I'm a beginner knitter. I have a one pair of knitting needles, which are 4.5mm but seem quite short (30cm or less ish? I cannot see a printed measurement for length on them only the diameter). I went to my local craft shop, and they had a great range of needles of all diameters and lengths.

For a new project I need a pair of 4mm however - so what length should they be? Is longer better and just use less of the needle, or should I get two sets of certain diameters so that I can work small and larger projects?

  • This question might interest you: Does knitting needle material make a difference in knitting?
    – Elmy
    Jan 16, 2020 at 7:19
  • Thank you! I have metal needles for now, as I'm struggling with tension and I've read metal is better for this as wooden ones tend to hold the yarn more and the metal ones are a bit more slippery.
    – Aravona
    Jan 16, 2020 at 8:58
  • 1
    I found that wooden needles actually helped me break the habit of pulling my stitches too tight, because I was forced to knit more loosely so the yarn wouldn't snag.
    – csk
    Jan 16, 2020 at 19:45
  • @csk - interesting idea, might have to give that a go.
    – Aravona
    Jan 20, 2020 at 11:58
  • You might like circular needles, I wrote out my reasons for using them rather than straight needles in this question: crafts.stackexchange.com/questions/7876/…
    – Belle
    Jan 21, 2020 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


It depends on what you are knitting, but you probably need needles that are 60 or 80 cm (24 or 32 inches).

The most commonly used sizes for circular knitting needles are 40, 60, and 80 cm (16, 24, or 32 inches), as measured from tip to tip. If you buy needles in those lengths, it is likely that you will be able to re-use them for other projects in the future.

60cm and 80cm are very versatile (and commonly used) lengths for circular knitting needles, as they allow you to knit comfortably, both flat and in the round. For knitting flat, these lengths are ideal because they are a manageable length that is not likely to tangle. These sizes will also accommodate larger objects in the round (like sweaters), or you can use the magic loop method to knit smaller objects in the round (like hats).

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