Learn To Knit: Gathering Supplies.

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Hello, I hope that you are excited to learn to knit with me next week.  So that you are ready for monday let's go over the basic supplies you need.

First off you are gonna want to run to the nearest big box craft store and pick up supplies, FIGHT THAT ERGE. While there is a some yarn gems hiding in the pounds and pounds of acrylic. Most chain stores needle selection is crap. Shelling out a few extra dollars for a quality pair of needles and yarn will go a long way to make learning to knit more enjoyable. 

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Check out a local yarn store. Not sure if you have one in your town? Check Knitmap. You can find a local shop and even get reviews.  Not one in your town? Well Check out one of theses Amazing online retaiers

Yarn.com

Eat Sleep Knit 

Jimmy Beans Wool 

 Yarnmarket

Next week I am gonna teach you how to make Coasters. I know you want to knit a scarf but trust me, the last thing you want to do is slog thru 65 inches of knitting to hate the results. With Coasters you get quick projects that teach you the basics. Plus if you have a knitting disaster ripping out a little coaster is way less heartbreaking the ripping out a good chunk of a scarf. 

 

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The Basic Kit 

Circular knitting needles

Yarn

Repair hook or handi tool 

Sharp pair of scissors 

Darning Needle 

Ruler or tape measure 

Wool Wash*

Hand Cream *

Nail buffer/file*

*not needed but strongly suggested. 

Let's look at  these things a little closer. 

Circular knitting may not look like the knitting needles you imagine you'd use. But they are so much better than their straight needle counter parts. They let you knit flat and in the round (we will learn that late next week) and they also are far less heavy then straight needles. Once I learned how to knit flat on circular needles i never gone back to straights.  

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You want a size 7 (4.5mm) or 8 (5.0 mm) needles. With a 16 or 24  inch cord.  If you have a choice I would choose a polished wood over metal. Metal will be very very slick. A polished wood will give you a bit of grip but not as much as say bamboo. 

 

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You also want to make sure that whatever material your knitting needles are made out that they have sharp points. You want to be able to accurately get your needle between the yarn and the other needle blunt points will make that harder. 

 

A few brands that I personally enjoy are Knitter's Pride Hiya-Hiya  Chiaogoo

 

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Yarn Choice is an extremely important choice, there are a myriad of fibers and fiber combinations. There are different weights and colors. To get started you want to use a bright or light colored yarn. This allows you to be able to see your stitches so you can learn to read them. Also you will want a fiber content that will be forgiving. I suggest a 100% wool content.  As far as yarn weight goes you'll want a worsted weight yarn (we'll get into yarn weights later next week) Here are a few Yarns that I think would be great to start with. 

Cascade 220  Worsted

Ella Rae Classic Worsted 

Shepherd's Wool By Stonehedge Fiber Mill 

Lark by Quince & Co ( only available online but worth the wait if you know you can't get started till later in the week) 

 

You will need one skein of two different colors. Be sure to have the local yarn store wind your skein(the red yarn) in to a cake (The cream yarn). It will make life much easier. The arms of your children/husband/signifgantother/roommates will also thank you. 


http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8237/8601442312_634ea03485.jpgRepair Hook or Handi tool is extremely important for beginners. You are going to drop stitches. I drop stitches even to this day.  but with this cute little tool you are going to learn to pick up your drop stitches. 

 

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Sharp Scissors: I have a few pairs of embroidery sharps that I use for just knitting and embroidery but any sharp scissors will work. Darning Needle plastic or metal doesn't mater. You will use this to weave the starting end and tail into your fabric.  

 

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Wool Wash is the one thing you can leave off, but I wouldn't.  We are going to wet block our coasters, Wool Wash just cleans up the item and makes it smell nice. It also helps condition and soften the wool. Make sure you get a no rinse wash. These are two brands I would suggest. 

Eucalan (I love their lavender one) 

Soak Wash 

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So why hand cream and a nail file. Wool can suck some moisture out of your hands and yarn has away of finding every little rough ridge in your nail and stick to it. When using hand cream just be sure to let it sink in all the way before you start knitting you don't want to transfer that lotion on to your fiber. 

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So that is it. Go check out a local yarn store and if you have a spare moment sign up for Ravelry. It's an online knitting community. You can search patterns look up yarn bases. Join Groups and talk to other knitters. Once you've signed up follow this link to become a member of the Pick Up & Purl podcast group. I will have a thread in there for learn to knit week. Have a great weekend!