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Returning to knitting- where do I start

(29 Posts)
Thoro Mon 28-Nov-22 18:39:39

When my children were young I used to be a prolific knitter but…the youngest is nearly 43 and it must be at least 35 years since I last knitted anything. My needles and any wool have long gone.
Up until recently I’ve been too busy to think of starting again but I had open heart surgery earlier this year and can no longer do the things I used to (looking after a husband with dementia and looking after grandkids.)
Where do I start - I used to go to wool shops but they don’t seem to exist anymore. I can’t remember needle sizes (and to be fair I’m not sure if I can remember how to knit.)
I’ve had a brief look in charity shops but couldn’t find any needles. Any ideas where I start please.

overthehill Mon 28-Nov-22 18:44:48

Join a local knit and natter group. They will have spare wool and needles to get you started. Also others who can knit if you forget how to start. Good luck.

MrsKen33 Mon 28-Nov-22 18:45:48

All knitting wool and accessories can be found on line. Any pattern will specify the right size needle. Good luck. I always have a bit of knitting beside me for idle hours

Doodledog Mon 28-Nov-22 18:48:52

You could do worse than starting by signing up to Ravelry. have a good look about and join a few groups. Look at the patterns and choose something you feel confident to make after such a gap.

The fashion now is for using circular needles and knitting top-down in one piece (as opposed to starting at the hem and knitting pieces to sew together, but if that sounds daunting you can search for 'knitted flat' and 'bottom up' patterns.

Yarn is readily available online. Start with Wool Warehouse as they have a huge range, and move on from there when you find the things you like. I recommend Drops (stocked at Wool Warehouse) for good value and good quality yarns, but their patterns tend to be full of errors, so you might want to avoid those grin.

If you get stuck you can look on YouTube, or ask here or in one of the Ravelry groups - you are never alone these days!

Good luck.

lixy Mon 28-Nov-22 18:51:27

Charity shops usually keep their needles behind the counter for safety, so it's worth asking.

Aldi does decent wool to get you going and so does Wilko's. Sue Ryder shops also usually have a selection. None of those do fancy or expensive wools, but you'll find a ball of acrylic while you get your nimble fingers back.

Knit and Natter groups are great as overthehill says - look for notices in the library.
Good luck!

Witzend Mon 28-Nov-22 19:03:11

I’ve used both the Wool Warehouse website and Lovecrafts - masses of different yarns, patterns, needles, and everything else you might need. I’m sure a browse around those would get you going!

Except for the John Lewis haberdashery dept., I don’t have any wool shop nearby, so I order just about everything online.

volver Mon 28-Nov-22 19:03:51

If you are anything like me when it comes to needles, you will think in terms of size 8 and 10 and not 4mm and 3.5mm! Here's a conversion chart:

If there is a Hobbycraft near you, try there. They have everything you'll need to get started.

And here's another vote for Ravelry, its fantastic.

Woollywoman Mon 28-Nov-22 19:14:24

Despite the name I am no expert! I do find knitting very therapeutic though. I work in a charity shop once a week, and sadly all the knitting needles are kept behind the scenes for H&S reasons… It is the norm, as lixy said…
How about starting with a scarf?
Good luck!

Maywalk Mon 28-Nov-22 19:29:00

FOR ONE 8"/20 cms SQUARE, you will need:
Yarn from a 100 gram (3.5 oz) ball of yarn or scraps of yarn
worsted weight , double knit.
Size 4mm needles or old size 8 for UK

Cast on 40 stitches (try to make your stitches neither too loose nor too tight to help ensure uniform squares)
Row 1: knit
Row 2: knit. These two rows form the 'garter' stitch knitting pattern for your square. Continue knitting until you have knitted a square
To ensure you square is 8"/20cm either use a tape measure .

Thoro Mon 28-Nov-22 19:32:54

Thank you so much for all your comments - circular needles were only for socks in my time Doodledog and it didn’t occur to me that there may be fashions in knitting! and yes needles were in the old numbers Volver so thank you for the conversion chart. I’ve signed up with Ravelry and will ask in the charity shops in future.
I’m getting quite excited by the thought of getting started and will let you know how I get on.

