Best Knitting Supplies for Knitters of Every Level

When you first learn to knit it seems like the list of supplies needed is pretty short: just yarn and needles. Fabulous! And then you come across a pattern that mentions stitch markers... and then a cable needle... and blocking mats... and suddenly you realize there's a whole slew of knitting supplies available! How do you choose the best option for your experience level and your budget?

Well, let's start with the basics: knitting supplies for beginners. Yep, that's the knitting needles and yarn.

But first, a little caveat.

I know this makes picking out your knitting supplies a little more difficult, but I do want you to know that there's a reason there are so many different options: everyone has a different preference when it comes to their knitting supplies. Especially their yarn and needles. That also means there is no right or wrong selection, and there is no "best option." As knitters, we each have a different tension, and different ways of holding our needles and yarn.

Another thing that I want to point out, which may seem a bit obvious, is that cheapest isn't necessarily always the best route to go. If a knitting tool that you're using is making your knitting process frustrating or irritating, it may be a good idea to start looking at an alternative tool, which often requires a bigger investment.

This year I finally invested in some new knitting supplies that have been absolute game-changers. The decision to purchase these products was something I had been hmm'ing and ha'ing over for multiple months. I finally let myself invest in these knitting supplies, and it truly makes my knitting so much more enjoyable. The investments I made this year were my Chiagoo interchangeable needles and my yarn swift and ball winder (don't worry, I talk all about them later on!), and now I don't have to dread getting my yarn ready for my next project; nor do I have to fight my old broken knitting needles as I work on a project. It feels so good.

Selecting Your Knitting Needles

Ok, so let's get into picking out your knitting needles. That seems like it should be an easy enough task, right? Yes, until you find out there are straight knitting needles, circular knitting needles (including interchangeable knitting needles), and double pointed knitting needles... as well as bamboo knitting needles, metal knitting needles, and plastic knitting needles! Oof -- so many options! Don't worry; I won't get into all of them here; but if you are interested in all the information, head over to this blog post all about selecting your knitting needles.

In that blog post I include several options (with a bit of discussion around the options) including different materials, types, and price levels, but the top three knitting needles that I always recommend are an inexpensive set of straight bamboo needles, an inexpensive set of circular bamboo needles, and a high-quality set of metal interchangeable knitting needles.

Note: this blog post may contain affiliate links (so, if you purchase using the link, and the product qualifies, I may receive a small monetary compensation for recommending the product; it does not change the cost of the product for you), but I continue to recommend the exact same products that I've always recommended!

Straight Knitting Needles for Beginner Knitters

If you're an absolute beginner knitter with a small budget, I recommend a simple pair of straight bamboo needles, like this set with 18 pairs from Amazon, which currently costs $10 USD.

Circular Needles for Knitters New to Working in the Round

If you're just wanting to try out circular needles and you have a limited budget, I recommend this bamboo circular knitting needle set on Amazon.with 18 needles, a case, and a few additional knitting supplies for $18 USD.

Interchangeable Knitting Needles for the Knitter Ready to Invest in High Quality Needles They'll Have Forever

My absolute favorite needles are from Chiagoo's Red Lace Twist interchangeable knitting needle set. You can get the Twist set with 5 inch needle tips or with 4 inch needle tips, available on Amazon for $160 USD and $165 USD, respectively. Both sets include 6 cables and 13 needle sizes, and a few additional knitting supplies.

Choosing Your Yarn

Talking all about different yarn options is going to take a few more blog posts (I'll come back and link them when they're up!), but here are a few of my favorite yarns (and my go-to staples) for beginner knitters and/or those with a limited yarn budget.

Lily Sugar 'n Cream

This is the first yarn I ever worked with, and I still come back to it when I need an inexpensive cotton yarn. It's not an all-purpose yarn, though. Lily Sugar 'n Cream is 100% cotton, and it's not the softest yarn to work with, but it's perfect for working up dishcloths and towels!

Loops & Threads Charisma

If you're familiar with the My Favorite Cable Headband knitting pattern, you'll recognize this yarn! Loops & Threads Charisma is an extremely soft and fuzzy 100% acrylic yarn that is exactly what you want to feel next to your skin during the cold winter months! I also knit up the gray Nestled Diamonds Blanket with this yarn.

Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick

This 80% acrylic, 20% wool blend is my go-to cozy yarn for super bulky knits. It knits up quickly, looks great (and is available in many different color options) and is machine washable, making it a great yarn for gift knitting! Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick is also the yarn that I used for the My Favorite Simple Knit Hat and With Love From the North Mittens knitting patterns.

Lion Brand Heartland

Oh my goodness. This is another super amazing 100% acrylic yarn. Lion Brand Heartland is a worsted weight yarn that looks absolutely beautiful knit up. I used to use it held double for some of the hats that I sold on Etsy, and I have plans of someday designing a knit blanket with this yarn. I definitely recommend!

