as the work gets heavier and heavier, it’s just sitting in your lap. The stress isn’t
so much on your wrists. Which means [laughs] you can just keep knitting
and knitting all day without it hurting! Which is everyone’s goal, right? The last thing I want to show you is this
here. This is uh, needles and cord from an interchangeable
set. And I’ve shown these in videos before. What you get is you buy a box of tips like
this, and you get the different lengths of cord that you need. Usually you get 24, 32, and 40. They don’t
make the 16 inch. You have to buy those fixed and separately. But you get all the tips and you get the cords
and they just snap together, like this. And then you know when you want to start knitting
something, you know that you have the needles at home for it. All you need to do is buy the yarn. Because
you have the whole set of everything there. It’s hard to convince a new knitter to invest
the money in a set like this, but I’ll tell you – you end up saving so much money in
the end! You have hundreds and hundreds of dollars
worth of needles, and you usually end up paying somewhere between 75 and 150 for the complete
set of needles. And there are really high quality ones out
there. These are the nickel plated brass, but I know
that the interchangeable sets also come in wood and acrylic. So what I recommend is getting yourself each
one of these, well, skip the aluminum, right? Get yourself wood, bamboo, acrylic, and the
metal needles like this. Try them out, see what you like the best,
and then you’ll have your favorite. And then I recommend investing in one of these
interchangeable sets. But if you’re like me, you’ll want to
use different things for different projects, like bamboo for double pointed needles. And the metal for circular needles. Anyway, give them a try and see what you like
best. [music]

50 Replies to “Needle Characteristics”

  • I've never had a problem with aluminum needles…I've actually had more problems with wood needles. I don't get why aluminum ones are so bad…

  • aluminum i dont really like, im a new knitter and on a budget. i gotta try some new ones. i hope to get bamboo ones soon! to me i think double sided needles like like they can slip off the back…….. hmmmmm so difficult….

  • I stared out with aluminum needles and I didn't have problems with them.then later in knitting I bought bamboo needles and the yarn kept sticking to the needles to much and it was hard to knit with them.

  • @patobejarano Those interchangeable needles are called Addi Clicks, and they're available from many retailers and online retailers.

  • Sometimes aluminum needles are all people who love to knit can afford. I have never had a problem with kntting catching on them or sliding around.

  • I taught myself how to knit by watching youtube videos (like yours!) about 6 months ago. A lot of the people making the videos were using bamboo, so that's what I got too. I really do think they're perfect for a beginner. I had very few dropped stitches. Just last week I decided I'm ready to take my knitting to a new level and bought myself some Addis. I CAN'T WAIT for them to arrive in the mail; I have a pair of Knit Picks Harmony wood, and they're pretty nice too.

  • Finding nickel plated brass needles in India is one big task. Not in one shop I have seen them. Most easily available needles are aluminum & they work ok enough. Maybe I'll try bamboo next.

  • I have a video out called "Knitting Help – Substituting Yarns" that may help you. You can find it by searching my channel page. (Sorry, YouTube won't let me give you a direct link here.)

  • I wish I saw this before investing in my set. So far I love my wooden interchangeable needles <3~ but now I kind of also want to get the nickle and acrylic. Well I do need to get better double pointed needles , I'll probably stick to bamboo for those. I have a size 0 double pointed set in bamboo, love it ~u~ but I've never tried nickle or acrylic. Now I have an excuse to get a few more sized ;3 <3 thank you~

  • hi Staci, my hubby just got me a brand new set of bamboo interchangeable circular needles and I wanted to know what is the best way to loosen up the cords a littlt they seem to be stuck in a stiff coil shape from having been in the package so long- also what is the best way to store the cords so they don't coil up again? thanks so much!

  • You'll need to contact the needle manufacturer to be sure that your needles can handle this, but I know some people steam the cords or dip them into boiling water to straighten them out. I'd be cautious about this – you don't want to melt the cords! I don't have any personal experience with really twisty cords – sorry I can't be of more help.

  • Guess it's time to add the Carbon fiber needles to the list. Bought the sock needle set and love them. To me its the best of both the nickle plated brass and wood together in one needle.

  • I can see by the comments that others besides me are in favor of the aluminum needles so negatively spoken of in this video. I have some Boye needles (these are some of the ones she is talking about that sell in variety stores) that I've had for many years, and are slick. Some of the oldest ones are, as she says, 'sticky,' but Boye and Susan Bates began applying a silicone finish about twenty or so years ago to their aluminum needles, and these are very nice to knit with.

