In my journey as a new knitter, I have LOTS of questions and have hunted for endless hours trying to find answers. Perhaps I can consolidate some of what I have learned here and share some excellent resources. Maybe I will save some other beginners some time?
Basic Supplies that Every Beginning Knitter Needs
One of my first questions as a new knitter was, “What supplies should I have in my knitting bag?” This implies, of course, that you need a knitting bag (or some other receptacle to store your project work in). The following list is what I currently have in my bag. I’m sure others will argue that additional supplies are needed – and if you are one of those people, please leave a comment! I would love to hear your suggestions!
- Knitting bag to store project work
- Tapestry needle – I like the kind with a big eye so it’s easy to thread with thicker yarn
- Stitch markers – I prefer the type that are like safety pins because you can slide them on your needle or attach them to your work, whichever is needed.
- Cable Needles
- Stitch gauge/Needle gauge
- Crochet hook (for fixing dropped stitches or finish work)
- Straight Needles in a variety of sizes
- Circular Needles in a variety of sizes & lengths – the interchangeable kind can save a bit of money, but I prefer having different sets in various lengths which are fixed. Yes, it’s more expensive, but I had an interchangeable set and it kept coming loose and I just prefer not to have the aggravation. This site has very affordable sets. They also sell nice cases to store each set in.
- DPNs in a variety of sizes (DPN = Double Pointed Needles) The site I noted above for circular sets also has very affordable sets of DPNs. I have not knit with DPNs yet, but I see many patterns call for them so, I figured you better have them.
That Blasted Hank!
No, Hank is not my next-door neighbor. A hank is one of those gloriously twisted bundles of yarn that lure you with their gorgeous colors and soft textures, causing you to forget how unruly they can become!
When I bought my first hank of yarn, I just untwisted that bad boy and got started with the business of knitting. That was a mistake! Before too long, the yarn became an unruly, twisted mess that I spend the rest of the project trying to tame. Believe me, it isn’t worth it!!!
So, how do you tame a hank? Well, I went on the hunt for a good resource to show how it’s done. This is the one that I found most helpful. I used this technique, but also coupled it with the suggestion to use 2 dining room chairs to hold the hank while you do the winding . I hope it can also save you from hours a aggravation. I found it a joy to knit from the resulting ball.
Washing Your Knitted Items
If you have completed a single project yet, then you know how time-consuming it is to create your beloved garment, whether it is a scarf, a shawl, a sweater, a bag, or other item. After spending the many hours laboring over your project and spending the money on just the right needles, appropriate miscellaneous tools, and the perfect yarn for the job, you want the garment to last a long, long time. Especially with woolen items, one must be careful when washing their projects or they could accidentally felt & shrink the item! Eeeek – the horror! Well, I found a great article on another blog that might help you, as it did me. It even suggests specific soap products and provides links to them.