Needle size for beginners?

I have a friend who wants me to teach her to knit. I’m a beginner myself but know knitting and purling well. She wants to make a scarf so I told her I would buy the yarn and needles for her to get started. What size of needles would you guys recommend for someone to get started? I want her to know it’s easy but I don’t want her to get discouraged if it takes her too long.
Thanks in Advance,

Trish in CO

Im gonna vote for big, fat needles…like a 15 or 17…buy her some woolease thick n quick. Almost instant gratification!

I learned on big fat needles…

You can knit something quickly on FAT needles 'cause each row is so long… but fat needles are tough for a beginner (I think) because if htye knit too tightly, they can’t get the needle through the stitch.

I would go for some size 8 needles with a worsted weight yarn. That way the stitches are big enough to see waht’s going on, and the needles are big enough to handle – but not so big that if they knit too tight that they won’t be able to continue…

how does that sound?

I concur Jessica.

I would pick up a size 8 (or 9 ro 10 even) and a worsted weight yarn of a light color. It can be difficult for beginners to see their sts if the yarn color is too dark.

Good Luck!

As another new knitter, I vote for fat needles. With both crocheting and knitting, it wasn’t until I tried with fat hooks or needles until I really “got” it. It better enabled me to see the stitch and how it was supposed to look. Once I got the basics down, I was easily able to work with smaller sizes.

Lion Brand Yarn makes a “Learn to knit” kit. It contains size 15 needles, 2 skeins if their wool-ease yarn, a pattern to make a hat and scarf, and a small book with the basics in it. It’s not overwhelming to learn from, and I think the larger needles are easier to work with than the smaller ones. The wool is nice to work with too - it’s a light color - so it’s not dark, it’s not variegated, and it’s not anything too fancy that could make it hard to work with!
The scarf pattern has garter, stockinette, and ribbing, so it’s like teaching the basics that you can use in a lot of other items as well =)

I vote for the big needles too!!!

I myself learned to knit on USsize 6 needles, but wouldn’t recommend that!
I would teach her on USsize 10 or … what the??? Are there no 7mm needles in US sizes? The next is 11US, but that’s an 8mm…
Anyway I wouldn’t use larger needles than 11 cause I had problems with this rather large needles when knitting too tight. Plus they are heavier than my other needles.

That’s funny, some people think bigger needles are easier and others the complete reverse.

imo, I just started a sweater with size 13, bamboo. I would have thought bigger needles would be easier and if my husband ever consented to learn, I would teach him on big needles. But I’ve been finding they aren’t easier. They’re more tiring also. It feels like slow work it seems and not as relaxing.

I’m looking forward to getting back to my metal Size 11 or 10 and I would suggest Size 10 or 101/2 or 11 to begin on.

One other idea: it would be interesting to get a pair of each,
say Size 10l, and Size 13 or 15 and let your friend try each one and tell you which feels more comfortable in her hands.

Well, I think I’ll start on 11s. I think they’re big enough that the project will go fast but not so big, they’ll fumble with them.

Thanks to everyone for your input!

Trish in CO

Open to one last comment? I promise to make this one short.

Knit an easy or beginner knit pattern in either 8 or 9, or go for one of those new Fun Fur’s with larger needles like 14 (I used 19). The Fun Fur’s take only a few hours, or a day or two to knit. Especially if you’re providing guidance.

Check out the free patterns on this site. Or try the first one I ever did, Martha Stewart’s Basic Scarf Pattern.

I think size 8’s are the best to start with. I’ve noticed that many projects that I do (with patterns or my own design) call for that size. I ended up having to buy a second pair of straights in that size because I used them so often. When I learned how to use DPNs, I bought size 8’s and made a hat.


Thanks for all the input!