Millie22 Mon 28-Nov-22 21:27:51

I really like the Lovecrafts website. They have free patterns to download and lots of choice for wool. If you have a Hobbycraft store near you they are good too.

A scarf is a good project to start with as they are quite easy. I've knitted lots over the years.

Enjoy your knitting!

Chardy Mon 28-Nov-22 21:38:39

Have a look at

Callistemon21 Mon 28-Nov-22 21:42:27

If there is a Hobbycraft near you, try there. They have everything you'll need to get started
I'd suggest Hobbycraft too.
And joining a local Knit and Natter or U3A craft group. Ravelry for online advice.

I didnt knit for a long time but started again a few years ago and also taught myself simple crochet from YouTube.

Witzend Tue 29-Nov-22 08:25:46

Talking of circular needles, I have a blanket on the go with a fat one, but used like a pair - too many stitches for ordinary needles.

Just garter stitch, one strand of chunky until it’s used up, and one random colour of DK from my stash, ends cut to a good 6 inches each row, knotted and finally made into tassels and trimmed. So no sewing up except for*, or weaving in of ends.

3 x 2 foot lengths (just one so far) *eventually sewn together. Perfect mindless TV knitting!

MerylStreep Tue 29-Nov-22 08:32:36

If you live in the Southend area send me a PM.
The charity shop where I volunteer has dozens of needles and lots of wool.

Liz46 Tue 29-Nov-22 08:37:01

I make items for dementia patients with safe 'twiddles' to keep their fingers busy.

Purplepixie Tue 29-Nov-22 08:55:14

My go to place for wool is Wool Warehouse then our little wool shop in the town near to me. Why not buy a pair of knitting needles from Amazon and some wool and knit yourself a plain scarf and build up from there. A good one to knit for is Battersea cats and dogs home. So far I have knitted them over 100 blankets in the past few years. They can be knitted on 6-7mm needles using chunky wool which knits up quick into long lengths and sew up the lengths. PM me if you want and I will send you some needles and wool. Also have a look on YouTube for any knitting instructions.

BladeAnnie Tue 29-Nov-22 09:26:08

I've knitted loads of twiddlemuffs for dementia patients. I knit for the ward (nhs) my daughter works on but they are used nursing/care homes too Just Google knit for peace twiddlemuff - they are really easy and you'd be helping people in the process 😊

Doodledog Tue 29-Nov-22 10:36:32

I think it will come back to you very quickly if you used to be prolific, Thoro. Scarves and blankets are fine for beginners, but they are very boring grin. As you are an experienced knitter I would start with something you really want to wear/use/give, rather than a million rows of the same stitch with no shaping, or it might put you off for life.

Maggymay Tue 29-Nov-22 10:43:22

I started knitting again last year and knitted DH a jumper,I bought the wool from Home Bargains 99p 100gms it cost £5 to make.He is very happy with it says it is lovely and warm.

Callistemon21 Tue 29-Nov-22 12:23:05

Sirdar has a half price sale on some yarns.

I must not buy any more ..........

Bluemini62 Tue 29-Nov-22 12:30:14

I went to crochet classes as my knitting wasn't very neat . Aldi have wool on special at the moment and B&M wool . I ordered hooks and wooden needles online . Our library does a knit , craft weekly get together .

Witzend Fri 02-Dec-22 21:23:00

Here’s the Twiddle Muff pattern I’ve used.

susytish Mon 16-Jan-23 19:42:04

I am returning to knitting after a break of a few years. I came across this thread.
I have offered to knit a lovely baby blanket for new grandson due end of May. I have made it a couple of times before for other grandchildren.
I can knit ok but am worried about joining the old yarn to the new yarn as I haven’t always felt I was doing this well enough! There are different methods of doing it. Can someone help please?
I know there are different knitting sites, but there are so many!
This blanket will be going to the US, with me hopefully!

Callistemon21 Mon 16-Jan-23 19:49:16

I've always tried to join at the end of a row, susytish and knit a stitch with double yarn then weave in the ends with a blunt darning needle afterwards.

I did watch a couple of women at the craft group I go to knitting with double yarn towards the end or beginning of a row in jumpers.

I just found this - perhaps it might enlighten us further! 🧶

I've just remember that Hobbycraft does tutorial classes if Thoro is still here.