Needles, yarn ... ??
November 24, 2014 11:21 AM   Subscribe

My wife wants to learn to knit. What do I buy?

My wife wants to learn to knit and I want to give her that for Christmas. Specifically, I would like to get her the necessary supplies for making a nice pair of thick winter socks, or hiking socks, or something like that. I'm looking for specific recommendations for needles, yarn, and anything else she needs. And if there's a good pattern that would be cool too. I don't know anything about knitting! I prefer shopping online, but if I can get better values at a retail store I will do that.

Thank you very much in advance!
posted by ohsnapdragon to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (33 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Go to a yarn shop, or a craft store and ask for someone to show you some good starter supplies and patterns.

Also, they may offer lessons which you can buy as part of your gift.

This is one of those hobbies that can get expensive quickly, but it's not necessary to start out with top of the line equipment and materials.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:28 AM on November 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

I am not an expert knitter but I've done enough beginner knitting to know that socks are a bit more advanced than a beginning knitter should tackle! Dish washcloths are a good starting point because the end result can be lumpy or uneven but still very useful. A simple cotton yarn like Sugar N Cream is good for washcloths. The size of needle you want for those yarns seems to be:

Knitting Gauge: 20 sts and 26 rows with a 4.5 mm (U.S. 7) knitting needle

I am sure other people will have good advice on beginner books and kits and whatnot but any JoAnn's has complete kits like this for starting out. After washcloths, I think scarves are a good next step.
posted by foxfirefey at 11:31 AM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

If she has never knitted before, socks are not a good place to start. They're complicated structures--heck, just learning how to read a pattern to make socks can be difficult. She needs to learn the basic skills and get real familiarity with handling yarn and developing fabric tension before she can deal with the requirements of sock knitting.

I would recommend first and foremost finding someone who knits who can work with her and answer questions. If there's a knitting store in your area, they often offer classes for beginners. Online tutorials are nice and can come in handy, but for a total beginner, there's nothing like having someone right there.

I'd recommend something flat like a scarf or a baby blanket for a first project. Those should be made out of worsted-weight or DK weight yarn that is easy to deal with; I personally recommend teaching someone to knit with yarn that has a colorway built in, rather than a single-colored yarn, because it's easier to see each stitch on the needle. This booklet has simple baby blankets that are pretty and can be more or less complicated depending on skill--they were one of my first knitting projects and I've continued to make variants of them even though I'm more experienced now. Good yarn for the blanket is here.

Then she should learn how to make a hat or something else that requires knitting in the round or on double-pointed needles (it doesn't help that sock yarn is usually fine and the needles are small, so she's dealing with something unfamiliar on a small scale that can be hard to see and hard to correct if she makes a mistake!). THEN, think about moving on to socks.

(On preview, foxfirefey's recommendation of the dishcloths is also a very good one!)
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:35 AM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Socks are not a great first project, because they involve several different techniques. I suppose some people could start off with socks and do well, but I think it would be frustrating.

Usually someone's first knitting project is a misshapen square. She should probably start with that, and when she's comfortable with just the basics, she can either keep it as a memento or unravel it and use the yarn for something else.

If the eventual goal is socks, she will need either double pointed needles or long circular needles (40") for magic loop, which I think is easier.

I agree that classes are a great idea.
posted by chaiminda at 11:36 AM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'm an intermediate knitter and I second (on preview...fourth) what foxfirefey said -- socks are HARD for beginners.

Ravelry is the Metafilter of knitting - you might try looking around there if you are committed to the sock plan. You will find patterns organized by skill level with suggestions for certain yarns and needle sizes.

You might consider getting her a gift certificate to your local yarn store (Ravelry will probably have a recommendation for one if you don't know of one in your town). This is NOT a Hobby Lobby/Michaels kind of place -- but will likely be a small shop that has classes and knitting groups and a lot of specialized help. When you're beginning, having a place like that to go to for some classes or some drop-in help when your project is a mess is invaluable.
posted by pantarei70 at 11:37 AM on November 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

Craftsy is a really good site for supplies and patterns. I've had success with a few of these kits and the rest of the site offers some handy tutorials--many of which are printable.

But what really got me started was Stitch 'n' Bitch. With this book, I was able to teach myself everything I needed to know for scarves, hats, cell phone cases, etc.

