Knitting 101 - Knitting for Beginners


Knitting 101: Beginners Resource Guide

If you are learning to knit and want some quick info on getting started checkout our How To videos for knitting here.

In cultures around the world and going back several centuries, knitting has been practiced as a useful art form. It creates clothing that is functional as well as decorative. Although many people tend to joke about the infamous Christmas sweaters when they think about knitting, this craft actually holds a long, rich history. From Egypt to Europe and even areas of South America, archaeologists have discovered remnants of ancient knitting. It was only much later by 1527 that the Parisians formed the first ever professional knitting trade union. Unlike the majority of modern knitters, at the time, knitting was the domain of men.
Later on as it was popularized, it caught on among women too, not only as a profession but also as a hobby. About a century later, Britain became a knitting hub, exporting mass amounts of knitting stockings. As knitters progressed in their techniques and tools, they found that knitting could also be applied to many other areas. Instead of only knitting socks or stockings, people started to knit all manner of other clothing items. They even created knitted toys, doilies, tea cozies, and other pieces that mainly served as decoration. Today knitting is still alive and well all over the world. There are scores of clubs, groups, and even larger official organizations all devoted to the art of knitting. It is truly a rare treat to receive a custom knitted gift and to see the thought, time and hard work that the other person has put into it. Non-knitters often view this craft as complicated, although it is really quite the opposite. There are plenty of tutorials and instructions online that teach beginners how to create wonderful projects on their own. Browse our complete collection of knitting needles for sale here. To get started, simply browse through the collection of resources below!


Popular Brands of Knitting Needles

In modern knitting there are many types of knitting needles and many various manufacturers all over the world.  The most popular manufacturer of quality circular needles is Addi in Germany.  The Addi Turbo Circular needles are made of nickel plated aluminum with a very smooth join where the needle meets the cable.  Addi also makes a bamboo circular needle as well as lace circulars which have a sharper point for smaller yarn.  They come with a lifetime warranty and are available in nearly every knitting shop across the country.  Another very popular brand are the KA Bamboo needles. The KA stands is actually an acronym for Kinki Amibari.  The Kinki Amibari needles or KA needles are one of the most popular bamboo knitting needles on the market.  They have a smooth join that actually swivels to allow your work to twist as you knit if needed.  They also have a full line of needles from double point and single point to crochet and tunisian crochet hooks.  KA has been making knitting needles since 1916 and they actually made them for the Clover needle until clover decided to go out on their own in the 1980's and try making the needles cheaper cutting out Kinki Amibari.  Kinki Amibari knitting needles are far superior than clover with precision quality and great price point.

Another popular brand of knitting needle is Lantern Moon.  Lantern Moon knitting needles are made of exotic woods from Vietnam.  These are precision crafted from local artisans in the Vietnam region supported by the Lantern Moon company.  Lantern Moon supports fair trade and has helped to build small factories and villages to enable the war torn people of Vietnam to provide a good living for their families.  They are doing great things and making some excellent quality knitting needles.  They offer single point, double point, as well as circular needles in blondewood, ebony and rosewood.

Materials Needed

  • Knitting Needles – Learn how to choose the most appropriate type of knitting needles for your skill level and project.
  • Knitting Checklist – This list provides an overview of the main materials needed for knitting.
  • Lace Knitting (PDF) – Use this checklist of materials required for lace knitting projects.
  • Tools and Yarn – Find out how to pick the right tools and yarn for your knitting needs.
  • Before Knitting – See visual examples of the types of products available for knitters, with information about which are best to start with.
  • Beginner Supply List (PDF) – This list of supplies covers the essentials for most beginner projects.
  • Choosing Needles – Have a look at the different types of needles and the results they produce.

Simple Techniques and Process of Knitting

  • Knitting Patterns – Access a series of patterns and instructions for different types of knitting projects.
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting (PDF) – This guide covers everything from selecting yarn, to basic techniques, stitches, and more.
  • Knitting Resources – Find a variety of patterns and video tutorials for knitting inspiration.
  • Beginning Knitting (PPT) – Watch a slideshow on how to get prepared and start knitting your first piece.
  • Knitting Techniques – The resources on this page offer help with knitting techniques as well as troubleshooting.
  • How to Knit – Learn the four basic steps of knitting in a series of easy tutorials.
  • Casting On and Off (PDF) – This photographic guide illustrates exactly how to start and end a piece of knitting.
  • Knitting Thesaurus – Look up abbreviations and meanings of terms used in knitting tutorials and patterns.
  • Beginner Knitting Techniques – Follow a step-by-step guide to learn how to achieve the basics of knitting.

Different Structures

  • Knit and Purl (PDF) – Follow this guide for detailed notes and instructions on how to knit and purl.
  • Warp and Weft (PPT) – Learn all about warp and weft and how it can be applied in different ways.
  • Wool Structures – Review the different types of knitted structures that can be created with wool.
  • Knit and Purl Pattern (PDF) – Download a basic knit and purl patterns that is perfect for beginners.

Types of Knitting

  • Circular Knitting – In this tutorial, beginner knitters learn about circular knitting and how to try it themselves.
  • Felting Patterns – Browse through a long list of resources on felting inspiration, patterns, and projects.
  • Needle Felting – Read a brief introduction to needle felting and see some examples of the detailed creations it can be used for.
  • Types of Knitting – Compare modern types of knitting to earlier versions.

History and Culture

  • Why Knit? – Read some common reasons on why people have knitted in the past as well as in the present.
  • Yarn Bombing (PDF) – Learn about a new type of informal street art called yarn bombing or guerilla knitting.
  • Origins of Knitting – This brief history introduces some early instances of knitting in previous centuries.
  • Knitting and Protests – While knitters are generally known as benign groups, they sometimes use their craft to make public statements.
  • Norse Knitting – See how people knitted in ancient Norse cultures.
  • Red Cross Knitting – Trace the history of the Red Cross’ knitting campaigns from World War I onwards.

Where to Purchase Knitting Supplies

  • Circular Knitting Needles - browse our huge selection of circular knitting needles from Lantern Moon, Addi Turbo and Hiya Hiya.
  • Double Point Knitting Needles - choose from rosewood and ebonywood in 5 and 7 inch lengths to American birch and bamboo.
  • Single Point or Straight Knitting Needles - Single Points knitting needles are the most common traditional style of needle browse our huge selection.
  • Knitting Patterns - find free patterns as well as some of the most popular knitting patterns in the world for sale on our website.
  • Needle Felting Supplies -browse dyed felting wool, books on needle felting, felting needles and more.
  • Wool Knitting Yarn - browse one of the largest selections of wool knitting yarn in the craft industry from domestic farms to exotic cashmere wool blends.
  • Soap for handwashing handknits -The best way to care for hand knit garments is with wool wash products that require no rinsing.