Must-Have Knitting Tools for Beginners

Are you a beginner knitter looking to embark on your knitting journey? Well, look no further! In this article, we will explore the must-have knitting tools that every beginner needs in their knitting arsenal. From knitting needles to stitch markers, we will guide you through the essential tools that will make your knitting experience enjoyable and successful. So grab your yarn and let’s get started on this exciting adventure together!


One of the essential knitting tools for beginners is yarn. Yarn is the thread-like material used to create knitted pieces. There are various types of yarn available, each with its own characteristics and properties. Some common types of yarn include cotton, wool, acrylic, and silk. When choosing yarn, it’s important to consider factors such as the project you’re working on, the desired texture, and the level of warmth or breathability required.

Yarn Weight

In addition to the type of yarn, the weight of the yarn is another important consideration. Yarn weight refers to the thickness or thinness of the yarn. The weight of the yarn can impact the final look and feel of the knitted piece. Common yarn weights include lace, superfine, fine, light, medium, bulky, and super bulky. Beginners may find it helpful to start with medium weight yarn as it is versatile and easier to work with.

Yarn Quantity

When starting a knitting project, it’s important to ensure you have enough yarn to complete the entire piece. The quantity of yarn needed depends on the pattern, the chosen yarn weight, and the desired size of the final project. Patterns often provide information on the estimated yarn quantity required. It’s always a good idea to buy a little extra yarn to account for any mistakes or variations in gauge.

Knitting Needles

Knitting needles are the tools used to create stitches with the yarn. There are different types of knitting needles available, each suited for different techniques and projects.

Straight Needles

Straight needles are a classic choice for knitting. They come in pairs, with a pointed tip on one end and a stopper or knob on the other. Straight needles are commonly used for flat knitting, such as scarves, blankets, and dishcloths.

Circular Needles

Circular needles are another popular option, especially for larger projects, such as sweaters or shawls. They consist of two needle tips connected by a flexible cable. Circular needles can be used for both flat and circular knitting. They are ideal for knitting in the round, as well as for projects with a large number of stitches.

Double-pointed Needles

Double-pointed needles, often referred to as DPNs, are used for knitting small circumference items, such as socks, gloves, or hats. These needles come in sets of four or five and have points at both ends. Double-pointed needles allow for seamless knitting in the round.

Measuring Tools

To ensure that your knitting project turns out well, accurate measurements are crucial. Here are some essential measuring tools for knitters:

Tape Measure

A tape measure is a flexible measuring tool that is perfect for taking body measurements or measuring the length and width of your knitted pieces. It allows for precise measurements and is compact enough to be carried in your knitting bag.


A ruler is a handy tool for measuring small sections of your knitted fabric. It’s especially useful when checking the gauge, which ensures that your stitches match the required measurements stated in the pattern. A ruler with both metric and imperial units is recommended for versatility.

Stitch Gauge

A stitch gauge, also known as a swatch or tension gauge, is a small square of knitted fabric used to determine the number of stitches and rows per inch. By comparing your stitch gauge to the pattern gauge, you can adjust your tension or needle size to achieve the desired dimensions of your project.


Having a good pair of scissors is essential for any knitter. Scissors are used to cut yarn, trim loose ends, and snip any excess threads. When choosing scissors, look for a pair with a sharp cutting edge that can easily slice through yarn. Additionally, consider the grip of the scissors – a comfortable grip can make your knitting experience more enjoyable.

Stitch Markers

Stitch markers are invaluable tools for keeping track of your stitches and marker placement in a pattern. They come in various types, including split ring markers, locking markers, and removable markers. Stitch markers are placed on the needle between stitches to indicate a particular point in the pattern. They help prevent mistakes, assist in counting stitches, and make it easier to identify specific sections of your knitting.

Types of Stitch Markers

  • Split Ring Markers: These stitch markers are small rings that can be opened and closed. They can easily be slipped onto the needle and moved from one needle to another.
  • Locking Markers: Locking markers are typically plastic and have a closure mechanism that allows them to be locked in place. They are ideal for marking specific stitches or sections.
  • Removable Markers: Removable markers are similar to split ring markers but have an additional mechanism that allows them to slide open and closed easily. They can be removed without disturbing the knitting.

