I'm getting ready to do a project that calls for circular knitting needles, and I was thinking that I would go ahead and buy a set of 12 since it seems like a better deal that way. But I can't decide what length I should get. The pattern I'm making calls for 16" and I have another pattern that calls for 24". If I get a longer set, can I use them easily on a pattern that calls for a shorter length? And if I can, should I consider getting an even longer set to accommodate more patterns?
Or should I just buy one pair that works for the pattern I'm making now and forget about getting a whole set?
Thanks for your advice!
When I bought my first set of circular needles I was hoping the same thing--that I could by the largest one and then use it for all of my knitting projects. I was told by the woman at the yarn store that this was not possible, and after using the circular needle to knit a project in the round I discovered why. If you have a really long needle and a small amount of stitches, there won't be enough stitches to fit around the entire needle, which makes it impossible to knit.
I bought a set of circular needles and I love them and use them all the time. It's really convenient to have all of the sizes rather than having to run out and buy a new needle each time I start a new project.
Is there a particular size that is pretty commonly used? I'm leaning towards getting the 24" for now because the 16" seems a little small to me.
I bought a set of interchangeable circular needles; they are either bamboo or polished wood. They're great because I can change the length for different projects. The set comes with needle sizes 5 through 13 or 15 and three different cable lengths. I have not had a problem with kinking or the yarn catching where the needle joins the cable.
Jody, I would buy a set of the Denise circular needles. The set comes in a nice plastic box and has interchangeable needle tips from size 5 to size 15, and a bunch of soft, flexible plastic cords ranging from about 5" on up, with connectors so you can make just about any length you need. These needles are more flexible than the Boye needles and are nicer to use. I've gotten so used to using my Denise needles that I almost never even use straight needles any more. The set cost me about $55, but I saw a set of the Boye needles at a craft store for around $60, and the Denise needles are much more pleasant to use. www.knitdenise.com
You can use long circular needles for smaller projects, but you need 2 sets, putting half the stitches on one needle and the other half on the other, and you won't like working with long, flopping needles. Go for the Denise set, you'll love them.
Jody, I knit socks with a 42" circular, its called the magic loop method. I think you can knit any amount of stitches with this method. Carol