Blog Post: The Ultimate New Knitter’s Toolkit – Needles, Yarn, Notions, and Supplies to Buy For Beginning KnittersBy Liat Gat – Founder / Holiday/Gifting, Recommended Resources / December 17, 2014 / 104 Comments
Here is the ultimate knitting toolkit I recommend to support the new knitter in your life. Links to all recommended supplies like needles, yarn, knitting bag, and notions. Read Post »
Blog Post: The Best Circular Needles For Magic LoopBy Liat Gat – Founder / Magic Loop, Recommended Resources / October 16, 2010 / 46 Comments
You really only need one piece of equipment to start learning Magic Loop: a 40– to 47-inch-long circular needle in a medium size, say, US size 7 or 8. Here are the brands I recommend. Read Post »
Blog Post: Are You Using The Right Knitting Needles?By Liat Gat – Founder / Recommended Resources / September 2, 2010 / 13 Comments
In knitting, you must use the right tools for the job. If you are using regular Addi Turbos to do lacework, or any pattern requiring many increases and decreases, the blunt-tipped knitting needles are probably slowing you down and making you work hard for those stitches. Read Post »
Blog Post: The 5 Best Knitting Books Of All TimeBy Liat Gat – Founder / Recommended Resources / October 12, 2010 / 11 Comments
I’ve compiled a list for you of the very best knitting books I’ve enjoyed throughout the years. Each book is enjoyable to read, beautiful to look at, and guaranteed to teach you something new. Read Post »
By Liat Gat – Founder / Lace, Recommended Resources / March 29, 2019 / No Comments
For lace knitting, the first and only rule is this: make sure the needles you choose have sharp, tapered tips. Signature needles are my preferred brand of straight knitting needle for lace, while Addi Lace are my favorite circulars. Read Post »
Recommended Straight Needles: Signature Needles by Signature Needle Arts
Signature Needles are the official straight needle of KnitFreedom. Their stiletto-tip straight needle is smooth, accurate, and perfect for lace knitting.
Recommended Straight Needles: Size 10 Birch Needles by Brittany Needles
Birchwood knitting needles are a great beginner knitting needle. Avoid the cheap aluminum knitting needles found at craft stores (or at least invest in a pair of wooden needles as soon as you can). You will enjoy the movements and stitchwork of knitting so much more when you’re not battling with cheap products.
Recommended Yarn: Hand Dyed Bulky by Blue Sky Alpacas
Recommended Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky by Malabrigo Yarns
My favorite chunky yarn for felting (and for creating knitting videos). You’ve seen Malabrigo Chunky yarn in almost every KnitFreedom video for a good reason: it’s soft, has beautiful colors, and is reasonably priced. Perfect for the Fair-Isle Felted Bag.
Recommended Yarn: Malabrigo Rasta by Malabrigo Yarn
My favorite yarn for my one-skein Super-Bulky Toe-Up Socks. This yarn is very soft and warm, and comes in a beautiful range of tranquil colors.
Recommended Yarn: Malabrigo Twist by Malabrigo Yarns
My favorite yarn of all time. Aran-weight. Now discontinued, but you can still find it by Googling.
Recommended Yarn: Wool-Ease Thick n’ Quick Yarn by Lion Brand
Thick, inexpensive yarn is perfect for learning to knit your first scarf. Wool-Ease is a great brand to start out with, and you can buy it at Michael’s or Wal-Mart. Three skeins (balls) is plenty to make a long scarf including fringe.
Recommended Fabric Care: Blocking Mats by KnitIQ
Blocking mats are the perfect way to dry and block your knit garments. The grid lines help you keep the garment edges straight, and large T-pins let you pin the piece to the recommended measurements. A blocking mat is a must for large lace shawls or any garment you need to lay out flat to dry.
Recommended Fabric Care: Soak by Soak Wash
My favorite no-rinse wool wash for blocking your knit garments. Comes in lovely scents and also unscented. Just squirt some in cold water and add your garment (or gauge swatch) and let soak for 15-20 minutes. Squeeze to remove water and lay flat to dry or block.
