When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
If you love crafting, need a screen-free activity to go along with your “Love Is Blind” marathons, and want to create something functional you can wear, give knitting a try.
Besides requiring minimal materials to get started – yarn and knitting needles – it’s a pretty easy hobby to do and doesn’t require a ton of concentration.
“Knitting gives me time to think,” says Julie Robinson, knitter, instructor and creator of knitting magazines. “It’s an asset
Plus, the knit is “so portable I can take it anywhere because there aren’t a lot of tools needed, which means I’ll always have something to do when I have a moment.” unexpected in front of me”, declares Marissa Likarknitter and blogger.
Below, Robinson and Likar share their top tips for getting started as a knitting beginner:
1. Get the right knitting needles and yarn.
Even if you already have knitting needles at home, consider circular needles if you don’t.
“Circular needles are more versatile than straight ones [ones] because you can use them to knit flat or in the round,” says Robinson. Likar agrees to start with circular needles for any knitting project. “Their design makes them easier on the hands and wrists when knitting heavy projects,” she adds.
When it comes to materials, there are so many options to choose from – metal, plastic, wood and bamboo, but Likar recommends bamboo or wooden needles for beginners because “the thread sticks better than other materials and the stitches stay in place on the needle.” And while plastic may be a cheaper option, Robinson explains that “it makes stitch work more difficult.”
When it comes to selecting yarn, which can be an overwhelming task if you walk into a craft store, you can narrow down your selection by opting for a medium weight yarn (also known as worsted weight). “It’s a good thickness that’s easy to handle and see,” says Likar, who also recommends acrylic yarn because it “is very forgiving, inexpensive, comes in very bright colors, and readily available.”
Once you start to get more comfortable with your knitting, you’ll probably want to invest in some more expensive yarn. “I would suggest buying natural fibers whenever you can afford them, such as wool, cotton, silk, or linen,” Robinson says.
If you want to avoid having unnecessary problems when you’re just starting out and haven’t quite mastered the basics, “Under no circumstances should you buy yarn to start knitting with if it has lint, glitter fibers or novelty,” Likar advises.
2. Buy additional useful items for beginners.
When it’s time to finish a project, you’ll need to tuck the ends in using a tapestry needle so there’s no fraying or fraying. “You have to weave those ends in,” Robinson says. “You will use it on every project you do.”
Stitch markers help keep your place in your knitting project. “Get ones that don’t have anything the thread can snag on and it helps if you can get them in and out of the needle easily,” says Likar.
A crochet hook is also a handy tool for your knitting projects. “A hook for a knitter doesn’t sound great, but it’s a great tool for mistakes, adding detail, and finishing a project,” says Likar.
3. Choose books and knitting guides designed for true beginners.
“So many ‘beginner’ books start somewhere after the beginning, assuming you have prior knowledge of yarn and knitting or crafting in general,” says Likar. She prefers reference books like Reader’s Digest’s “Knitting Handbook” because “if you have a problem, you can research the right way to do the technique.”
If you’re looking for a great beginner’s knitting project, Robinson recommends starting with a beanie. According to her, “Knit a Hat” “shows you how to knit a basic hat, learn a bunch of basic skills, and gain confidence in choosing your materials,” says Robinson, who “really [likes the author’s] philosophy of craftsmanship [because] it emphasizes the fun of creating and it encourages people to be adventurous in their knitting from the start.”