man putting a thread through a needle

It can be pretty tough for a new knitter to even figure out the knitting terminology, let alone to learn how to choose and use the equipment and all the different accessories. Knitting will open up a world of wonders to you, but that world can start unfurling only when you’re past the initial learning stages. Just like with everything else, it takes time and exposure to turn the newbie frustration into the satisfying confidence of a person who knows what she’s doing.

So, today we need to learn all about yarn needles – what they are, whether you need them or not, when to use them. And, of course, how to choose the best options on the market. After you’re done reading this article, you will have a pretty good picture of where to start. Or, if you’re a seasoned knitter, maybe you will get a few ideas and tips.

Best of all, you will be on your way to becoming that cool person on Instagram who can perform awesome DIY tricks and wear unique homemade scarves and caps. Imagine the thrill of saying: “No, I didn’t buy it. I made it myself!” Even better, you can eventually start to make those cool accessories for other people too and easily make a living out of it.

The needles are waiting for you to put them to use. Let’s dig in!

What Is a Yarn Needle?

If you’ve ever sewn anything manually, you are probably familiar with that painful experience when the needle finds its way through the fabrics and into your finger. Ouch! If you consequently gave up on manual sewing because of that, I can totally understand you. But even if you’ve grown an Aichmophobia (that’s the scientific term for fear of needles and other sharp and pointed objects), it’s time to start dealing with it. And yarn needles are probably the best place to start, for reasons you will learn even in the next paragraph.

First off, there’s no need to be afraid as a newbie knitter – a typical yarn needle has a dull point. That’s because it doesn’t need to pierce through fabrics. It only needs to manipulate and weave through the strings of yarn. Your fingers can breathe a sigh of relief. No chance of hurting them! Even your kiddo can handle this needle pretty safely, without you supervising their every move.

Another reason to stop panicking is the fact that most yarn needles are plastic and are considerably bigger in size than your average sewing needle. Sometimes, you will encounter metal or steel needles too, but plastic is becoming more and more common material due to its elasticity and flexibility. Typically, the eye of a yarn needle is longer and/or wider than the tiny little eye of a sewing needle. That’s because the yarn itself has a thicker thread, which requires a larger eye to go through. And the larger needle eye helps out our physical eyes, to put it that way.

Different Types of Yarn Needles

Generally, yarn needles will differ in terms of size and purpose. Much depends on the yarn itself, which will often dictate the type of needle. Don’t worry about getting overwhelmed with many different types. You won’t need all of them. In fact, you can do amazingly varied stitchwork with a single set of yarn needles when you know how to use them.

Let’s get one thing clear. Yarn needles are very similar to tapestry needles. Most of the time, it doesn’t make any difference if you use one term or the other. It just boils down to personal preference, as these are synonyms. However, you shouldn’t mix them up with regular knitting needles.

And now with the stuff that all yarn needles have in common. The eye should be large enough to fit even the bulkiest yarn. On the other hand, the points are always blunt. The reason is simple enough: we don’t want to split or even tear our yarn.

Here’s the third thing they all have in common. Knitting newbies don’t even know they need them – at least most of the time. In my estimation, about 90% of the knitting or crocheting process will be over before you realize that you need a special tool to help you get rid of those loose ends.

Now for the differences. I already mentioned they can be made of plastics or metal. Further on, the tip can be bent or straight. In my experience, yarn needles with bent tips handle the yarn more easily, making it harder to just slip by the needle. If that should happen, you would be losing your stitch as a result. It’s no catastrophe, but it ruins the seamless knitting experience, especially if you have only just started.

Why Do I Need a Yarn Needle?

Let’s get one thing straight. You won’t be needing this kind of needle for your normal knitting. But when you want to put different pieces together, your knitting needles will be pretty useless. Putting together different parts of your knitting work is called weaving in ends. It’s something a regular knitting needle can’t do. You know those yarn tails that are coming off at both sides when you’re done with a knitting or crochet project? You can’t just cut them off, or else your project will fall apart. If you need to change the color of the yarn or just need to wrap up your project, there are those loose ends again. Use a yarn or tapestry needle to weave them in and that’s it – your stitchwork is nice and secure.

