If you just started knitting and want to know what you need then this guide; knitting tools for beginners is for you!
Not every knitter starts out in the same way, some prefer to practice with cheap yarn at first so that they don’t feel as though they are wasting their ‘good’ yarn.
This is mainly because as a beginner you will probably have many mistakes and need to pull the work out.
This guide is meant to help you start up and get your knitting tool kit so that you can begin to practice.
When you are learning how to knit, you can start easily with just straight knitting needles and yarn and then as you develop a few other items.
This grows over time, as you begin to learn new techniques and need to add to your knitting kit.
What Should A Beginner Knitter Buy?
A few knitting essentials to get started are all you need, so try not to go crazy at the yarn store just yet!
Those gorgeous really expensive yarns are not really worth it when you are just learning, as pulling them out a few times will make them worse for wear.
It’s good to buy a few knitting supplies at first so that you can get started and take it from there.
This is what you will need in your knitting starter kit;
- Knitting needles
- A darning needle (or set)
- Tapestry needles
- A pair of scissors (sharp embroidery type or craft scissors)
- A tape measure
- Stitch markers
- A stitch holder
- A crochet hook
- A notebook + pen
- A yarn bag
Later you can add a gauge tool (that can also measure needle gauge), cable needles, and blocking mats.
What Is The Best Yarn For Beginner Knitters?
The yarn you choose to practice with doesn’t have to be a luxurious expensive yarn, but that is entirely up to you!
I would go to your local yarn shop and take a look around, you will find so many choices and probably fall in love with ALL the yarn.
Choose something you like and that you could see yourself wearing as a scarf or a hat.
For beginners, I would recommend starting to learn with a thicker yarn, as it is much easier to see what you are doing.
Choosing your yarn weight
You could use any yarn weight from worsted weight to a more heavy, chunky yarn.
You will be able to see any mistakes clearly and it knits up fast!
If you are a beginner who can’t wait to make your first project, you will see instant results with super bulky yarn.
I would recommend the brands below (that I have used) and they are lovely yarns to work with.
A soft mix of acrylic and natural fibers in bulky weight is a good choice for your first project.
Learn more about the yarn here – Yarn Types
Knitting Stitches For Beginners
Starting out with swatches is always a good idea when you are learning a new technique.
Even experienced knitters start out with swatches when experimenting with a new stitch.
Then when you are happy with how that is going, you will be ready to tackle your first project.
- Making a knitted hat or a scarf will be an easy first project.
- Avoid larger projects until you feel more confident in your new hobby.
As a beginner you may also be interested in reading these posts:
Knitting Patterns For Beginners
One of the most important tools, so you can start your knitting projects, is the knitting patterns.
You can find many free knitting patterns online that are perfect for new makers, who are just starting out, as well as video tutorials to help you along.
You can look at Pinterest, or Ravelry, find free downloadable patterns as well as purchase the patterns you like, if a digital copy is not your thing you can also print them out so you can make notes.
Plus you can always go to your favorite bookstore or craft store and browse the books there.
What Is The Best Size Knitting Needles For Beginners?
There are so many knitting needles out there for you to choose from, that it can be hard to know what is good and what is not.
They vary in type, material, size, and style.
Straight Knitting Needles or Circlular?
For new knitters, circular knitting needles look quite intimidating, and they can be so when are at the start of your knitting journey a pair of trusty straight pair of knitting needles is going to be your best friend.
When learning to cast on a pair of straight needles are probably easier, to begin with.
Which Size Knitting Needles Should You Buy?
You can get a pair of tiny needles or huge ones, it depends on your project and your yarn.
When you are starting out, you will be better off using large knitting needles – check the yarn label information to see what needle size you need for the yarn that you buy.
This is so that you are well-matched and will be able to knit with ease with the right size needles.
Ps. Don’t throw away the yarn label there is a lot of information there!
You need BIG needles – size 9 mm (US 13) or larger if you are going to use the chunky yarn at first.
After that when you get more into knitting, you will find that you need a variety of needle sizes.
Plastic Needles or Wood Needles?
You can get them in different materials, from plastic needles to bamboo aluminum, stainless steel, rosewood, and casein.
When you are a beginner, it is great to try out different types of needles to see what you like to work with.
Metal needles can be a little slippery, so if you haven’t used them before, the stitches may fall off, so I would recommend using bamboo.
From my own experience with casein needles, I have broken every set I ever had and I was very upset (sad face).
I’m not so keen on aluminum needles either, because if you get sweaty hands or you are a tight knitter, they become hard to work with.
I prefer to use wooden knitting needles – bamboo or rosewood, as they are long-lasting and robust.
Best Knitting Accessories For Beginners
There are many tools that you can buy to make your life easier, including;
- A tape measure
- Darning needles/yarn needles
- Stitch markers
- A crochet hook
- A notebook
- Row counter
- Project bag
Buy a good sharp pair of scissors that will help you to cut yarn.
Normal kitchen scissors or school scissors are not always that sharp.
The best are craft scissors or small embroidery scissors.
Darning needles, yarn needles, tapestry needles, and sewing needles are needed to help you to stitch up seams and weave in any loose ends.
Either plastic or metal will be fine to do the job.
Buy a set if you can and try to keep them safe (*as they get lost in the sofa really easily!*).
A Tape Measure
I have a few retractable tape measures as they are always needed.
In most patterns you will find that it will say – “continue to knit for 10 inches” or some other measurement will be given.
You need to be able to see when you meet those measurements, so a tape measure is a must-have!
Stitch markers are great to have in your kit and you will use them again and again in most patterns.
They are used to mark the beginning of a round, a pattern repeat, to make an increase/decrease, and more!
They are normally inexpensive and I would recommend using the locking stitch markers so they don’t fall out of your work.
A Crochet Hook
A crochet hook can be so helpful if you have a dropped stitch.
This allows you to hook that little stitch and weave it up back onto your knitting needle where it is supposed to be!
You can also use it to weave in any short ends.
A size G or H is good for most weights of yarn and easy for you to use.
A notebook is also a must, so you can document anything you want about your projects.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, just a spiral-bound notebook will do – I go through so many, I buy them for about $1.50 each time!
Making notes, like stitch counts or any problems you had with the pattern will help you in the future.
You could also write down anything you liked about the pattern, do some sketches and tape the yarn you used for reference.
A must-have tool for all makers, beginners or not, that helps them keep track of their rows so they won’t lose count and mess up the project.
A great way to keep all this stuff together is to invest in a project bag.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, there are many ways to create yarn storage, I have many from wire baskets, to cotton totes that keep my projects together.
I also have a printed canvas pouch to keep my knitting accessories inside, so I don’t lose anything.
Related post: 12 Must-Have Yarn Bags For Your Projects
Start To Create…
If you have the simple tools you need to get started, then nothing is stopping you from creating your first swatches.
Then moving on to your first knitting project.
I hope you have enjoyed this list and if you think I have missed anything, please let me know in the comments below.