And yes--socks are not a good first project. I've been knitting since 2007 and still can't attempt a sock. Scarves would probably be good for her first few projects.
posted by magdalemon at 11:38 AM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Well, the Knitpicks annual Thanksgiving week sale started today, so you're in luck. Knitpicks is an online knitting retailer.

I'd start with a good book, perhaps Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up. This book will walk her through the basics of knitting, the anatomy of socks, a few variations on how to build them, and then 14 fun patterns to practice her skills.

Next, she will need needles. Before you buy needles, it's probably best for her to take a bit of a class, to know whether she prefers straight double-pointed needles or circular needles. Maybe for a first dip in the waters, I'd buy a couple sizes of double-pointeds, in a US 1, 2 and 3 diameter sizes.

Next, she will need a few notions: large blunt tapestry needle, stitch markers. Some small blunt-nosed scissors will be appreciated, too.

And now, the fun part: yarn. For socks, you want a superwash (able to be washed and dried by machine) wool with at least 20-25% nylon content. The nylon gives durability to the yarn that's necessary for the abuse that a sock gets. Socks are usually made out of sock yarn, which is also called fingering yarn. This refers to the diameter of the yarn. Thick socks may be made out of the next diameter up, usually called sport yarn. Beyond that, you're getting into real chunky socks, and will need needles that are correspondingly larger in diameter.

Some ideas are here, or here. For a pair of ladies socks, she will need about 100 grams of yarn.
posted by Liesl at 11:38 AM on November 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

I'd suggest you have a good look on Youtube for knitting tutorials. There are a lot on there, and I can recommend this particular individual's channel. She mostly does crochet, but she's really good at explaining things, she keeps her hands in the shot and she shows you exactly what to do.

An actual knitting pattern is not the easiest thing to follow at first. It's like sheet music - when you know the language, you're away, but beforehand, it won't make very much sense at all. Finding your wife a video guide will likely make it much easier for her to pick things up, because she'll be able to see what "purl two together" actually means.

A course would be good, but a free knitting get-together at a local yarn shop would likely be better.
posted by Solomon at 11:39 AM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing the suggestion that socks are NOT the thing to start with, and that starting with a scarf is going to be a much better bet.

Also nthing the suggestion that you go to a yarn store and ask for some advice. But an alternative - I taught myself how to knit by reading the book Stitch 'n Bitch. It's quirky, but it's very clear about instructions.

There are patterns in that book for very simple beginner projects - the yarn they also recommend is a basic wool yarn, so if you decide to get that book and then show up at the yarn store and point to the scarf project and ask "what do I need for this", they'll point you at the right needles and the sufficient amount of yarn.

Good luck!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:39 AM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I'd highly recommend getting bamboo needles rather than metal or plastic - it is a personal preference thing but I just find them so much nicer to work with!

I also nth not socks, and Stitch 'n Bitch - some of the patterns will look a bit dated by now but the tutorials are great.

Also, lots of people start with really cheapy yarn, but I think it's nice to start with something just a bit nicer. It will get someone new more excited about knitting and it is much easier to work with. Again, go to a local store and having them show you the section of yarns that would be the right weight for a beginner project (like a scarf), and then you could choose something that feels nice to you and is in a colour you think your wife would love.
posted by sabotagerabbit at 11:42 AM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Knitter here. What about a beginner's knitting kit? Here's one on Etsy that looks nice, but I'm sure there are others. I took a class through my city to learn to knit, but I also used the Vogue Knitting book. It has pictorial how-to's for pretty much anything you need to know about knitting. Oh, and I use a ton of online videos to still learn new things.
posted by cecic at 11:44 AM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Oh, yeah, also nthing Knitpicks online yarn store! They're much cheaper than the yarn you'll find in stores, actually.

If you get the Stitch & Bitch book, one or two hanks of this yarn, and a pair of needles in size 10.5, she'll have everything she needs to make the first, most basic scarf in the Stitch & Bitch book. Also, that yarn is acryllic (but it's good quality), so it's machine-washable.

