Bare minimum to be prepared

I went to the book store yestereday and decided to pick up a couple of knitting mags. While I’m not ready yet to start making a lot of the items that I saw, I still like to read the patterns and see what is needed to make all the different garments. What I came away with was a question…

What would be the bare minimum of knitting supplies (yarn not included) that I would need to be able to knit a variety of items at a moments notice? Right now, I have only a set of size 8 aluminium straight needles that are 13 inches and a set of size 5 24 inch circs and I know that I can’t do a lot of things until I upgrade. However, I can’t spend hundreds of dollars getting every size and length of needle right away. Any suggestions?

Well… knitpicks just came out with a interchangeable set of acrylic needlesfor just under $45. That may seem like a lot, but it gets you every size from 4 to 11 with cords to make 2 different lengths so that’s effectively 18 circular needles. Or more. Big savings. You can easily knit flat on circs as well as in the round, many of us don’t even use straight needles anymore. That will take you a long way toward having everything you need, and the reviews on them have been mostly favorable.

Thanks so much suze! That is just the kind of information that I was looking for. I am not sure yet about what is a good deal for supplies, but that is about the same price that I was looking at for a set of straights and a set of DPNs so I think I just might grab those. Thanks a lot!

If you add a set of small double point needles you will be set. Knitpicks has a set of dp needles on sale for just under $30. It has 6 sizes with 6 needles in each size. They use the metric ans US sizes so the set has 2 sets of # 1’s and 2’s. Add the three larger size acrylic needles not included in the set (sizes 13, 15 and 17) and you will be set for any pattern.

You generally won’t need dpns. With 2 cords you can work small in the round items with 2 circs, or use the longer cord and Magic Loop.

Letsknit, I’m in the same boat as you. I am a fairly new knitter, and everytime I start a new project, I’m spending an extra $10+ just on needles. Yarn is expensive enough! So I have placed an order with Knit Picks and purchased a set of the Zephyr’s. I don’t have them yet, so I can’t comment on how much I like them, but I’ve never knitted with really good quality needles (such as Addi’s), so I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. I also just figured out how to magic loop, :woohoo: so I will no longer be using DPN’s, which I dislike very much! :ick: Good luck with the knitting!

The magic loop huh? I have never heard of that before. I will have to get busy… Thanks everyone for all the advice!

There’s probably a video on this very site for the magic loop. Good Luck and have fun!

There is, it’s on the Advanced Techniques page under knitting a small circumference, along with one for 2 circs and dpns.

I checked it out. It [I]looks[/I] pretty straight forward. Lets see what happens when I try it! LOL But I have a question, if you have a pattern that calls for DPNs, how does that translate into the magic loop?

You just put all the sts on the circ and pull out the loops. If the pattern has you do something at the beg or end of a needle, you can put markers on the circ where the separate dpns would be. But if it says something about moving sts from one needle to another, you don’t need to. That’s for when a dec would use a st from both needles and with a long circ, there’s no split. Or if there is, pull the cord out between other sts and make the loop there, the sts don’t have to be divided [I]exactly[/I] in half.

It’s all 'knitting-in-the-round". So whether you knit in-the-round with dpns, or on two circs, or on one lonnnng circ (for magic loop)…the results is the same. Round knitting.

I personally like knitting in-the-round on two circs.

Sock knitters may have a different preference. I don’t knit socks.

I detest dpn’s. Magic Loop is nice! But I prefer the 2-circs method of knitting in-the-round.

Check out our videos here, and don’t forget YOUTUBE!
Cat Bordhi has a GREAT VIDEO for knitting in-the-round on two circs. That’s what sold me!

Another place to look for needles is your thrift store. If you are lucky and have a good one (for knitting supplies) you can often find all kinds of needles there. My recent score was 2 pair of Addi size 6 turbo needles for $3.99 total. I got a small bag of circs for $2.99, about five pair. I’ve gotten 75% of my needles at my local thrift store. All kinds too, dpns, circ and straight. And now I have a ton of needles and haven’t had to buy for the project again, which I did last year when I was just starting.

Lucky! I never find knitting stuff at the thrift store.

I actually like knitting with DPNs. I get bored easily so I’ll usually do one sock on DPNs (which is really my favorite) and one on ML. Sometimes I use 2 circs just to be different. If you’re trying to save money you can definitely start without DPNS. KnitPicks is very affordable and I love their stuff. I got one pair of the new needles and I’m not crazy about them. I prefer the nickel-plated over those or the Harmonies. I tend to knit tightly and they’re nice and slippery.