- Straight Knitting Needles (size 9-11)
- Bulky Weight Yarn (bulky acrylic pictured)
- Stitch Markers
- Yarn Needle (pictured is a dental needle which I like to use and also a small crochet hook). I didn't have yarn needle on hand but you can see what they look like here.
- Knitting Needle Organizer
- Determine whether the pattern calls for straight, double point, or circular needles
- What material the knitting needles are made of
- Size of the needles required
- Straight Knitting Needles – great for flat items such as scarves or even simple bags. They are usually the beginner's first introduction to knitting because practicing simple stitches and making swatches is easy when using straight needles. For this tutorial, we will use straight knitting needles.
- Circular Needles – used for anything that has a circular cylindrical shape such as hats and cowls. They allow the knitting to be continuous as you just keep knitting in a spiral upward. There is a cable attaching the two needles together. This allows you to knit with ease without losing any stitches. The cable can vary in length the shortest option for circular needles being 16 inches from point to point. You can also use circular needles for straight pieces such as blankets but that is for a more advanced lesson.
- Double Pointed Knitting Needles or DP Needles – great for small cylindrical items such as socks or gloves. These needles come in packs of four or five and are straight with points on either end. These we will also not be touching on in Knitting 101.
Needle Material – The next thing to think about is what type of material you want your needles to be made of.
This is a little more important with knitting than crochet because your needles are rubbing together so the material they are made from directly affects the speed and ease of your knitting. Wood is the most fun to work with because the needles are smooth, don't clack, and warm to the touch. Metal can provide speed in knitting and they are very affordable. Plastic is also not very expensive, however they are slower once you get to advanced knitting. I personally am not a huge fan of plastic knitting needles (that is why there are none pictured), however, that does not mean they will not work great for a beginner. Whatever you choose to purchase is fine in this area. Find what is available and in your price range.
Needle Size – The size of your needle will depend on what your pattern asks for. The size refers to the circumference of the needle. A larger number indicates a larger needle width. Each knitting needle has a US size and a Metric size. The size you will need for this tutorial should be between a US 9 (5mm) – US 11 (8mm). The reason I am having you start with larger needle sizes is when most people start knitting their stitches are tight and difficult to manage. With the larger needles it is easier to keep your work loose.
Yarn – This is a hard subject for me because, although I am a thrifty person, I LOVE expensive yarn. The difference is unbelievable and I don't know if I will ever go back to acrylic after using a peruvian wool or marino wool/cashmere blend. They are quite a bit more pricy but SO worth it once you know what you are doing. A few brands I like are Malabrigo, MadelineTosh, and my favorite yarn is from a woman who hand dyes her yarns and sells them on Etsy. You can check her out at SKEIN YARNS.
For starters, inexpensive acrylic will work great! Whatever you already have on hand from the Crochet 101 Lessons will work great. If you are purchasing yarn for this tutorial I will be using Vanna's Choice.
I guess I should take a moment to talk about the different materials you can purchase yarn in. You can get yarn made out of acrylic, wool, angora, silk, cashmere, cotton, bamboo, and even corn. Then you have blends of yarn where they will be made of 80% wool and 20% acrylic. This allows for a middle ground. For example, in the wool/acrylic blend you are getting the ease and warmth and smoothness of the wool and the affordability of acrylic both in one yarn. Use what you like and experiment from time to time with something new. Cotton is fun because it breathes and is soft and light weight. My pattern Double Take Cowl/Hat is knit in cotton yarn.
Most of my other patterns are knit up in a %100 wool yarn. You can always substitute an acrylic yarn, but sometimes this means you will have to make a few adjustments in the pattern. If once you have a bit of knitting experience you want to look into trying something a little more expensive here are a few online shops you can consider purchasing from.
Another great option is to support your local yarn shop. I don't have the benefit of living close to a local yarn shop but I wish I did. I always try to visit one when I am in town.