(Note: you'll probably get a lot of conflicting opinions on acryllic yarn; that's because some acryllic yarn is really cheaply made and poor quality. But if it's decent yarn, the fact that it is easy-care may make it a good place to start.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:45 AM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Oh - and tuck in the business card from your local yarn shop as well, even if you go the online-shop route. Yarn shop owners often have classes and can help you out with things, and are very good about helping with weird random questions like "If I'm trying to make a thing that's X big, about how much of this yarn here will I need?" or "here's this thing I'm knitting and it keeps getting these weird holes, what am I doing wrong?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:48 AM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would definitely include an introductory knitting class in your gift. The best starting point would be a local yarn shop. There's nothing wrong with online options but in-person instruction gets people to proficiency WAY faster on small-motor stuff like this. If you're willing to post a location, folks may have recommendations.

Socks are on the advanced end of the spectrum, although I do know determined people who have knit them as their first real project after a small practice square or two.

Regia is a basic, good-quality, mass market sock yarn brand highly likely to be stocked in your local yarn shop, available in a variety of colors. I'd recommend a lighter color to start with to make it easier to see stitches. A starting knitter would probably want to knit it on size 1 or 2 (US) double pointed needles. Bamboo or wood would probably be easier for a new knitter than metal. Free patterns abound on Ravelry; if you sort by "number of projects" you will see the most popular sock patterns. Silver's Sock Class looks like a good place to start.

For some practice get-the-hang-of-this yarn, I'd recommend Plymouth Encore or Cascade 220 in a light color, and size 8 needles, either circular or straight, and wood or metal but not plastic.
posted by tchemgrrl at 11:49 AM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nthing Stitch & Bitch - aimed at beginners but with enough quirky projects to make sure you don't feel like you're going to be stuck in "Dishcloths 101" for ages while you learn.
posted by penguin pie at 11:51 AM on November 24, 2014

Just n-thing the "oh god no socks for a beginner" but also, I'm going to go against the grain here and say a hat is a good first project. Scarves are *boring*. I am convinced people gave up on knitting prematurely because they tried to make a 6 foot scarf in endless rib and gave up for fear of poking their eyes out with their needles.

Beanies are good. They teach you how to knit in the round, which is a precursor for socks. They teach you how to decrease, again important for socks. Most beanies can be made with just two stitch patterns, rib and stockinette. Most beanies will fit *someone's* head. Most importantly, beanies take a fraction of the time a scarf does.

To get her on the path to beanies I would get her a couple of sets of double pointed needles made of bamboo. Bamboo is good because it is nice on the hands and light and the yarn won't slip as easily. Clover is a good beginner brand for this. Get sized US 7, 8, 9 and she is set for a wide variety of hats.
For yarn, get some sort of wool blend. Wool-Ease is cheap enough so that you can get a load of different colors and its machine washable so yay.
posted by like_neon at 11:53 AM on November 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oh and a row counter (Google katcha katcha) and stitch markers!
posted by like_neon at 11:54 AM on November 24, 2014

Response by poster: Wow so much help already! Okay, so: scarf, not socks. KnitPicks for yarn and needles which should be bamboo. Local yarn store for classes - found one with great reviews. Anything else?

Is it possible to get yarn and needles that would be good for either a scarf OR a beanie so she can pick which would interest her more?
posted by ohsnapdragon at 11:55 AM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Nthing other people.

One of the things about knitting that I think takes getting used to is there's lots of *kinds* of knitting - I have friends who adore doing really complex fine lace shawls, or lots of socks with complicated patterns, and those things just don't make me happy.

(On the other hand, I'm doing an epic double-knit blanket in squares that makes almost everyone I tell about it boggle at it, and I can cheerfully knit that while online and chatting with people and watching a movie.)

My point is people are different, and that goes for knitting, too. I really like wooden needles, I know people who hate them, and can only do metal. I prefer circulars, even for tasks where I don't need them, other people want straight. It took me a while to figure this out, and then to figure out what kind of stuff I liked knitting.

What might be a really great gift for your wife is either a sample pack of a couple of different needle types and types of yarn, to play with and then a gift certificate for more yarn/tools once she's figured that out. Or alternately, see if your local yarn store (Ravelry can help you find them) would do something like a private lesson where your wife could try out a bunch of things and get some help getting started.

