When you’re just starting out with a new craft, it can be daunting to know what supplies you need. You stand in the yarn aisle of your local craft store and everything seems overwhelming. Acrylic? Wool? What the heck does worsted mean? Do I want wooden needles? Plastic? It can seem like a lot to think about.
It’s OK. We’re here to help. Take a deep breath.
When you’re just getting started, you mainly need yarn and either knitting needles or a crochet hook. It’s also helpful to have a pair of scissors and a darning or yarn needle. That’s it! You don’t need any gadgets or anything too fancy. Play with the cool toys after you’ve decided this is a hobby you’re going to stick with.
Even knowing that, however, the yarn aisle of your local craft store can be daunting. Luckily we’ve got your back.
First up is the yarn. There are a lot of different opinions on what size yarn you should learn with, but it really comes down to your own comfort. In our beginning knitting classes, we use Heartland® Thick & Quick®, which is a super bulky, and in our beginning crochet classes we use Heartland®, which is a worsted. If you are taking those classes, or simply want to follow the beginner patterns on your own, you’ll need these yarns to do so.
Regardless of size, make sure you get a smooth yarn without too much twisting or fluff, and no adornments like sequins. Choose a light or bright solid color, too. No black, charcoal, navy, or chocolate brown allowed, and definitely no color-changing or variegated yarns, either. You need to be able to clearly see your stitches as you go. You can play with different textures and colors once you get the hang of things.
Next up you will need needles or a hook. Looking at the racks with all the different sizes and materials can be confusing, but all you need to know which one to get is your yarn. Look at the label.
All of our yarns have a guide to tell you what size needle or hook is best. The pictured label is for a category 4 yarn and recommends a size US 9 (5.5 mm) needle or J-10 (6 mm) hook. When you get more advanced you will pick your sizes based on the pattern you are working, but for the purpose of practice, just go with the label. If you are using super bulky, they will call for a larger needle or hook — Heartland® Thick & Quick® calls for a US 11 (8 mm) needle and N-13 (9 mm) hook.
Hooks and needles generally come in three materials: plastic, metal, or wood. Which one you use comes down to personal preference, so look at what’s available and see if the feel of any of them grabs you.
(If you can’t tell, it’s perfectly acceptable to just get the most affordable option until you see if you are going to stick with the craft. You can always try the other kinds later.)
Scissors are self-explanatory, and you probably already have a pair at home you can use, though a pair of folding scissors is always helpful to have. The last thing to get is a pack of yarn needles. They look like sewing needles, but bigger, with a very large eye. You’ll need these for weaving in ends when you finish projects.
That’s all you need to get started! If you’re looking for instructions, we have illustrated guides for both crochet and knitting, as well as a glossary for when you come across any terms you don’t know.
If you are looking to buy your supplies to get started, you can always come down to the Studio and ask for help! Our staff is more than happy to guide you through finding what you need. And if you decide you’d rather take a class to learn, our 1,2,3 Series is a great way to do that.