Recommended Fabric Care: Sock Blockers by Knitter's Pride
Sock blockers are the perfect way to make your finished socks look their best. Whether you are going to keep them for yourself or give the socks as a gift, the last step before you wear your knit socks is always to block them. The even and smooth shape persists even after machine washing and drying.
Recommended Fabric Care: Sweater Shaver by Beautural
A fabric or sweater shaver is a must for keeping your garments pill-free. Pilling happens when soft knit fibers break and felt together. Pulling out the pills with your fingers breaks the fibers more, resulting in more pilling. Instead, take 2 minutes to shave the pills off garments like cashmere sweaters. A must before taking photos for Ravelry.
Recommended Notion: Cable Needles by Brittany Needles
Cable needles help hold stitches to the front or back of your work while cabling. While you can knit cables without them, and I prefer to, using cable needles when you are just learning to cable makes everything easier.
Recommended Notion: Knit Chek Gauge-Checker by Susan Bates
A gauge-checker is essential for ensuring your knit projects come out the right size. Make a small swatch (or a big one, if you’re a perfectionist), block it, and lay the gauge-checker over the stitches. Count how many stitches are in 2 inches and divide by two. That’s your gauge.
Recommended Notion: Pompom Maker by Clover
A pompom maker is the easiest way to make large, fluffy, even pompoms. Clover sells a variety of sizes. PS – in my town of Sayulita, Mexico, pompoms are a way of life. They are used as curtains, earrings, keychains, and everything in between.
Recommended Notion: Stork Scissors by Ultima
A sharp pair of sewing scissors is indispensable in your knitting bag. You will need scissors handy to cut yarn and tails after you’re done weaving in ends. This stork embroidery scissor made in Italy is a classic, but you can get all different animal shapes at your local yarn store.
Recommended Notion: Tapestry Needles by Outus
Tapestry needles are blunt sewing needles you use to weave in the tails (ends) of your yarn after you’re done knitting. You can also use them to darn holes in your knitting. Tapestry needles are available in straight- and bent-tip varieties – it just depends on your preference which you should buy.
Recommended App: knitCompanion by Create 2 Thrive
knitCompanion is available for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. You can download knitCompanion for free from the app store on your device. Visit knitCompanion.com for loads of free resources.
Recommended Book: A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker
Barbara Walker is the most creative mind of the century when it comes to inventing stitch patterns and designs.
Any of her four Knitting Pattern Treasuries are a worthwhile investment for when you are designing something on your own.
Recommended Book: Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting and Crocheting by Barbara Breiter and Gail Diven
This is the book I used when I learned how to knit. It’s got tons of illustrations, straightforward explanations, and best practices for knitting correctly and understanding what you’re doing. A great starter text.
Recommended Book: Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard
Wendy Bernard opened my eyes when it came to sweaters. Now, no matter what your shape, you can design or modify a sweater pattern that will fit every inch of you perfectly.
I especially found the basic sweater guides in the back helpful when striking out on my own.
Recommended Book: Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick
This is a timeless book, absolutely filled with beautiful, winter-holiday-inspired knits.
The photography is gorgeous, the patterns feature some of the most beautiful and interesting yarns available, and the range of techniques introduced is much broader than your average pattern book.
Recommended Book: Harmony Guides: Knit & Purl by Erika Knight (editor)
Interweave Press has put together a gorgeous stitch-pattern book that you can use to add pattern and texture to anything you are knitting.
You’ll get really good at reading a pattern and recognizing what your stitches look like if you experiment with the stitch-patterns in this book.
Recommended Book: Harmony Guides: Lace & Eyelets by Erika Knight (editor)
A beautifully-photographed masterpiece with 250 lace patterns to incorporate into your projects. You will learn so much and exercise your creativity when you add these lace patterns to your designs.
Recommended Book: Knitting on the Edge by Nicky Epstein
Nicki’s books are a great resource when you want to fancy-up a basic pattern. You can find special ribbing, edging, and pattern stitches to finish off your projects the way you like.