Knitpicks, mentioned above, has a number of nice basic variations on both needles and yarn (for dishcloths, I really prefer their Dishie cotton yarn to others, and dishcloths are a great way to play with technique. Also small enough you can have a finished thing in a reasonable amount of time.)
posted by modernhypatia at 11:56 AM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

It's slightly bad form to take Knitpicks (or other online-purchased) yarn to a local yarn store, so if your wife is going to want to ask questions at a LYS, you should probably buy the yarn and needles there. I'm a big fan of Cascade 220, which is a not-super-expensive workhorse yarn that comes in every imaginable color. I've made both hats and scarves with Cascade 220. Otherwise, Knitpicks is fine, and they also have nice needles.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:56 AM on November 24, 2014 [8 favorites]

Just tell the clerk what you want - most yarn store clerks are quite able to advise you.
BTW, my first project was Argyle socks; they were a lot of trouble, and ultimately unwearable. Easing into a new skill is the way to success.
posted by Cranberry at 11:59 AM on November 24, 2014

Yeah, socks are not an ideal beginner project because turning a heel is definitely an intermediate knitting maneuver.

The materials I would choose to give to a beginning knitter are:

-Wool, ideally merino wool for softness, in a light-to-medium color. Worsted weight or bulky weight. The darker a yarn is, the harder it is to see your stitches, so lighter colors are better for beginners. Cascade 220 (or its bulkier cousin Cascade 128) are fantastic beginner yarns. I like wool better than cotton for beginners because it's stretchier, and wool is warm for winter wear.
You can get reasonably priced Cascade 220 and 128 at Knitpicks Swish or Knitpicks Biggo are also worth looking into.

Acrylic yarn is cheaper. Some of it is pretty nice, some of it is pretty meh in quality. I think wool is so nice that I want to splurge on it regardless, especially since it's Christmas!

-Bamboo needles or wooden needles. They feel nicer on your hands than metal or plastic needles, and they're less slippery. (Stitches sliding off the needles can be a big problem for beginning knitters.) If you're getting worsted yarn, get size 7 or size 8 needles. For bulky yarn, get size 10 or 11 needles. I like the Rainbow and Caspian needles from Knitpicks. Or try Rosewood needles from

A serious knitter will end up needing a lot of different sizes of needles, and circulars as well as straights, and you could consider a needle set so that you don't have to assemble everything piecemeal, but... I think it's smart to get serious about knitting first. (I've heard mixed things about the quality control on the Knitpicks needle sets, but I've had reasonably good luck with mine.)

A new knitter should have yarn needles and a tape measure, if you don't already have one. You can do without most other supplies until you get more advanced.

It's best to get a knitting class in person from a local yarn shop, I think, but she should also have a book for reference; Knitting in Plain English is good and Stitch & Bitch is nice for having a lot of nice beginner-level patterns. (Knitty and Ravelry are indispensable free pattern resources, but it can take some time to accumulate all the skills you need for any given pattern.

Here is a basic scarf pattern that could work for a first pattern -- scarves take a lot of yarn and a fair amount of patience, but really, a square or rectangle is the ideal beginner's pattern.

posted by Jeanne at 12:03 PM on November 24, 2014

Worsted yarn (that's another couple steps up in diameter from sock yarn) and US size 8 needles are the classic beginner's combo. She could make either a scarf or a stocking cap from those. I'd pick the softest yarn you can afford, rather than worry about the fiber content.

Actually, I'd get her enough to make both, and get a pair of US 8 straight needles (for making the scarf) and a set of US 8 double-pointed needles (for making the hat). That way she can start with the flat scarf as a total beginner project, them move on to knitting in the round. If she still likes it, then she could buy circular needles, but those are more of an investment because there are two variables (length and diameter).
posted by Liesl at 12:07 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is it possible to get yarn and needles that would be good for either a scarf OR a beanie so she can pick which would interest her more?

Not really. A beanie will likely require a combination of circular needles and double-pointed needles, neither of which can be used in a scarf project. Honestly, I would really recommend starting out with a scarf (or misshapen square, or whatever is simplest and flattest because knitting can be quite frustrating at first). See how she likes knitting (in general) before investing in specialized needles for hats and stuff.

BUT that said, I think it's a really fun hobby. Hope you guys find it so!
posted by magdalemon at 12:07 PM on November 24, 2014

Is it possible to get yarn and needles that would be good for either a scarf OR a beanie so she can pick which would interest her more?

