Last year, my friend decided that she wanted to learn to knit. That meant that I had to rack my brain to think about what she might need in terms of a knitting kit to get her started.
Obviously, all she really needed was a ball of yarn and a pair of needles. But it’s Christmas…so I wanted it to be a bit more than that.
Find out how to create a beginner’s knitting kit below:
1 – Ball or Yarn (or two)
To be able to knit you need yarn (durr!). Try to get something in the colours that you think that person might like. It might also be worth getting a couple of balls so that they have enough to make something simple. I’d recommend something fairly chunky so that they can feel like they are making progress, its also easier to see the stitches.
2 – Some Knitting Needles
Also durr…right….? Personally I’m a fan of “interchangeable” circular knitting needles, they just feel like they fit better in my hand. I’ve got other friends however who can’t stand them. So, because everyone is unique, you might want to get one of each kind to add to your kit. Don’t forget to make sure that they are the right “size” for the yarn that you are buying.
If you are buying the “interchangeable” kind you’ll also need some cables…maybe in different sizes, maybe just one!
3 – A book to teach them how to use all these new gadgets
OK, there is TONNES of stuff on the internet and I’m SURE that you’re giving them a link to my “Learn to Knit for Beginners Course” (hint hint!). But sometimes it’s hard to know where to look to find information. Its also handy to have something that you can read in your own time.
You might also want to point them in the direction of Ravelry, so they can find a pattern to work on and maybe a couple of yarn-shop websites (or your local yarn store if you’re lucky enough to have one!). I use Wool Warehouse, Love Knitting and Loop London mostly.
4 – Knitting Needle Gauge
This isn’t essential for “beginning” to knit. However if they are anything like me, they will soon be hooked (sorry crocheters, no pun intended). Then they will want to try to knit more stuff, which will mean more needles. Personally, I find that the numbers wear off my knitting needles, so I need to check with a gauge what size each needle really is.
5 – Stitch Markers
Now, we’re assuming that they are getting into this and want to make something themselves. Stitch markers are a very handy way to keep track of a pattern, especially when you’re learning. They give you a point to be able to go back and check that you’ve got it right, without having to complete the whole row.
Personally I like the ones that slide around on your needle. You can also get “locking” ones, which look like little safety pins. I think these are better for crochet.
7 – Tapestry Needle
A Tapestry Needle will be required for “weaving in” (sewing) in the ends of yarn once they have finished their project. They have a bigger “eye” to allow a strand of yarn to be threaded.
8 – Row Counters
These handy little devices are great for when your pattern says “repeat row 3 15 times”. I’m guessing that you can keep count for a few rows but pretty soon the telephone will have rung or the kids will need your attention and you’ve forgotten what row you’re on! Something like this will help them remember how many rows they have done
9 – Tape Measure
Another not strictly essential thing, a ruler will do, if you can find one. It is handy for measuring gauge / the parts of your body that you want to cover in yarn / the size of your garment, etc though.
10 – Yarn Cutter
Yes, OK, you can use scissors, although if your kitchen scissors are as blunt as mine are you’ll struggle to cut yarn with them! A yarn-cutter, like this one by “clover”, is a handy thing to keep in the bottom of your knitting bag for when you need it. It’s super-sharp but there is very little danger of damaging your project, or you, or your knitting bag!
Now pop it all in a nice box….
…wrap it up nicely and look forward to all the wooly wonders they are going to be able to make
Bonus Addition – Hand Cream?
If you’re feeling really kind, why not add some nice hand-cream that they can use once they have finished knitting. It’s really not essential, but who doesn’t like a bit of hand-cream??
So those are my ideas, any of you seasoned knitters out there got anything else that you think would be handy?