He is really into knitting (he’s learning from KnitFreedom videos), but he’s using old aluminum needles, acrylic yarn, and even plastic shopping bags to hold his projects in.
I decided it was time for him to see how much more fun knitting can be when you have great tools.
So I put together for him what I call the Ultimate New-Knitter’s Toolkit, and now I’m sharing it with you. These are my favorite knitting supplies for promising beginners.
CASES, NOTIONS, AND DOODADS
A notions case holds your scissors, tapestry needles, stitch markers, and measuring tape.
You can find them at your local yarn store (LYS) or online.
I love my Namaste Better Buddy case, and that’s what I picked for my nephew as well. The lid is magnetic and the container is small and secure. The Namaste case has now been replaced by the della Q Maker’s Buddy Case.
To arrange your notion case, try this layout:
Stick one tapestry needle to the magnetic lid, rest sewing scissors and a tape measure on top of the divider, and place a dozen stitch markers (leave them open) underneath the divider. That’s it — nice and simple.
This is my favorite: a very simple tailor’s tape measure. You can get cute and furry ones at your local yarn store, but they take up more room and get dirty.
Find one at any craft store, your LYS, or online.
Blunt Tapestry Needle
You can get them at your local yarn store or here on Amazon.
You can get sewing scissors like these in all sorts of “animals.” I like the basic stork, but I got these peacock style scissors for my nephew.
You can find embroidery/sewing scissors at any craft store, at your LYS, or online.
You can find them at any craft store, at your LYS, or online.
Knitting Needle Case
Della Q (left) make good cloth cases (although not very manly).
You can find cases like these at your LYS or online.
YARN AND NEEDLES
Straight Knitting Needles
I decided to order my nephew two pairs of Signature Needle Arts straight needles: US Size 7 (4.5 mm) and Size 9 (5.5mm), which are common sizes that beginners use for flat knitting. You can only get them online.
I’ve blogged about Signature needles here. They are the absolute best needles that I’ve ever knitted with and I know my nephew is going to love them. I know they are expensive but I felt like spoiling him.
Circular Knitting Needles
1) 40-inch US Size 10 (6.0 mm) so they can do Magic Loop with bulky yarn. Addi Turbo is the brand I picked, although there are a ton of choices that are all really good; I’ve blogged here about the many good choices that are available.
2) 47-inch US size 7 (4.5 mm) so that they can do two at a time socks with worsted-weight yarn.
3) 47-inch US size 2 (2.75 mm) for when they’re ready to knit their first pair of fingering-weight socks.
Yarn for Beginners
Chunky Yarn: To go with those needles I got my nephew some wonderful basic yarn: two skeins each in two colors of Malabrigo Chunky, which is soft, beautiful, and comes in tons of colors.
For adults you might want to get three skeins so they can make a big long scarf or any kind of biggish project. You can even make a felted bag with three or four skeins of Malabrigo Chunky; you can easily make a hat or a pair of mittens with one skein.
Remember to wind the yarn if it comes in a hank; if your beginning knitter doesn’t have access to a ball-winder, he will not be able to knit with the lovely yarn you got him!
Aran-Weight Yarn: I also included two skeins of Malabrigo Twist so that he could make socks or a hat with beautiful stitch texture and nice kettle-dyed colors.
Self-Striping Yarn: Next were a few balls of self-striping yarn (Gina Chunky and Urth Uneek Worsted) so that he could make scarfs or hats and get that immediate satisfaction that comes from a self-striping yarn. This is a nice way to get color into your project if you don’t know how to do colorwork yet.
Fingering-Weight Yarn: Last I got one skein of washable fingering weight yarn so that he can make socks.
There are millions of choices for sock yarn; I chose MadelineTosh sock yarn, a favorite of many knitters. One skein is plenty to make a pair of socks.
Project bags are little bags to hold each project and its yarn in while it’s on the needles. I love these Lantern Moon taffeta silk knitting bags because they, unlike many project bags, don’t have a drawstring.
They are now discontinued, so search for any popular project bag or ask at your LYS. If you find any non-drawstring project bags, let me know!
Up until now my nephew has been using a plastic shopping bag and that is no way to treat all this gorgeous stuff he’s about to get.
Since he’s a guy I had a harder time finding him a knitting bag but my criteria basically apply whether you are a girl or a guy. I look for:
- A sturdy, medium-sized bag
- Handles that stick up on their own (easy to grab)
- Stays open on its own so you can and sit it on the floor next to you while you knit
Knitting bags come and go and are quickly discontinued and replaced with newer designs.
You can get inspired by the two photos here (items may become unavailable).
I found these beautiful canvas bags (above) on Etsy. If money were no object I would totally get one for him and also for myself.
After more searching I found this Fred Perry canvas bag (left) on Amazon that is a pretty close second – it comes in four different neutral colors, too.
If you want a more girly choice, I recommend the Namaste vegan leather knitting bags which are so popular and are great as purses as well.
A current design that you may like is the della Q backpack knitting bag.
Leave a Comment
On Monday I’ll tell you how I use knitting as a part of my family’s holiday traditions – and give you 14 free patterns to help you do the same.
In the mean time, did I leave anything good off? What knitting supplies do you find indispensable? Leave a comment below and let me know.