  • Hi, Staci…I watched this video for some education on needle materials. I'd like to ask your opinion on the limited edition KnitPro Marblz coming out in October: do you think I should invest in this set as a beginner knitter? They are acrylic tips with the interchangeable cables. I'm looking at either the Marblz or the Symfonie set, and as you well know, the Symfonie are wood. I'll most likely be working in all natural yarns, so either is ok, right? Anyway, like a magpie, I was drawn to how pretty the Marblz are, but wonder if they're worth getting, lol…thanks in advance for your time reading this.

  • I bought some needles that were on clearance at Michaels and I find I keep going back to them for everything. Now, I know why! thank you for this video. Those needles were so inexpensive! They are 29" circular Nickel Plated Brass called Velocity. I love those needles for everything! 

  • I absolutely disagree about the aluminum needles.  I have many of them and I find them very smooth and easy to use without any sticking.  The only aluminum needles that I don't like are the circulars because the yarn doesn't slide back up easily from the tubing onto the needles and mine are not marked so I have to keep track of what size they are.

    I also have used bamboo, which I like mostly for circular work.  I recently bought a nickle plated circular, but I haven't had the chance to try it yet.  I don't like the acrylic needles at all.  I find them very sticky and difficult to work with.

  • I bought the cheap long aluminum straight needles just to do long tail tubular cast on. I use one size smaller than my 16" circulars to cast on knit one purl one. Then I turn the work, knit the knits and slip the purls with yarn in front, turn again and use the circular to slip the knits with yarn in back and purl the purls. Then I just join in the round and start ribbing. It's the only way I start hats now. I think the aluminum ones are pretty too. I keep all my straight needles in a Quaker Oats cylinder with cardboard dividers I made from cereal boxes.

  • I recently started crocheting and I love it! And, not long ago I decided I needed to learn how to knit as well. Finally…! I tried a couple of times and failed miserably…

    Having made a couple of mistakes buying crochet hooks I just went all in with the knitting needles. Got two sets: One straight nickel-plated and one wooden interchangeable. Oh my, do I love them!! My first project is a chunky cowl (which uses the provisional cast on. Had a lot of fun with that to begin with!) on the straight needles but I will change over to the interchangeables as it gets a bit heavier.

    And, as soon as I work up the courage, I will get some bamboo double pointed and try to make my first pair of socks.

    Oh, and thank you for making the video on tight knitting. I was having some serious issues knitting too tight and you helped me correct it… 🙂

  • I find that the aluminums are very slick for me (especially dps). My bamboo ones are much slicker, but I've only used dpn bamboo never straight bamboo.

  • Thank you I primarily knit with wood needles and always have a time getting gauge so someone suggested I knit with metal needles and maybe my gauge would be different. I don't see how that's possible if your knitting with the same size needles.

  • Many years ago, I inherited my grandmother's knitting supplies which included two books for baby knits and her collection of knitting needles! THIS was my "silver and gold". She knit so much that her plastic needles, which she'd had since around 1940, were bent. At some point when I was using them, they broke! Since then, it's been an adventure learning about the different kinds of needles…I have now become a knitting needles aficionado (I didn't want to say snob 😉 Years ago, I gave away all my straights in favor of good quality circulars and have never looked back!! I rarely use double pointed needles because most of the circs work well with the "magic needle" (using a longish cable is useful). My BIG treat to myself was buying a Harmony set from Knit Picks!! LOVE them! A while ago, someone on Ravelry was giving away her large supply of Addi Turbos and I was the fortunate recipient. Investing in a good quality needles has made my knitting life such a joy and yes, it IS what I'd like to do nearly all day long!

    Your videos are so clear and instructive, our own private knitting classes where we can pause, rewind, fast forward, thank you SO much!

  • I love my bamboo dpns but I just got an interchangeable needle set (Boye) for Christmas and casted on 102 stitches and half way through the 2nd row, the needle untwisted off the cable and guess what….dropped stitches. It has a key that is supposed to be used to tighten the wire to the needle but even after watching your videos (and others on youtube), I can't figure out how the little key is supposed to tighten anything when it goes straight through and just spins loosely. Am I doing something wrong or is this set just garbage and needs to be returned to the store?

  • I have Boye aluminom needles and mines are extrememly smooth. Also have a nickel set from knit picks and there isn't a huge difference. Although the knit picks are better… the aluminoms are great (to me) as well.

