Wednesday 3 February 2016

How To Knit... How To Choose Yarn and Needles

Welcome to the second part in my How To Knit series- How To Choose Your Yarn and Needles! When you're first starting out learning to knit, the huge choice of yarn and needles to be found at your local yarn shop or one of the huge online retailers can be daunting. It can be difficult to know what to choose, so I've put together some handy tips to help make your choices simpler and leave more time for you to get knitting!

First things first...

Choose Your Yarn

Pick a yarn that you like the look and feel of. What you choose, be it a wool, cotton, acrylic or anything in between, the material and choice of thickness is entirely up to you. Many people start with a double knit, but go for super chunky if this appeals to you. The wool shop is your oyster! Whatever thickness you decide on,  I would recommend choosing a smooth yarn in a bright or light colour, to make your stitches clearer when you start experimenting. It can be hard to see your stitches when using a textured yarn and better to perfect your stitches now and move on to hassle free knitting with the fluffy and furry yarns later!

The thickness of yarn is often referred to as the "weight" of yarn

Choose your needles

Once you've chosen your yarn, choose your needles to match your weight of yarn. In general, the thinnest needles are matched with thin yarn and likewise the thickest needles are matched with the thickest yarn. To give you an idea of what size you should use, the ball band around your yarn will usually give you a suggested needle size to use with that particular yarn. Use this suggested size to begin with as you learn. As you continue on your knitting journey you may need to adjust the needle size according to your tension (I will explain this further in a future post).

In terms of the material your needles are made from, there are a huge variety available made from everything from plastic, metal, bamboo, various woods and even carbon fibre. Again, your choice here depends on personal preference and you may like to try several types as you are learning. Personally I love bamboo needles as they are light, smooth and warm to use (although I do tend to use metal needles for my finer knitting as I know I'll end up breaking or bending fine bamboo needles!)

Knitting needles come in a variety of lengths to accommodate different amounts of stitches, depending on the project you're working on

Suggested needle sizes for yarn weights

Sometimes the weight of a particular yarn is not immediately obvious, for example some patterns may not specify a particular yarn but only give a needle size. Here are some yarn weights with their suggested needle sizes

3 ply- 2-2.75mm

4 ply- 2.75-3.25mm

Double Knit- 3.25-4mm

Aran- 5-5.5mm

Chunky- 6-7mm

Super Chunky- 8-10mm

I really hope this post helps you if you want to learn to knit and I hope you have fun picking your yarn and needles! Look out for the next post in the series where I'll be sharing how to cast on


  1. Nice Yarn and Needles information you shared. This is an amazing way how to choose yarn and kneedle. Thanks for this one. handmade diaries

  2. Thanks for sharing such a excellent information
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