Recommended Book: Mosaic Knitting by Barbara Walker
The definitive guide to mosaic knitting, by mosaic inventor Barbara Walker. The book contains a thorough explanation of how slip-stitch knitting (knitting with one color in each row) works and why. Includes written patterns and charts for 380 mosaic designs that you can add to your own projects.
This is the book I studied from before creating our own video course on the topic.
Recommended Book: Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch by Debbie Stoller
Son of Stitch ‘N Bitch is a remarkable book in that it only contains projects that men will actually wear. Many of the projects are designed by men, and they are all man-tested and approved. Which is a really good thing, when it comes to knitting.
Recommended Book: Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation by Debbie Stoller
Stitch’N Bitch Nation compiles 52 really original and wearable intermediate knitting projects from designers across America.
Recommended Book: Stitch N’ Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook by Debbie Stoller
I recommend this book to anyone just starting out knitting, because it contains a funny and thorough introduction to knitting. It also contains a variety of hip and fun beginner projects that you’ll actually want to knit, which is more than I can say for most beginner how-to books.
Recommended Book: The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes
This book will teach you to become what Clara Parkes, of Knitter’s Review, calls a yarn whisperer.
After reading this book and trying one of the 40 gorgeous patterns, you’ll have a deep understanding of what yarn to choose for which project, and why.
What’s more, you’ll gain an appreciation for the varied industries that work together to provide us all with beautiful yarn.
The KAL gave me the nudge I needed to get on with knitting my first pair of socks with Liat's course "Toe-Up, Two-at-a-Time Socks," which I have had for quite some time. So I got started and knit ahead. My socks are done!
The course with its embedded videos showed me all the techniques I needed. I am now confident in doing Judy's Magic Cast-On and the Invisible Ribbed Bind-Off. I love the simple and smooth Fleegle heel.
I took the challenge to knit backwards doing the heel, another skill I have been wanting to learn, and it went very well. Such a great skill to have in my repertoire!
Thanks so much for the comprehensive course and your calm manner, Liat; you always treat your students with respect and confidence in our ability to successfully tackle new challenges. I've already started another pair of socks!
– Ruth S.
Testimonial: I’m Addicted
I'm so excited about this. I didn't know that we weren't starting yet, so I've already knit a pair of socks and am almost done with a 2nd. I'm addicted.
– Cate W.
Testimonial: Could Not Put Them Down
I jumped ahead and started mine.....and could not put them down....and finished. 😬
– Amy D.
Testimonial: A Little Too Motivated
Hi Liat - I got a little too motivated and made my socks in two days! Your videos and instructions are fantastic. I plan to make another pair once the knit-along starts... my daughter is very jealous of mine. :)
– Charity B.
Testimonial: Looking Forward to Learning With You
I am so looking forward to learning with you. It already feels qualitatively different, much more personal, than following along with your video classes.
– Marla D.
Testimonial: Thank You For Teaching This Old Puppy New TricksIn regards to: Magic Loop, Toe-Up Socks
Liat, THANK YOU for the classes on Magic Loop and Toe-Up, Two-at-a-Time socks. I'm knitting the gussets of my socks now, and so far the knitting has been a breeze! I practiced the Magic Loop as instructed in your videos, then braved the toe-up socks class. It took several tries just to knit the first row after casting on. Judy's Magic Cast-on was a breeze, but keeping that last stitch on, even after twisting the tail around the working yarn, was a lesson in extreme patience!; but once I got it, I was off & knitting!
I started my first toe-up socks yesterday midday and just couldn't put them down, I was thrilled that I'd learned something so unexpectedly special.
Thank you for teaching this old puppy new tricks!
– Leila S.
Testimonial: Very Excited About the Knitalong!
I can’t wait. I have never done a Knitalong before! I have knitted a pair (and a half) of socks years ago from a very expensive pattern book with errata! It was for magic loop, but my Mom and I gave up. I have knit one pair since then on dpns. I am very excited about the videos and Knitalong.
Testimonial: A World of DifferenceIn regards to: Toe-Up Socks
Liat, I finished the Toe-Up, Two-at-a-Time Socks - your videos are stellar! Thank you very much - you have to know how much more secure I felt with your videos - a world of difference.
– Hilary B.