New to Knitting


I’m new to knitting. Okay, sure I made some pom-poms when I was about 5 years old, but I’m 24 now and I’d kind of like to get into knitting. I was hoping to make a scarf, but I really have no idea where to start. Could anyone please give me some pointers on what kind of needles I need, what kind of yarn (I hope that’s the right term) I need and anything else I need to know when starting out? This website looks good, but it’s a little to objective for me, and the jargon sort of confuses me. Subjective opinions and directions for total noobs would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Your friend in knitting,

Here is what you should do. Go to a store that sells yarn. It doens’t have to be a yarn store, they can be a bit intimidating for a new person, I think. Look for a color you like, pet the yarn, if you like the color and the way it feels then buy it. If you look on the label, there will be a little box with knitting needles inside, those are the recommended size for that weight (thickness) of yarn. Go pick some of those up and you’re good to go.
Please don’t be afriad to ask questions, that’s what we’re here for:)

[FONT=“Times New Roman”][SIZE=“3”][COLOR="#201090"]Matt,

The only answer for all of your questions is that “it depends.” Both the yarn (weight or thickness) and the needle size affect the size of your stitches and therefore the size of your finished object (FO).

To start out, you need yarn, needles, and a pattern for your scarf. First look around this forum, the web, and in magazines for a pattern that appeals to you and then it will give guidance on the yarn weight and needle size. I can’t help much on the yarn weight, all I know is thread is small (like from sewing thread up to average string size), “sport” is a thinner yarn and “worsted” is a thicker yarn. Yarn weight often pairs up with needle size (as in “size <whatever> is likely the best/smallest needle you would want to used with this weight yarn”). Choosing a smaller needle gives a smaller/tighter stitch and a stiffer fabric, where as a larger needle gives a larger more open stitch that is softer and your FO will be less stiff.

There is also the yarn material (silk, cotton, synthetic, wool, others and blends of these), the color, and the sheen of the yarn to consider. Take a sister, ask a sales associate, or a random female in the store if they can tell you what “so and so” meant when they said “worst-ed” yarn. Then pick up an ugly skein of yarn and ask if this is the worst and why would “so and so” want this anyway? Note to self to try this to see the reactions. :roflhard:

Oh yeah, a backpack is a good place to hide your work. If you ever feel the need to hide your work when your not working on it.

Finally, you start by casting on, and you need to practice. Use the excellent videos that Amy has provided on KH and try the stitches along with the video. Expect to make mistakes and have to pull out (also known as ripping out or FROGG as in “rip-it” “rip-it”) back to the beginning and starting again. I tend to have tight stitches, so I usually use one size larger needle (or hook as I crochet more than knit) than the pattern indicates.

Were you looking for any of those answers? I hope so and good luck.

– Jack

P.S. As a Crochet person and new to knitting, I wonder. Why, oh why, don’t they sell needles in package sets with several sizes. What is a good selection of needle sizes and variations (double point, circular, etc.) and why/when do you need these other variations?[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]

Hey–you know the difference between objective and subjective, so knitting will be a piece of cake!

Yes, go find some yarn you like, but rather than for a project, just get some to practice on first. It should be smooth, not fuzzy, and lighter or variegated color so you can see the stitches better. Get a worsted, it may be labelled as a 4, and size 10 needles. 10s are good to work with, make large stitches, but not too loose and you can use them later when you make a scarf. Anyway, practice different stitches after or while looking at the videos here. Cast on, then knit every row for a few inches until you have the hang of it, learn to purl and alternate rows - knit a row, purl a row - for a few more inches. If you want to keep going, you can also learn the decreases and increases too. Make a sampler like this, then get some yarn you’d like to use for a scarf.

:slight_smile: Ingrid

Matt, you need …
[COLOR=black]Available at a craft store like Michaels or Joans …[/COLOR]
[COLOR=red]Patons “Clasic Merino Wool” color -aran (off white) [/COLOR]
[COLOR=red]Clover Bamboo Single Point (13-14") Size # 7 needles[/COLOR]

KH Long Tail cast on video
KH Knit Stitch video
KH knitters to answer questions

Matt, you’ve already gotten all the answers I would have given, so I’ll just say, “WELCOME!”

:roflhard: Ingrid

For your first scarf you may want to stick with garter stitch (knit all rows) and some acrylic yarn, its easier to rip out (frog) if you don’t like the way it looks. I like to use size 7 or 8 needles for scarves. You can cast on as many stitches as you like (the scarf will usually be wider than the cast on width) if you use garter stitch. You can also add a fringe when it is finished, so you would need a crochet hook for that.
Good luck!!!
You can do it, then you will be hooked like the rest of us. :teehee:

Oh, there should be a video on “Lifelines” on this site, this is a good idea. It’s a line of contrasting yarn (I use a smaller size than I am knitting with) pulled through your knitting, that way if you have to frog you will only go back to the lifeline, and not loose the work done prior to the lifeline.

Welcome aboard, Matt! You are going to love it around here. As others have suggested, the videos provided here should be your first stop. They are excellent and you’ll be knittin’ and purlin’ before you know it! I too would suggest you start with acrylic yarn simply because it’s cheaper to start out with. Either Red Heart or Caron Simply Soft are readily available at Michaels or Wal-Mart. The recommendation of the #10 needles is good, either metal or bamboo (I prefer bamboo). There are numerous beginner scarf patterns at in the free patterns section.
Please don’t be afraid to ask questions…we were all beginners too. :hug:

Hi Matt,
Alot of patterns here to look at and they are all free.
First time just pick a pattern that says easy or beginners.

Thank you everyone who posted here, it’s really great how many replies I got in such a short time. Everything has been helpful and I’m feeling a lot less daunted about the whole learning to knit thing. I think I’m really going to have a lot of fun.

Thanks again :thumbsup:


I started knitting almost 1 year ago. I learned from Knitting for Dummies. I also suggest starting with patterns from lion brand. the yarn is not super expensive & the patterns tell you what to get.

this site is also great because you can watch the videos to learn more advance techniques.

The one piece of advice i can give you is not to give up. it is only yarn & can be taken apart! :slight_smile:

I got some size 9 needles today and wool to match. I’m trying to follow the long cast on video, but I keep on ending up with a straight piece of wool draping over my needle and no weave occurring at all. It’s like one of those magic rope tricks where you tie a knot which disappears to everyones amusement (or bemusement as the case may be) :pout:

Is there a line drawing of casting-on somewhere which I can look at to see what’s going on there? Maybe knitting for dummies might be the go for me…

Any help in getting my casting-on going would be greatly appreciated.


i tend to prefer the cable cast on. it is much easier! there is a video on it under casting on.

basically it is just like knitting, except you put the stitch on the needle.

There’s photos on this page that show quite a few. They’re alphabetical so you need to scroll down to Long tail.

I sent you a PM:) .

I kept on trying last night before I went to bed and I actually managed to do a long tail cast on! It’s not very even, but I think I get it now :slight_smile:

Thank you :slight_smile:

Believe me, you will get it going well. It took me 4 time to get a normal knit and purl going. I had to destroy my project 3 times.
that was just a little wash cloth:hair:
I’m on my second project. Already frogged that one once. I’m doing better this time around. You will find extra stitches, missing stitches, twisted stitches, but, don’t give up. I almost did. Now, I’m glad that I didn’t Good luck and have fun:happydance: