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Old 12-16-2008, 11:47 AM   #1
Meli
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First step
Hi all,
So I've decided I want to give knitting a try, and had a few questions.

1. Needle questions! I found a cute set of needles at my local Michaels that I may pick up, but do I need different sizes or is there one I'll use mostly? Is any particular needle material easier to work with, ei bamboo, plastic, etc.

2. Yarn?? Is there a particular sort of yard that's easiest for beginners?

3. First project. Any first projects you would recommend? I was thinking of going with a scarf since that seems the easiest (I also happen to be freezing and don't have a nice one haha) but am open to suggestions.

Any other tips and tricks are very welcome, and nice to meet you all
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:57 AM   #2
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Many people suggest using the needles on the label gauge, but I believe that's too small especially when you're first starting out. You can use just one size to start with. I'd suggest 10s and a worsted weight (sometimes has the number 4 to indicate size) that is smooth and either light colored or multi colored. Rather than a project, you can knit just a sampler to learn, and if a scarf comes out of it, that's fine. Scarves can end up being long and tedious and many people get bored with them as a first project. You can knit a very nice one though, just using the knit stitch on all stitches every row. This is called garter stitch and can be cushy and warm.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:59 AM   #3
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Welcome!
Hi, Meli and welcome!

You've definitely come to the right place to begin your knitting adventures! The videos available here are awesome and will cover anything you need to learn getting started -- and beyond!

When I first got back into knitting I made scarves - LOTS of scarves. My family and friends were in heaven and stayed nice and toasty warm all winter!

I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn and big plastic #15 needles. I pulled one strand from the center pull and one that unwound from the outside of the skein and knitted using a double thread.

I cast on 12 stitches and just did knit stitches for every row (called garter stitch) until the whole skein was used up. I bound off and had a wonderful, warm wooly scarf in my hands. It was magical!!!

It was a great project for me to ease back into knitting which I hadn't done for many years. Now I'm hooked!!!

I would recommend that whatever pattern you start with, make something that really appeals to you and that you have a need for.

That said, I'd also recommend that you collect needles as you go from project to project for awhile, trying out different materials to see which you like.

When you're ready for it, check out the KnitPicks Options interchangeable set and/or their Harmony Wood. They are WONDERFUL, in my opinion, and I'd be lost without them. Other needles I've tried haven't measured up to the Options.

You'll probably start off with metal long straights which is a good place to start as you become more practiced.

And don't forget - any questions or problems you run into can and will be treated kindly and knowledgeably by the wonderful knitters on this site.

So, happy knitting and make sure to let us know how it's going!

Hugs,
Ruthie
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:01 PM   #4
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You are going to need different sized needles for different projects, but I wouldn't worry about that right now. When I first wanted to learn I bought the Susan Bates kit and it came with sizes 7 and 10. They work well with worsted weight yarn, which is easier for new knitters to work with. I liked those needles, too, because they are slippery and inexpensive. I don't like plastic at all, and wood slows me down.

Worsted (medium) weight yarn is the easiest to work with for a beginner. You can find this weight yarn in any fiber, so if you want to make a scarf you might want to choose some sort of wool blend, or even a soft acrylic would keep you warm. If you want to do a wash cloth or something like that, cotton would be better.

A scarf is an excellent first project, but it will take some time to finish it because of the length. If you are patient you will love doing it, if you are like me, you might want to start with something a bit quicker. Like dish/face/wash cloths (I have a ton of them for everytime I feel like knitting but don't want any sort of commitment).
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:07 PM   #5
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Wow thank you all for the quick response :D .

I won't get a chance to go shopping until the weekend, but now I'm really excited!
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:16 PM   #6
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Oh! Another question that occured to me... What is the difference between needles with nobs (I'm sorry if there's a technical name for them, I'm very new!) and double pointed ones? The double pointed ones seem like things might slip off for someone less deft (ei me!) but they have me curious.
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Old 12-16-2008, 12:47 PM   #7
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Good question! The needles with knobs are known as straight needles. They are used for flat pieces of knitting. The double pointed ones are used for knitting small circumference tubes, such as socks. They are generally sold in sets of 4 or 5 because you use 3 or 4 of them around the tube in a triangle or square shape, and knit off of those with the last one. This is known as knitting in the round. You can do larger circumference knitting in the round with circular needles, and you can also do small circumference knitting with circular needles using a slightly different technique.

Just look at all the fun things you have to look forward to!
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:34 PM   #8
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Aha! This makes sense, thank you
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Old 12-16-2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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No problem!
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Old 12-21-2008, 09:30 PM   #10
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Well, as an update thanks to all of your wonderful advice I was able to go out yesterday and pick myself up a pair of aluminum 10.5 needles (they didn't have 10s but they're light purple... yay!) and some fairly easy but attractive wool. With the help of your online videos I've since learned how to cast on and knit stich ... which I'll probably just stick with for a little while until I really get the hang of it. Interestingly (to me anyway) I seem to prefer the English Method of doing things. Possibly because my left hand is hopelessly uncoordinated (guess I should have stuck with that piano!). I'm several rows into what could possibly end up being a scarf, and really enjoying it. Not bad for someone who didn't know the first thing about knitting a few days ago! Thank you all again
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