25 Knitting Tools & Essential Materials You Need To Start in [2021]

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The best way to get started knitting is with the right tools and supplies. Knowing what you need to get started is an essential first step! I’ll help you make your very own knitting starter kit.

Here’s a list of the knitting supplies that every knitter needs to start knitting.

What Do I Need To Start Knitting?

Here is a list of everything you need to learn to knit to create your own knitting kit. You can find these best knitting tools readily available online or at your local craft store or local yarn store.

(If you’re looking for knitting kits to do a project, check out my post.)

1 – Knitting Needles

The essential knitting tools for your knitting kit, you’ll need these to actually knit with. There are different types of knitting needle materials and styles depending on what you’re making or how you like to work ,and the knitting technique you use.

There are four types –

  • Straight Knitting Needles: The type most recognizable needles and the one everyone learns to knit on. Straight needles are excellent for flat knitting pieces like scarves and blankets. A great choice for beginners would be a pair of Boye aluminum knitting needles.
  • Double Pointed Knitting Needles: These are used for knitting in the round. They have a point on each end, so stitches can be made quickly and easily without turning your work over constantly! Used for smaller circumference projects like socks, mittens, hats (the hat’s crown), and sleeves.
  • Circular Knitting Needles: Great for working on circular pieces like sweater sleeves, socks, and hats. They have two needles attached to a cable. You can also knit flat on circular needles.
  • Interchangeable Knitting Needles: These are a set of interchangeable circular needle tips with cords in different lengths. You can combine the tips and cables to suit the length and size of a new project. They are great value for money.

There are also many materials, wood such as bamboo needles. They’re great for beginners as stitches don’t slip off them as easily. These grip your stitches better with a slightly textured surface.

I am fond of my Clover Takumi Bamboo circular and DPNS as they feel nice in my hands.

Test different types out a bit to see which suits you best, without spending a fortune.

The sizing in the United States is denoted by a number e.g, US5 and millimeter (mm) in other countries. The needle size you choose will often be listed in a knitting pattern.

2 – Yarn

Merino Yarn from Yarn Trader in Electric Blue, Light Blue and Orange/Red, Chiaogoo Red Lace Circular needles

You must have yarn! Yarn types are numerous. They come in various thicknesses (called yarn weight), textures, and materials, so make sure you pick the right one!

I highly recommend worsted weight yarn in acrylic for beginner knitters as this is cheaper to start off with. If you prefer wool yarn, there are plenty of beautiful products in this category, including alpaca.

As you become more confident, you’ll no doubt experiment with all sorts of fibers. Indie dyed yarns are super popular, and they definitely cost more than commercial brands.

Don’t even think about using novelty yarn like bobble yarn until you’ve had some experience! It’s very tricky to use.

The quality and softness of the fibers could be tested by putting it up against your face, at your local yarn shop (LYS).

Mind you, nowadays this may not be the best thing. Ask if you can touch first and place it on the inside of your wrist as this skin is more sensitive.

3 – Stitch Markers

Katrinkles Sheep Removeable Stitch Markers
Katrinkles Sheep Stitch Markers

These locking stitch markers are used for marking your place in knitting patterns. For example when there is a repeat or identifying the beginning of a row when knitting in the round.

Stitch markers also hold a dropped stitch, denoting the start of a new round of knitting. Shows the right or wrong side of your knitted fabric and tracks the number of stitches on the needle.

Stitch markers are an essential knitting tool for beginners and experienced knitters who don’t want to lose their place in a complicated design. They come in a variety of materials.

If you are in a pinch, you can use a scrap piece of yarn.


4 – Tapestry Needles

Tapestry Needles from Knit Picks

A long, blunt-tipped tapestry needle is used to sew together a knitting project and weave in the ends and yarn tails. Also called a darning needle or a yarn needle. Great for seaming or finishing techniques like the mattress and kitchener stitch.

There are two kinds straight tip and bent tip.

Not to be confused with sewing needles that have a sharp point. Some knitters prefer a pointy end to weave in ends as they go through the threads.

There are plastic versions of a tapestry needle, but the steel ones are durable and last a long time.

If you’re working with bulky fiber, make sure the eye is big enough to fit through.

