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Knitting novice needs help please

(39 Posts)
NotAGran55 Mon 30-Mar-20 07:39:02

I learned to knit at a child but haven’t done anything since , and then only very basic with my mum casting on and off for me .

Could you please advise me on the best type of needs to get , when I was a child they were grey and long - now seems to be a huge choice

Also what size for Double Knit wool please, and any recommendations for simple patterns , fingerless gloves , hat ... simple stuff. In reality I probably won’t wear it so will donate to charity shop if it works out .

I’m going to use YouTube but any tips about knitting or sites would be most welcome .

I’m probably going to buy the stuff from John Lewis on click and collect with my next shop.

Thank you

Baggs Mon 30-Mar-20 07:42:30

4mm or number 8 is the usual size of needle for double knitting wool. I need loose so I tend to use a smaller needle 3.5 mm but you’ll find out what works best for you.
Have a look online at
There are thousands of knitters on there but lots of advice and lots of free patterns. Have fun!

Baggs Mon 30-Mar-20 07:42:58

*knit loosely

Nannytopsy Mon 30-Mar-20 07:45:22

Double knit usually needs 3.25 mm for the rib and 4mm for the main knitting. I like bamboo needles, particularly for smaller items as I find the shiny metal ones can slide out.
There are a number of online companies that offer free patterns to down load but I have found some of them to be very difficult to knit as they do not give the detail needed. Simple hats etc shouldn’t be a problem though. Perhaps stick to printed ones like Sirdar or King Cole.
Good luck!

GrannyLaine Mon 30-Mar-20 07:58:06

If you are a novice knitter, the standard long grey needles will be fine & size for DK yarn will be determined by what you are knitting - usually between 3mm and 4mm. The pattern will state what size.
Worth looking at Ravelry for project ideas and many patterns on there are free. Also consider companies like Wool Warehouse who are very reasonable and offer a huge range go yarn, needles and accessories. Again, they also have ideas for projects. If there is a Baby Bank near you, they will be very grateful for simple baby blankets which don't take long to knit. Good luck, I've been knitting since I was 9 and it soothes my soul. More recently I've learned to crochet (from YouTube) and I enjoy that too though I'm less proficient at that.

Grannytails Mon 30-Mar-20 08:08:02

Knitting is keeping me sane during the self isolation. For double knitting I also use the long grey needles - 4mm and 3.25mm, Been knitting almost non stop for the last 2 weeks. I have used up left over wool to make multi coloured childrens jumpers for a local charity and baby blankets and hats.

NotAGran55 Mon 30-Mar-20 08:33:48

Fantastic! Thank you all .

Ravelry joined and I have watched the intro video.

Wool Warehouse have obviously delivery issues but looks great .

Not heard of Baby Banks but looks to be a great idea . I will do some local searching when I’m up and running.

Lots of changes ... when I was a child needles were numbered . Going to order a selection of sizes I think as it may get harder with time to buy stuff.

I’m looking forward to learning something new and hopefully something to benefit others .

Thanks again x

Nana3 Mon 30-Mar-20 08:48:05

The yarns that are made up of different colours on one ball are very satisfying, some of them come with a pattern. Happy knitting.

MamaCaz Mon 30-Mar-20 09:00:08

You can knit small things on long needles, but not big things on short needles, so long needles are much more versatile.
That's all I had for donkeys' years, and I made everything from small knitted lace items to large, heavy sweaters on them.

Dancinjay Mon 30-Mar-20 09:02:45

I agree Nana3, even a simple scarf looks wonderful and stylish in these yarns.

Dancinjay Mon 30-Mar-20 09:10:57

I used Wendy Evolution Scarf kit. It is a triangular scarf so you learn/practice increasing and decreasing. Lovely and warm

Witzend Mon 30-Mar-20 09:20:48

I do hope you’ll njoy your knitting, Notagran.

YouTube is great for showing you how to do things. In the beginning I’d suggest just practising the basics without a pattern as such - maybe 20 or 30 stitches to practise casting on and off, garter stitch first (every row knit, then alternate rows of knit and purl (stocking stitch). And simple increase and decrease.

I don’t know whether you’d be inter

Witzend Mon 30-Mar-20 09:24:36

Sorry, sent too soon!