Apart from these technical tasks that are a must, you can also use yarn needles for decorating your projects with nice embroidery details.

So, a this needle is not a fancy tool that you can just use or omit as you wish. They are part of the basic equipment every knitter or crocheter needs. And believe me, mastering that particular kind of needlework is not rocket science. Keep on reading to learn more about them. I’m also including some options to buy online, as well as reviews.

Things to Consider When Buying Yarn Needles

The purpose of this article is not just to present a few options for you to choose from. It’s also to provide everything you need to know, so you can make an educated choice yourself, without my help. Maybe you will find even better options out there. That’s the beauty of the Internet, along with the fact that you get to learn everything about anything, within minutes.

So, here are some basic things to consider.

  • Hollow-length needles are good for short ends. Just like their name says, they are hollow all the way, with the eye running through their entire length. They will do an amazing job when you have to deal with very short yarn tails.
  • Bent or straight tip. If you are wondering which type is better, I can’t tell you the answer. It just depends on the kind of your project and the purpose you’re putting them to. The bent tip works wonders when it comes to small and tight projects, where there isn’t much room for improvising. It just gives you better control over your work.
  • How blunt is blunt enough? As I said above, yarn needles are generally blunt at the tip – at least in comparison with regular sewing needles. But that isn’t to say that all of them are equally blunt. If you want to make sure not to damage or split the thread (especially when it’s thick), you should opt for blunt as blunt can be. However, some knitters or crocheters actually like to go through the thread itself when weaving in the tails, so the result can be sturdier. Try both options and decide what works better for you.
  • Plastics or metal. This one mostly boils down to personal preference. As a rule, metal glides more easily through the yarn, whereas plastic needles are more elastic and flexible. The choice will mostly depend on the type of yarn. When you’re working with thicker yarns, a plastic needle will do a better job most of the time. If, however, your yarn is thinner, you will need a metal needle to preserve your stitches.
  • Make sure to get the best value for your money. Instead of buying a few separate needles for different kinds of work, you can opt to buy them in batches, with different sizes and types included.
  • Do they come in a storage or container? You might say: well, what does it matter if the package includes a carrying case? And you would be right. It has nothing to do with the needles themselves. However, if they don’t come with a case, you need to act fast, and I mean it. Acquire some kind of a bag or container as soon as possible. An ordinary cosmetic bag will do. I can’t tell you how easy it is to lose these things.

Useful Tips & Tricks When Using a Yarn Needle

Before making the first move with your yarn needle, you need to make sure you’re at the wrong side of your work. That’s because the stitches tend to show through the work (especially if you’re using a different color of yarn), so you will want to do your best to hide them. The whole point is about getting rid of those loose ends in a way that won’t cause your work to unravel. Plus, weaving in ends will reinforce your work so you can just throw it into your laundry machine without worrying what’s gonna come out. As any knitter or crocheter knows, the result will look professionally only if the needlework is invisible.

When you’re done with a project, cut off the yarn from the yarn ball. You will get a loose tail – just thread it onto your yarn needle and you’re ready to start weaving. The most important concern here would be to follow your yarn trail and sew through the right loops to avoid undoing your own work. Identify your stitch “legs” and weave through them. You can do multiple rows, as long as you’re picking the legs that you hadn’t already weaved through. If you’re doing crochet, you can use your crochet hook to reinforce the very last weaving stitch.

Before we dig into reviews, let me throw another handy tip your way. If you can’t buy a yarn needle for whatever reason or if you don’t think you need one right now, there are things you can use instead. Let the counting down begin… Ta-da! An ordinary bobby pin or safety pin will do the trick! It won’t be very convenient, but it will make do. At least until you acquire a proper yarn needle.

Top 7 Best Yarn Needles & Reviews

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Outus Large-eye Blunt Needles Steel Yarn Knitting Needles Set of 9

Outus Large-eye Blunt Steel Yarn Needle Knitting Sewing
Click Here to See the Price on Amazon

The extra long eyes, blunt tips and thick shafts make these needles very convenient to handle. It’s an Amazon’s Choice product, which means Amazon recommends it to any potential buyer. And check out awesome customer reviews! The needles are made of stainless steel, so they will glide perfectly.