5 – Scissors

Laura Knits Stork Embroidery Scissors
Image Credit: Laura of Laura Hand Knits

You’ll need these for cutting your threads and removing mistakes from knitted pieces.
They should be sharp scissors, so you don’t make any accidental snags or tears in your knitting pattern!

Embroidery scissors are a great choice as material snips are a bit large.

You might even start a collection of these just for their beauty!

6 – Knitting Gauge

This is a tool that can measure the thickness of knitting needles. A knitting gauge is so handy for needles that don’t have the sizing marked on them.
Simply pop the needle into the different holes until you find a match.

Trust me, over time, you will collect knitting needles. Unless you organize them into their relevant sizes a gauge will be your best friend.

Needle gauges can also have a ruler to help measure your knitted swatch. A Needle Gauge checks how many stitches you knit over a 4 inch or 10 cm measurement.

Some have a square window, and you place it on top of your swatch to measure.

7 – Knitting Bag

It’s important to keep all of your knitting tools and knitting accessories together and organized, so it doesn’t take you five minutes just to find the right needle size!

A knitting bag can also protect knitting needles and other items from getting lost or bent. They usually have multiple pockets. One could be dedicated to all those pesky pieces of scrap yarn.

Keep things tidy and away from cats who love to play with your craft.

You’ll want one that has space and different pockets for notions and your yarn. Be mindful of anything with velcro, as this can snag your wool.

My favorite is a drawstring bag that will fit one sock project so I can knit anywhere. I can access all I need at the one time rather than searching out the individual items for my latest knit.

Over time you will have a selection of different size bags.

If you also sew, a DIY bag is an expression of your own style.

8 – Stitch Holders

Knitting Stitch Holders - LeBeila 12 pcs Yarn Stitch Holder Set for Knitting Notions/Crochet Needle Aluminum Stitch Holders Safety Pins, 4 Sizes, Mixed Colors (12, Mixed)

It’s all in a name. A stitch holder comes in many shapes and sizes. Still, the most recognizable is what looks like an overly large safety pin.

Use these for keeping a work in progress (known as WIP) from falling apart when you’re working on other pieces of knitting projects.

Have a couple of these handy in your knitting bag.

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9 – Measuring Tape

Flexible Tape Measure from MergePatternsNCrafts in blue
Image Credit: Debbie Davis of MergePatternsNCrafts

Use it to measure a knitted piece/garment or for knitting swatches. It’s also good to have one on hand if you need to take measurements of anything else!

This tape measure has 60″ markings on one side and 150-centimeter markings on the other side and is 1/2″ in width.

10 – Row Counter (Or Stitch Counter App or Small Notebook)

Digital Row Counter at Craft Pocket Supplies
Image credit: Chris of Pocket Craft Supplies

Digital counters that fit on your finger. No more need for a pencil and paper! Press the button to record the number.

These gadgets receive a 5 star rating and come in fun colors.

Handy tool to keep track of your current knitting row. Other options are a notebook or note-taking app on your phone to keep count.

11 – Crochet Hooks

Having a crochet hook makes it easier to pick up dropped stitches. The reason is; the hook part grabs the loop without it sliding off the end like it would with the point of a knitting needle.

A crochet hook is also useful for doing things like crocheting finishing edges or adding trims.

12 – Yarn Swift & Yarn Winder

A swift is a handy tool for holding untwisted hanks of yarn while you wind them into balls or cakes.

A yarn ball winder is used to wind up skeins of yarn. Both will make it easier for you to tame hanks into easily usable cakes of yarn, and it’s excellent for yarn storage too.

Some of you may be content with winding by hand. Yet, a yarn swift and yarn winder combination makes this often tedious process much faster, so you can get back to your knitting projects.

These are a worthwhile purchase simply for the amount of time you save.

Cakes help you knit from the center out without accidentally tangling your yarn.

13 – Sticky Notes Or Washi Tape

Knitting charts can be hard to use. Make your life easier by taping a sticky note or washi tape on the row of the chart you’re working on to keep up with where you are. Not a problem to move and re-stick.

14 – Knitting Needle Point Protectors

Beaded Knitting Needle tip protectors with blue and green beads by Jill's Handmade Stuff on Etsy
Image Credit: Jill L Richmond of Jill’s Handmade Stuff

These are little triangular needle caps to protect the ends of your knitting needles. It stops knitting stitches from falling off the points while you’re on the go or pointy ends accidentally stabbing your bag or the project.

