Newbie Necessities

What items (size needles, yarn, stitch markers, etc.) would you recommend for someone just starting to build an inventory of knitting equipment?

Besides the obvious knitting needles (complete set of circulars or interchangeables is your best bet, btw.)

Crochet hooks
Stitch markers
Needle protectors
Stitch/needle gauge
Tapestry needles
Tape measure
Small scissors
Row/stitch counters
Nail file and hand lotion <-- Don’t overlook this. Dry hands and hang nails are not kind to lovely yarns!

I bought a learn to knit kit for less than $10 at target and it had some good starter stuff. I like the size 6 needles I have, they are good for alot of projects. I bought small rubber hair bands for markers. The rubber tips are very helpful. And 2 bags, one to store, one to carry. What were you thinking of starting on?

After you figure out that you are an addict, invest in some interchangable needles and learn how to use them as circulars AND as straights. This will save you a lot of $ and trips to the store for new needles.
A tapestry needle/yarn needle is a must
A pair of scissors small enough to fit in your bag that you use solely for yarn (otherwise it gets icky and dull)
needle protectors to stick on the end of the needles when you want to store the project for a break
stitch markers
All of the other stuff I have accumulated along the way according to the project. Such as if you are only working on hats and scarves and stuff, you don’t need a cable needle or stitch holders or a tape measure, etc. All of that stuff you can get when you need it. It’s all relatively cheap so don’t buy it until you need to use it.
Oh-and a knitting bag. Put in the knitting bag a book/resource that explains things so you understand it. I always find myself getting into a project and after a few months totally forgetting how to do a stitch because I haven’t done it in a bit. This can save you putting the project down and sitting in the waiting room of a doctors office for hours not having anything to do:ick:
Hope this helps! and welcome!:muah:

I disagree about the tape measure, Mulderknitter–that’s a must-have for beginners!

I agree with everything Silver said.

Also, double-pointed needles can be acquired as you need them.

Circular needles are a good choice because you can use them on flat work, or in the round, with few or many stitches. I also like short straight needles. I suggest any time you are near a second hand store or yard sale to look at the craft section. I have found many great needles that way, cheap circulars, dpns and odd things. :happydance: Second hand sources can be good for yarn and patterns too. You find a lot of junk but once in a while you strike pay dirt. :cheering:

I like to use cheap medical scissors, the ones for cutting off bandages, they are rounded on the end and don’t poke holes in things so much.

Crochet hooks are needed for fixing errors but you can get by with only a couple to start with, depending on the size of yarn you usually work with. Your hook doesn’t have to be the exact mm as your needle to do the job.

If you use circulars you may not need point protectors unless you really cram on the stitches. :lol: You can move the stitches away from the ends and they usually travel okay.

Stitch markers can be loops of yarn. Paper and pencil can count rows. Needle gauge, yes. (If you have circulars) Tape measure, yes. Tapestry needle, yes. Check out 2nd hand stored for funky bags of all sorts that can be used to carry knitting.

As far as sizes of needles that depends on the yarn you use. If you use mostly worsted yarn or larger you need maybe 6s and up. You don’t need the super big ones unless you use bulky yarn or like holes. :lol: Worsted is good to learn on.

You can spend a lot of money on supplies or try not to.

A good set of interchangeables like Options are a good investment and will give you a lot for your money. A good knitting bag is a good investment, and I use my tape measure all the time.

A couple of good tapestry needles are a must.

A stitch/row counter is invaluable.

Cable needle

Lots and lots of yarn.

The Knitter’s Companion is a great resource that’s small and fits in my bag. It has all sorts of little tidbits that help you decipher patterns, adjust gauge, good illustrations and instructions for a variety of increases, decreases, etc.

I bought a stash of needles online from an eBay auction. It was fun getting some vintage pieces with a history. Plus, I find them at yard sales and thrift stores. It’s fun to go look for that… especially if one is on a budget or would rather spend $ on yarn. Now I have one of almost every size straight needle (which I prefer).

