Knitting Notion: How to Get Started

Alison Barlow of The Wool Cabin shares her tips to get “wanna-be” knitters started.

One of the great things about knitting is that it requires just a small investment in tools and supplies.

Tools & Materials to Get Started


Choosing the right needles can be difficult because there are so many types available, but straight needles are the most basic. Circular needles can be used for the same projects as straight needles, but will accommodate more stitches.

The size of a knitting needle is based on diameter. Thinner needles have smaller numbers: for example, a size 0 needles has a much smaller diameter than a size 17. Needle lengths also vary, depending on the project at hand.

Knitting needles are manufactured in aluminum, steel, wood, and plastic. There is very little functional difference between materials; it is generally a matter or personal preference.

A basic supply of needles:

* Bamboo Circular Needles

* Aluminum Straight Needles

* Bamboo Straight Needles

* Aluminum Circular Needles

* Aluminum Double-Pointed Needles

* Bamboo Double-Pointed Needles


Yarn can be purchase in a ball, hank, or skein, and is measured by yardage when determining how much is required for a particular project.

It is important to know the gauge or tension of the yarn in order to correctly size a project. Gauge indicates the number of stitches and rows that will be yielded per inch of yarn, and is determined by the gauge of the yarn and the size of the needles being used; however, this does not mean that all yarns with the same gauge are created equal.

A basic supply of yarns:

* Bulky

* Chunky

* Worsted

* Double Knit

* Baby/Fingering

Yarns are classed by their weight, or strand of thickness. This determines their gauge, or the number of stitches per inch they will yield.

Learning Resources:

* Fashionable Projects for the New Knitter; author Alison Barlow; Sterling Publishing

* The Knitter’s Companion; author Vicki Square; Interweave Press

* Getting Started Knitting; author Jennifer Worick; Interweave Press

* Knit Fix Problem Solving for Knitters; author Lisa Kartus; Interweave Press

Alison Barlow co-owns The Wool Cabin with her sister. The Wool Cabin is located at 2020 East 3300 South; 801-466-1811

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