Knitting Tools For Beginners {The Essentials}

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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.

Knitting tools for beginners

Knitting Supplies

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.

Related Post: Knitting For Beginners -The Complete Guide Step-By-Step

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knitting tools for beginners including stitch holders and darning needles

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;

  • Yarn
  • 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.

knitting tools for beginners - woman wearing a bobble knit sweater holding knitting needles

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, such 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.

Super bulky yarn and needles

Choosing your yarn weight

You could use any yarn weight (yarn weight guide (+ conversion chart)) 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 Explained: A Guide To Different Fibers

knitting needles and a skein of yarn
Skein of worsted weight yarn from Cascade 220

Knitting Stitches For Beginners

You will want to start off with swatches – squares of knitting to practice garter stitch (how to knit garter stitch), purl (How to knit the purl stitch (for beginners + a video tutorial)), and stockinette stitch (how to knit stockinette stitch (for beginners)) to begin.

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:

wool and the gang grey yarn
Image Source – Yarn from wool and the gang

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.

Ipad and drawing tools

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.

knitting tools for beginners - woman holding many wooden knitting needles

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!

How To Read A Yarn Label (Step By Step)

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.

It makes sense to invest in a knitting needle set – straight needles or interchangeable circular needles so that you can easily select the size you need.

Knitpro needles

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 needles Featured Image

Best Knitting Accessories For Beginners

There are many tools that you can buy to make your life easier, including;

  • Scissors
  • A tape measure
  • Darning needles/yarn needles
  • Stitch markers
  • A crochet hook
  • A notebook
  • Row counter
  • Project bag

Scissors

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.

scissors

Darning Needles

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!*).

Darning needles

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!

Tape measure

Stitch Markers

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.

Stitch markers

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

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.

notebook

Row Counter

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. 

Prym Universal Row Counter, Blue

Addi row counter

Knitting Bag

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: 21 Must-Have Yarn Bags For Your Knitting Projects

knitting bag

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.

Happy Knitting!

View tutorials on my YouTube channel

Knitting tools for beginners

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One Comment

  1. It’s awesome that your article described knitting tools and accessories that make your knitting easier. Recently, my mom told me she wants to learn how to knit, so I want to take her shopping to find the materials that she’ll need, and your article will definitely help us. We appreciate your advice on adding darning needles to your shopping list since they help stitch up seams.