Having hobbies that we enjoy is what makes life fun. No matter how stressful our day was, what keeps us from losing our minds is knowing that when we go home we can, hopefully, spend an hour de-stressing by doing the thing that gives us joy.
If you’re a dexterous person, you probably like working with your hands and if you were looking for a new way to spend your time, knitting or crocheting might be just the right thing for you. These activities help relieve stress and depression, keep the mind active, let you creatively express yourself, and build self-confidence.
For any hobby that you decide on, be it knitting or some form of art, you need the right supplies. This will help you to have a good start.
What Do You Need to Start Knitting and Crocheting?
Learn the Basics with a Yarn Book
Every novice needs a yarn book for learning the basics. They’ll provide you with a relevant source and give you easier patterns that you can start with. Later on, as you become more and more experienced, these kinds of books serve as a source of inspiration and help you create more complex pieces of work. They teach you different techniques and stitches, and there are tutorials and many photos that are just remarkable. So, you need the right book and many stores offer a great yarn book collection to choose from.
There are many beginner’s guides that consist of step-by-step instructions that are easy to follow and learn from. You can use them to learn how to hold the needles, what the basic stitches are, how to make buttonholes, how to read patterns, how to finish a piece, and how to fix mistakes. These yarn books can provide you with useful tips on how to care for your knitted or crochet items depending on the type of yarn.
There are specialised books that teach you how to make a specific item. For example, you can find a yarn book that provides instructions on how to make blankets, shawls, wall hangings, socks, stuffed animals, and even crocheted succulents. Start from the basics and build your way up with the help of yarn books.
What Type of Yarn to Choose?
Even though all yarn might look the same, it’s very important that you choose the right one. They can be made of natural or synthetic fibres or a blend and there’s a wide range of choices. It’s easier for beginners to start with a thicker-knit or worsted-weight yarn because it allows you to see what you’re doing and everything that’s larger knits up faster.
Some of the recommended choices are wool, acrylic, and cotton. Wool is the preferred one because it stretches well and won’t slide but you need to know that it comes from sheep. So if you’re allergic or you don’t use animal products, you can go for cotton. It’s a natural fibre that isn’t as stretchy as wool but it’s a great alternative. Acrylic yarn is synthetic and thicker which can be a good choice for beginners as well. You can go for blends too but don’t choose anything that’s extra soft or slippery.
When it comes to the colour, darker shades make it harder to spot mistakes and so do multicoloured yarns. For this reason, choose lighter and brighter one-colour yarn.
What Are Knitting Needles?
Knitting needles come in different sizes and shapes, so you need a practical one that isn’t small and doesn’t let the yarn slide off.
Straight needles come in a set of two and they have a point on one end and stopper on the other;
Circular needles consist of two needles connected by a cord and are used for making bigger pieces;
Double-pointed needles have pointed ends and are suitable for smaller pieces.
Beginners usually start with large needles that are easy to hold. They can be made of different materials, like wood, aluminium, and plastic but bamboo wooden needles are long-lasting and don’t allow sliding.
What Are Tapestry Needles?
These needles are blunt needles that have large eyes. They are large enough so you can fit through even thicker yarn. Their tips aren’t sharp like those of sewing needles and can be straight or bent. They can be made of plastic or metal.
You need tapestry needles to finish your work by weaving in the ends. They’re used for sewing seams and decorating your work with small interesting patterns.
Since they come in different sizes, you need one which will fit the yarn that you’re working with. So, thicker yarns will go with larger needles and the other way around.
Why Do You Need Crochet Hooks?
You need this tool for pulling yarn through the loops. It’s a straight piece with a hook on one or both ends. Crochet hooks come in many sizes and the one you need depends on the thickness of the yarn. They are made from aluminum, plastic, and bamboo, aluminum being the most common choice. Plastic hooks are used as well because they’re light and inexpensive.
There are many different types of hooks, like Tunisian, ergonomic, knook, etc. As a beginner, you can start with basic crochet hooks and experiment later on as you gain more experience.
What Are Stitch Markers?
Stitch markers are small round tools for marking certain places in your knitting and crocheting. They can be ring stitch markers that slip on your needle or yarn and locking markers that look like a safety pin. Ring markers can be found in numerous colours and shapes so you can pick your favourites.
Stitch markers are used for counting rows in repeated patterns, marking where a pattern begins in round knitting, marking changes in patterns, preventing a dropped stitch from unraveling, etc.
Point Protectors, Measuring Tape, and Scissors
Point protectors are needed to protect your needles when you’re not working so they don’t damage quickly. They can serve to hold the stitches in place when you need to stop working. Just place the point protector on the end of the needle.
Measuring tape comes in handy when you need to measure the length or check your gauge. There are different types that you can opt for and knitting kits usually have one.
A small pair of scissors that you’ll use just for crocheting or knitting is a good idea. You’ll have them at hand and you wouldn’t have to look for scissors every time you want to work.