Help with 1st time knitting yarn and needle shopping

I have a chance to go to Hobby Lobby and Michael’s in a couple of days. :happydance: They’re 75 minutes away. Locally, there’s only Walmart for yarn shopping.

The how-to DVD I have recommends using size 11 needles and gives instructions for making different scarves using bulky yarn. What would be an inexpensive bulky/chunky yarn to use for a scarf? I want something soft and easy to work with. Acrylic would be fine with me.

What size needles would be good to use with Sugar & Cream and Peaches & Cream? I have a bunch that I use to crochet potholders. I want to practice knitting with it and make dishcloths and potholders.

Any help you can give is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Hi, Susan! Knitting dishcloths is a good way to practice knitting stitches…if you make a mistake, the dishes don’t care!

I usually use a size 7 or 8 needle for knitting dishcloths. For potholders, knit two of the same size and whipstitch or crochet them together.

For scarves, try Wool-ease, which is a Lion Brand product. It contains only 30% wool but it’s machine washable and makes a really nice scarf.

Homespun would be an example of a bulky yarn and will work well with size 11 needles.

For a bulky yarn, WoolEase chunky or Thick and Quick would make nice scarves, or Lion Jiffy for a fuzzy one. Jiffy also comes in a thicker version too. You might find Caron simply soft chunky too, that’s a good one to work with.

When you’re first starting, use the shorter straight needles (more than long enough for a scarf or dishcloths) or purchase a 24" circular needle in the appropriate size. I’m one of the converts to using a circular needle for flat knitting. I don’t like having the ends of the long needles poking me.
As a crocheter, you may want to check out the video clips on this site that show continental knitting. Only because in continental knitting the yarn is carried in the left hand and this may be more comfortable for you.

[I]Sugar and Cream[/I] and [I]Peaches and Cream[/I] calls for size 7 needles, if they’re the ones I think you mean. But check your gauge, just to see what it is, as every knitter’s gauge is different!

The best advice I can give is to buy less expensive yarns and needles in the beginning. DO NOT buy every supply you’ll need to become a life-long knitter. I made that mistake. I got so excited about learning to knit, I bought just about one of every needle and notion at JoAnn’s. Once I became a more experienced knitter, I learned that:
1.)I didn’t need all of the stuff I bought
2.)My tastes changed… I bought alot of cheap, bamboo needles (just fine for knitting) and later my tastes had changed and I no longer liked knitting with bamboo needles. Then I had oodles of bamboo needes I didn’t want and never used. Wait until you’ve knit for a while to buy more things.
3.)Start out with sturdy acrylic yarns. The acrylic yarns tend to hold up to frogging and re-knitting. They don’t require alot of care and are great for beginners!
4.)Circular needles are the most bang for your buck. You can knit flat pieces or in the round with circs. You can even knit socks and small diameter kniting with circs. They are a good investment.
5.)Always choose the yarn, needles, and notions that work best for you or that you like the most. Do not allow other knitters to let you feel badly about your yarn, needle, notions, or project choices. Knitting is very personal and should be something YOU do for YOU.

Welcome to knitting!

And I would also add that using the sugar and cream you have (cotton) will probably make for a frustrating beginning. Cotton is difficult to knit evenly; it has little give and makes it harder to work each stitch for many beginners as well as being slippery on the needles. Try for a nice springy wool, acrylic, nylon, or some blend of those. These all add some natural stretchiness to the yarn that will make your learning experience that much easier for you.

Likewise, aluminum or needles with a slick coating (susan bates) may be too slippery for starting out. There are times when you will want a nice slick needle, but beginning is not it. You’ll want a simple bamboo, plastic, or ash needle to make sure that your stitches stay put where you want them.

But fear not – you can learn just fine with anything and while some of the previous advice has soundly been to use cheaper, sturdier yarn make sure that it is yarn you like and want to wear. Nothing is going to kill your interest in a project like realizing you don’t like the material and won’t want the final product.

Thanks everyone for the advice so far!

I thought I would try the Continental style first since I’ve read here it can be easier for crocheters to start with. I plan to buy two different sized Clover circular needles to start with. Right now, I would be thrilled to learn to knit well enough to make potholders, dishcloths, or a scarf. I’m in awe of those who are able to make socks, sweaters, and other complicated projects.

Does anyone have any more bulky yarn suggestions? I am so unfamiliar with most yarn. What about Bernat Softee Chunky?


Ooooh, Michael, ain’t [I]that[/I] the truth! you’re my hero!