Using Stitch Markers

To use stitch markers, simply slide them onto the needle between stitches. They can be placed at the beginning of a row, before a specific stitch, or anywhere required by the pattern. As you knit, these markers will help you keep track of stitch patterns, increases, decreases, or any other relevant instructions.

Row Counter

A row counter is a convenient tool for keeping track of the number of rows or repeats completed in a pattern. It eliminates the need to manually count rows, providing a more accurate and efficient way to measure progress. Row counters can be electronic or mechanical and can be worn on your finger, attached to your knitting needles, or kept separately in your knitting bag.

Cable Needles

Cable needles are specialized tools used for creating intricate cable patterns in your knitting. Cable patterns involve crossing stitches to create a twisted effect. Cable needles come in various types, including straight cable needles, J-shaped cable needles, and double-sided cable needles.

Types of Cable Needles

  • Straight Cable Needles: These cable needles resemble miniature knitting needles with a pointed tip at one end and a stopper at the other. They are suitable for beginners and produce well-defined cable stitches.
  • J-shaped Cable Needles: J-shaped cable needles have a hook on one end that prevents stitches from slipping off. They are particularly useful for holding cable stitches in place while the others are being worked.
  • Double-sided Cable Needles: Double-sided cable needles have a tapered point on both ends and allow you to work more complex cable patterns with ease.

Using Cable Needles

When using cable needles, you will transfer a certain number of stitches onto the cable needle, hold it at the front or back of your work, and then knit stitches from the regular needle. Follow the pattern instructions to determine when and how to use your cable needle to create beautiful cable designs.

Yarn Needle or Tapestry Needle

A yarn needle, also known as a tapestry needle, is a large-eyed needle used for weaving in loose ends, sewing seams together, and finishing touches on your knitted pieces. Yarn needles come in various types, including straight-tip needles and bent-tip needles.

Types of Yarn Needles

  • Straight-Tip Needles: These yarn needles have a straight, sharp tip that makes it easy to weave in ends and sew seams. They are suitable for most knitting projects.
  • Bent-Tip Needles: Bent-tip yarn needles have a curved or bent tip, allowing for easier insertion and maneuverability when weaving in ends or sewing seams.

Using Yarn Needles

To weave in ends, thread your yarn needle and pass it through the back of your knitted fabric, following the line of the stitches. This will secure the loose end and keep it hidden within the fabric. When sewing seams, place the pieces of your knitted project together, align the edges, and use the yarn needle to sew a neat and secure seam.

Stitch Holders

Stitch holders are essential tools for holding stitches when you need to set them aside temporarily in your knitting project. They come in various types, including straight stitch holders, safety pin stitch holders, and circular stitch holders.

Types of Stitch Holders

  • Straight Stitch Holders: These stitch holders resemble large safety pins. They have a secure locking mechanism to hold stitches in place.
  • Safety Pin Stitch Holders: Safety pin stitch holders are shaped like safety pins and can be easily secured to hold stitches. They come in various sizes to accommodate different projects.
  • Circular Stitch Holders: Circular stitch holders are similar to small circular knitting needles with stoppers on both ends. They enable you to hold a large number of stitches and are particularly useful for sleeve or collar stitches.

Using Stitch Holders

When you come across a point in your pattern where you need to set stitches aside, transfer the required number of stitches onto the stitch holder. This will keep them in place until you need to work on them again. To continue working on these stitches, simply slide them back onto your knitting needles from the stitch holder.

Needle Gauge

A needle gauge is a handy tool used to measure the size of your knitting needles. It helps ensure that you are using the correct needle size stated in the pattern. Needle gauges often have holes of various sizes, which you can insert your knitting needle into to determine its size. Having an accurate needle gauge handy will help you achieve the desired gauge and ensure your knitting project turns out as expected.

As a beginner, having these essential knitting tools will set you up for success and make your knitting journey more enjoyable. With the right tools in hand, you can confidently embark on a wide range of knitting projects and explore the wonderful world of creating beautiful, cozy, and personalized knitted pieces.