Green Crafty Q&A: Beginner Knitting Tools

Green Crafty Q&AAs Crafting a Green World continues to grow, new ideas and opportunities for us to share our eco-creative experiences are ever flourishing. Today we are premiering our first-ever Q&A segment, which we hope will be the beginning of a long line of crafty questions from our readers.

Our first question comes from one of Green Options‘ own, Noelle d’Estries.

Q: I’d like to get my sister into knitting — what are the basic tools I should set her up with, along with these beginner books? – Noelle

A: First off, I have to say congrats for getting your sister into knitting! Once she learns the basics, a whole world of creativity will open up to her and she will be forever grateful to you for bringing her into that world.

Other than the knitting needles and yarn appropriate for her first project; which most people recommend to be a scarf (there is a specific pattern for a beginner scarf in the Stitch ‘n Bitch book mentioned on our Top 5 Must-Have DIY Knitting Tomes); the following tools are vital for every level of knitting connoisseur:

  • Small scissors
  • Row counter
  • Point protectors (for the ends of knitting needles)
  • Tape measure
  • Crochet hook (key tool for project “surgery”)
  • A yarn needle (also called a “tapestry” or “darning” needle)

You can easily buy all of these separately for under $30 and put them into a nice little tote or cosmetics bag (something with a zipper on top) for her to keep with all of her projects. The following tools are used frequently during more intermediate and advanced projects, so she will want to add these to her collection later on:

  • Safety pins
  • Stitch holders
  • Stitch markers
  • Needle gauge
  • Cable needles

A nice addition to her new knitting kit would be a small/travel bottle of hand lotion or balm. You might be surprised just how dry you hands can get after stitching and purling for an hour or so – she will be relieved to have this on-hand after her sessions (no pun intended).

[[ From basic to brain boggling, we welcome your sustainable stitching queries either via comment on one of our other Q&A posts or directly via e-mail. Knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, pottery, paper arts … if you make it, we can answer your questions on how to make it better. ]]

Written by Victoria Everman

I think of myself as a creatively versatile eco-powerhouse. Freelance writer, life-long model, on-camera personality, public speaker, official U.S. spokesperson for Twice Shy Clothing - I'm a classic Renaissance woman and mistress-of-all-trades.

Though my days of growing up in the corn fields of central Indiana are behind me, forgetting where I came from is not an option. I lost my father unexpectedly in March of 2006, months before moving from NYC to San Francisco, which helped to amplify my zest for life and thirst to help change the world.

Perpetually looking for fresh ways to share my unquenchable green knowledge, I blog about everything eco on my own website, as well as for All Green Magazine and select others. Additionally, I am the editor/head writer of Crafting a Green World (part of the Green Options blog network) and a writer/web editor for Building Green TV. My diverse articles have been published in variety of reputable magazines, such as: Yoga Journal, Venus, CRAFT, Yogi Times, Recovery Solutions, M+F, and Office Solutions.

In my spare time, you can find me knitting, reading, singing, taking pictures, practicing yoga, taking long walks, and working on my first non-fiction book. Other random facts about me: I'm a Buddhist, latex fan, have four tattoos, and an attempting locavore.



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  1. Good list! If you want to avoid clutter and expense, you can easily get buy without point protectors (which serve to keep your knitting on your needles when you aren’t knitting)–just be sure to put your knitting down carefully and don’t take it out of your project bag without knowing where your needles ends are.

    To the first category, I’d add one of those needle gauges with a ruler on the edge. A tape measure is great for measuring big pieces, but for measuring a gauge swatch I’ve found that a solid edge is key. Some people like to use little rulers for this, but if you want to cut down on the amount of gear you’re buying (and carrying) just get a needle gauge with a built-in ruler edge.

  2. This is great – I love the new Q&A feature. For those of us with “creative quandaries” in the future, should we send them in through the “contact” page?

  3. Budget startup tips: Rubber bands work just fine for point protectors, and safety pins or small loops of yarn for stitch markers and stitch holders. I use a clear soft plastic pencil envelope (the sort made to go into a three-ring notebook, less than $1 from an office supply shop) to hold all these goodies.

    If I were fostering someone else’s knitting hobby – I’d give them a subscription to Interweave Knits magazine, and let her choose her own tools. We all tend to be particular.

  4. Awesome! Thanks so much for the tips — I especially like the idea of putting everything in a funky cosmetic bag, good way to wrap the gift! Thanks again – Noelle

  5. Help! I am looking for a place that will show me how to beasket weave plastic bags that does not require me to know how to knit or crochet (i’ve tried…just not that talented…)

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