Recommended Circular Knitting Needles:
1. Susan Bates Velocity Circular Knitting Needles – these are sharp, sturdy, well made, and cheap. Love them. Yarn flows very well, doesn’t snag, moves quickly. BEST.
2. Clover Takumi Bamboo Circular Knitting Needles – these are less sharp than the Susan Bates Velocity Needles, and the knitting moves a lot slower. The join is good, the needles are smooth and well made. I would recommend this for a beginner in circular knitting who doesn’t want the yarn moving around too quickly. SECOND BEST.
3. Chinese Bamboo Circular Knitting Needles on Ebay. NOT RECOMMENDED. But VERY cheap compared to everything else in the world. The bamboo is basically smooth (but not as smooth as the Clover Takumis), the join is basically okay (not for lace knitting, it will snag on delicate yarn), but the plastic is CHEAP and WILL BREAK after a while. I used my size 8 sporadically for a few years and the plastic broke off at the join. This is a great set for an extreme beginner who has little to no money and wants a bunch of different sizes.
A word to the wise: you don’t need all the sizes. Seriously. Beginners, buy a size 6, 8 and 10 needle in 16 inch circular and 29 inc circular, and you’re set. Unless you LIKE knitting SOCKS (ugh, the tyranny of socks, where you have to knit two things exactly the same). Then you might need smaller needles.
Also: You can do flat back and forth knitting on circular needles. So you don’t EVER need to buy the regular straight knitting needles. SAVE YOUR MONEY.
Recommended Crochet Hooks:
1. Hamanaka Japanese Crochet Hooks. Expensive, but you’ll never need anything else. SO WORTH the expense. Well made, attractive, will last forever. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
2. Susan Bates Silvalume Crochet Hooks. Cheap, well made, sharp and pointy, sturdy, just awesome. Perfect for a beginner.
3. Boye Crochet Hooks. NOT RECOMMENDED. I find the head too blunt for ease and speed of crocheting. I would not buy these.