What tools and supplies do you need to start knitting?

What tools and supplies do you need to start knitting?

Knitting is a popular and enjoyable craft that allows you to create beautiful and functional items using just two needles and some yarn. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, having the right tools and supplies is essential to ensure a successful and enjoyable knitting experience. In this article, we will discuss some of the essential tools and supplies that every knitter should have in their arsenal.

Needles: The most important tool for knitting is, of course, the needles. Knitting needles come in a variety of materials, including metal, wood, and plastic. The type of needles you choose will depend on your personal preference and the type of yarn you are working with. It’s a good idea to have a range of needle sizes on hand to accommodate different projects and yarn weights.

Yarn: Another essential supply for knitting is yarn. Yarn comes in a wide range of colors, textures, and weights, making it easy to find the perfect yarn for your project. When choosing yarn, consider the fiber content, as different types of yarn have different properties and are better suited for certain types of projects. It’s also important to consider the yardage and weight of the yarn to ensure you have enough for your project.

Accessories: In addition to needles and yarn, there are a few other tools and accessories that can make knitting easier and more enjoyable. These include stitch markers, which can be used to mark your place in a pattern or indicate where certain stitches should be worked; a tape measure or ruler, for measuring your gauge or the length of your work; and a pair of scissors or yarn cutter, for cutting yarn.

Summary: Having the right tools and supplies is essential for a successful knitting experience. Knitting needles, yarn, and accessories like stitch markers and scissors are all essential items that every knitter should have. By investing in high-quality tools and supplies, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle any knitting project and create beautiful and functional items for yourself or loved ones.

Knitting Needles

Knitting Needles

When starting knitting, one of the essential tools you will need is knitting needles. These are the long, slender tools that you use to create stitches in your knitting project. There are a few different types of knitting needles available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Straight Needles: Straight needles are the most common type of knitting needles. They are long, straight rods with a point at one end and a knob or stopper at the other end to prevent stitches from falling off. Straight needles are perfect for beginners as they are easy to use and hold. They are great for knitting flat projects like scarves and blankets.

Circular Needles: Circular needles consist of two needle tips connected by a flexible cable. They are used for knitting in the round, as well as for flat projects. Circular needles are great for larger projects like sweaters and shawls because they distribute the weight of the project more evenly. They can also be used for small projects by using the magic loop method.

Double-Pointed Needles: Double-pointed needles (DPNs) are shorter, pointed needles that come in a set of four or five. They are used for knitting small circumference projects such as socks, mittens, and hats. With DPNs, you divide the stitches onto three or four needles and use the fourth or fifth needle to knit.

Interchangeable Needles: Interchangeable needles are a versatile option that allows you to change needle tips and cable lengths to suit your project. These sets usually come with a variety of needle sizes and cable lengths, making them a cost-effective and space-saving choice. Interchangeable needles are great for knitters who want flexibility in their projects without having to buy multiple sets of fixed needles.

When choosing knitting needles, it’s important to consider the type of yarn you will be using and the size of needles recommended for that yarn. Some knitters prefer the feel of metal or bamboo needles, while others like the smoothness of plastic or wood. It’s a personal preference, so it’s a good idea to try different types of needles to find what works best for you.

In addition to the type of needles, you will also need to choose the size. Knitting needle sizes are indicated by numbers, with smaller numbers representing smaller needles. The size of the needle you choose will depend on the thickness of your yarn and the tension you want to achieve in your knitting.

Overall, knitting needles are an essential tool for any knitter. Whether you choose straight, circular, or double-pointed needles, having a variety of sizes and types will give you the flexibility to tackle any knitting project with ease.


In knitting, yarn is the main material that is used to create the fabric. It is made up of fibers that can be either natural or synthetic. The type of yarn you choose will depend on the project you are working on and the desired outcome.

There are various factors to consider when selecting yarn:

  • Fiber Content: Yarn can be made from a variety of materials, including wool, cotton, silk, acrylic, and many others. Each type of fiber has its own unique properties, such as warmth, breathability, and drape.
  • Weight: Yarn comes in different weights, which determine the thickness of the strands. The most common weights are lace, fingering, sport, worsted, and bulky. The weight you choose will depend on the pattern instructions and the desired finished look.
  • Color: Yarn is available in a wide range of colors, from solid to variegated. The color you choose will depend on your personal preference and the look you want to achieve.
  • Texture: Yarn can have different textures, such as smooth, fluffy, or textured. The texture will affect the overall appearance of the finished fabric.

When starting knitting, it’s a good idea to choose a yarn that is easy to work with, such as a medium-weight, smooth yarn in a solid color. This type of yarn will be easier to handle and will help you see your stitches more clearly.

It’s also important to consider the care instructions for the yarn you choose. Some yarns require special washing and drying methods, while others can be machine washed and dried.

