Featuring a tapered tip, straight needles are a common starting tool for newcomers to knitting. Also known as single-point needles, these are used to make flat pieces, like scarves, allowing you to work row by row and one side at a time. While they give you a limited amount of space to work with, straight needles are a classic staple to keep in your needlecraft tool kit. Needle preference is ultimately a personal choice, but allow our picks below to guide you in your search.
1. ChiaoGoo Bamboo Knitting Needles
From celebrated brand ChiaoGoo comes this handsome pair of bamboo needles appreciated by many knitters for their ease of use. Bamboo is a great option if you find metal needles too slippery, and their lightness and subtle flexibility help reduce hand fatigue. Made of strong moso bamboo from China, these are handcrafted by skilled artisans for consistent quality, resulting in smooth surfaces with just the right amount of friction to neatly pick up and hold stitches.
2. Susan Bates Crystalites Acrylic Knitting Needle Set
If you find that you can’t knit as quickly as you’d like to with bamboo needles, and if you find metal ones too slippery, try a pair made of acrylic from the veteran needlecraft company Susan Bates. These needles are a handy, lightweight option. They allow you to knit relatively quickly without losing stitches, and they are finished with a cap at the top to prevent yarn from falling off. They are also ideal for taking on planes, as they raise less suspicion from TSA than metal needles—and make less noise, too.
3. BetyBedy Bamboo Knitting Needles Set
This economy set of needles is an excellent option for the classroom and for knitters who are curious about the feel of bamboo. For the price of one high-quality pair of bamboo needles, you get 18 pieces representing US sizes 0 through 15. Each has been bleached and carbonized to present a relatively smooth shaft—you might encounter a few splinters, but these are easy to sand down. The smaller needles are also quite flimsy and can break if you apply too much pressure. All things considered, these are a good way to explore different sizes of bamboo needles before investing in your forever pair.
4. Clover Takumi Knitting Needles
Another reason knitters like bamboo: the material is eco-friendly. Clover’s product, which is made from sturdy bamboo from Japan, is processed with particular care. Trees are harvested only during the winter, which not only benefits the environment but also results in better bamboo with tighter wood fibers. The final needles, each created over the course of 60 days, are solid and smooth, with no splintering. Unlike metal, they are gentle on the hands and aren’t slippery, so stitches won’t fall off.
5. Boye Aluminum Knitting Needle Set
This three-pair pack makes for a great first set of aluminum needles. You get sizes 8, 9, and 10—easy to handle, and among the most popular sizes for using with worsted-weight yarn. The colors will also help your yarn stand out. While the aluminum is pleasingly lightweight, it is not the sturdiest of metals, so these needles will eventually warp. As practice needles, however, these will serve you well.