All the other stuff that everyone else said is good, too: mini-scissors or yarn cutting circle (the blades are enclosed and it can be worn as a pendant–although that’s a bit dorky… even for me), yarn needles and a little case for them, stitch holders (like long safety pins… if you need to save your work, but need the needles for something else), stitch markers are nice (scrap yarn works, too), measuring tape (get one that rolls itself up), a small bag to carry the small stuff and a bigger bag to hold that one and your project.

Hah, he doesn’t need any of this, he just borrows all of my stuff. He did get me my Options set though. He gets lots of:muah:for that.

“Um, honey, those are [I]my[/I] Options.”
“Are you sure? I remember buying them…”
“Yes, I’m sure. Here, you can have my Boyes!”
“But, the Options … they’re so niiiiice…”
“I said, you can [I]have[/I] my Boyes!!!1!1”


Haha, it’s true, but it is my own yarn! I think that I’d feel more…ownership, of my work if I knew that I was using my own materials. I think I’d also be more motivated to try new things if I knew I spent the money on the equipment, perverse though that may sound. However, that won’t stop me from stealing BostonBecca’s gorgeous handmade stitchmarkers!

Is that where those two sets went? You evil stitch marker stealing man!


Hmmm, that would make an interesting divorce case in court, fighting over who gets custody of the stash :rofling:

Aw man, now I’ve gotta review my Domestic Relations materials again!

you guys are the cutest couple! i was going to suggest options as your largest investment. but there’s already a set in the house. have you scoured ebay for interchangable sets yet? i second the vote that you won’t need straights if you have a nice set of circs. never say never, but i honestly feel like i don’t need my straights anymore.

same with the dpn’s. once in awhile, i pull one out for cabling, but that’s really rare.

instead of BUYING knitting bag, why not try to knit and felt one yourself? ala messenger bag style. knit it on big needles in double strands. felting is VERY forgiving of newbie stitch mistakes, and very exciting when you pull your new creation out of the wash and start shaping and drying it. i’ll bet you could make a really cool one out of olive green and black. HEY! Michael’s has a sale on patons merino this week at $4 a skein! on another forum, i am known as THE ENABLER

since you guys already have options around, maybe you could start acquiring some extra cables to go with the set, and some extra tips in sizes you both use a lot. 4’s and 6’s come to mind for my own knitting. i like to keep plenty of longer cables on hand b/c i am so totally in love with magic loop and 2 circs knitting.

do you guys have the smaller size circs (0-3) for sock knitting? the options set doesn’t go that small in interchangables b/c the join is too fragile. for those sizes, they make circs with permanent joins. i have 2-3 of each size in fairly long cable lengths (again, for ML and 2 circs knitting.)

also, if you are shopping knitpicks, be sure to use a link from here so the forum gets a kickback. :wink:

Go for the options, you won’t be disappointed. Once you get all your notions try stealing a makeup bag from Becca- they work great. I’m forever changing my notions bag. I buy new makeup they give me a little makeup bag, I use it for knitting instead of makeup-love 'em.


I have to agree you guys ARE the cutest little couple on the forum! It’s so nice you share this, hubby is now refusing to knit until I sit and watch an entire series of ‘The Office’, it will be a cold day in hell before that happens!

Regarding kit, ‘borrow’ Becca’s it’s cheaper!!

Define need :lol:

You need a tapestry needle for finishing and a cheap crochet hook for picking up dropped stitches. A 1.99 row counter is nice too.

If you have a ruler and scissors (I like nail clippers for in my bag) at home you don’t need those, and rubber bands can serve as point protectors (I don’t even use thouse). Scrap yarn can be used for stitch markers, but you can get cute ones for cheap anywhere.

Oh, and they sell fold-up scissors, too, so you can carry them and not worry about ruining your knitting/other stuff in your bag.

I think a second set of Options would be justified…with two knitters, you might need the same size needles at the same time. Of course, you may just want to play it by ear and order new tips/cables as needed. :shrug:

I LOVE “The Office”. It’s hilarious. If your hubby will knit while watching, it’s worth it!