In addition to the yarn itself, you will also need a pair of knitting needles or a knitting loom to work with the yarn. The size of the needles or loom will depend on the weight of the yarn and the desired gauge.

Stitch Markers

Stitch markers are essential tools for knitters that help in keeping track of specific sections or stitches within a knitting project.

Types of Stitch Markers:

  • Locking Stitch Markers: These markers are versatile and can be easily clipped onto the knitting needles. They can be moved as needed and are ideal for marking stitch patterns or changes in the knitting.
  • Ring Stitch Markers: These markers are circular in shape and can be slipped onto the needle easily. They are suitable for marking the beginning of a round or a specific stitch.
  • Split Ring Marker: Similar to the ring stitch markers, split ring markers have a small opening that allows them to be attached mid-row without removing the needle.

Uses of Stitch Markers:

  • Marking the beginning or end of the round in circular knitting
  • Identifying stitch patterns or changes
  • Keeping track of increases or decreases
  • Separating sections of a project

Choosing the Right Stitch Marker:

When selecting stitch markers, consider the size of the needles and the weight of the yarn. It’s important to choose markers that won’t snag or slip off the needles. Additionally, markers with different colors or designs can be helpful in identifying different sections or types of stitches.

Pros Cons
Can be easily moved along the knitting Might accidentally get in the way of knitting
Available in different sizes and designs May not be suitable for very fine or lace knitting
Can prevent mistakes and help in maintaining accurate stitch count Can add extra weight to the knitting

Overall, stitch markers are practical tools that can greatly assist knitters in their projects by keeping stitches organized and helping to prevent errors. With a variety of markers available, finding the right ones for the project at hand is essential.


Scissors are an essential tool for any knitter. They are used for cutting yarn and other materials while knitting. It’s important to have a pair of sharp scissors that can easily cut through different weights of yarn.

When choosing knitting scissors, it’s recommended to look for ones with a comfortable grip and pointed blades. This will allow for easy and precise cutting. Scissors with a small, compact size are also convenient for carrying in a knitting bag or pouch.

It’s a good practice to have dedicated knitting scissors and not use the same pair for other purposes. This helps to keep them sharp and avoid any damage to other materials.

When knitting with multiple colors or working on intricate patterns, it’s useful to have small scissors with pointed tips. They allow for cutting individual strands of yarn without accidentally cutting adjacent stitches.

In addition to regular scissors, some knitters also find it helpful to have a small pair of thread or yarn snips. Snips are designed to have a very fine tip, which can be useful for cutting threads or yarn tails close to the work without accidentally cutting the knitting stitches.

A well-maintained pair of knitting scissors will make your knitting experience more enjoyable and efficient. Regularly clean and oil them to ensure smooth and accurate cutting.

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Knitting Scissors
Type of Scissors Pros Cons
Straight Scissors
  • Easy to find and widely available
  • Can be used for various crafts
  • Harder to cut precise and intricate shapes
  • Blades can be too long for fine work
Curved Scissors
  • Easier to cut in tight spaces
  • Great for trimming excess yarn tails
  • Not as versatile for other crafts
  • May require some practice to use effectively
Small Thread or Yarn Snips
  • Very precise for cutting threads and yarn tails
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Not ideal for cutting heavier yarns or fabrics
  • Can be challenging to find in a knitting bag

Tape Measure

A tape measure is an essential tool for knitters to accurately measure their work and gauge their progress. It is a flexible ruler made of cloth or plastic with measurements typically in both inches and centimeters.

Whether you are knitting a wearable item, such as a sweater or a hat, or working on a project that requires specific measurements, such as a blanket or a scarf, a tape measure allows you to measure your knitting and ensure it meets the desired dimensions.

When using a tape measure for knitting, it is important to have one that is long enough to measure your knitting comfortably. Ideally, a tape measure should be at least 60 inches (150 centimeters) long. This length allows you to measure larger projects without having to readjust or stretch the tape measure.

You can find a variety of tape measures designed specifically for knitting in different styles and materials. Some tape measures have a retractable mechanism, making them easy to use and store. Others come in a flat, ribbon-like form that is more compact and portable.

Additionally, some tape measures have both inches and centimeters marked on them, while others may only have one or the other. It can be useful to have a tape measure with both measurements, as it allows you to follow knitting patterns from different countries that may use different measurement systems.

Overall, a tape measure is an indispensable tool for knitters that ensures accuracy and helps bring their knitting projects to life with the correct sizing. With a tape measure in hand, you can confidently measure your progress and create beautiful knitted creations.

Darning Needle

A darning needle, also known as a tapestry needle, is a must-have tool for any knitter. It is a large, blunt needle with a large eye, designed specifically for weaving in loose ends and sewing knitted pieces together.

