Beginning Knitting
How To Start Knitting

For someone who wants to learn to knit, beginning knitting can seem confusing at first. You may be wondering just how to start knitting and what you need to get started.

When you are just beginning knitting all you really need is a ball of yarn and some comfortable knitting needles.

I will help you choose both of these supplies for knitting so that you can start knitting as quickly as possible.

Choosing Some Knitting Yarn

ball of yarn

Even I get overwhelmed with the amount of beautiful knitting yarns out there. I can spend hours going through all the different types of yarn, the color, the texture.  And there's always something new.

I just love it!

But it is amazing what they have for choices, and choosing the right ball of yarn for your knitting project can be puzzling. I'll help you narrow down your choices.

For beginning knitting I would start with a medium worsted weight yarn. If you aren't sure how to tell if it's a medium size yarn the yarn label (ball band) will tell you what size it is.

Need help reading the yarn label? No problem.

Here is how to read a yarn label.

Choose a knitting yarn that is only one color and also light colored.


Because it's much easier to see your stitches.

Find something that is pretty smooth to the touch. Wool and wool blends are great choices however there are other types of yarn too so try them out in the store. Feel how the yarn is in your hands. You're not going to know until you touch it and squish it. Well I do!

I wouldn't buy cotton yarns yet as they don't have any stretch and may be rather difficult to knit with. Cotton yarns are wonderful though but give yourself some practice time first.

Beginning Knitting Needles - Which Ones to Choose?

knitting needles

Knitting needles are the next important tools for knitting you need. There are loads to choose from and they come in many different materials like bamboo, wood, plastic, aluminum and so on.

Because you are beginning knitting and just starting out you may want to experiment with different needles to see which ones you like. After all you will need a few pairs.

Every knitter has their favorites to work with. You will too.

I prefer working with straight bamboo needles because when I hold the needles I usually put one under my arm. But that's me.

Bamboo or wood needles are great choices for beginners. Knitting stitches don't slide off the needles as easily. They're also very comfortable to work with. Plastic and aluminum are quite slippery and your knitting stitches can easily slip off the ends.

So which size knitting needles should you choose?

I would start knitting with a medium size needle (medium yarn, medium needles), around a size 6 (4mm), 7 (4.5mm) or 8 (5mm). These sizes are often used for medium weight yarns and they feel the most comfortable in your hands. I like these sizes too. They just feel like the right size for my hands.

You may want to consider the knitting needle length too. There are a few and range in length from 7 inches which is usually used for children, and go up from there; 8 - 14 inches.

You may like to start off your knitting with a 10 inch needle so that it doesn't feel so long and cumbersome. I actually enjoy using them as well. And if you like you can even try the smaller ones for children too. See which ones you like.

Just remember that when you start knitting bigger items you may need the longer length knitting needles in order to hold all the stitches.

Note: The size of the knitting needles and the size of the knitting yarn should compliment each other so:

  • Really thin knitting yarn - really thin knitting needles and
  • Really thick yarn - really thick needles

I created a little page about knitting needle sizes here to help you understand about the sizing. Plus you can download a nifty knitting needle conversion chart as well.  Pop on over, I'll wait right here for you.

All done?  Great... Let's continue...

Maybe you already have your ball of yarn and knitting needles?

So what's the next step?

Then it's time to put stitches on your needle and it all starts with a simple slip knot.

Here is how to make a slip knot

Or maybe you are wondering how to hold all this stuff in your hands. Here are some ideas about

How to hold your knitting needles and yarn

Beginning knitting is fun and exciting. Hopefully you aren't confused anymore but understand some basics of knitting and are ready to start knitting up some fun.

When you're ready you can head over to my knitting instructions page, where I will show you some cast on methods and all the basic knitting stitches.

Take your time and have fun with it.

Beginning knitting to home

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Need help with your knitting? Please post all knitting questions on my Knitters Digest Forum where I or another member will happily answer your questions. It's free to join.