Are you interested in learning the art of knitting?
Whether you’re a complete beginner or simply looking to refresh your skills, having the right supplies can make all the difference. With so many different options available, it can be difficult to know where to start.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the essential knitting supplies for beginners, and explain what each item is used for. Whether you’re creating cosy scarves, hats, or blankets, these supplies will help you get started on your knitting journey with confidence.
Knitting needles are the primary tool used in knitting supplies for beginners. They come in a variety of materials, sizes, and shapes, and each type has its own unique benefits.
Different types of knitting needles include:
- Straight needles: These are the traditional type of needle and come in a range of lengths. They’re used for flat knitting, where the knitter alternates between knitting and purling.
- Circular needles: These are long, flexible needles with pointed ends that are connected by a cable. They’re used for circular knitting, where the work is knit in a continuous spiral.
- Double-pointed needles: These are short, pointed needles that come in sets of four or five. They’re used for knitting small tubes, such as socks or gloves.
When choosing knitting needles, it’s important to consider the size and material. Yarn weight and pattern will also influence the size of needle you need to use. Generally, lighter-weight yarns require smaller needles, while heavier yarns require larger needles.
Materials for knitting needles include:
- Bamboo: Lightweight and warm to the touch, bamboo needles are ideal for knitting supplies for beginners as they’re easy to handle.
- Metal: These are lightweight and slippery, making them ideal for working with slippery yarns.
- Plastic: These are lightweight and durable, making them ideal for beginner knitters who are still getting a feel for the craft.
- Wood: These are warm and sturdy, making them ideal for winter projects.
Yarn is the next essential ingredient in your knitting supplies for beginners. There are many different types of yarn to choose from, each with its own unique texture, weight, and color.
Types of yarn include:
- Acrylic: This is a synthetic, affordable, and easy-care yarn that’s ideal for beginners.
- Wool: This is a soft and warm natural fiber that’s popular for winter projects.
- Alpaca: This is a luxurious and soft natural fiber that’s similar to wool but lighter.
- Cotton: This is a strong and durable natural fiber that’s ideal for summer projects.
When choosing yarn, it’s important to consider the pattern you’re using and the desired final product. The yarn weight and fiber content will affect the drape and feel of your finished item. It’s also important to choose a color that you love, as you’ll be spending a lot of time with it!
To choose the right yarn for your project, take a look at the pattern you’re using and see what type of yarn the designer recommends. Then, head to your local yarn store and ask the staff for their advice. They’ll be able to help you choose a yarn that’s suitable for your project and skill level.
Stitch markers are small rings or clips that are used to mark a specific stitch or group of stitches. They’re essential tool knitting supplies for beginners for keeping track of your place in a pattern, especially for more complex patterns with multiple decreases or increases.
Stitch markers can be used to mark the beginning of a round, indicate where a pattern repeat begins and ends, or mark where you need to make a change in your knitting. They come in a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, and bamboo, and can be easily removed and repositioned as needed.
For beginners, stitch markers are important for a few reasons:
- They help you keep track of your place in a pattern, especially for more complex patterns.
- They can help prevent mistakes, such as losing track of where a pattern repeat begins and ends.
- They can make counting stitches and rows easier, as you can simply count from one marker to the next.
Knitting Supplies for Beginners: Row Counter
A row counter is a small device used to keep track of the number of rows you’ve knit. It can be a handy tool for keeping track of your progress, especially for patterns with multiple rows or for projects where you need to work a certain number of rows before making a change.
A row counter typically works by clicking a button with each completed row, which increments the counter. Some row counters can be worn around the neck or attached to the knitting needles, making them easily accessible while you’re working.
Keeping track of rows is important for a few reasons:
- It helps you stay on track with your pattern, especially for patterns with multiple rows.
- It allows you to keep track of your progress, so you can see how far you’ve come and how much further you have to go.
- It can help prevent mistakes, such as forgetting to make a change at a specific row.
Knitting Supplies for Beginners: Scissors
Scissors may seem like a small detail in your knitting supplies kit, but they’re actually an important tool to have on hand. When it comes to knitting, it’s best to have a dedicated pair of scissors, rather than using the same pair for all of your household cutting needs.
Having a dedicated pair of scissors for knitting has several benefits:
- They’re always on hand when you need them, without having to search for them or worry about misplacing them.
- They won’t be dulled from use for other tasks, meaning you’ll be able to cut your yarn cleanly and easily.
- They’ll only be used for yarn, reducing the risk of contamination from other materials, such as paper or fabric.
A tape measure is a simple but essential tool for any knitter, as it’s used to measure gauge and the finished dimensions of your project. Gauge is the number of stitches and rows per inch of your knitting, and it’s important to achieve the correct gauge for your pattern in order to get the right fit for your finished project.
To use a tape measure for an accurate gauge, you’ll want to follow these steps:
- Take a gauge swatch, which is a small sample of your knitting that you use to test your gauge.
- After you’ve knit a few inches of your gauge swatch, lay it flat and smooth it out.
- Place the tape measure on the gauge swatch, making sure to measure in the center of the swatch and not on the edges.
- Measure the number of stitches across a specific width, usually 4 inches, and divide the number of stitches by the width to get your stitches per inch.
- Measure the number of rows across the same width, and divide the number of rows by the width to get your rows per inch.
It’s important to note that gauges can be affected by many factors, such as yarn, needle size, and tension. It’s always a good idea to check your gauge before starting a project and to make adjustments to your needle size or tension if needed to achieve the correct gauge.
Knitting patterns are the instructions that tell you how to create your project, step by step. They can range from simple scarves to complex sweaters, and can be written for a wide range of skill levels, from beginner to expert.
When it comes to understanding patterns and instructions, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different symbols and abbreviations used in knitting patterns. For example, a “knit” stitch is often abbreviated as “k”, while a “purl” stitch is abbreviated as “p”. The pattern will also specify the type of yarn and needle size to use, as well as any special techniques required.
For beginners, it’s best to start with simple patterns that use basic stitches, such as garter stitch or stockinette stitch. Look for patterns that have clear, easy-to-follow instructions, and that are made with a worsted weight yarn, as this is a versatile and forgiving weight for beginners.
It’s also a good idea to start with smaller projects, such as a scarf or a hat, rather than a large sweater or blanket, as these will be quicker to complete and less overwhelming. As you gain confidence and experience, you can move on to more complex patterns.