In nearly any major craft supply store, you’ll see the economical Susan Bates lightweight aluminum needles in straight, double-pointed, and fixed circular styles. The colorful metal Silvalume needles are common to beginners as they are easy to find, though they are softer than stainless steel and occasionally prone to bending. The aluminum needles have semi-sharp points and are smoother than bamboo or resin needles.
An economical speed-knitting needle
Recently, Susan Bates has been trying to compete with higher-end manufacturers, producing Velocity, a series of slick nickel-plated brass circular needles available in US1-US10½ and lengths 16”, 32”, and 40”. Speed knitting needles like Addi Turbos and KnitPicks Options are also available in nickel-plated brass. The plastic circular cables are not particularly pliable and may kink or coil frequently. Boiling the line (not the needle) may help reduce some of the original twist from shipping, but the cables are quite stiff in comparison to other brands
A single point needle with style(s)
Another new release from Susan Bates is the Tipping Points set of straight, single-pointed needles in 8 different colors with three styles of aluminum points: sharp, medium, and blunt, similar to the much spendier Signature Stiletto, Middy, and Blunt points. The Susan Bates Tipping Points come in individual sizes with all three tips included as well as a locking key, similar to what is used on interchangeable circular sets.
The knitting needles our parents and grandparents remember
Knitters preferring classic plastic needles have two options in the Susan Bates needle family, the Crystalites series of colorful semi-translucent 10” straight and 29” circular needles, and the 14” long Luxite Jiffy straight needles in sizes 17, 19, 35, and 50, for bulky projects. Plastic needles can be good for beginners and children, but are among the lowest quality of knitting needle. Read about all of the the best knitting needles for beginners in an upcoming guide.
In contrast to the colorful Silvalume needles, Susan Bates also offers Quicksilver, a grey-toned aluminum alloy needle in fixed circular and straight styles, though less commonly found in retail stores.