Knitting For Beginners Part One: How To Select Yarn And Needles
Start writing a post
Student Life

Knitting For Beginners Part One: How To Select Yarn And Needles

Knitting can be very confusing for beginners, hopefully this guide will help.

318
Knitting For Beginners Part One: How To Select Yarn And Needles
Pexels

Knitting is an ancient craft that is one of my favorite pastimes. However, learning to knit can be one of the most confusing parts. I have been knitting since I was nine (I'm 17 now), so I would like to say I have some experience. I've decided to help those who don't know as much about knitting by writing this beginners guide to knitting, starting with part one: choosing your supplies!


How To Select Yarn

What do we knit with? Yarn!

Yarn is maybe the most important part of knitting and with hundreds of thousands of types, the choice can be daunting. I would recommend just going to the craft store, feeling the yarn and choosing one that you like. That being said, there are a few recommendations I have for beginners. I would definitely avoid any yarns that are too fine or too bulky. These yarns tend to be more difficult to work with. I would recommend choosing a medium weight yarn that's of even thickness.

Now, you might be thinking, how do you know what is considered a fine or bulky yarn?

Well, it's actually really easy to tell. Yarn manufacturers have a label system that lets you know the weight. When choosing a ball of yarn, look on the package for a small illustration of a ball of yarn with a number. That number is the weight, with zero for lace weight (superfine) and six for super bulky. I would recommend choosing a yarn that's around a three or four (about medium weight).

In terms of colors, I would recommend a yarn that's lighter in color. It makes it much easier to tell where you've already stitched.

For material, a wool blend is best. It tends to be smoother and stretchier. I would generally avoid cotton until you've gained more experience.

This next part is quite confusing, but in my opinion, it is very important – especially for those who have never knit before. The twist direction (the ply). Yarn is made with several strands that are twisted together to make a single strand of yarn. When we knit, the twists can either become twisted further or become untwisted. We want to avoid yarn that becomes untwisted because it turns your single strand of yarn into four or eight smaller strands, and it becomes very difficult to tell where one stitch begins and the other ends leading to split stitches.

There are two plies of yarn – the S and the Z.

Depending on which style of knitting you choose, eastern or western style, it would be preferential to choose one over the other. In this guide, I will be teaching the western style which is better suited for an S-plied, whereas if you're using the eastern method, the Z-plied is better.

And that's pretty much it when it comes to choosing yarn! The more important thing is that you choose a yarn that you love. Just remember that while it is harder to go against these recommendations, it isn't impossible, so if your heart is set on a yarn, go for it and challenge yourself.

Types Of Knitting Needles

Unlike yarn, knitting needles tend to be unextraordinary. There are many kinds of knitting needles, like loop and double-ended, but for our purposes, a good set of straight, single-ended needles are best. For a novice, I would also advise against aluminum which tends to be much more slippery, and recommend a pair of wood needles. Size is very easy to determine. After you've picked out your ball of yarn, the manufacturer has a recommended needle size printed on the label.

For example, this grey ball of yarn recommends that use of a 5mm needle or US size 8 needle. I would personally choose a needle size recommended by the manufacturer for ease of knitting, but the choice is up to you. It is more difficult to use a set of needles that are too large or too small, but again, it's not impossible. Remember that if you do choose a different needle size, a bigger needle will result in a cloth with much larger holes, while a smaller set will lead to a much tighter cloth.


That's pretty much it to the beginner's guide of choosing yarn and needles! It's not very difficult, and the most important thing, of course, is to choose what you like.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

To The Boy Who Changed Me

Just another open letter from a crazy ex-girlfriend.

1837
http://cdn1.theodysseyonline.com/files/2015/10/09/635800144722553570-908383045_993037_10201471592537019_550485816_n.jpg

You’re probably thinking, “oh sh*t, my ex is writing a hate letter and a tell-all about our roller coaster tycoon relationship with terrible fallout.” But if you’re thinking that, oh honey you’re wrong. This isn’t some sappy pity party nonsense and it’s not a trash-my-ex tell all; it’s a journey. And it’s my side of our story to tell…

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?

The Girlfriend's Guide to College

4826
Dear College Students, Are You Undecided?
https://pixabay.com/photos/college-students-diploma-graduate-3990783/

Up until last week, I always had a major. I was an international business major, finance major, psych major on the pre-medicine track… and now (finally) I am exactly where I should have been when I started college: undecided. I think there is too much pressure as a high school student to have a designated path about what you want to study, be when you 'grow up' and essentially spend the rest of your life doing. As an 18-year-old, I really feel like I tried to pin myself down to a major so that I had a set path to follow and something to look towards. This is probably very conventional and I know tons of people at school who have their minds made up about what they want to study.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Life Is Messy

Finding who you are in your 20s

4480
Life Is Messy
https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-yellow-sunflower-field-under-sunny-sky-1169084/

I am 25 years old and just now learning who I am. When I separated from my husband I was terrified of what would follow. I did not know who I was outside of a relationship, nor did I know how to be on my own. It was scary, and I was so lost. I spent months discovering who I was, and what I wanted to be. I am still searching as I believe we never truly know who we are even when we "grow up". I came to the realization that I had been hiding a part of myself for my entire life. Coming out was not easy, growing up in the church made it scary, and hard. I was told growing up that being anything but straight was such a sin, and that i would spent my life in hell because of it. I came out to my parents when I was 25 years old. I picked up the phone and called my mom, and uttered the words "I'm queer" through tears. I knew my parents would be supportive, but that didn't make it any easier for me to vulnerable and raw. Since then, I have slowly started being more authentic in who I am, and not hide parts of me just because of people's shitty opinions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Adulting

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

42359
Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

11726
Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments