Welcome! I would suggest starting with some inexpensive, plain smooth yarn. Basic acrylic yarns can be purchased at most craft stores (JoAnn's, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, etc), or if you would prefer wool visit a local yarn store (frequently abbreviated LYS on the forum). In either case you want something smooth and medium weight (look for worsted wight) so that you can see the stitches easily. Avoid the fun novelty yarns (such as eyelash) and highly textures yarns (such as Lion Brand Homespun) at first because they don't let you easily see what you are doing. "Ribbon" and 100% cotton yarns are also not very good for beginners because they do not have very much elasticity, making them more difficult to work with. Good luck!
__________________ Jennifer's Projects
Recently finished: DH's small-gauge sweater; Secret of the Stole ii - "Savannah"; BSJ (well the knitting anyway) On Needles: socks; Odessa (from Magknits)
Welcome! Hope you become as addicted as the rest of us!
The best stuff to learn on is a chunky weight yarn on US size 10 or 11 needles. The yarn should be smooth and a light color because it helps you see what your doing. I also used cheap yarn so that if I royally messed up it really wouldn't matter. And I still have the yarn I learned on and use it to test new techniques.
__________________ Waiting to get on the needles:
Branching Out Scarf
and so many other things I can't keep track
Wool ease. It's cheap and the closest thing to "like wool" and comes in nice colors.
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War doesn't determine who is right: It determines who is left
-That's OK, I wasn't using my civil liberties anyway....
-I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens.
Reading: Barbara Kingsolver
I started not very long ago myself. For the type of yarns, I agree with the heavier ones. Get bulky. As for quality, it's really up to your personal taste and your budget. Also it depends on how crafty you are. If you are the type that tend to make a lot of mistakes, then start with a cheaper yarn. I started with a designer brand bulky 100% merino wool which came out really nice. Then I further challenged myself with a cotton/elastic sock yarn and also surprised myself how nice the socks came out. So use your judgement.