  • I have used every type of affordable needle available in Australia over 50 years of knitting! I thought that casein were the best for my arthritic fingers until I happened upon Addi Skacel bamboo circulars last year, in Norway, of all places.(I was on a long holiday, and hanging out for some knitting to do…) I was HOOKED!! (And spoiled- alpaca blend yarn and one Addi Skacel circular for a scarf cost A LOT!!) I am now planning to buy an interchangeable set of these needles as a gift to myself!! Fifteen years ago I had had to give up knitting because of the pain from fibromyalgia. I tried just once more (with the casein) after a break of ten years, and I was in love again with knitting. Circulars have allowed me to keep going, and the Addi Skacel bamboo circulars have made my knitting experience even better. I think I deserve them!!

  • Hi. I love your videos. I'm just about to teach myself to knit. What size and kind would you recommend for a starters to knitting?

  • JMHO here as a beginner knitter. I love the bamboo circulars, but have not used the straight ones yet. I bought a set of aluminum 10" straights and I am using acrylic yarn to practice and acrylic yarn on aluminum needles just slips off and it's very very hard to keep the stitches on. My hands cramp up trying to hold onto the yarn and keep it from slipping off the needles. So, it's interesting to me that you think they are "sticky." But perhaps a wool yarn would feel differently. I think they are incredibly slippery and cold in the hands. I am going to try with bamboo straights since I really like the circulars. Thanks for all your videos; they are very helpful. 😀

  • Going to the way back machine here Staci, but I'm starting out. Only been knitting a few months but already have a few different needles and types. I like the lack of slip on my bamboo circulars, but finding them slow to work up because they're sticky (was good when I was doing a pillar lace scarf though!). I'm looking at investing in some KP (they're KnitPro over this side of the globe) interchangeable to save myself a pile o' cash. I have some metal pony circulars for a hat which I vastly prefer to the bamboo. So would you suggest the metal even though I'm fairly new? Im just worried they'd be too slippery for a newb.

  • I don't have a problem with aluminum needles. My only kvetch is the click clack sound they tend to make, but it's alright if you're alone.
    I do also have bamboo needles which I like, but depending on the finish, some of them cause too much drag and the stitches wont slide across the needles very well at all. I was using a certain acrylic yarn and boy, that stuff definitely wouldn't slide at all on the bamboo. I had to start all over again on a set of aluminum needles and those are working much better for this yarn.
    Today I just modified a new pair of bamboo needles. I'm using 40% wool blended with 60% acrylic and it was grabbing a little too much to my new bamboo needles. I sanded them down just a little bit with very very fine sand paper and I coated them with 2-3 layers of warm paraffin wax and buffed them smooth with a cotton terry cloth rag. My yarn is working easier on them now. 🙂
    I've had to sand and wax a set of bamboo crochet hooks some time ago too for the same reason. They were a little too rough on the yarn, now they work just fine.
    I say away from acrylic needles and hooks, I don't like them at all.
    To me it all depends on a person's skill level, the type of yarn you're using and what works for you and your budget.

  • Hi Stacy,

    Thank you for this great video. I have a question on the circulars – I am a beginning knitter and have some circulars from the craft store so my question is: How do I get the cords to straighten out? Thank you!

  • good info thanx as usual; i am wondering why people's comments are all cut off? I tried minimizing my font to see if more would be included but things are cut off in mid sentence? i love reading the sharing and expertise of your viewers. I noticed this on many sites but particularly frequent on this posting???

  • same here Krazyvideochick, I learned on Boye aluminum needles and they are very smooth and fast, not sticky at all. Only problem is that I end up knitting so fast I wear off the finish. also got knit picks starter set with nickle plated needles and they are very slick and similar to Boye aluminum needles. I find the plastic needles to stick and are not smooth. still have not tried the bamboo ones as yet.

  • Why so down on aluminum? I knit with them all the time and I like them. I find them to be the smoothest after nickel-brass type needles. Definitely better than wood, I can't pick up good speed with wooden needles, but I still use them because they feel nice and are really pretty. Wood is good to work with for the fluffy yarn-large size needle type projects.

  • hello please i have a question, i accidentally ordered a 20 mm circular needle, what yarn to i use with it and what pattern will best suit this size of needle?

  • Love your videos. They’re straightforward and full of useful information. I agree with using circular needles for most knitting. How do you safely straighten the circular needle cords? Also how do you store them to keep the uncoiled? Thanks.

  • please recommend to me a good set of acrylic straight size 10", I have asked so many people and no one wants to answer me. I don't understand why people are so cruel, I am a fairly new knitter I recently tried the Chaiogoo (misspelled) but I love the way they let the yarn move over the needle but I want some straight needles, I have bamboo and don't like them at all. I've tried they Susan Bates acrylic but can't get a size 7, my email is [email protected]

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