Here are my recommendations for books, yarn, needles, notions, and even knitting apps that can help make your knitting journey easy and more fun.
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 / 110 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 / 47 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 Tools for the Job? Comparing Knitting NeedlesBy Liat Gat – Founder / Recommended Resources / September 2, 2010 / 16 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 / 10 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 »
Guest Blog Post: KnitCompanion: A Great App for Following ChartsBy Sally Holt – Creator of knitCompanion / Charts, Guest Posts, Recommended Resources / November 28, 2020 / 6 Comments
We are thrilled to have Sally Holt with us as a guest blogger to tell us about her amazing app knitCompanion – a sophisticated, portable tool that allows you to keep track of where you are in your pattern as you knit. It also features voice controls, chart recognition, and the ability to play KnitFreedom videos from within the app.Read Post »
Blog Post: My #1 Book Recommendation: The Knitter’s Book of YarnBy Liat Gat – Founder / Recommended Resources, Yarn / August 6, 2022 / 2 Comments
I encourage knitters to learn as much as they can about choosing their own yarns and not relying on the yarn recommended in the pattern. The best way to learn about yarn and how to substitute it is to get ahold of a copy of The Knitter’s Book of Yarn by Clara Parkes.Read Post »
Blog Post: How to Choose the Very Best Knitting Needles for LaceBy 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 »
Illustration: Handy Guide to Yarn Weights, Gauge, and Needle Sizes
A quick-reference guide to what needle sizes to use with what yarn weights, and what gauge you can expect to get. Gauge and needle sizes in Standard (US) and metric (mm). Most common: Worsted-weight yarn on US size 7 needles gets 5 sts/in in St st.
Illustration: Knitting Needle Size Conversion Chart – Standard/Metric
Use this chart any time you need to convert between standard (US) and metric (mm) needle sizes. Shows sizes from 0-50. Most common: US 7 = 4.5 mm.
Illustration: Yarn Weights and Thicknesses ACTUAL SIZE Comparison Chart – With WPI
See all yarn weights from laceweight to super-bulky in ACTUAL SIZE – next to a US quarter dollar for reference. Gauges based on Ravelry WPI information.
Free and Premium Videos
Demonstration of knitCompanion Charts AppFree Video
We are thrilled to have knitCompanion creator Sally Holt here to tell you about her amazing app! In this demonstration video, she will take you through the main features of this sophisticated tool using a pattern from KnitFreedom as her example.
Recommended Circular Needles: Addi Turbo by Skacel
My favorite circular needles for knitting FAST. The blunt tips don’t hurt your fingertips, and the joins are smooth as silk.
My recommended needle lengths are:
– 47″ for two-at-a-time knitting
– 40″ for anything else on Magic Loop
– 30-47″ for Moebius knitting
Recommended Straight Needles: 10-Inch 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.
I recommend the 10″ length, stiletto tip (for any knitting). The cap style is up to you!
Buy 10-Inch Signature Needles online
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.
Buy Size 10 Birch Needles online
Recommended Yarn: Hand Dyed Bulky by Blue Sky Alpacas
Now discontinued, this gorgeous super-bulky yarn was my go-to for luxurious, quick-knit projects. Perfect for the Double-Knit Heart Scarf or Bulky Cabled Legwarmers with Buttons.
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 and Perfect Basic Crochet Hat. See this yarn on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/malabrigo-yarn-chunky Shop Malabigo Chunky at: Wool & Co Fine Yarns Jimmy Beans Wool Imagiknit Love Crafts
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.
Buy Wool-Ease Thick n’ Quick Yarn online
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: 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.
Buy Knit Chek Gauge-Checker online
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: T-Pins by KnitIQ
T-pins are excellent for blocking your garments into the right shape. Use with blocking mats to get the best results.
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 a pattern-tracking app for knitters and fiber artists, which is designed to help you keep track of where you are in the pattern as you knit.
Even if you put your knitting down mid-row, the app can mark precisely the point where you stopped.
KnitCompanion also helps you keep important reference material at your fingertips. You can easily pull up the key while you’re knitting, even if it’s on a different page, and you can flip pages of the pattern within the app without ever losing your place.
You can even link your favorite video tutorials for tricky stitches right into the app, so you can watch them in the app while you work the stitch!
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.
Buy A Treasury of Knitting Patterns online
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.
Buy Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting and Crocheting online
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.
Buy Harmony Guides: Knit & Purl online
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.
Buy Harmony Guides: Lace & Eyelets online
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.
Buy Knitting on the Edge online
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.
Buy Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch online
Recommended Book: Stitch ‘n Bitch Crochet – The Happy Hooker by Debbie Stoller
This is a fabulous book for learning to crochet. Very clear diagrams and illustrations are accompanied by punchy, light-hearted text. I felt very clear and secure starting to crochet after working through this book, even through crochet is a lot different than knitting in some respects!
Buy Stitch ‘n Bitch Crochet – The Happy Hooker online
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.
Buy Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation online
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.
Buy Stitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s Handbook online
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.
Buy The Knitter’s Book of Yarn online
Recommended Book: The Magic Loop by Bev Galeskas
This amazing book is what started it all for me. In it, Beverly Galeskas clearly explains how to use Sarah Hauschka’s ingenious technique of knitting in the round on one long circular needle.
“Socks and more” is right! Anything you can knit in the round, you can knit on Magic Loop, with no laddering, quickly, easily, and without using DPNs. Hooray! Thanks, Bev and Sarah!