What do you need to begin knitting?
With all the knitting needles and accouterments on the market, it’s very difficult to know what exactly it is that you need when you’re just a beginner knitter. Let KnitPal help you out!
When you are just starting out, there are only a few basic items that you’ll need. These include knitting needles and yarn (obviously), but also yarn needles, a gauge and a few other odds and ends. But, you may be wondering, which knitting needle size do I choose? Or which yarn? Keep reading to find out.
The main thing you have to remember with buying your first knitting needles is that they shouldn’t be too thin. If the needles are too thin, they are very difficult to handle and see your stitches and would rather demotivate you than motivate you to keep on knitting. Aim for needles that are 4 mm, 4.5 mm or 5mm in size. These work well with the thicker yarn you will start off with (see below) and your stitches and pattern will be clear to see.
Here’s a handy chart about knitting needle conversions to help you choose the correct size needle, as well as a post explaining the differences.
In the same way your knitting needles shouldn’t be too thin when you just start knitting, your yarn should also not be too thin. For instance, lace weight yarn is not a good weight of yarn to start off with, as it is very fine, can be very tricky to work with, and you may even struggle to count and see your stitches as you’re just starting out.
The best yarn to start off with — and which suits the size needles mentioned above — is worsted weight or double knit. Double knit is also referred to just as “DK”. Choose yarn in your favorite color to make it an even more pleasant experience when you’re setting out. Although, try to stay away from colors which are too dark, as the stitches can be difficult to count. Rather opt for a grey this time if your favorite color is black!
Remember, you also don’t have to buy the most expensive yarn when you’re just starting out and still learning — you’re probably going to have to rip back and re-knit the yarn a few times to really get a hang of the patterns and stitches. The two main yarns you can choose between are synthetic and natural yarns. If you’re not a fan of the synthetic variety of yarns, try a worsted weight bamboo yarn or cotton yarn. They are much easier to work with than a 100% wool yarn and make for great small projects like dishcloths, coasters, etc. That means that you actually get to use the swatches you make as well!
If you’re unsure of what to choose, why not head over to Facebook and join our KnitPal Facebook Group? There you’ll find people more than willing to give advice and cheer you on!
Other bits and pieces
There are some other bits and pieces that you’ll also need when you start knitting — but don’t worry, they needn’t cost the world! You’ll need a row counter, wool needles, stitch markers, and a gauge.
The row counter will help you keep track of where you are in a pattern and can be either a digital one, one that you click a button on, or one that you simply turn every time you finish a row. This last one is probably the easiest one to use for a beginner, as they fit onto the needle so you see them the whole time. That makes it easier to remember to count each row instead of forgetting for a few rows to press a button (which happens to the best of us!).
Wool needles are thicker needles with a larger eye which are perfect to use with thicker wool like worsted weight or double knit. You can choose between metal and plastic and both of them work equally well.
You may have seen very fancy stitch markers on sites like Pinterest, but you don’t need such fancy ones when you’re just starting out. The simple clip plastic markers will do the job just as well for a fraction of the price. Rather keep those fancy ones for your birthday wish list!
Lastly, a gauge will help you to measure swatches and to make sure that you’re using the correct size knitting needle.
Do you want to hear some great news? You can get all of these — from the knitting needles to the stitch markers, needles, and gauge in the different knitting needle sets from KnitPal! The Vibrant Straight Knitting Needle Set, for instance, contain various sizes of beautiful knitting needles, a gauge and a carry case — perfect for beginner knitters! That way you don’t have to worry about buying everything separately and paying more than you need to. Knitting shouldn’t be a hobby that costs the earth, after all.
If you’d like to find out more; be sure to read our other posts!