Lace knitting is an intricate art. This form of knitting creates beautiful designs easily. With the correct knitting needle and yarn, you can knit lace perfectly. Even the simplest pattern looks amazing.
I was drawn to knitting, especially lace knitting, since early childhood as I watched my mother and her mother knit so beautifully. So, I began with typical knits and purls and then moved to lace knitting. Before diving in, I did some research to choose the best knitting needles for lace. In my many attempts, I finally found something that helped me in the art that I will be discussing in the blog.
Before that, let’s look at the yarn. Simply enough, lace yarn is the perfect choice for lace knitting. Lace yarn is lightweight and perfect for summers, yet warm enough when used for winter accessories and garments. But that does not mean that you cannot try other yarns. Sock, fingering and DK yarns also produce fantastic results. If you are a beginner, you might find DK weight yarn the best option.
Another thing to remember is to block your lace project. It is one of the essential steps that will give the final finish to your lace knitting. Blocking tools and mats assist in making your pattern really stand out.
But, let’s get back to the topic.
There isn’t a specific definition of a good lace knitting needle, but the foremost requirement is that it must have sharp, tapered points. Like cutting vegetables with a dull knife could be disastrous, so is knitting lace with blunt needles. You must be wondering why? Let me explain. In lace knitting, you’ll be artfully creating stable ‘holes’, which means decreasing stitches or combining two stitches into one. Your needle has to go in two or even three stitches at once, thus there is a need for sharp tips so that you can knit smoothly and the yarn does not snag.
When you are thinking of lace knitting and the suitable knitting needle for them, you must take three important points into consideration - the type, material, and size of your knitting needle.
Most of us knitters prefer a set of needles or brands over others for the natural ease of working with it.
For knitting lace projects, single-pointed and circular needles work fine but only if you are working on flat items and to knit in the round you will need either double-pointed (DPNs) or circular needles.
Many knitters believe circular knitting needles are versatile and the best choice for lace knitting. The freedom of switching the needle and cable with interchangeable circular needles is incomparable as it gives a variety of options and, most importantly, you can knit both flat and round with them.
It is important to keep in mind when picking up circular needles for lace knitting, have a good look at the joins where the needle tip meets the cable. These joins must be smooth and not snag the yarn when moving the stitches from the cord to the needle.
Choosing the needle material for lace knitting is a personal preference, and there is no better or worse option. You can prefer wood or bamboo or even acrylics or aluminum, but first, understand how the needles behave with the yarn you have chosen. Do they stick or grab? Or do they glide smoothly? The perfect lace knitting needles must allow the smooth flow of stitches.
Metal knitting needles, especially stainless steel are a popular choice among knitters when it comes to lace knitting. The lightweight, yet sturdy material suits the need perfectly as the smooth surfaces allow a steady flow of stitches.
There isn’t a specific size of knitting needle for lace. A general recommendation is to use a larger needle than you usually would for lace knits.
Some projects require fine needle sizes such as US 0 with fingering or lace-weight yarns or even threads. Other projects use standard size knitting needles, usually between US 4 and US 10, with yarns ranging from fingering to Aran weight. Most of the patterns and yarn mention the needle sizes that work best. Many knitters prefer to work with US 2.5 - 4 needle sizes for lace projects.
I hope that the above information will help you with choosing the right needles for lace knitting.
Given the points discussed and trying out many different needles, I finally decided to try out needles from the Mindful Collection. The range of stainless steel knitting needles have sharp tapered points and come in variants of double-pointed (DPNs) as well as circular needles. The needle sets come in beautiful cases along with all necessary accessories. Interestingly, the collection is designed for the practice of mindfulness with knitting and every needle in the range has an inspirational word imprinted on the tip to strengthen the focus on the meditative aspects of knitting.
For lace knitting, I enjoyed working with the Mindful Generosity Set. The 2″ tips interchangeable circular needle collection has 8 sizes (US 2.5-10) with cords of 10" and 12". The set accommodates the lace knitting style perfectly along with many other projects.
If you would like to explore the creative path of mindfulness, then explore our previous blog on mindful knitting. Till then, happy knitting!