Of you happen to be a knitter who pushes the point with your finger, a thimble is an option to protect you.

15 – A Yarn Guide

Knitting Tension Ring by MedusaBoutiqueStore on Etsy
Image Credit: Lan of Medusa Boutique Store

This tool is something you ease onto your finger. Helpful in working two threads of yarn. A yarn guide by keeping an even tension of the working yarn for your stitches.

16 – Wool Wash

Kookaburra Wash for woolens

It’s important to always wash your knitting after you’ve finished making it. On account of the processing of the wool and the natural oils of fibers.

Using woolen washes (a special shampoo) helps banish oils, dirt, and other grime so it looks fresh and clean.

This cleaning product receives 5 stars for its ability to gently wash handknits.

17 – A Yarn Threader

This tool is used to thread a needle with yarn. This will make it easier for you to weave in ends when working with a yarn like mohair.

18 – Yarn Storage

When knitting, it’s easy to accumulate a yarn stash! To save your sanity, you need a way of organizing and storing your precious skeins so they’re easy to find when you need them next time.

Prices vary depending on their overall capacity.

19 – Blocking Materials

After knitting, it’s essential to block your pieces so their patterns look the best they can and so they don’t curl up. Sweaters, a scarf, shawls, and pretty much all items benefit from this process.

Blocking tools such as blocking mats, blocking pins, and blocking boards, are used for this purpose and to create a straight edge.

20 – Yarn Bowl

Furls Metal Yarn Bowl

Balls of yarn are notorious for getting away from you. It’s annoying. iIf you’re too busy knitting and not worrying about housework, your runaway yarn will collect the dust!

A yarn bowl or yarn holder will quickly solve that issue.

The metal yarn bowls from Furls, a company (well known for fiber arts products), are stunning and keep your yarn clean and in the one place. The opening is to thread your working strand through.

These have a heavy bottom that keeps it stable.

Another plus is they add to the look of your home decor. There is even a rainbow alternative in this range if you love colorful items.

21 – Cable Needle

Bronze Cable Needle by Spindle Cat Studio
Image Credit: Spindle Cat Studio

This cable needle is multipurpose as it can hold your cable stitches when your pattern calls for it in a cable design.

You can also attach stitch markers on the little loop when not in use and pop it through a zipper on your project bag.

Made of bronze wire, it is sturdy and beautiful.

22 – Knitting Row Counter

Clover Knitting Counter YarnShop4U
Image credit: YarnShop4U

This Clover Knitting Row Counter is slid over your straight needle, and it stays at the end.

So every time you complete a row, you change the dial to mark the number of your rows.

Save yourself a lot of hassle if you forget to record your data and information.

This can be used on a needle diameter up to 6.5mm (US10 1/2)

23 – Row Counter Ring

Knitter's Pride Mindful Row Counter Rings HandsomeFibers Etsy Store
Image Credit: HandsomeFibers

Another nifty version for keeping track of your rows when completing a pattern. Instead of attaching to your knitting needles, place the ring on your thumb.

24 – Yarn Bobbins

Yarn Bobbins CraftilyDyedYarn on Etsy
Image Credit: Lauren Farrell from Craftily Dyed Yarn

Yarn bobbins are nifty tools with a unique shape. A bobbin is a good idea for holding different colored yarns when knitting with more than one color.

Just the thing for Intarsia Knitting, Fair Isle, and other color work techniques.

25 – Knitting Book – Comprehensive Guide

Vogue® Knitting The Ultimate Knitting Book: Completely Revised & Updated

In addition to the 65 new pages, the new version includes tons of photos and tutorials. A knitting book filled with how-tos, knitting methods, circular and flat knitting.

Essentials such as cast-on and bind-off techniques, lace, cables, brioche, how to do increases/decreases, and more. Includes tools and tips for correcting mistakes. Clear and easy-to-follow instructions. Suitable for beginners as well as advanced knitters.

Of course, experts have Youtube videos to learn how to knit, but having a pictorial book on the shelf is so helpful.

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Knitting is such a rewarding hobby. However, it doesn’t come without challenges. It can be hard to know what you need. At times it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the choices!

So I hope you found this list of the knitting tools you need to knit helpful.

In the comments below, let me know if you have a few of your favorites I haven’t mentioned in my article. Your email address is never published.

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