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What is a Darning Needle? – A Crochet Beginners Guide

What is a darning needle? If you’re new to crochet, you might have heard of this but aren’t really sure what it is. I know there are a lot of hook and tools to get straight when first getting started. What’s a crochet hook? Do I need one or two? What size? How do I know what yarn to use? What’s a stitch marker?

On top of all of that, I’ve just added another tool for you to confuse in your brain- a darning needle.

But don’t fret! In this post, I will go over everything you need to know, what it is, how to use one, the different types and I’ll give my recommendations of which ones I like the best!


darning needle
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What is a darning needle?

So if you’ve never heard of a darning needle, you may think it’s the same thing as a sewing needle and while, essentially that’s what it is, a darning needle is slightly different.

It’s basically a thicker, blunt-tipped needle with a bigger eye to make it easier to thread thicker yarn through such as crochet thread or yarn, or embroidery floss. Some darning needles will come large enough to fit bulkier yarn too! Needle-workers use it for projects such as embroidery, knitting, cross stitch, and sewing- as well as crochet!

Other names for a darning needle: tapestry needle, embroidery needle, yarn needle.

Where is the “eye” of a needle?

I know saying the “eye” of the needle sounds funny (Kinda like “frogging” in crochet sounds funny!) but the eye of a needle just means the end you thread your string or yarn through (see below!).

Is there a difference? Tapestry needle vs. yarn needle

Click the photo to shop this needle!

Tapestry needles are pretty much the same things as a yarn needle. The difference in needles are “yarn needles” will most likely be near the crochet hooks and knitting needles aisle in the craft store and are typically made of plastic whereas “tapestry needles” could more commonly be found near the embroidery hoops and embroidery floss (hence why they are also known as “embroidery needles”!)

What about Tapestry needle vs. darning needle? Is there a difference there?

Click the photo to shop this needle!

No, not really. Tapestry needles vs darning needles are basically the same thing. All the needles are manufactured to have the same blunt tip and a larger eye. For the most part there is no difference between a tapestry needle and darning needle, however, in some cases, darning needles may run longer than tapestry needles!

So which one is better?

Click the photo to shop this needle!

Because of how similar all of the needles are from each other, it’s hard to say which one would be “better”. It really all depends on preference. (It’s like picking out a “better” deck of playing cards- they all have the same cards in the box but some designs you may like better than others!) It comes down to the way the manufacturer made the needle to choose which one you think is better for your specific need. The only big difference is if you want plastic vs. metal and the size of the eye (Which I will be going over later in the post!)

Bottom line is, it’s up to you! (However, later in the post I’ll help you figure out which one is best to use for specific projects!)

How do I use a darning needle?

Click the photo to shop this needle!

It’s really simple, you just thread the yarn of your choice through the eye and sew from there! It is no different from a regular needle at that point, just slightly larger!

If you don’t have a <a href="http://“>needle threader the easiest way to thread yarn through the needle, from my own experience, is pinching the yarn between your thumb and finger and twisting the top edge so the yarn won’t fray, and pushing the yarn through the other side of the eye! It can be a tedious task at first, especially if you have arthritis or other troubles with your fingers but that’s what <a href="http://“>needle threaders are for! Otherwise, practice is the only thing you need!

What is a darning needle used for?

Weaving in loose ends

Ah, the most hated thing in the crochet world, for some reason. Sewing in your ends when the blanket is finished. This is probably one of the more common things a darning needle would be for.

Joining seams together

Another great use for a needle is when you’re making a block granny square blanket and you want to sew your squares together. It makes for a nice, clean join!

Adding embellishments to your crochet

You could add some cross-stitch or embroidering to your crochet work to add an extra layer to your blanket or afghan!

Sewing Amigirumi

I use my darning needle for this all the time. I love to make these little bears

crochet bear
Want a tip on how to make these? Check out how to use a stitch marker here!

And I use my darning needle to sew the body parts together all the time!

Are there different darning needle sizes?

Yes, there are. The needles come numbered and you can judge what size you need based off of the numbers. And while I haven’t run into this myself, I imagine if you need a needle to finish a crochet project they would give you the needle size with the materials you need. (Like I said, I haven’t seen this myself, but someone might do it!)

Tip: The bigger the numbers the bigger the eye, the smaller the numbers the smaller the eye!

How do I know which darning needle to choose for my project?

As I mentioned before, the type of needle (darning, tapestry, embroidery) doesn’t exactly matter as there is little difference in types, however, there is a difference in size.

For example, if you are using embroidery floss, you don’t want to choose the biggest darning needle you have as the yarn will easily slide out of the eye of the needle. Just as much you don’t want to take your smallest needle and use it for crochet yarn. If it’s too hard to get the yarn through the eye of the needle, you probably should go up in size!

And that’s pretty much about all there is to know on darning needles!

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