If you’re just starting to knit, one of the most confusing tasks is determining what knitting supplies you’ll need. There are a ton of options on the market ranging in price from inexpensive to downright shocking. It’s easy to feel like you’re obligated to buy one of everything.
The truth is, you don’t need to spend a small fortune to learn to knit.
To prove it, we’ve created this list of knitting tools and supplies to build your own knitting starter kit.
Knitting Supplies for Beginners
The question I get asked most often is, What do I need to buy to start knitting? The answer is fairly short list of knitting supplies.
You’ll need knitting needles and yarn, obviously. These are the absolute musts when getting started knitting. Then, the rest of the list consists of knitting tools and knitting notions that will make your experience easier.
Here’s everything you will need for your learn to knit kit.
When you’re starting to knit, the first thing you’ll want in your knitting kit is a good pair of knitting needles.
Best Knitting Needles to Start With
Straight needles are best for beginners, plain and simple. Using straights will give you time to adjust while you practice knitting.
A great size knitting needle to start with would be a size 10.5 US (6.5mm). This is a medium gauge needle. It’s about the size of a standard pencil, which is about 6-7mm in diameter.
Bamboo Knitting Needles
In terms of material, bamboo knitting needles would be a good investment. Bamboo certainly has better surface control with yarn than metal. This means your stitches are less likely to slip off the needles. This is important as it could be the difference between continuing and quitting outright.
Maybe this is a good starting point for you and maybe it’s not. If not, try knitting with larger knitting needles.
Read more: Guide to Knitting Needles
Large Knitting Needles
Some will say that bigger is better when choosing knitting needles. Learning to knit on thicker than average needles may help ease you into knitting. It may also reduce the chance of making your hands to feel gnarly.
If you choose to knit with larger needles, you’ll finish faster, which can be encouraging. On the flip side, you may find them awkward to hold. Knitting with pencil-size needles, like a size 10 US, will be slower but may feel better in your hands.
Ultimately, be honest with yourself. Consider your level of patience, comfort, and what feels best for you.
When choosing a yarn to begin knitting with, many also say bigger is better. It doesn’t have to be super bulky yarn, but we don’t recommend starting with anything thinner than a worsted weight yarn.
Below is a standard yarn weight chart as set by the Craft Yarn Council. It shows the types of yarn, recommended needle sizes, and stitches per inch. You might want to print this out for your knitter's kit, too.
Best Yarn for Knitting
As for choosing a type of yarn, well, that is entirely up to you. There are so many different types of yarn available. There’s wool, acrylic, cotton, and linen to name a few. They each have their particular advantages and disadvantages so it can be hard to choose.
Learn more about Knitting with Cotton Yarn.
My recommendation is to go to your local yarn shop and look around. It’s important to see it up close to discern true color and feel.
Keep in mind the project you plan to make. If you’ll be knitting a scarf, you’ll want to know what it feels like not only in your hands but also against your face and neck.
You’ll want to read the ball band to read its composition. In case you’re not familiar with this term, it’s the label that comes with your yarn. It lists the yarn material(s), gauge specifics, and care instructions. Here you will also find suggestions for needle sizes that work well with the yarn.
This yarn ball band shows a yarn gauge of 6-Super Bulky and recommends knitting with size 13 US (9mm) knitting needles.
The best advice I can give you is to practice knitting with inexpensive yarn. When I was learning to knit, I started out on acrylic yarn. I did this because I wanted to be committed to knitting before I invested too heavily. Acrylic yarn made for great practice. Now, I tend to lean towards wool yarn for knitting primarily, but that’s just me.
TIP: When it comes to choosing a yarn – avoid novelty yarns until you are more comfortable with knitting. Some can be incredibly difficult to work with and many do more harm than good.
In addition to yarn and needles, the following items will carry any new knitter through his/her first knitting projects.
You’ll want to choose a tool bag with ample storage and pockets. Your knitting kit will grow with time so choose something that can grow with you as you learn.
I use this IKEA zipper bag and find that it is the perfect size for all my tools and gadgets. It has a wide opening with a wide bottom, which keeps it from falling and scattering the contents. Very handy.
It has two small inner pockets to hold small items and there’s a Velcro pocket on the side. This pocket is great for holding my writing tools and things I reach for frequently.
If you intend to keep your yarn or project in the bag, try to avoid anything with Velcro as it could snag your yarn. I don’t use this as my knitting project bag so I don’t have to worry about that.
There’s any number of totes and bags for knitting supplies. Choose one that fits your space and needs.
This is a must-have, multi-purpose tool which is designed to serve as a knitting tension tool. They include a small ruler for calibrating stitch size, swatch gauge, or simply taking small measurements. Some knitting gauge tools include a needle size calibrator making it an all-in-one gadget.
Read more: A Guide to Knitting Gauge
Knitting Row Counter
A row counter will help you keep track of your rows as you work your pattern. This one is for thinner needles but there are other row counter options available on the market.
Beginners should keep a healthy cache of knitting stitch markers in your supplies for knitting.
What’s a Stitch Marker?
A stitch marker is a tool used in knitting to identify an important place in your knitting. They are often kept on the needle but you can also attach them to the knitting itself.
Used for marking rounds, right/wrong sides, and dropped stitches, they are essential to knitters. They are particularly useful for keeping track of the number of stitches on your needle.
Stitch markers come in a variety of sizes and styles. You can find them in fixed forms or as locking stitch markers. You can even diy stitch markers.
Read more: Knitting Hacks to Save You Money
These are necessary for weaving in ends or threading a lifeline through your rows. They are available in plastic and metal, and come in an assortment of sizes. It’s a good idea to keep several in your learn to knit kit.
This helps determine the length or width of your project, or the amount of yarn for cast-on, etc. It should read in both inches and centimeters, and should extend to a length of at least 5 feet.
You’ll need a sharp pair of pointed scissors for snipping ends or cutting knots.
These are essential for picking up dropped stitches or weaving in loose ends. You can also use them to add fringe to hand knit scarves and cowls.
Floss, Thread, or Scrap Yarn
These items are useful when you need to insert a knitting lifeline. Never heard of a knitting lifeline? If you haven’t, you must add it to your arsenal of tools.
Learn more knitting slang in our Knitter’s Knitcabulary.
You can also use any of these items as a stitch marker when you can’t find one.
That’s everything you’ll need for your knitting kit for beginners. By my estimate, if you bought everything on this list, it would cost you less than $50. That’s good news for you and your wallet.
The best part is, your knitting kit will serve you well for years to come. So stop procrastinating and get started now!
What are some knitting tools you simply can’t do without? Share your favorites in our comments below.