Finding hobbies and activities that enrich your life is important at any age. But here at Sixty and Me, we know that it’s especially important to pursue these passions as we get older.
Knitting is a very popular hobby in the Sixty and Me community, and we have many new and beginner knitters among us. Making sure that we have the right materials and tools to embark on our knitting journey is essential.
We are joined today by Nancy Queen, knitting professional and owner of the online shop nobleknits.com. Nancy is going to give us a basic overview on the materials and tools that we need to get started with knitting.
Let’s see what she has to say!
When you start knitting, Nancy tells us that it’s important to think of the tools that we need, similar to how a painter would think of her paint brushes and palettes. There are a few basic items that every knitter needs. And these items will stay with you throughout the years.
For instance, the needles you purchase will be an investment for what you use in the future. Nancy recommends new knitters start with bamboo needles. Bamboo needles offer more grip than metal needles and feel pleasant and warm in your hands.
If you’re confused about needle size, simply look at the yarn skein; it has a little chart that will recommend what needle size is most appropriate for that particular yarn. In general, Nancy says that a size eight needle and a few balls of a worsted weight yarn are a great place for a beginner to start.
As your knitting skills improve, you can explore different needles such as round or circular needles. These are excellent for knitting in a round style, knitting in small spaces, or when working on larger projects. But keep in mind, these types of needles are generally for the more advanced knitter.
When it comes to yarn, the choices are endless. Colors, fabrics, weights – it can be overwhelming for a beginner!
Nancy advises starting with the most basic yarn – a middle grade yarn called a worsted weight. She really likes the Ewe Ewe brand because it’s not too thick, not too thin.
You’ll also want to consider color when choosing a yarn. Go for a color that makes you happy – it will make the knitting process that much more enjoyable!
Nancy also recommends choosing a smooth yarn to start. This will allow you to better understand how the stitches are formed. When you understand how the stitches are formed, it’s easier to fix your mistakes.
In terms of yarn thickness, there’s a lot of variety available. You can use anything from a very skinny, ultra-fine yarn to a super thick yarn. How you want your finished product to look will help you choose the right thickness.
Let’s not forget about all the choices you have regarding yarn fibers. There are wools, cashmeres, natural fibers, manmade fibers, cottons and hemps. And there are even combinations of some fibers! It really comes down to what you are knitting, durability needs and personal preference for choosing the right yarn fiber.
Nancy advises beginners to start by watching videos, going to a knitting class or learning from a friend. Before getting started with patterns, it’s important to use your yarn and cast on 10 to 15 stitches and knit every row. This will allow you to watch your stitches improve!
Getting the basic technique down is step one. Once you accomplish that, Nancy says that her website offers links to plenty of free beginner patterns.
Nancy offers us an important piece of advice in saying that knitting is meant to be enjoyed – it’s a fun hobby, not work! Don’t be too hard on yourself and embrace your mistakes. Mistakes are a great way to learn and improve your knitting skills.
Getting started with knitting is pretty simple – all you need are a few specific materials and tools! Get yourself a pair of 8- to 10-inch straight bamboo needles, basic yarn, a pair of scissors, a finishing needle to weave in your yarn and a measuring tape and you’re ready to go!
Nancy encourages all knitters out there to visit her website for links to the materials that you may need and how-to-knit articles that can be very helpful for the beginners out there!
So, what are you waiting for? Start your knitting journey today!
Have you ever thought about knitting as a possible hobby? Do you see yourself creating colorful things? What projects are of greatest interest to you? Please add your comments and questions to the conversation.