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'll help you choose both of these supplies so starting knitting will be easy.

Choosing Yarn For Beginning Knitting

Even I get overwhelmed with the amount of beautiful knitting yarns out there.

Beginning knitting

I can spend hours going through all the different types of yarn, the colors and those wonderful textures. 

There's always something new and amazing.

And choosing the right ball of yarn for starting to knit can be puzzling.  So I'll help you narrow down your choices.

When you're in the beginning knitting stage, buy a smooth worsted weight yarn like: 

  • Vannas Choice 
  • Patons Canadiana or  
  • Red Heart Yarns  

Make sure to pick out a nice light color too so that you can see your stitches better. 

Save the really fancy yarns for later when you've had some knitting practice.

Knit Picks Banner

And also check out the yarn label because it gives you important knitting information. 

Yarn labels will tell you what its made of like, cotton, wool and so on. 

And it'll tell you the the size yarn it is so DK, worsted, chunky plus what size needles to use with it..

Need help reading the yarn label symbols? No problem. I made a page for that so that you'll understand.  Here is how to read yarn labels.

Beginning Knitting Needles - Which Ones to Choose?

Knitting needles are the next important tools for knitting.  And there are loads to choose from.

Beginning Knitting

Needles come in many different materials like bamboo, wood, plastic, aluminum and so on. 

Every knitter has their favorites to knit with and over time you will too.

For now though I'll give you some suggestions.

Because you're just starting to knit you may want to experiment with different needles to see which ones you like.  

After all you will need a few pairs in different sizes.

Or you may even want to consider circular knitting needles. 

You can still knit flat with them and the great thing is they hold a lot of stitches for bigger knitting projects. 

I have two favorite interchangeable knitting needle sets I use and I love both. 

They are Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles and Knitters Pride.

The nice thing about having a knitting needle set is you won't have to worry about having the right size needles anymore.    

Knit Picks Banner

The needle sets come with all the standard sizes you'll need. 

You just have to choose between a straight knitting needle set or a circular set.

Your next choice with needles will be bamboo, wood, plastic or aluminum and well there are many different kinds. 

Bamboo or wood needles are good choices for beginning knitting. The stitches won't slide off the needles as easily. 

They're also very comfortable to work with. 

Plastic and aluminum can be more slippery and your knitting stitches can slip off the ends more easily. 

Some knitters prefer to have their stitches slide along the needles.  It really depends on how you knit and what your preferences are. 

You may love the bamboo needles or you may like knitting faster with the plastic or aluminum.

Which Size Knitting Needles Should You Choose?

I would start knitting with a medium size needle. 

And a medium knitting needle size ranges from about size US 7 (4.5mm), US 8 (5mm) or US 9 (5.5mm)

These sizes are often used for medium weight yarns and they'll feel the most comfortable in your hands.

Actually the size I use the most is a US 9 (5.5mm), they feel the best in my hands.

And just a note here. Some people do prefer to use super fat needles to start knitting with. That's fine if you like to use them but here's my thought.

I find my hands start to ache a little after awhile and the needles are kind of awkward. This is just my feelings about it, you may love them. It's your choice.

If you decide to buy straight knitting needles you may want to consider the knitting needle length too. 

They range in length from 7 inches which is usually used for children, and go up from there; 8 - 14 inches.

I find the shorter lengths less cumbersome and much easier to use than the really long ones. 

Even the ones for children are great while you practice. I have some short ones I really like knitting with for smaller projects.

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 size 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're wondering how to hold all this stuff in your hands. Here are some ideas about

How to hold knitting needles and yarn

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.

Knit Picks Banner

You might like these

  • Knitting Tools For Beginners

    Knitting tools for beginners help make knitting fun and easier and heres some help choosing those first few accessories and tools for knitting you next project

  • Single Cast On Knitting Lesson - Quick & Easy

    The single cast on is also called the thumb cast on and backward loop cast on. This is the quickest and easiest way to cast on knitting and it's pretty useful too

  • How To Read Yarn Labels And Symbols

    Reading yarn labels and understanding the symbols and label information will help you choose the perfect yarn for your knitting project. Here's how.

Like This Page?  Please Share it