A needle is the most important tool in the process of hand knitting. In fact, the use of a needle is unavoidable in this process of hand knitting to produce knitted fabrics. The needle used in knitting is not quite like the small and sharp sewing needle. Most of these knitting needles have a long shaft and a taper at their end. Both, the shaft and the taper play essential roles in the knitting process.
The active (unsecured) stitches of the fabric are held together by the shaft. This prevents them from disentangling. The taper is used for forming new stitches.
The radius of your knitting needle is how you determine its size, the size will determine the size of the stitch you are going to use. Fine needles are used for producing small stitches, where as a larger needles will be applied for getting big stitches. If you start uneven knitting then, then you can use some of the numerous types that are available to you.
Knitting needles come in many types and sizes. They were invented in the 19th century. The straight ones, are the most common used by individuals all over the world. It is capped at one end with a knob head and tapers at the other, you will find it most applied in two dimensional fabrics mostly in squares and rectangles. Also it is applied mainly for simple stitches and domestic use.
Another knitting needle called the circular needle has two tapered rigid ends that are connected by a flexible cord. The long flexible cord keeps the active stitches, where as the tapered ends are employed for creating new stitches. A short, straight rigid needle tapered at both ends is a popular sort of knitting needle.
Circular knitting is a process by which a needle with a small radius is essential uses this short type of knitting needle work. Another short type is employed for making permutations in the order of stitches in cable knitting.
Different countries use several sizes of knitting needles. They have set their size standards for various types of needles. One can determine the size of a knitting needle with the help of a needle gauge. Although almost all 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 individual can enter their knitting needle to determine its size.
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 kids. Previously, wood and metals were used for making knitting needles. The beautiful antique needles were made utilizing tortoiseshell, walrus tusks and ivory. But before long they were banned as they made use of endangered species of animals.
A knitting enthusiast can store his needles in various 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 hanging on hangers. In case they are coiled to 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 choose to use the good old knitting needles. These needles probably will not ever fail to amuse us and keep us engaged.