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I was recently on vacation in New York City and my fabulous best friend, Demi, was wandering the city with me. She was kind enough to drop into a local yarn store with me and one thing led to another…suddenly she had needles and yarn in her hands. I was talking her through her first knit stitches, and she looked at me, eyes wide, and said these magical words: “I can see how this would be really addictive.” She said the next time we spend some time together she would like some more knitting lessons. She also asked that I recommend some beginners’ tools. So, here we are.
To start, all you really need are needles and yarn.
Basic Knitting Supplies – Yarn Option One
Demi saw the variegated and self-striping yarn and was in love. I couldn’t blame her – and I thought it was a great way to keep yourself motivated through the challenge of a first project. Plus, the changing colors make it easier to see the stitches, which is super essential when you first start. (I started crocheting with a DARK blue yarn. Big mistake.) I also wanted to find her something in a heavier weight yarn, so the knitting would go faster. My first project was in acrylic, which certainly has its advantages, but wool is more forgiving and springy. This is so helpful when you’re first learning to knit! Even if you usually hate wool (as I once did) give it a try.
The first yarn I would recommend is Chroma Twist Bulky by KnitPicks:
First off – wowza! Those colors! In addition, this lovely yarn is a superwash wool/nylon blend. That means you can wash your finished project in a washing machine without it felting like conventional wool does. The nylon provides extra-sturdiness, which will certainly help as you are likely to be rough on a first project as well!
You will need two skeins of Chroma Twist Bulky to make a scarf.
Basic Knitting Supplies – Yarn Option Two
If you’d like to try a solid color yarn, may I recommend Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky by Knit Picks:
Remember to pick a light color! No black or dark blue, you want it to be easy to see stitches!
This is also a superwash wool, so you can machine wash and dry.
You will need two to three skeins of Wool of the Andes Superwash Bulky to make a scarf. (Two for an infinity scarf, three for a regular length scarf.)
Basic Knitting Supplies – Needle Recommendation
A Note on Straight Needles and Other Sexy Needles
Yes, eventually as a knitter you are more likely to fall in love with interchangeable needles. But that’s down the road. I like straight needles – especially for beginners. They allow you to flap and flail as you figure out what the heck your hands are doing with those needles.
Knit Picks also carries other sexy-as-hell, beautiful, way-prettier-than-box-store needles like these:
Yes, they are beautiful. The reason I don’t recommend them for beginners is that you need to be able to see your stitches clearly. The changing colors of these needles may confuse things a bit.
I Was Not A “Natural” Knitter
I did not start with any amazing abilities. In fact, I was a very slow and gradual learner. But I was persistent and stubborn – far more helpful traits in learning a new skill. I learned from a combination of the internet and a good friend with patience. (Shout out to Jeana for spending an afternoon teaching me to purl!) I knew I was getting better at it when my husband mentioned I got through a couple hours of knitting without cussing. He was highly impressed.
Remember you can take on any complicated or easy pattern you want. If you really want the finished product it will motivate you! Knitwear is everywhere, including in pop culture, which always provides me with great inspiration. Whether it’s The Bachelor, Penny Dreadful, or a celebrity like Sarah Jessica Parker, you will see knitwear that will continue to inspire you to make your very own fashion!