Knitting caught my attention seven years ago when some women at my workplace brought in some knitting projects for a “knitting lunch” and asked if I’d like to join. I thought learning how to knit would be the challenge I was looking for and accepted their invitation. I just needed some knitting needles and yarn, right?! I remember buying my first set of knitting needles quite vividly. I went to Michael’s and just stared at the wall of needles before me. I had no clue that there were so many varieties – had I known, I would have asked my co-worker for some advice on which ones to buy. So here I was alone in the knitting aisle, quite overwhelmed by all the choices. There were straight, circular, bamboo, metal, plastic and so on. I ended up going with a pair of bamboo circular needles. I chose bamboo more for aesthetics than anything else, but choosing circular needles was a huge mistake–especially for a beginner.
To those of you who are contemplating picking up the art of knitting, I would suggest getting a pair of straight needles. I think straight needles are easier to maneuver, and I think you’d end up less likely to give up so quickly (oh, you should have seen me trying to work with those circulars!). I would also suggest getting bamboo needles as they have a little more friction and your stitches are less likely to slip off than on metal needles. As for size of the needles, I would choose a size that fits comfortably in your hand. The smaller sizes (US0-4) can make your hands cramp up pretty quickly and the larger sizes (US15+) can make you feel a little clumsy which doesn’t really help the confidence of a beginner! I would choose a size between US7 and US9 for small to medium size hands.
Learning how to hold the needles will be the most challenging part, in my opinion. But once you figure out how your fingers work with the needles and the yarn, you’ll work your way up to circular needles in no time!