Starting a knitting hobby could be the perfect antidote to boredom, stress and anxiety, and dissatisfaction with work. The focus on the complicated, repetitive actions of knitting promote a mindful attitude and can help you slow your thoughts and give you a break from the stresses that are worrying you.

If you want to knit successfully and not have your project brought to a halt for lack of the right materials, you need to be sure you have the essentials in stock. Today we’re taking a look at precisely what you need to knit successfully.


Choosing a set of knitting needles is harder than you might think, and you might need more than one or two pairs. There are different materials to consider which affect how it feels to knit with them and the ease with which you can work. There are also different designs of needle that you may need for work on different projects.

The standard knitting needle you probably imagine when you hear the words are known as straight needles, used for ‘flat knitting’ – knitting making a flat surface like a blanket or scarf. These can be made of metal, plastic or wood. Each of these affects yarn differently: metal is more slippery than plastic or wood for example, which means you can knit more quickly, but at the cost of an increased risk of dropping stitches. Try out a few different types of needle to find what’s right for you.

If you want to knit in the round, creating socks, collars or cuffs, for example, you’ll need either circular or double pointed needles, which allow you to create these more complicated projects more easily. Again, if you’re able to, try different options out before you commit. If you have a friend with lots of knitting supplies, ask if you can borrow different varieties of needle to see which is best for you. You could also try different arts and crafts subscription boxes – this is a cheaper, easy way to try different tools and materials and build a library for future projects.


The most commonly used material for knitting yarn is wool, its popularity means it’s available in standard weights and lengths, allowing you to quickly build a stock of different colours to seamlessly vary the look of your projects.

That said, knitting is the craft of linking loops of yarn using knitting needles, not using wool. You can use silk, cashmere, and even alpaca hair among other materials, so you have the opportunity to experiment, and ensure your box of knitter’s essentials is well stocked.

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