Do you have a crafty friends who has tried everything…except knitting? Maybe they are beaders, polymer clay experts, sewers, crochet-ers, but the idea of knitting has seemed like a unsurmountable task? And all those needles…which ones do you need? Circular, double-pointed, traditional, there are a lot of choices for beginning knitters, but there is at least one way to make it easier: Denise interchangeable knitting needles.
Individual knitting needles can be from $6.00 to $19.00 or even more depending on their material (bamboo, aluminum, etc.) and on their type (circular, double-pointed, etc.). If you are just getting to know knitting or want to seriously get started and have plenty of options for projects, Denise is the only way to go. For about $50.00 (50.00 for blue set, 54.95 for pink supporting breast cancer), you will receive a set of 10 pairs of needles, US sizes 5-15, with cords that can be used for straight or circular knitting. With the included stitch markers and cord extenders, circular knitting on Denise can support sizes from 17″ to 58″. It all comes in a handy, cute plastic case that the entire set snaps neatly in to. The case is also safe and approved for airline travel, and the whole set is guaranteed for life. It is a great gift to give for someone who has just been too intimidated by the variety of knitting basics to commit to the hobby. With this set, I am able to do most projects I take on, with most all the sizes needed at my fingertips-no unnecessary trips to the local craft store to pick up another size.
Also, in case you do need some extra-large needles for that lacy scarf or shawl, Denise provides large size needles (US 17, 19) , extra cords, markers, extenders, etc. all on their website and give locations of local stores who carry their products.
For an excellent resource on the basics and techniques of knitting for beginners, Stitch ‘n Bitch The Knitter’s Handbook, by Debbie Stoller is recommended by this writer. It will only set you back about $14.00, and with her book I was able to learn the basics of knitting on my own (through lots of practice and determination, don’t get me wrong), and move from being a beginner to intermediate. Secondly, visit YouTube for some great videos on how-to basics. I learned more complicated techniques from this site, and there is a good selection of important stitches to learn.
Knitting is not easy, keep this in mind. It takes tenacity, self-forgiveness, and patience. I am not a great self-teacher and believe me, not known for patience. However, even I was able to learn and am now knitting intermediate projects with pictures and colors. You can do it too, just follow this advice: if you get stuck, don’t give up. Hop on your computer and google it, there are numerous sites with tons of help for beginners to experts. Knitting is rewarding (especially to someone who needs projects to be practical) and you will never get tired of the magic of making a real garment, gift, toy, or whatever out of a simple ball of yarn.