It depends. Lemme give you a little knitting-needle anatomy to 'splain why.

There are three kinds of needles:

1. straight needles, which you picture in your head when you think of knitting needles;

2. circular needles, which is where you have a length of plastic cord with a needle on either end; and

3. double-pointed needles, which are short and come in sets of about five or so.

All three kinds are useful, depending on the project. But the way you use them is different:

1. With straight needles, you hold the work on one needle and knit each stitch with the other one, then turn the work around and go back the other way. That makes a flat piece of knitting.

2. With circular needles, you can also knit that way, OR you can connect the two ends together so you're knitting a tube-shaped thing. That's a bit trickier, but do-able.

3. The double-pointed needles are used like circular needles to do tubular-shaped things, but they're for a much smaller diameter. I found them really fidgety to work with when I was a beginner (and even once asked a yarn store if I was sure they didn't have a smaller circular needle so I wouldn't have to use the damn things).

Now - you asked whether it was possible to get her a set of needles that would let her do a scarf OR a beanie. The problem is - the scarf would probably be done on the straight needles, but the beanie would probably be on the circular needles. There ARE beanie patterns that let you work on straight needles, but they're' a little hard to find - although, there's one in the Stitch and Bitch book, now that I think about it. But they still involve her having to sew a seam up the back when she's done. (Which, actually, wouldn't be a bad thing to do to practice.) Circular needles aren't that hard to figure out how to use, but having the first step of learning how to knit on straight needles will make it easier.

So I'd go with the straight needles, some yarn, and the stitch and bitch book. In fact, if you get a couple of balls of the yarn and the straight needles, and she makes the beginner's scarf, she'll probably have enough yarn left over to go on and make the beanie pattern from the same book with the leftovers.

But definitely get the book no matter what, because it also teaches you how to READ a knitting pattern in the first place. There's a definite code going on there (a friend of mine once looked at a pattern while I was knitting and remarked "that looks like it's written in KLINGON").
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:10 PM on November 24, 2014

I am going to be contrarian:

1.) I retaught myself to knit on a pair of socks (my mother had attempted to teach me as a child, it did not go well). I borrowed a copy of Debbie Bliss' How to Knit from the library, went to a local yarn shop and asked for yarn/needles/pattern appropriate to knit "thick slipper socks" and ended up with a "universal" sock pattern that allowed me to sub in numbers for my gauge. It wasn't rocket surgery. I even used DPNs for the whole project.

2.) Bamboo needles suck. They sucked when I was a beginner, they suck now. Obviously, this is just my opinion, but anyone who says that bamboo needles are universally better for beginners is wrong.

My advice?

Choose a hat and scarf combo pattern, for example this one (rav link) which is simple enough and will teach both the knit and the purl stitch. (It is unnecessarily gendered (I think the pattern will look cute on anyone, colour dependent)).

Go to a local yarn store with a copy of this pattern and purchase the following:
  • Worsted weight (AKA Medium 4) superwash wool yarn (assuming no wool allergy) in a colour that your wife will like (though preferably a bright colour). Try to stay away from highly "variegated" yarns that have lots of splotches of colour -- they are hard to work with at first. I'd go with a solid, or semi-solid.
  • US 8 (5mm) circular needle with a 16" length - stainless steel
  • US 8 (5mm) double pointed needles - bamboo
  • Whichever "learn to knit" book they recommend
  • Maybe a gift certificate for classes
My reasoning: Having a pattern to start with when you go to the store might make it easier on the store employees as far as finding what you need. They might recommend a different pattern, if they do so, go with their recommendation. The Hat and Scarf combination is good because your wife can decide if she wants to start with a hat or scarf first. I am a fan of teaching people to knit with hats. Scarves are BORING.

Hardly anyone (that I know) knits with the stereotypical "straight" needles on a regular basis anymore. Circulars and DPNs are just more flexible. A beginner can learn to knit flat objects (like a scarf) on a circular needle no problem. If the circulars are causing her A LOT of trouble, she can use just 2 of the DPNs to start with. And she'll need the DPNs to knit the top of the hat (unless she wants to learn a more advanced skill like magic loop). By varying the needle material, your wife can also get a feel for which she likes better.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:21 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am going to be a dissenting opinion here, because if she wants to do socks, there is no reason she should not try. If no one tells her it's a hard thing to do there is no way she'd know that she shouldn't try.

