Archives for May 23, 2012

Knit Tips: Buying Your First Set of Needles

When walking down the isles of a large craft store such as Michael’s or Joann’s, it can be a bit overwhelming deciding between all of the available products.  If you’re new to knitting, or any craft for that matter, it can be a daunting task to choose your first set of knitting needles.  What size do you buy?  What kind of material should they be made from?  Should you buy the “learn to knit” kit with all the accessories that you don’t yet know what to do with?

I know when I first started knitting, I was quite often overwhelmed by the vast number of knitting needles to choose from.  After consistently knitting for about 4 years now, I have built up quite a collection of needles.  If you’re considering picking up knitting as a hobby, then I hope these tips will help you feel a bit more comfortable walking into the knitting section!

First, decide on the type of yarn you’ll be using for your first project.  Once you’ve got your yarn in hand, turn it over and look at the label.  It should tell you the size of needle that best corresponds to that particular yarn, and should look something like the image below.  On this label, the second box on the left tells me that a US Size 8 needle would be best for this yarn. It also lists the size in millimeters for those knitters not in the States.  Size 8 is one size that you’ll see often and can use on almost any weight of yarn, with the exception of “fine” or “bulky” yarns.

Next, choose what type of knitting needles you want to purchase.  There are many options on the market right now, all at various price points.  The most common needles I’ve seen are made from either bamboo, plastic, or metal.  As a beginner, bamboo needles will help your knitting from sliding off the needles.  But these can be rather expensive.  I prefer metal needles over plastic ones, since plastic can have a tendency to snag your yarn, which can be frustrating when just starting out!

And finally, choose your desired length of needles.  Most single pointed knitting needles are available in two sizes, 10” or 14”.  I’d suggest purchasing a 10” set of needles just to start out with since they’ll be a little easier to handle.  As you progress, you’ll gradually start to build up your own collection of needles, so there’s no need to feel that you must buy an entire set all at once!

Other tips:

  • Ask friends and family if they have any knitting needles they’re not using!  You’d be surprised how many people try knitting and find that it’s not for them.
  • Search your local thrift shops and yard sales for used needles!  This is actually where I go before buying a new pair.  You can find lots of different sizes for a good price.  And they’re usually significantly less than what you’d pay at Michael’s or Joann’s.
  • Buy your needles when you’ve got a coupon!  I know Michael’s sometimes offers 40% off coupons that you can use on a regularly priced item.  Buying something like knitting needles is the perfect item for this type of coupon!

I hope these tips help you pick out your first pair of knitting needles!  Knitting is such a great hobby to learn.  It’s the perfect thing to take along with you whenever you’ll be sitting and waiting for a while.  And there’s nothing like seeing the reaction of a loved one receiving one of your hand-knit gifts!

do you knit? are there any projects you’d like to learn?

Life Via Instagram Link-Up

 


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went to see Dark Shadows – great movie!

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