When knitting, you often end up with loose yarn tails at the beginning and end of your work, as well as any additional yarn changes or joins. These loose ends need to be woven or darned into the fabric to ensure the finished piece doesn’t come undone.

Using a darning needle, you can easily thread the loose yarn tail through the eye of the needle and then weave it through the back of the stitches on the wrong side of the fabric. This process, known as “darning in” the ends, ensures that the yarn is securely held in place and will not unravel.

In addition to weaving in ends, a darning needle is also useful for sewing knitted pieces together. Whether you are seaming a sweater, joining a scarf, or attaching a button, the darning needle allows you to seamlessly sew the pieces together without leaving visible stitches.

When choosing a darning needle, look for one that has a blunt tip to avoid splitting the yarn as you weave in the ends. The eye of the needle should be large enough to easily accommodate the yarn you are working with. Plastic or metal needles are both commonly used, so choose the material that feels most comfortable for you.

Stitch Holders

Stitch holders are an essential tool for any knitter. They are used to hold stitches that are not being worked on at the moment, keeping them secure and preventing them from unraveling. Stitch holders come in various shapes and sizes, but the most common ones are straight or safety-pin shaped.

When knitting a complex pattern or working on a large project, you may need to put some stitches on hold while you work on other parts of the project. Stitch holders are perfect for this purpose as they allow you to easily remove the stitches and place them back onto your needles when you are ready to work on them again.

One of the advantages of using stitch holders is that they are much more secure than using spare needles or scrap yarn to hold stitches. They have a closure mechanism that keeps the stitches in place and prevents them from accidentally slipping off.

Stitch holders are also great for when you need to try on your work in progress or if you need to take a break from knitting. You can simply place the stitches you want to hold onto the stitch holder, ensuring that they won’t unravel while you’re not actively working on them.

When choosing a stitch holder, it’s important to consider the size of your knitting needles and the number of stitches you need to hold. Some stitch holders are adjustable and can accommodate different needle sizes, while others are designed specifically for certain needle sizes.

Overall, stitch holders are an essential tool for every knitter. Whether you’re working on a small project or a complex pattern, having stitch holders on hand will make your knitting experience much easier and more enjoyable.

Knitting Bag or Project Basket

A knitting bag or project basket is an essential tool for any knitter. It provides a convenient and organized way to carry all your knitting supplies and projects wherever you go. Here are some reasons why a knitting bag or project basket is important:

  • Portability: With a knitting bag or project basket, you can easily take your knitting projects with you wherever you go. Whether you’re traveling, going to a knitting group, or simply want to knit while waiting at a doctor’s office, having a dedicated bag or basket allows you to bring your knitting along.
  • Organization: A knitting bag or project basket helps keep your knitting supplies and projects organized. Most bags and baskets come with compartments and pockets for storing needles, yarn, patterns, and other knitting accessories. This makes it easier to find what you need quickly and keeps everything in one place.
  • Protection: Knitting bags and project baskets also provide protection for your knitting projects. Whether you’re working on a delicate lace shawl or a chunky sweater, a bag or basket helps prevent your work from getting tangled, snagged, or dirty. Some bags even have padded compartments to protect your needles and delicate yarn.

When choosing a knitting bag or project basket, consider the following factors:

  • Size: Make sure the bag or basket is large enough to hold your knitting projects and supplies. It should have enough space for your yarn, needles, patterns, and any other accessories you like to have on hand.
  • Durability: Look for a bag or basket made of sturdy materials that can withstand regular use. Check the quality of the handles and zippers to ensure they won’t break easily.
  • Comfort: Consider how you will be carrying the bag or basket. Look for one with comfortable handles or straps that won’t dig into your shoulders or hands when carrying it for an extended period.
  • Style: While not essential, many knitters prefer a bag or basket that reflects their personal style. There are plenty of options available, from sleek and modern designs to more whimsical and colorful options.

A knitting bag or project basket is a worthwhile investment for any knitter. It helps keep your projects organized, protected, and portable, making it easier to enjoy your knitting wherever you go.


What are the essential tools for starting knitting?

The essential tools for starting knitting include knitting needles, yarn, scissors, tape measure, and stitch markers.

Where can I buy knitting needles?

You can buy knitting needles at craft stores, online retailers, or even at some major department stores.

What type of yarn is best for beginners?

For beginners, it’s best to start with a medium weight yarn that is smooth and easy to work with, such as acrylic or cotton yarn.

Do I need special scissors for knitting?

While you don’t necessarily need special scissors for knitting, it’s good to have a pair of small, sharp scissors dedicated to your knitting projects to keep them handy and prevent them from getting lost.

Why do I need stitch markers?

Stitch markers are useful for marking important points in your knitting, such as the beginning of a round or where you need to make a stitch increase or decrease.


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