Knitting needles are sticks, made from either metal, wood, or plastic, that are used for knitting projects. How long are knitting needles? The length, and the diameter, depends on the needs of the knitter using the needles and the knitting project. The standard size of a set of knitting needles is about 14 inches (or 35.56 cm). The shortest knitting needles are 7 inches (17.78 cm), which are made for children. The lengths of needles range from 8 inches (20.32 cm) to 16 inches (40.64 cm). There also is a range of the gauge of knitting needles, ranging from 2 mm to 10 mm (or the American metric of 0 to 15). As a fun piece of trivia, the largest and longest knitting needles according to the Guinness World Records are 21 feet (6.5 meters) long and 2.5 inches (6.5 cm) in diameter!
The classic or standard knitting needle is a straight slender stick with a tapered point on one end and a cap or nob on the opposite end. Straight knitting needles are always used in pairs. The length of the needles can vary greatly with the needs of the project and the person using the knitting needles. Some people prefer shorter needles over longer ones, as the shorter lengths are easier to use and are less cumbersome and are useful for knitting on the go, tucking into a bag, or when knitting in a confined space, such as in a car. However, for most knitting projects, the conventional longer length is best to use. The gauge of the needles used impacts the length of the stitches and therefore the amount of yard used in the project.
An alternative style of knitting needle is the double-pointed needle, which is the oldest style knitting needle. Double-pointed knitting needles have tapered points on both ends. Double-pointed knitting needles are generally used in sets of three or more needles and are used for circular knitting projects such as socks or sleeves. This type of needle is generally shorter than the standard length, ranging from 5 to 8 inches (13 to 20 cm), though they are also made in longer lengths.
A much different style of knitting needle is a round circular needle. Circular needles are used to knit two-dimensional projects in the shape of squares, rectangles, or tubes. The typical lengths of circular needles range from 8.5 inches (22 cm) to the enormous length of 60 inches (150 cm) and are measured from tip to tip.
Similarly, a cable knitting needle is a specialized double-pointed needle that is often U-shaped or has a bend in the middle. The needle often has a flexible cable in the middle of two ridged sections. This type of knitting needle is usually very short of 4 to 5 inches (10.5 to 13 cm). Sometimes the flexible part can be interchangeable with different straight lengths. This versatile style of needle can be used for both flat and circular knitting and can be used for double knitting projects.
In this same way, there is a style of knitting needle known as an interchangeable needle. Interchangeable knitting needles are similar to the circular or cable-style but with the option of changing the straight and ridged section with different gauges and lengths. This style has a wide range of uses for many different types of knitting projects.
As can be seen, there is a wide variety of different types of knitting needles. The wide range of different types of needles is used to complete a wide range of different projects.
Now, that we know about desired length for knitting needles we need to look into yarn swifts to set yourself up for success during your next knitting project!
I’m a stay at home mom with our two kids. I really enjoy doing crafts with my toddler however, that is typically a challenge with her limited attention span, messiness, and desire to always have clean hands. So, I’m always looking for ways to make crafting an enjoyable experience and fond memory for the both of us.