How to choose yarn and needles
Beginner Knitting Lessons, Part 1
At this lesson, we explore the tools and materials you will need to prepare for our future lessons: needles, point protectors (needle stoppers), yarn and yarn needle.
All those necessary tools are shown in the picture.
The needles should be selected according to the yarn thickness. The yarn thickness is determined by the ratio of the yarn weight in grams and the thread length: g/m or g/yd. For example, if the label states 100 g — 280 m (306 yd), this means 280 meters of yarn weigh one hundred grams. The shorter is the thread per 100 g of yarn, the thicker it is. The general rule when selecting the needles is the requirement that needles should be two times thicker than the yarn. You can be guided by the recommended size of the needles which is indicated on the label by the manufacturer. The needle size depends on their diameter and may be designated according to the US or metric standard.
Today will not give special consideration to the whole range of knitting needles. You will need to buy three sets of short double-pointed needles comprising 5 pcs. of 3 mm (US 3); 3,5 mm (US 4); 4 mm (US 5) size needles. At this point, we will knit small patterns and such length of needles would be sufficient. Furthermore, short needles will be easier for knitting. Later these needles will be useful for circular knitting, for example, when knitting socks or mittens. Different sizes of needles will help you to determine your own knitting style. Some knitters use a tight technique, some other prefer loose knitting. After you try knitting yarn of the same thickness using different needles you will feel the knitting density and the needle size, which suits you the best.
If due to some reasons you don’t have 5-needle sets, 2-needle sets may be used but it is desirable to have them in different sizes.
Point protectors (Needle stoppers)
Needles in a set are double edged. In our instance, we don’t need this. As long as you have no experience, the stitches will slip off the needles. In order to avoid this, you need to buy point protectors. They are also sold by sizes, but the same stoppers are suitable for multiple needle sizes. For example, sizes 2 through 5 or sizes 5 through 10. Stoppers are also used when you should put down your knitting for a while: free needle edges are covered thus preventing the stitches from slipping off.
The yarn to be bought for learning may be acrylic, wool or wool acrylic blends. The other yarn types, e.g. cotton, are harder for learning to knit. The yarn shall be plain and smooth. Compound yarn or bulked yarn like mohair is not suitable for this purpose because it is more difficult for knitting. The yarn shall be medium thickness, approx. 200 — 300 m / 100 g. Buy A light colour yarn for learning. This will help you to better distinguish stitches without making your eyes tired quickly.
The knitting needle has a blunt end, which prevents the yarn fiber from tearing, and a large eye. You will need this needle for making kitchener stitches. Using a hook tip needle is also convenient.