Foursquare Majestics are some of our most popular needles, and we’re very excited to now offer one of our most popular styles in one of our most popular colors with Foursquare Sunstrucks! A bunch of the Knit Picks team has been using the Foursquare Sunstrucks since we got the factory samples, and even skeptics who had never used square needles before fell in love. We know the idea of square needles sounds strange, but they’re so much better than you might imagine if you’ve never tried them! Here are the most frequently asked questions we get about square needles.
Are they comfortable?
Comfort is the key feature of square needles! The flat surfaces of square needles give your fingers ideal places to hold the needles. If you’ve ever used chopsticks with squared tops, like the classic disposable chopsticks style, you’ll be familiar with how the squared off shape sits nicely against your fingers.
Are the corners sharp?
The corners are gently rounded, so they’re comfortable under knitters’ fingers and won’t damage yarn. Plus, our laminated birch needles have a smooth, burnished finish that won’t splinter and snag. The only things that are sharp on our Foursquare needles are the needle tips.
How does it make more consistent stitches?
Square needles do two things that help create more consistent stitches. First, the flat surface encourages better hand posture in a way that leads to more consistent hand posture. More consistent posture gives more consistent stitches. Second, although stitches move easily up and down the flat surfaces, stitches past the tip of the needle move less freely around the needle so they don’t get pulled tighter or looser when the next stitch is worked. Not having the worked stitch tighten or loosen the neighboring stitches as drastically as can be done with round needles also improves how even and consistent the stitches appear, particularly when purling.
How do they encourage good posture?
Your fingers will rest on the larger flat surfaces instead of curling slightly around a round surface or pinching a smaller surface area. That slight curl or pinch can cause discomfort over years of frequent knitting or exacerbate existing problems. Additionally, stitches don’t twist around the needles easily, so you will consistently pick up your knitting in the same position as before when you take breaks.
Does the smaller surface area cause a difference in gauge?
It varies from knitter to knitter. Square needles with an equal diameter across the diagonal to round needle have less surface overall, so logic would dictate that they’d knit at a tighter gauge than the same size round needle, but the answer is more complex than that! The tension placed on yarn is also a key factor, and for tight knitters who add tension, the better hand posture that square needles encourage can cause them to relax, which makes looser stitches that match their round needle gauge. There isn’t an easy way to guess if this will be the case for every knitter, so the best thing to do is knit a gauge swatch using the yarn and needles you will use for your project.
Are they good for new knitters?
Yes! The square edges help keep stitches in place when you’re not actively knitting, so it’s harder for your needles to accidentally drop stitches or pop completely out of your knitting if you let go of the needle, but once you pick your project back up, the smooth, flat surfaces lets the stitches move easily as you work. Square needles also help you establish a comfortable, ergonomic hold on knitting needles from the start, setting your knitting journey off on the right foot.