Circular knitting (socks, sweaters etc.) whereby a needle with a small radius is essential uses this short type of knitting needle. Another short type of knitting needle is used for forming permutations in the order of stitches in cable knitting.
Different countries use different sizes of knitting needles. They have set their size standards for different types of needles. One can determine the size of a knitting needle with the aid of a needle gauge. Although most needles have their sizes written on them, their size label fades out with the passing time. Needle gauges have holes of different sizes in which a person can insert his knitting needle to determine its size. They are in a size range of 3-5 inches.
Contemporary knitting needles are made from materials like aluminum, steel, wood, bamboo, casein, plastic and glass. Plastic needles have no pointed edges and can be safely used by children. Previously, wood and metals were used for making knitting needles. The beautiful antique needles were created using tortoiseshell, walrus tusks and ivory. But soon they were banned as they made use of endangered species of animals.
A knitting enthusiast can store his needles in several types of needle storages. Straight needles can be stored in attractive cases. Cylindrical containers with padding on their bottoms keep the needle points sharp. Circular needles can be kept dangling on hangers. In case they are coiled tightly, one should soak them in warm water before using them.
Despite the presence of high-tech knitting machines in the markets, many of us still prefer to use the good ‘ol knitting needles. These needles probably won’t ever fail to amuse use and keep us engaged.