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Arts & crafts

bamboo knitting needles

(26 Posts)
nipsmum Thu 07-Jul-11 20:14:43

I've just been given 2 pairs of bamboo knitting needles. Having tried to use them and finding it quite difficult to move the stitches along whilst knitting I am wondering why they seem to be advertised so much in the knitting magazines and am I doing something wrong. Are they used for specific yarns or should I be able to knit any yarn on the required sizefor the project.

pompa Thu 07-Jul-11 20:37:01

As a wood turner, with a knowledge of how wood grain behaves, this doesn't surprise me. Bamboo is a grass and has long wood fibres that are loosely bound together, which is why it is strong but flexible. The problem is that when you cut these fibres the cut ends are loose and would catch anything, such as wool, that is slid along them however well they are polished. When you turn bamboo or palm, these loose ends can produce lethal splinters, after a few painful incidents, I no longer turn theses woods.

baggythecrust! Thu 07-Jul-11 21:02:46

nipsmum, I found the same thing with bamboo. I like circular Addi needles for large items — seem to need less elbow room! A friend who knits lots of socks likes wooden needles for that (not sure if she uses bamboo or another kind of wood) and she says it's quite useful not to have such slippery needles for socks. I've never found that my metal ones a problem though.

greenmossgiel Thu 07-Jul-11 21:26:34

I've had the same problem with bamboo needles. I still use my mother's metal needles - they're a bit bent, but so easy to use. smile

Dordor Thu 07-Jul-11 22:02:36

Yes I bought bamboo needles a few years ago thinking they must be a good thing, but I don't use them any more, and what's more they snap too easily (Pompa will explain why . . .). Happy now using my grandmother's, and great aunt's knitting needles. some of which have survived in pairs and some of which are frankly terrifying.

Cressida Fri 08-Jul-11 10:51:26

I was given a set of Cath Kidston bamboo needles and find them easy to use.

nipsmum Fri 15-Jul-11 20:27:57

Thank you all for your comments. I suppose the bamboo needles are produced for ethical reasons but as so many of us use our mums grans and aunties needles some of them must be many years old. How's that for sustainibility. I know most of mine are at least 55 years old.

janreb Sat 16-Jul-11 09:58:43

I couldn't get on with bamboo needles either. Most of my needles were my mother's and I am sure must be 50/60+ years old. I do like using circular needles though. Have just been given some very fancy plastic crochet hooks and I am afraid I don't like them either, will go back to my old metal ones.

Annobel Sat 16-Jul-11 10:18:19

I have a lovely bagful of knitting needles, some mine, many inherited from my mum. But I would like to try crochet and have never got on with it so far. Can anyone recommend a sort of 'Crochet for Dummies' book?

Elegran Sat 16-Jul-11 10:44:32

I have the same kind of knitting needle collection, from my Mum, and MIL, plusones I have bought myself. Lots of duplicates, but I can't bear to get rid of any,they were all used by hands I loved.

Dordor Sat 16-Jul-11 12:25:26

My collection includes a few needles where the nob has been replaced with sealing wax. Don't think that would happen nowadays.

Baggy Sat 16-Jul-11 13:26:56

I have knitting needles that belonged to both my grandmothers plus some that belonged to DH1's great aunt. Likewise crochet hooks. My eldest daughter has made up her set of crochet hooks from my collection, so that's at least four generations. It wouldn't surprise me at all if some of the needles and hooks belonged to my great-grandmothers. One or two of them appear to be made of bone. Fairly sustainable, or rather, sustained, I'd say. smile

The cynic in me says Don't kid yourself — bamboo knitting needles are made for profit! Funny how they started appearing when knitting got 'fashionable' again in recent years. After all, most, if not all, metal is recyclable and, as several of us have shown, metal knitting needles and hooks last a very long time if looked after.

ElseG Thu 21-Jul-11 03:23:16

I have two sets of bamboo needles (eight needles in each) and I love them. As an arthritis sufferer I think they are excellent. The metal ones very quickly leave me with aching hands but the bamboo needles allow me to keep going for longer.

artygran Fri 29-Jul-11 21:38:48

Like ElseG, I began to find that knitting with metal needles made my hands ache and the "squeeking" sensation" I got with some types of yarn began to irritate me. I switched to bamboo needles a couple of years ago and now would not use anything else. They are light, so I can knit for longer, and, if a knitting needle can be silent, they are silent. I still have all my mother's knitting needles.

nanapug Sun 25-Sep-11 15:50:09

Love bamboo needles too smile

em Sun 25-Sep-11 16:17:49

Bought first set of bamboo needles just yesterday. DD is a keen knitter but has painfully arthritic hands. Read that bamboo needles might help so thought that anything to keep her hands flexible and productive is worth a try. Have been told that they need a few days before they are comfortable so I'll let you know how she gets on. May even try them myself!

MrsJamJam Sun 25-Sep-11 18:23:21

I love my bamboo knitting needles, but can occasionally be seduced by a circular needle from time to time!

em Sun 25-Sep-11 18:37:24

Can't use a circular needle at all. I tried one for a twoply shawl with goodness knows how many stitches. My knitting 'style' means I have to have a needle tucked tightly under my right arm so just can't handle the fiddly wee circular one! I bet anyone reading this post stops to check their own method of holding pins!!

Grandmama Sun 25-Sep-11 21:42:23

I do loads of knitting and have a huge collection of all sizes of needles. Although they are expensive I have moved to bamboo needles and much prefer them - most things I knit use size 8 and size 10 needles - and I think I bought another larger size. I have found the price can vary between shops.

I find circular needles can be difficult to manoeuvre.

duchessofessex Fri 14-Oct-11 20:04:47

i have had bamboo needles for years and find that they are really good also have a motley collection of either metal or plastic needles, and of course they are really cheap if you get them form a charity shop...our local sense shop sells them for 25p a pair but our newly "updated" Hospice shop now wants £1.00 a pair for needles and £1.00 for a crochet hook, im all for charity but that is a bit rich, i know that tey are still cheaper than buying in the knitting and craft shops but we are talking about old needles here.

duchessofessex Fri 14-Oct-11 20:06:56

i am waiting for a set of bamboo tunisian crochet hooks, double ended, crochet one end and knitting the other, cant wait....£4.99 the set 36cm long from Hong Kong...bargain, lets hope they are worth it...will let you know.

Rosiebee Wed 26-Oct-11 16:15:33

Annobel, Patons had an excellent booklet for beginners crochet. I'm sure I've seen an updated version recently. It was very clear with good diagrams. Try and google it or go on one of the internet sites for crafts.

Annobel Wed 26-Oct-11 16:35:02

Thanks, Rosiebee. I will have a look. I want something to keep my hands busy and, as I have a problem shoulder, knitting sometimes becomes a bit of a strain.

petra Sun 30-Oct-11 12:26:03

Crochet info. I always go to the library when i need info on anything like this.

pbmb Mon 28-Nov-11 16:55:08

Also love bamboo needles, much easier for a beginner like me as the stitches keep slipping off the metal needles, not a very good knitter yetblush