Wednesday, 13 January 2016

How To Knit... Knitting Kit

Welcome to my new series, How To Knit! This is the series for you if you've always wanted to learn to knit but don't know where to start. Through a mixture of step by step photos and videos, here you will learn how to cast on, how to knit and purl, exploring basic patterns and much more. I'll also be exploring everything from what you need in your knitting kit, to how to choose your yarn and needles and how to check your tension. I want to share my passion for all things knitted and woolly and to pass on what to me is a very enjoyable, relaxing and useful skill.

So here is the first post of the series- these are the basic tools you will need to start knitting. Take a peek inside my knitting kit...

1. Knitting needles 
Metal, plastic, bamboo or wood. I personally love to use bamboo needles because they feel so nice to use. However, if I'm using very fine needles I opt for metal ones which are less fragile than their bamboo equivalent. It's all about personal preference here really, it's good to get a couple of pairs in different materials and see what feels best to you.

In the next post in the series I will discuss how to choose the correct size needles to match your yarn

2. Tape Measure

I always keep one handy in my knitting kit because although I own about a thousand of them you can never find one when you need it! Useful for measuring tension squares and for measuring your work when working to a pattern. Oh and measuring yourself to see what size jumper you should knit!

3.Needle Gauge

The thickness of knitting needles is now measured in minimetres. If you have inherited a set of needles with imperial measurements (these will have a number printed on them but no mm) you can still use them, just use your handy needle gauge to find out their metric/mm size. My needle gauge is from Quince Pie on Etsy

4. Row Counter

These handy little things come in a variety of sizes to fit onto the end of your needle and you simply twist it to indicate that you have knitted a row and it displays your number of rows worked

5. Notebook and pen

Personally I prefer to use a notebook and pen to keep a tally of my rows, instead of using a row counter, but this is personal preference. A notebook is also useful for making notes about patterns that you may need to refer back to later,

 It also can be helpful to keep a notebook where you store your tension squares, to keep a note of yarn used, needle size, etc. This is really useful if you come to use the same yarn or pattern again

6. Stitch Markers

Occasionally a pattern may ask you to mark a certain stitch or point in your knitting and that's where stitch markers come in. These come in all sorts of varieties but I find the mini safety pin type the best to use as they fasten shut like a safety pin and don't fall off like some varieties do

7. Stitch Holder

Sometimes a pattern  may require you to leave some stitches on a holder to come back to at a later point in the pattern and a stitch holder is essentially a giant safety pin that does this job for you

8. Cable Needles

These come in average sizes to suit the yarn you are working with and are used as tools to create cable designs

9. Pencil Case

Keep all of your knitting kit together so you know exactly where to find everything, I use this pretty Liberty fabric pencil case from Oh Squirrel to keep me organised

10. Small Scissors (not pictured)

You may have a lovely local wool shop where you can buy the supplies you need to get you started (a great place to pick up knitting advice too) or check out Wool Warehouse, Sconch and LoveKnitting for a great selection of supplies.

For my next post in my How To Knit series I'll be showing you how to pick your yarn and needles.

 If there's something you'd like me to include in this series, let me know in the comments and I'll do my best to include it!

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