knitting supplies

Knitting Supplies for Beginners

What knitting supplies do you need to learn to knit?

Well, let’s start with the two obvious essentials: needles and yarn.

Knitting Needles

Needles are available in a variety of materials including bamboo, metal and plastic.

As a beginner, the best knitting needles to start with are metal ones because they glide through the yarn and are nice and light.

When I started, I knew that knitting needles vary in diameter. It took me longer to realize that needles can also vary in length and come in a set of four double pointed needles or a single circular needle!

At this stage, all you really need to remember is that the thicker the needle, the bigger the stitches will be (and so the bigger the holes will be).

If you want to find out about knitting needles in more details click here

Knitting Yarn

There are lots of different types of yarn made from different materials. Yarns vary in thickness and weight.

If you are a beginner, I suggest you start with thicker yarn such as double knit or aran. However, the most important thing is that you love the yarn you choose. If you like the colour and texture of a particular yarn, you are more likely to stay enthusiastic about your project and be proud of the finished piece.

Bear in mind, that if you choose thick yarn then you will thick needles and vice versa.

I have given more in depth advice about choosing knitting yarn here

Knitting Kit Checklist

What items do you need for your first knitting kit?

If you are keen to start knitting but don’t want to spend the earth, a knitting kit can be a good place to start. However, you don’t have to buy one ready-made because I am going to explain how to make your own.

Remember that when you are first starting out, you will not be following a pattern straight away. I had great fun knitting up swatches of different stitch patterns. This allowed me to become more comfortable with all the knitting paraphernalia and techniques.

Now the items I suggest here reflect my personal preferences so I have included my reasons for including them in my shopping list.

Starter Knitting Kit Item Suggestions

* Size US 6 or 8 (4mm or 5mm) metal needles – Metal needles are affordable and yarn slips off them easily. In the patterns I started out with, these needle sizes are the ones most commonly used, so you won’t need to dash out and buy more!

* Double Knitting weight yarn in a cotton/wool/mixed fibre – this is a very versatile yarn that is easy to handle.

* Scissors – any old type will do, but a small pair is the handiest

* A small crochet hook – for picking up those dropped stitches!

* Darning Needle – so you can sew your pieces of knitted fabric together

* Tape Measure – optional, but useful if you want to measure a tension square

* A bag – to keep all your bits and pieces together, away from little fingers and pets!

You may well find that you have some of these items around your house already, or you might find a friend or relative who is willing to lend you some knitting tools. It is surprising how little you need really.

Other Useful Knitting Supplies

Other useful knitting supplies to have include

*Stitch holder – to hold your spare stitches whilst knitting

*Row counter – so you don’t loose your place!

*Long pins with large plastic heads – to hold pieces together as you sew

*Buttons and embroidery thread – for fastenings and decorations

Knitting Bags

Although you may not buy a knitting bag straight away, you may decide that one will come in handy once you start to accumulate all the bits and pieces you need for your kit. Knitting bags come in all shapes and sizes. Choosing the right one is important because your bag is an essential part of your knitting kit.

In my opinion, good knitting bags need:

  • To be very spacious
  • Have numerous pockets
  • Have smaller bags that you can remove

It is amazing how much room a knitting project, a few skeins of yarns, a knitting book, needles and other extras take up. That is before you have even started thinking about popping in your wallet and phone!

There are numerous different styles on the market and you need to find one to suit you. However, you will want a bag that is made of durable material and a popper is advisable rather than a zipper (so that your knitting doesn’t get caught!).

Personally, I like squashy bags with handles that are long enough to slip over my shoulder. That way, I can carry around as much or as little as I need very easily.

Top 3 Knitting Bags

Here is a small selection of bags that I have picked. There is one to suit any budget.

1. If money is no object, then my knitting bag of choice is The Knitter’s Satchel by Jordana Paige. It is so stylish I would be happy to use this as an everyday handbag, so the fact it fits in my knitting is even better! Also, it comes in such a great range of colors that you can choose something fun like this version in deep red:

The Best Knitting Bags

2. For those with a mid-range budget and who are looking for a very roomy bag, have a look at the Korbond Yard Storage Bag. It has outside pockets for your yarn, inside pockets for scissors etc, elastic bands for needles and an adjustable shoulder strap.

Korbond Yard Knitting Bag

3. I think that backpacks are great for younger knitters or those who are constantly on the move. If this sounds like you, then this great Needle Arts Backpack might be just what you need. It has a carrying handle and the backpack straps can also convert into a shoulder strap. There are storage areas for needles, a bottle, a cellphone and even keys!

needle arts backpack

These few bags will give you a taster of what is out there. Take your time and pick the perfect bag for you.

It won’t take long before you have everything you need and you will soon learn what type of yarn and needles you like working with.

In the meantime, let’s start knitting!