New to knitting

Hello :slight_smile:

I’m not really sure how this forum is run, and if its proper to start a new thread just to announce I’m new to knitting, but I have a few questions and have heard this is the place to be :slight_smile:

First off, what kind of needles should I start with? I’ve been to the store to get a “beginning knitting kit” that contains 2 pair of needles size 6 and 8. Also included is a knit tally cable stitch needle, stitch holder, point protectors, and a few other things I’m completely clueless about.

I have however figured out which are the knitting needles :stuck_out_tongue: My question is, are these the correct sizes, or does it matter? In the videos I’ve been watching on the knit stitch and purl stitch it appears that the needles she uses are much bigger than what I have.

Also, I am left-handed and having trouble with the videos seeing as how I must do everything backwards. Despite this I have managed to learn double cast on, and am quite comfortable with it.

Any ideas on what kind of stitches to start with?

Last, what is the best kind of yarn to buy? I bought a $2 roll at the store just to learn the ropes with. It is 6.5mm/10.5 US…no idea what this means, but I’m hoping someone does lol!

I apologize for the length of this post!

Thanks for reading :slight_smile:
Rachel

Hi, Rachel, this is a great place to ask questions as well as introduce yourself.

The 6s might be a little small for now, but you may get yarn you can use them on, the 8s are okay. The yarn you bought is bulky though - that 6.5mm/US10.5 is the needle size it was gauged on, which is about 3 sizes larger than your 8, and I’d actually knit that weight yarn on size 11 or 13 needles. Soooo, you can get bigger needles or thinner yarn, the yarn would cost less. Look for some that’s smooth, light colored and either says worsted or DK or has a 3 or 4 - this Chartexplains a lot of it.

Don’t worry about the extra doo-dads in your kit right now, but just FYI, the cable needle is so that when you do cable stitch (http://knittingonthenet.com/patterns/scarfcable.htm), you can hold some stitches in front of or in back of other stitches. The stitch holder is so you can set aside some stitches while you work on others (http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3415/3265233054_6855f71133.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.flickr.com/photos/lollyknit/3265233054/&usg=__jGuR6qNUaUVcDK6b_VP0nilK8DE=&h=366&w=500&sz=144&hl=en&start=6&tbnid=J8rp4jhALFvbMM:&tbnh=95&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dknitting%2Bstitch%2Bholder%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG) and the point protectors are to be put on the end of the needles when you’re not knitting so that you can set it down and the stitches won’t slide off (http://www.whiteleycreek.com/queen_of_the_meadow_bloom/2007/03/knitting_socks.html). With all of these, there are many different styles.

Just to elaborate a little on “the correct size” of needles: When just learning, whatever feels best is the correct size. But once you start knitting real objects, the size will matter. On a scarf, not so much, but on anything that has to fit, even a little bit, like hats, mittens, socks, sweaters, a holder for your i-pod even, then you will need to use the right size needle. The pattern directions will tell you to use a certain size, but they usually modify that by following the size with the statement, “or size needed to get gauge”. The guage is how many sts per inch you’re getting. So with a scarf, if it’s too wide, then that’s not a big problem. But with a hat, even 1 more or less stitch per inch will make it way too big or too small. So you just try different size needles until you get the right number of sts per inch. For now, with your practicing, just use which size needle feels most comfortable.

As for which stitch to begin with-- I’d just learn the KNIT stitch first, and then the PURL. By the way, once you know cast on, knit, purl, increases and decreases and then how to cast off, you’re pretty much set. That’s really all there is to knitting! If the videos here are hard to follow as a left hander, try looking on youtube for videos and include “left hand” in your search and see if something comes up. There are many way to knit, and if you are making the stitches correctly in a comfortable way, even if it’s not quite “kosher”, then who cares.

And as you can see, long posts are not an issue around here:) .

You may want to consider knitting as in the videos–“right-handed.”

I’ve taught lefties to knit and they’ve all been able to do it. Eventually, they’ve developed a few of they’re own little quirks, but the end result has been the same.

The only reason I say this is that all patterns are written for ‘right-handed’ knitting, and to try to work them left-handed would, I imagine, be confusing.

There are certainly people who knit opposite of the videos because of left-handedness (please, die-hard lefties, don’t attack me :teehee:) but in my experience, knitting is knitting.

First of all, welcome to the forum. This is the best site! Everyone is friendly and more than willing to help. Unless you’re doing it as a career, the most important thing about knitting is to enjoy it.

I’m also a lefty, but in an odd twist of events (pun intended), I learned to knit right-handed when I was around 10 years old. But, for years, and years, and years I thought I was knitting left-handed. As an adult, I decided to try to knit a sweater for the first time. While studying the pictures of people knitting (this was before the internet), I realized, after all those years, that I was knitting right handed and didn’t even know it!

So, do what feels comfortable, and have fun with it.

thanks to all for the great tips! I can’t wait to get started :slight_smile: