View Full Version : Newbie Knitter: what to get?
01-11-2010, 09:30 PM
I've recently begun knitting seriously, and I am panning on getting some basic knitting tools such as extra needles, yarn, etc. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions? I'm not sure what size needles, dpns, and/or crotchet hook I should buy (sizes 6-15, for example?); if I should also get circular needles or a cable needle? Also what I should use to store all my tools in and anything else I may need.
01-11-2010, 09:32 PM
It really depends on the items you want to knit. You may need different sizes, different materials for different kinds of projects. Rather than getting straight needles, though. I will suggest gettin circulars instead, you can knit flat on them just the same. A 29-32" length is pretty versatile - you can knit sweaters with it, or use Magic loop or single loop for hats and mittens.
01-11-2010, 11:04 PM
HMM I typically just buy things as I need them so I probably wouldn't run out and just buy stuff to buy stuff. There are little things I keep in my knitting bag that is nice to have, but no project specific like a retractable tape measure, pencil, guage checker, ring markers and split ring markers, tapestry needles, small scissors, and a cable needle.
I knit for a couple of years before I bought a set of interchangeable circular needles and then knit a few more years before I started buying long Addi Turbos for magic loop items.
Yarn you will gradually stash as you find stuff on sale or at festivals that you just have to have or you will buy too much for a project and not return the extra.
Welcome to the addiction
01-12-2010, 12:58 AM
I do have the tape measurer and small scissors. I was planning to do some yarn shopping, pick up a tapestry needle, replace my current (plastic and bent) size 8 needles, possibly a cable needle.
I figured since I'm going to be there, I should pick up a few things that I will need like a few other needle pairs in other sizes. Right now, I only really have that size 8 and didn't know if I should get the full spectrum of sizes (1-15) or one to four that are on either extreme of the size spectrum. I know I will definitely need them (I have patterns and ideas for my next projects).
I was looking into double pointed needles because they seem really useful (or could be really useful). I'm trying to avoid ever needing/using circular needles, at least for the time being.
ring markers and gauge checkers are perfect examples of tools that I don't know what to do with them (I know what they are, just not why I would need them) but may be very necessary as something I should have anyway.
01-12-2010, 01:36 AM
You could get a set of DPN's. You can use a DPN as a cable needle, and then you'd be killing two birds with one stone. ( I agree with the circ needle, I've been knitting for 4 years and still yet to use one, I like DP's better)
01-12-2010, 01:39 AM
You could get a set of DPN's. You can use a DPN as a cable needle, and then you'd be killing two birds with one stone. ( I agree with the circ needle, I've been knitting for 4 years and still yet to use one ;) , I like DP's better)
01-12-2010, 02:10 AM
"Buy what you can afford" is my motto; which turns out to be nadallota! One of the first things I purchased when the knitting bug first accosted me was one of those "Learn to Knit" packages that came with a book, a set of needles, stitch markers... and other basic - yet essential - stuff. That way, if I decided that it wasn't for me (which at that time it wasn't), it was no big deal - I was out only $19.95. When I decided that I might want to try this knitting thing again, I already had the starter kit and have slowly fed the addiction one or a few items at a time. It would really suck to go chest deep into a "hobby" only to suddenly decide that you don't like it and have three trash bags full of yarn and bin full of knitting paraphernalia that you have to get rid of. I suggest doing what vaKnitter said and buy as you need. Good luck! :)
01-12-2010, 02:24 AM
OMG, I'm definitley not looking to buy the whole store or anything; I'm a fan of "buy as you need" too. I was just wondering if you there was one thing you would tell a newbie to have on hand b/c you've found insanely useful - like, for some knitters, a crochet hook is essential to have, but not all knitters do.
rwd1105 -- very good call with DPNs. :thumbsup: that's just the kind of advice I'm looking for
01-12-2010, 03:45 AM
I think a crochet hook is nice to have for picking up dropped stitches. I keep an I or J hook in my notions kit.
I actually did buy a set of Options needles when I first started knitting. I learned to do Magic Loop (I love ML although others find it fiddly) and still use ML for everything size 4 and above. I think the Options were a really worthwhile investment. Now they even have wooden and acrylic tips to choose from, too. I like that all my needles are in one place and I don't have 50 fixed circs all over the place.
I also like to put a smaller size tip on the left needle when knitting in the round since I knit tightly, and it makes sliding the stitches easier but doesn't affect gauge.
That said, I wouldn't buy the set unless you're pretty sure you're going to be knitting a lot. If it's something you might give up, maybe buy needles specific to your projects for a while. Good luck! :) Whatever type of needles you buy, if you're going to get a set, try out that type of needle first. It would suck to buy a whole set and find you hate metal needles.
01-12-2010, 04:25 PM
I tend to be like VAKnitter and buy things as I need them. Hard to believe after all these years that I'm still buying needles. Le Sigh.
IMHO and YMMV, every new knitter should invest in remnant yarn from charity and second hand stores for practice. I've used just about every bit of mine up teaching myself how to turn a heel, work a gusset and grafting.
My husband rolls his eyes every time I say I need to buy needles as he looks at my cases and jars of straight needles, circular and DPNs. People who don't knit just don't get it at all.
Also, if you're serious, it would be wise to start looking at yarn holders for your projects. I love the yarn bowls, but I have cats, so I use old coffee cans and cut the top like a hook, smooth it and it serves to feed my yarn very nicely, and small projects can be housed in there when I'm working on something else. I also use small coffee cans and mayonnaise jars for storing DPNs with the size clearly written on the outside.
01-12-2010, 04:40 PM
So much depends on what you want to knit. If you just like one or two particular things, then you won't need so many needles and such. I know, for myself, when I started, I'd read a pattern and it would call for a certain size needle, so I went out to buy that size. Next project called for a different size. After buying quite a few different sizes, and realizing this was going to add up, I discovered the Knitpicks Options set....I went ahead and bought that set because it was much cheaper than buying all the individual sizes.
So, if you're only going to knit mostly on a couple different sizes, just get those and don't worry about it. But if you think you'll need a number of different sizes, an interchangeable set is well worth the money.
A little thing of stitch markers, a needle gauge, some tapestry needles for weaving in ends, are all nice to have. I bought a bunch of point protectors, but found with the circular needles, I don't need them as much as with the straights. Most of the little gadgets, I'd just pick up as you need them.
Welcome to knitting! It's a great addiction.
01-12-2010, 05:18 PM
The first things I started out with was a print out with how to Cast on (CO) and how to garter stitch and how to bind off. My first projects were simple scarves and coasters that were just plain squares. A set of size 8 needles and some red aycrilic yarn.
My best advise would be either buy a kit like was suggested so you'll get some tools (wish I would have done that lol) or go to the store pick up a set of needs and try your luck on something quick and easy like a scarf or dish cloth or something like that.
01-12-2010, 06:11 PM
If you are planning on doing a lot of knitting, then a set of interchangeable circular needles might be a smart investment. As suzeeQ said, you can knit flat or in the round with them and you will have a large assortment of sizes.
As someone who has a large yarn stash myself, I would not recommend impulse buying of yarn without knowing what you are going to make out of it. I can't tell you how much yarn I have lying around that I don't have the right project for. I would love to make a sweater or two out of some of it, but just don't have enough yardage (aargh!) because I wasn't sure how much to buy at the time. I was a new knitter and let myself be seduced into buying it "just in case."
So until you get practiced, just buy what you need. It is so hard to find that right pattern for yarn you just happen to have lying around and so much easier to buy the right yarn for the right project.