Beginner: what size, what kinds of needle is for scarf?


I never knit before… and want to learn how

I got so frustrated with all the patterns and technique… which I have no idea

so I decide to make simple scarf with no pattern.

now I need yarn and needle… what needle am I suppsoed to get? i would like to get aluminum one. but what size? cable? no cable? double point? straight? what thickness and what inches?

I am not going to do anything complicated and just want it for very very basic. What is good needle for beginner if you pick one for me?

I am totally frustrated… ugh

I don’t know a whole lot more than you, but I have one whole scarf and several aborted ones under my belt so I will offer suggestions for what worked for me.

First of all, the idea of a scarf without a pattern is a terrific way to start - all it is is a flat rectangle, and i don’t think it gets any simpler than that, but the finished product is still something real , so it isn’t a dinky practice swatch.

I first tried Caron SimplySoft (100% acrylic) yarn with size 8 Boye needles. The yarn and needles are a decent match, however, if you are doing garter stitch (just knit stitches, no purls), I would caution a little patience and tolerance for errors. I found that that combination showed inconsistent tensioning very readily, and I would imagine that everybody tensions inconsistently during the early learning phase. What this means is that some stitches are longer than others, and the garment looks uneven. The bottom half of the one I tried this way was probably only 80% as wide as the top, which looked ugly.

The scarf I finished was on size 7 bamboo needles with Paton SWS yarn. I would not recommend the yarn for a first project - although I finished mine and am happy with it, the stuff is a real pain to work with, and I spent as much energy wrestling with the yarn as I did focusing on learning the stitching, which is what my main focus should have been on such an early project.

My recommendation for your scarf is to use size 8 or 9 aluminum needles and either Caron SimplySoft or an easy to work with wool yarn such as Paton merino. If you use the Caron, it might b a good idea to do your scarf in stockinette (alternating rows of knit and purl stitches) to avoid the above mentioned tensioning problem, because I think stockinette is a little less susceptible to that problem than garter stitch it. If you do go that route though, read the stickied thread in the how-to section regarding stockinette stitch and curling.

Again, I’m certainly no expert, and there are like a thousand helpful people here who know way more than me, but I was thinking more or less exactly like you a month or so ago, so perhaps my experience is helpful to you. Good luck and don’t stress!

Keep in mind this is just my personal preference, but if you’re just beginning, I’d try and stick with bamboo or plastic/crystalite needles. You might find the aluminum ones VERY slick and have a hard time keeping your work from sliding off (at least that has been my experience). Garter stitch is good, or if you like it, ribbing scarves are very attractive. I’ve made several in the 2x2 ribbing.

Simply Soft is a great choice, as it feels great against the skin.

Best of luck to you!!! :hug:

Now here’s another opinion… :teehee:

I started with thicker yarn (a bulky weight) and size 10 1/2 needles (shorter ones). I got bamboo ones, which aren’t as slippery, and two skeins of Lamb’s Pride Bulky yarn. I thought that the thick needles and the thick yarn were easy to control and see when I was figuring out how to do things.

I second the previous poster. Bamboo needles are widely available, they don;t cost that much more than the metal ones and I think it will make your first time knitting experience so much easier.

I have been knitting for a really long time - when I first started knitting metal needles were the only real option, but after I got my first pair of bamboo needles, I could never pick up the metal ones again.

Good luck - you will do great!


It’s a good idea to use larger needles and thicker yarn for a first project, it’s easier to see your stitches so you can figure out what you’re doing. Any color but black or dark blue/navy is easier to see the stitches too.


Might I also suggest starting out with hot pads or washcloths? The smaller squares kept my attention better than scarves could and if a square was looking paticularly wonky I was able to bind off early and it didn’t bother me much. Also a great way to try out new stitches before working on the actual project that uses that stitch.

Welcome to the forum! :hug: You will find the people here are very helpful and nice. So if you get frustrated and stuck someone is always here to help (Ingrid :teehee: j/k Ing :muah: )

Nods in agreement. Definitely go with big, non-slippery needles and thick yarn. If you want to do a scarf, make a skinny rather than wide one so you’ll be done faster – the feeling of accomplishment is a great motivator. On the flip side, when something seems to be taking forever to finish, it’s easy to get discouraged. Avoid dark colors, as well as fun fur and other novelty yarns. I’d also use wool rather than acrylic (or worse – cotton), mainly because it’s stretchier – making it easier to work, and more forgiving (your stitches will be more even).

Resist the urge to frog (our word for unraveling because you go “rip it, rip it!”) – if you keep going, you’ll see improvement over time. If you frog a lot, the yarn will get ratty and kinky and just make your stitches look worse (yes, I know from experience).

Good luck! :wink:

P.S. Click on the “Getting Started” tab at the top of the page for more beginner tips.

Heee, but frogging can soften up scratchy wool. Some of it anyway.


Thank you so much for kind replies…
I didn’t expect it !!!
I am so pumped up now and cannot wait to start my very first scarf. But as somebody suggested it, I might make small hotplate. In that way, I feel accomplisment fast! Thank you all
*Be aware! If I really get hooked up, I am going to have tons of questions!