Different knitting needles are needed for different knitting jobs. It is not like some needlecrafts where you can cheat and use the same needles for different threads or knitting yarns. When it comes to knitting jobs, about the only time you want to change the needle size from the recommended size is when you are felting something but that is an altogether different knitting job in and of itself. The knitting needles you need for your knitting jobs vary depending on the job but so do the measurements and sometimes that can be confusing.
Knitting needles are generally based on their gauge or metric measurements. The size needle you need for a knitting job will depend on the size and type of yarn that the knitting pattern calls for. Most knitting yarns are marked with what size needles work best but sometimes, the pattern for a particular knitting job may call for something slightly different … especially if there are complexities of any kind in the knitting pattern that have to be incorporated into the finished product.
The knitting jobs and patterns are pretty much the same wherever you go in the world but the knitting needle measurements will be different in different markets. For that reason, we have included a list of knitting needles, measurements and uses so that no matter what type of knitting jobs you want to do, you can get the correct knitting needles no matter where you are.
Now knitting needles also come made out of many different materials. Plastic, Bamboo and metal knitting needles are the most common but unlike the size, your knitting jobs will not require a certain type of knitting needle so much as your personal preference will. Some people are more comfortable with the natural feel of the bamboo knitting needles. I remember my Grandmother was especially fond of the metal knitting needles though. I think she just liked it because we could all hear her when she was working on her knitting jobs there at the house. Whatever the reasons you have for selecting any particular make of knitting needles, that will not matter nearly as much as the size.