They are different in length as well as the width and shape of the eyes, so the set is very versatile and should be just enough to suit any project, whether your yarn tails are long or short. You will appreciate the container that won’t let you lose them.

Susan Bates Finishing Value Pack Knitting Needles Set of 5

Susan Bates 14154 Finishing Value Pack Knitting Needle
Click Here to See the Price on Amazon

If you’re not very fond of the metal, try plastics. These are especially convenient because the eye runs the entire length, so they are much easier to thread and handle. The set will meet any needs, since the needles differ in length and width, accommodating any type of yarn. I personally find them very handy when it comes to weaving in very short ends. Knitters or crocheters with poor vision will especially appreciate the ease of threading, even with the most finicky yarns.

The only con I can think of is that they are not as sturdy as their metal counterparts. But if you doubt their durability, just snag a couple of packs and you should be good.


Jumbo Bent Tip Tapestry Needles Set of 11

Jumbo Bent Tip Tapestry Needles
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I just love buying needles and other sewing supplies in batches! With this one, you will get pretty much everything you’ll ever need for weaving in ends and finishing your knitting and crochet projects. The package includes two large eyed bent tip needles and nine straight tip needles, so you can choose from a large variety and deal with pretty much any kind of yarn or thread.

All of them are made of steel and come in a sturdy container tube. Don’t worry about getting stabbed, since all of them have blunt points.

Singer Heavy Duty Household Hand Needles Set of 7

SINGER 01025 Heavy Duty Household Hand Needles
Click Here to See the Price on Amazon

This suggestion might come as a surprise as part of an article about yarn needles. Technically, these are darning needles, but the difference from yarn needles is next to nonexistent. You will get a set of needles varying in length and use, but what stands for all of them is that they are heavy duty and will handle any kind of thick materials like a breeze. The package includes two upholstery needles, a canvas needle, a carpet needle, a leather needle, a sacks needle, and a sail needle.

Their versatility will amaze you, though. Besides mending and repairing projects, they will perform great when it comes to weaving in ends or finishing different DIY projects, since their tips are mildly bent and the points aren’t very sharp. And feel free to recommend the set to any friends who like to make their own repairs or are just fond of knitting. It’s just one of those items every household should have. You can thank me later!

Susan Bates Steel Yarn Knitting Needle Set of 5

Susan Bates Steel Yarn Knitting Needle
Click Here to See the Price on Amazon

For those who don’t need a huge variety of needles, this set of five 2-inch yarn needles will do just fine.

The material is stainless steel, so you shouldn’t worry about damaging them. I would just like them to come in some kind of carrying case, since I tend to easily lose track of my needles.

It might be a coincidence, but a couple of users on Amazon said that they only received the box, with no needles in it – it probably got opened somehow and the needles got lost.



Homyl Aluminium Bent Tip Knitting Tapestry Needles Set of 4

Homyl 4 Pieces Aluminium Bent Tip
Click Here to See the Price on Amazon

When I said yarn needles are made of either plastics or metal, I didn’t mean it exclusively. In some cases (very rarely though – at least in my experience), they can be made of other materials too. Just like this set of four – its material is aluminium alloy. I can’t really tell you if they are better than the traditional ones, but they have all the reasons to be good.

The aluminum should make them more elastic than steel and prevent easy breaking. Large eyes for easy threading, bent tip for easy hooking, everything is there.

Clover Chibi Jumbo Bent Tip Darning Needle Set

Clover Chibi Jumbo Bent Tip Darning Needle Set
Click Here to See the Price on Amazon

Talking about the perfect balance between blunt and sharp points – this set of needles won’t damage your yarn, but it will still slide nicely. The eye is large enough for thicker weight yarn, and the bent tip makes decorating stitches very convenient to perform.

They are made of metal, so they should be durable to last a lifetime. Plus, a neat little storage case comes included in the package, so you won’t lose them too easily.