I don’t know whether you’d be interested in making such things, but the Jean Greenhowe patterns for knitted toys are designed so that anyone with just basic knitting skills can manage them - her instructions are so clear and detailed.

midgey Mon 30-Mar-20 09:25:03

Aldi had cheap coloured wool, I haven’t been in for a bit but worth a look if you are near.

25Avalon Mon 30-Mar-20 09:26:36

Have a look online at The UK Hand Knitting Association it has video tutorials and Charity links which give small projects you might like to make.
Also try The Knitting Network which is run by Womens Weekly magazine as they regularly have cheap offers on knitting wool and patterns.
In respect of patterns these tell you what size knitting needles you need, what type of yarn and how much wool is required. You mention double knitting but I find chunky much quicker to knit with and there are some lovely chunky yarns around.
As others have mentioned you can find loads of free knitting patterns by googling online which are very good especially if you want to start off with something fairly simple such as hats, scarves or fingerless wrist warmers which are very easy.
Good luck with it and enjoy.

Callistemon Mon 30-Mar-20 09:48:08

Yes, Ravelry has lots of free patterns, likewise Deramores (an online yarn shop), Sirdar, Patons all have some free patterns; there are loads if you Google free knitting patterns. Be careful with Ravelry as some patterns are American and they use different terms for yarn thickness. Australian terms for yarn thickness is different too, double knitting being 8ply.

3.25mm for ribbing and 4mm for the main parts.

I can't get on with long needles but I know some people like to tuck them under their arms. Medium length is most comfortable, I find.

Knitpro Symfonie wooden need,es are nice to use but expensive
I find that bamboo are better than metal ones.

However, it is personal choice.

Doodledog Mon 30-Mar-20 10:35:31

When you say that there is now more choice than long grey needles, I wonder if you are thinking of circular needles? I use these all the time nowadays, whether I am knitting back and forth or in the round.

It's a bit of an investment, but you can now get interchangeable needles, which are basically different sized tips which you attach to a cord. The knitting sits on the cord, and the stitches (loops) move along the tips as you knit them.

You can buy them individually or in sets, and the beauty is that you can use them to knit 'flat', eg making a separate back and front of a jumper, or 'in the round', ie a tube, where you knit the back and front together, and don't need to sew up the finished product.

The interchangeable ones mean that you have a set of different sized tips and different lengths of cord, and the small tips can easily be pushed through your knitting for storage, and so that your project will fit easily into your bag.

Callistemon Mon 30-Mar-20 10:38:06

I bought a set of those *Doodledog but have yet to try them out

GrannyLaine Mon 30-Mar-20 11:45:19

The circular needles are great where you have a lot of stitches but would be hard for a beginner on a small project. Many years ago, my mum bought me a cased set of Aero needles (the grey ones) containing every size of needle and cable needles and stitch holder. It is just the most useful thing. You can get them secondhand on eBay but they always fetch quite a lot

NotAGran55 Mon 30-Mar-20 14:15:56

Thank you all again for the help and info . I’ve learned an awful lot today in a very short time.

I just need to decide what I want to knit , get an order in and start . ?

BBbevan Mon 30-Mar-20 15:17:36

Bamboo needles are good. Gloves, fingerless or with fingers are not for a complete novice. Try scarves, hats, or squares which you can sew together for a blanket. There are some excellent books which tell you every aspect of knitting. From needle sizes ,to yarn and different stitches. Have a look on Amazon. Good luck and most of all enjoy .

Doodledog Mon 30-Mar-20 15:26:45

I don't agree that circular needles would be hard for a beginner. They are just as easy whether you have a lot or a few stitches, as you can use them to knit rows as well as rounds. It's just a case of what you get used to.

Do try yours out, Callistemon. You'll never look back smile

GrannyLaine Mon 30-Mar-20 15:45:19

Doodledog I guess I'm using my own experience as a guide: the circular needles I have (Addi ) are long ones that I use for shawls with 300+ stitches. I wouldn't use them for a small piece of knitting with perhaps 30 stitches as it would be easier to use straight needles although circular would be technically possible.

Callistemon Mon 30-Mar-20 16:09:57

I will have a go Doodledog
They were quite expensive so I must try.

Callistemon Mon 30-Mar-20 16:10:57

I did try once with a hat but couldn't work out how so few stitches could stretch round
It must be me.