Friday, December 11, 2015

Maker Gift Guide : Newbie Knitter

Winter is the best time to learn to knit. When the weather is frightful there is no better place to be than tucked up on the couch with a bit of wool. Start your newbie knitter out right with some beautiful supplies selected to help the most clueless maker figure out what all the knitting fuss is about. 

1. & 2. Books - There are nearly as many knitting books as knitters. For a beginner I would suggest a basic instruction manuel. I love the Vogue Knitting book, its got basic techniques, a small stitch dictionary, and basic fit information for garments. It's a great reference book. The Stitch and Bitch Knitters Handbook covers all the basics of knitting from casting on to finishing using clear illustrations. Either book will demystify knitting for a beginner.

Classes - Knitting is more fun in community. Buy your newbie knitter a class at a local yarn shop where she can bounce ideas off of other makers, and ask for help from an expert. If there are no yarn shops around, give a virtual class. Sites like Craftsy have some great a la carte offerings for beginners. The Learn to Knit Series would be a great gift. Or a few months gift subscription to Creative Bug gives your maker access to lots of bite size video instructions, one technique at a time.

3. Wool Wash - Blocking is an essential part of a successful knitting project. Nobody likes to wait for their finished garment to dry, but some fresh smelling wool wash goes a long was to making a chore into a luxury.

4. - 7. Beginner Knitting Kit - Kits are a great way for a new knitter to focus on building skills one at a time. Purl Soho Kit 4 - Wool and the Gang Kit 5 - Wool and the Gang Kit 6 -  O-Wool Kit 7

8. & 9. Small Notion Pouch - Even the beginner needs a little pouch to keep small supplies (like scissors, stitch  markers, and tapestry needles) safe. This little zip pouch is great for keeping small notions separate within a larger project bag. Maker Maker Pouch 8 - Bookhou Pouch 9

10. & 11. Nice Needles - Most kits don't come with needles because gauge varies from knitter to knitter.  Supplement the kit with a few sizes of needles appropriate for the yarn weight. The easiest beginner needle is wooden and straight like these beautiful Brittany Needles (11). The slight texture of the wood needles keep stitches from slipping off accidentally, and straight needles make it perfectly clear which way you are working. For a more advanced knitter I recommend the (10) Knitters Pride Dreamz 16" fixed circulars. They are my favorite needles at the moment.

10. Project Basket - Once you get a few projects under your belt, things will start to pile up. Keep works in progress neat and tidy in a project bag or basket. I've had my eye on this natural Bolga basket for some time (ahem! Is my husband reading?) For taking a project on the go I like a fabric bag that can close to keep all your bits and pieces safe when you're walking to the park, or waiting for the bus.

More gifts for knitters are on the Newbie Knitter Pinterest board.

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