5 Essential Tools for New Knitters
As a new knitter, all the available tools, yarns and needles can be a bit overwhelming. Before you overdo it in the craft aisle, here are our 5 essential tools every new knitter should have on hand (other than yarn and needles).
1. Measuring tape
Keeping track of your project measurements is a very important part of knitting. While some patterns will give you a specific number of rows or repeats to follow, others may just say knit until the piece measures x inches. If you don't have a proper measuring tape this can be difficult and if you're not measuring, you're guessing which may end up in a garment that is too small or too large. A soft, flexible measuring tape for sewing or knitting is recommended.
2. Darning needle(s)
Unfortunately, you cannot avoid weaving in ends. Fortunately, if you have a decent darning needle meant for yarn (i.e. has a larger eye) then weaving will be a little bit easier. A new knitter really just needs one (sometimes they come in packs of two) that will work for most weights of yarn. But as your yarn palette grows, you may wish to invest in smaller needles for lighter weight yarns.
Knitting is not like sewing in that your scissors are not sacred. You can cut yarn and other things with your knitting scissors. However, I still recommend having a designated pair of knitting scissors just to make life a little bit easier. Even though I have specific scissors for my knitting, I am always misplacing them and using the kitchen scissors. Which end up never being in the drawer when my husband needs them.... but I digress. Having a pair or two of smaller needles that you can toss into your project bag is a great idea. They don't have to be fancy or super sharp, just enough to snip your yarn when you're done!
4. Project bag or tote
A bag to keep your project clean, organized and tidy is key. It doesn't have to be anything fancy but it helps you avoid losing a loose knitting needle or having a ball of yarn run away from you down the road. I use anything from canvas totes to reusable shopping bags. I have even used a plastic grocery bag, although I wouldn't really recommend it as needles can poke right through. Are you a sewer? You could even diy a tote out of old pillow cases or fabric.
5. Crochet hook
I know what you're thinking.... "Nicole, are you nuts!? We're talking about knitting not crochet. Why on god's green earth would I need a crochet hook?" No, you're not thinking that dramatically? Fair enough.... A crochet hook is actually a very hand knitting tool. It is best used for fixing the dreaded dropped stitch but it can also be used for weaving in ends or holding stitches for cabling. Every knitter should have at least one on hand in their supply bag.
Don't go crazy buying every tool under the sun... you don't need that fancy yarn bowl, swift or ball winder, at least not at the beginning. Stitch with simple skeins of yarn, not too fine and not too chunky, and one or two pairs of needles plus the items above, and you're well on your way to developing your talents. As you improve and grow, you can reward yourself with some fancier yarn and tools.
What's in your knitting bag? Did I miss anything newbies need to have? Share in the comments below....