First Things First

Before you begin to learn how to knit, you'll need a set of knitting needles and a good ball of yarn. When you are shopping for these items, keep in mind that there are a few other things you'll need as well.

Essential tools for every knitter's bag

(Click on the picture to download the free pattern for the Berrocco Suede Knitting Tote!)

The Important Little Details

Knitting Needles

You'll find more types of knitting needles than ever imaginable. They come in almost 20 different sizes and a multitude of materials and styles. Below are the most common materials and styles that you'll encounter.

Materials Styles
  • Bamboo
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Single Point
  • Double Point
  • Circular

What's the difference?

Woolworks.com describes in great detail the differences between the materials and various styles of needles.

So which do I want?

KnittersReview.com gives benefits and drawbacks to these listed materials and more!

What size should I get?

The size of your needle depends on the weight of your yarn. Unless you are following a pattern with a given needle size, just use the size suggested on the label. If there is a range of sizes, keep this in mind: If you knit tightly, go with a larger size, if you knit loosely, go with a smaller size.

Alisa's Pick

Pink DeniseIf you're ready to invest in your newfound hobby, I suggest buying an interchangeable needle set like the Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles or the Options Interchangeable Needle Set (in wood or metal). Although they may seem expensive, these sets are often the best bang for your buck! They come with the most common needle sizes and because you can knit nearly everything on circular needles, a set like this will provide you with every needle you need! (Except in a few special circumstances).


For as many different kinds of needles, there are even more types of yarn! They come in different weights, types, and fibers.

Keep in mind that the best yarn with which to learn is often the most simple and plain yarn. Yarns that are fuzzy make it difficult to see your stitches.

For more information on specifics of yarn, go to the Yarn page.

Great Resources for Beginners

Online Instruction


--  free knitting videos, forum, and patterns BEST overall knitting website. Has instructional videos for every step from casting on to binding off. Includes videos for both continental and english-style knitters.


Learn to Knit Shows detailed drawings of casting on, knitting, and purling for both right-hand knitting AND left-hand knitting!

Instructional Books

(Quick note about WorldCat: Type in your zip code to see which nearby libraries carry the book. Or if you prefer to buy the item, you can buy it from WorldCat and your purchase will help support a library of your choice!)

A~Z of Knitting: The Ultimate Guide for the Beginner to Advanced Knitter

A to Z of Knitting Author: Gardner, Sue.
Publisher: Woodinville, WA : Martingale & Co., 2007.

Find it: WorldCat

"Straightforward text and full-color photos walk you from beginner's basics through gorgeous Aran, Fair Isle, entrelac, and intarsia knitting."

The Knitting Answer Book

Knitting Answer Book Author: Radcliffe, Margaret.
Publisher: North Adams, MA : Storey Pub., c2005.

Find it: WorldCat

"Solutions to every problem you'll ever face; Answers to every question you'll ever ask."

Knitting For Dummies

Knitting for Dummies Author: Allen, Pam.
Publisher: New York, NY : Hungry Minds, c2002.

Find it: WorldCat

"If you think knitting is complicated, this book simplifies all."

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Author: Turner, Sharon.
Publisher: Hoboken, N.J. : Wiley Pub., c2006.

Find it: WorldCat

"Concise two-page lessons show you all the steps to a skill and are ideal for quick review."