Purge, Purge, Purge!

When we moved into the house, I felt like I was moving things that I didn’t really need – but I was all out of time to purge anything more. The rest of 2004 was just … craaaaazy. Now it’s a new year, and I’m full of new resolutions – one of which is to purge, purge, purge! Just like I read over at FlyLady, you can never clean clutter – it just keeps getting in the way!

I’m also anxious to be crafty. I have some cards I want to make, yarn to crochet another scarf, and knitting needles so I can finally learn how to knit. Question for the knitters out there – what do you recommend for newbies? The aluminum needles? Plastic? Bamboo? Is one easier to learn on over the other? Suggestions are welcome!

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

26 replies on “Purge, Purge, Purge!”

Personally, I think it’s easier to learn to knit on bigger-sized needles to start, because it’s easier to get a feel for the yarn and to see your stitches. I started on 15s, but you can go MUCH bigger (30s?) if you find it easier. Also, I’ve never used bamboo, but I find plastic easier than aluminum, because it seems like the yarn slips less on the plastic. Happy knitting!

For just learning to knit, I got myself some size 13 bamboo knitting needles. Really helped a lot. a good learning yarn is Lion Brand Wool Ease. There are two different kinds of this yarn. One is the smaller worsted weight, and the other is the larger chunky weight. Go with the chunky weight. It knits up beautifully too, and it doesnt’ cost an arm and a leg like specialty yarns. Once you get going, try using some of the cheaper worsted weight yarns, and even though they are noisy, I prefer the aluminum needles, because they glide more easily over the yarn, allowing you to knit faster. I kinda like the way they click, too.


I learnt to knit on 4mm needles (may be a different size/name in the US?) that are made from casein. I love casein needles, they are so smooth and warm to the touch.
If you get stuck, try picking up a learn to knit book made for children, the directions are usually clearer and much more helpful. We should have a blogger knitting newbies knitalong! 🙂

I’d say bamboo, definitely bamboo… or just wood in general. I’ve found that yarn tends to slip less on wood ones and they’re so smooth.

as for yarns… I’d recommend a non-fuzzy yarn so you can see your stitches. While wool ease is nice I’d kind of recommend the lion brand lion cotton – so many colors to choose from, a nice weight and then you can start off making small things – and finishing them (which helps hugely i think).

Books – I’ve liked the stitch and bitch ones. and
that’s my two cents.

I’m going through the same thing – we just moved and all I can do is marvel at all the crap we have! Where did it all come from? Truly, our accumulation of random material posessions is amazing, especially since I came out to the East Coast with only a suitcase!

I don’t knit so I can’t make any recommendations there, but making mealt & mold soaps is fun. 🙂

I learned on the Stitch and Bitch book, with a few others tossed in for good measure [this was the day after Christmas, mind you], and plenty of online sites.

Needles – my first pair were aluminum and I hated them. They hurt my fingers too much to enjoy using. I tried a birch pair – hated them too, they felt too soft and I did not like the way the yarn stuck to them. So that leaves me with plastic, which I love. Lengthwise I like the 14 inch, although I just broke down and ordered a set of Denise Interchangeable Needles on eBay and I looove them.

That Knitalong Alysha mentioned is a good idea, sign me up!

Oooh, how fun to have a knitalong in the works, well, future works. The biggest item I’ve completed is the Harry Potter Prisoner of Azkaban scarf, so I’m not that experienced. Something from Knitty ( would be fun – easy for everyone to access too. Knit on! 🙂

I would vote for bamboo or plastic. Bamboo is lighter, but some people find it easier to have a bit of weight in their hands. *shrug* Metal is heavy and somewhat awkward to use. One problem I have had with smaller size metal needles is that they would bend.

I vote for bamboo.. Yet the Denise Needle Set made out of plastic is a must have for a newbie knitter. All sorts of sizes, ALL IN ONE BOX!

I learnt to knit with aluminium needles when I was i child, but when I started knitting again two years ago I had to buy my own needles and all they had in the shop was wood. I got the cheapest, which was cotton, but one day I needed 4mm needles and they ony had the expensive kinds. I got rosewood needles and they are not only beautiful to look at, heavier than bamboo and smooth to hold, but they are made from spare wood form music instrument-making. Which is kind of nice. Music in the knitting. Now I’ve written a lot but anyhow I’d say start with 4 or 5 mm needles, and don’t go too big on the needles – big needles are difficult to hold. Good luck!

Thanks for the flylady link…it looks great =D

I tried knitting when my dog was a puppy, and I woke up to a yarn explosion in the living room (she’s at Rainbow Bridge now). Now I have cats, and wonder if they’d do the same with the yarn?

I totally think you should start on bamboo needles. Start with garter stitch washcloth’s on size 7 needles. I don’t recommend using HUGE needles at first, regardless of what they’re made out of, they’re heavy and clumsy. Start with a mid-sized needle and small project. Get the book ‘Knitting Pretty’ by Kris Percival and study those pictures! That’s how I taught myself. 🙂

I started with aluminum (from all of the knitting stuff my mother in law gave me) and have found that I prefer those over plastic and wood. Some of the cheaper aluminum needles aren’t too pleasant to work with though. For the larger needles (17 and up) I do prefer plastic and I don’t know why.

When teaching my niece and her little knit group, I found that short size 8s and a light multicolored yarn worked well. The color variations helped them to see what their stitches were doing. The first SnB was a great reference tool for them as well.

I actually liked aluminum best when I was learning, because I tended to knit too tightly (which I understand is common), and the needles were smooth, so I could still move the yarn around. Actually, I’m not sure that’s much of a recommendation, to say they helped indulge my bad knitting habbit!

Now, my favorite are bamboo needles. Sweet, light, soft bamboo! Mmmm.

Help! I have looked all over the web and Houston too, and can’t seem to find a knitting class anywhere on the northwest side of town. I really think that I would enjoy knitting, if I can just find someone to teach me how. Do you have and ideas? I appreciate your help.

I’ve been a flybaby for a couple of years now, and I’m STILL not decluttered, but I’m getting there!

As for the knitting, I’d recommend using a smooth, worsted weight yarn, so that your stitches will be easy to see. Also, I would recommend about a size 9 or 10 needle – that’s a fairly medium size, and anything bigger can be awkward if you’re not used to them. Bamboo needles are nice because they’re light, and the yarn won’t slip as much as it would on aluminum.

A book I would recommend to a beginning knitter is “The Knitting Experience: The Knit Stitch”. It has the basics, it’s easy to follow with good illustrations, and the author has a fun approach. It also has some simple patterns that still look cool.

I love the aluminum, especially with yarns that have mohair. The aluminums have sharper points than plastic (and alums don’t wear done) and they work well with fuzzy yarns that the plastic needles get hung up on.

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