Tools of the Trade

So, you want to start knitting but have no idea where to start? It can be as simple as a pair of knitting needles and a skein of any kind of yarn you have around the house. But if you want a really good concrete start here are the tools of the trade that I rely on on a daily basis with descriptions of why I use them, alternatives that you can find around the house, and links to the items where you can buy them online.

Before I start I want to let you know that I do not receive any benefit or payment by linking where these items are sold and only provide the links to save you time whilst trying to find them. If you find this useful please feel free to share the information.

Knitting Needles

14 in aluminum knitting needles.

The first item you need, aside from yarn, are needles. You will need 2 of the same size. Sizes can generally be found on the stoppers on the end of the needle seen in the picture on the right hand side of the needles. These can be obtained at almost any store, I have even seen them at Wal-mart, but if you are lacking in funds chopsticks or any straight stick will work just as well. See my post on Swatches for information about determining the size you need.

Denise Della Q

An interchangeable knitting needle set.

A set of needles that you will not need at once, but if you ever decide to try hats or any other seamless project I definitely recommend these Denise needles not only do they come in an awesome case, which I love, but also they are some of the best needles I have had a chance to come across. They hold the yarn so that even when you work lace in the round it doesn’t slip off (a constant problem I have with my metal needles.

Magnetic Pattern Holder

How I keep my patterns visible.

Ok, so the holder is optional, but you should always have a pattern. I waited for a long time to get a hold like this and it is amazing not only for my knitting patterns but also for my cross-stitch maps. It keeps the pattern upright so I don’t have to bend down to see every row and has prevented more headaches than I can even imagine.


Just your average mechanical pencil.

This probably seems obvious, but I keep place on my pattern, and make annotations, using a pencil. There have been days where I have had to stop work entirely because I could not find a pencil and thus could not mark my pattern as to where in a complicated pattern I was before leaving on some errand. (In fact I believe there is a pencil hiding in my Denise pouch for this very reason) Now, I tend to use mechanical pencils, but really it is up to your own preference. I dislike how a wooden pencil does not hold a tip as sharp as I want and that is why my desk is littered with pencils similar to these.

Stitch Markers

Multi-colored stitch markers.

Stitch markers are another item that you may not need immediately, but one that once you have started to use you will never stop. Before I bought these I used safety pins which work just as well so again, if you are short on money there is a household item for almost anything you would need to do a knitting project. In fact I have often considered using paperclips for stitch markers when I couldn’t find my safety pins.


What do you think?