I would suggest getting her some Lamb's Pride Brown Sheep and 10.5 double point and 10.5 16" circular bamboo needles and this pattern and see how she fares. Felted slippers hide a lot of sins.

And if she finds it too hard, THEN she can be like, ok I tried, I'll make a scarf instead (and that yarn is EXCELLENT for scarves. My favorite sweater is knit out of that very yarn).

And I will wholeheartedly agree that the first Stitch and Bitch book is a great book, perfect for a beginner. My other 2 favorite beginner books are Knitting Pretty by Kris Percival, and Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick. The Kids book has the best how to knit instructions I've ever seen.

Good luck! And what a thoughtful gift.
posted by bibliogrrl at 12:23 PM on November 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

The best book for learning to knit for adults as well as kids is Kids Knitting. The projects are ideal for beginners but are still adorable. The illustrated instructions are very easy to follow.

I prefer bamboo needles, especially for beginners, because they do a good job at preventing the yarn from slipping off of the needles. I would suggest starting with single point at an 8, 9, or 10. I would purchase a worsted weight yarn in a light color like grey. Too dark or too bright and the stitches will be hard to see which means hard to figure out what went wrong. And. along those lines, choose a nice smooth yarn, nothing super fuzzy or crazy, like a faux fur or a slippery eyelash kind of yarn. Trying to knit with that sort of stuff is frustrating and she will want to see her stitches easily.

The Kids Knitting book will teach her all the basics, even ribbing which can be a little hard to grasp for a beginner. There are many different ways to cast on, reduce, increase, etc., but, after you learn one way, the others are so much easier.
posted by Foam Pants at 3:55 PM on November 24, 2014

I just started teaching myself to knit last week, with just some random yarn/needles from the craft store. I'm starting with a nice basic scarf and so far it's very satisfying. A sock sounds too hard to start with to me as a newbie, for sure. One thing not mentioned yet that I'm finding helpful, is the video "knitting 101" tutorials at A lot depends on how your wife learns best, but personally, I have been having a hard time following instructions with still photos - videos were really helpful, and these videos in particular have been really useful, they show clearly what is to be done, several times, from several angles, with good verbal explanations. Many of the 101 tutorials are free but I see there are some that are pay, in particular there's a Sock Knitting 101 that is for pay. If your wife, like, me would prefer to teach herself than take an in-person class, it might be nice to buy her a subscription or an individual class or two.
posted by Stacey at 5:42 PM on November 24, 2014

I don't knit much, but my favorite needles are rosewood. They aren't inexpensive, but are so smooth that knitting goes quickly and easily.

Yes...dishcloths, scarfs, baby blankets....they are good beginner projects.
posted by OkTwigs at 5:51 PM on November 24, 2014

I'm one of those people who sort of learned from their mom, but have to relearn everytime they want to make a hat or something.

I find scarves kind of discouraging because they are SO long and SO repetitive. Easy as cake, and frankly good for learning, but boring!

Baby gear is a very typical suggestion for newbies because you get positive results fast. Little hats, little booties, whatever. I think working in the round is easier than working flat, so I do a lot of that when I start up - hats are fairly quick and there are a lot of useful basic techniques to be had. Gloves/mitts are a step up from that, but quite doable once you know the basics. And they're faster, so not quite a bore. :)
posted by aggyface at 9:30 AM on November 25, 2014

Learnt to knit 2 months ago!

I started with dishcloths - there are several online patterns that will just have knit and purl which is fantastic for practicing. Get her a nice quality cotton yarn that will glide with the needles and she can make lots of quick dishcloths for quick and non stressful practice.
posted by shazzam! at 6:31 PM on November 26, 2014

I haven't knitted in a very long time now but I found the videos on this site really helpful when I was learning: Knitting Help

I also started with dishcloths, man I made a lot of dishcloths. But it was fun because I could try all sorts of patterns and practice different stitches. The Sugar and Cream yarn mentioned previously is also quite cheap and easy to find so it was great to start with.
posted by kassila at 7:41 PM on November 26, 2014

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