Needle in a Yarn Shop – Knitting needles and their materials

Wood, bamboo, metal, carbon fibre! At Knit With Attitude we stock a variety needle types made from all sorts of different materials, but what to choose? In this post I will talk a little bit about the different materials and what qualities they have.


We do four different types of needles in Wood, Bamboo, Metal and Carbon. In these we have circulars, double points and straights. Let’s take a closer look at each type.



Metal needles are probably quite familiar to most of us. They are strong, durable and super smooth. This smoothness makes them a good go to when tackling most yarns, from the fibrous to the smooth, as stitches glide with ease. This makes for speedier knitting.

Metal are one of the pointiest, making them great for projects that involve a lot of decreases or picking up, as the point is perfect for slipping between stitches. That being said yarns that tend to split like ones that are loosely plied can be easily split by the pointedness of the metal needles.

Metal is one of the heaviest and hardest, this makes them more durable but can also cause hand fatigue with some people over long periods of time.

In the range of metal needles we stock are the Knit Pro Zings. These strong and smooth needles are colour coded to easily identify between sizes. They all have bright silver tips which stand out against your projects. We sell the 35cm Straights, the 20cm DPN’s and fixed Circulars in 40 or 80cm’s. Along with the Knit Pro, Soft Grip Metal Crochet Hooks.



Next we have bamboo, bamboo is softer and more yielding in the hands than metal. Not to say bendy, but with a little bit more bounce which can make them more comfortable in the hands. Also much lighter than metal so when working on heavier projects you are less likely to feel weighed down.

One quality of bamboo that really sets it apart from metal is their grippyness. By that I mean the slight textural nature of Bamboo holds the yarn but doesn’t snag. This makes them the perfect needles for slippery yarns like silks and bamboo fibre.  Their grippyness gives you more control so stitches are less likely to slip off, or the needle sliding off and flying across the room. This is definitely a bonus if you are knitting with DPN’s. In this regard they are perfect for beginners who are just getting to grips with the basics. Slightly less pointed than Metal, so less likely to split looser yarns.

In Bamboo needles we Stock Clover 33cm Straights, 20cm DPN’s and Fixed Circulars in 60 and 80cms. As well as Bamboo Crochet Hooks.



Wood sits between bamboo and metal when it comes to hardness, weight and grip on the yarn. Wood are warmer in the hands with a little bit more weight than Bamboo. Great for those who are looking for a more comfortable alternative to metal with slightly less grip than Bamboo. Wood are great all round needle and work well with most yarns. Similarly not as pointy to avoid splitting, but pointy enough to cope with complicated knitting projects.

Wood like bamboo are not as strong as metal so smaller sizes are more likely to snap from careless use. But well looked after will reward you with hours of comfortable knitting.

In wood we stock Knit Pro Symfonie range, a strong and durable needle made from laminated birch in attractive multicolours. We have 30cm Straights, 20/15cm DPN’s and Interchangeable Tips in short and standard sizes, which work with the Knit Pro Cables.



Lastly we come to the carbon knitting needles. These are made from carbon fibre. Carbon fibre gives you one of the strongest needles you will find, its also used in aircraft making and spaceships. Strength is not the only quality carbon fibre has, it is also supple, with a slight give making them more comfortable to hold. They are also warmer to touch and lighter in the hand, also contributing to a comfortable knit. They work really well when it comes to using smaller sizes because of this. Carbon fibre is smooth but with a very slight grip on the yarn, allowing stitches to glide with ease but also giving you control. Perfect for working on smaller projects or DPN’s. The carbon fibre needles we stock have brass metal tips giving them a flawlessly point which is helpful when doing more complicated work.

In carbon we stock Knit Pro Karbonz a strong durable carbon fibre needle with pointy brass tips. We have 30cm Straights,15cm DPN’s and Interchangeable Tips in short and standard sizes, which work with the Knit Pro Cables.

2 thoughts on “Needle in a Yarn Shop – Knitting needles and their materials

  1. Hi! I live in Portsmouth UK and have been asked to run a small workshop, within an Eco Conference, to educate people about sustainable yarn and the most eco friendly knitting needles to use.
    I have pulled away from the acrylics since I heard that the fibre takes 30-40 years to decompose as opposed to the natural cottons and wools that degrade naturally. Can you confirm this please?
    Also, I’m not sure where to begin to find evidence and your website seems like a good place to start!
    I look forward to hearing from you with any information you can help with.
    Many thanks.

    • Hi Elizabeth. Acrylic yarns are made out of residue from oil production, hence it is made out of pure plastic, and will not decompose. This also goes for plastic needles. Having said that, to get rid of old yarns/needles unused will only add to the landfills so I always recommend to use or re-use and not throw away until something is really broken, to make sure the lifespan of the yarns/needles get as long as possible.

      When looking through the yarns we carry, you’ll see that we value transparency in all stages of production and you’ll find descriptions explaining the production process behind them.

      I hope this was of help, all my best,

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