Darning Needle / Tapestry Needle

Alright, so that's the bare necessities of your knitting supplies: the yarn and the needles! The other knitting supply you really need is a sewing, tapestry, or darning needle to weave in your ends at the end of your project. While a metal darning needle feels a bit sturdier, there really isn't anything wrong with a plastic darning needle. You won't be using this needle for nearly as long as you'll be using your knitting needles either!

If you're already making a purchase from Knit Picks, I recommend picking up this set of two metal darning needles with a case on Knit Picks for $5.95 USD. These needles, with the bent end, can be really handy for trying to get into the stitches while weaving in your ends.

Otherwise, you can get a set of 15 straight metal sewing needles of varying sizes with a nice wooden case on Amazon for $6.79 USD, a set of 18 metal tapestry and sewing needles (half of them have a bent end) in varying sizes with a clear box on Amazon for $7.99 USD, or a set of 30 plastic sewing needles (with no bent ends and no case) on Amazon for $4.49 USD.

So, those are the most important knitting supplies for beginners, but as you begin to invest more of your time in knitting, you will likely want to add a few more knitting supplies to your collection, to enhance your knitting experience.

Other Knitting Supplies You Want to Have On Hand

You can find yourself in all sorts of rabbit holes discovering adorable knitting supplies, but at the core, the tools you'll need are quite simple, and can be relatively inexpensive. The other knitting supplies I strongly recommend you get are needle protectors, stitch markers, a cable needle, and a measuring tape or gauge ruler. You won't need the cable needle until you start working on a project that uses cables, but the others will be useful starting with your first knitting project!

Knitting Needle Protectors

Have you ever had your needles poke through your knitting project bag, or much worse, had your stitches fall off your needles when you weren't working on the project? Using needle protectors fixes both of those issues by covering the tips of your needles! Needle protectors can generally be categorized as either needle stoppers or needle keepers (also referred to as a needle minder or a needle cozy). Needle stoppers are just placed on the tip of your needles, while a cover or case is placed around the entire needle. (If you're working with circular needles, the cable part will hang outside the cover, but the needle portion will fit inside the cover)

Knit Picks sells needle stoppers as a set of two pairs for just over $1 USD per pair. Do note that there are different sizes, so you may want to get a set of the small size and a set of the large size!

Amazon has an option with 20 needle stoppers (10 small and 10 large) and a storage container for just over $5 USD.

The needle stoppers that I have came from Michael's. It's this set with two pairs for about $4 USD. Really, I think they will all be very similar, so it's most just a matter of where you're already buying your other supplies from, for the sake of shipping!

I've primarily found the knitting needle keepers from handmade sellers. There are a few plastic and cardboard tube options, but I don't like the bulkiness of those versions for storing in my project bag. Below I've selected a few shops from Etsy that I would purchase a needle keeper from. This includes KnitterBag from Lithuania, MarasScarves from Australia, KnittingBagAndCase from the United Kingdom, and FlyYarns from the United States. These options range from $8 to $14 USD.

Knitting Stitch Markers

As you begin to work more complicated patterns, stitch markers can be so helpful! You'll mostly use them to mark the beginning of a round (for a circular project) and to mark the beginning of each repeat within a pattern. You can find super cute handmade stitch markers with all sorts of decoration, but the simple shapes (I mostly use circle and lightbulb shapes) are actually my favorite, because then I don't have the extras getting in my way. If you're also a crocheter, you'll want the locking stitch markers (which allows you to remove the stitch marker from a stitch). They are also referred to as removeable stitch markers. As a knitter, you'll place the stitch marker on the needle and just slide the marker off when you approach it on the needle.

I haven't ever used the flexible stitch markers, but I love working with the metal stitch markers... in part just because I feel more sophisticated with them, and in part because they aren't as bulky!

Amazon has several inexpensive options such as this metallic set with multiple sizes of circles plus lightbulb shaped markers for $10 USD, this set of 150 plastic removeable stitch markers for $6 USD, and these adorable fabric yarn ball stitch markers for $8 USD.

Knit Picks also has multiple options including a set of 100 metal stitch markers, a set of 30 flexible stitch markers in two sizes, and a set of 20 locking stitch markers, ranging from $2 to $3 USD per set.

Cable Needle or Knitting Stitch Holder

To work cables, you'll need a cable needle, which is basically like a double pointed needle that is bent so it can hold stitches temporarily. My top recommendation for purchasing a cable needle is this set on Amazon that includes 9 different metal stitch holder options in varying sizes. This will allow you try all of the options in a durable material. If you prefer a plastic material, my top picks are this package of plastic U-cable stitch holders (which look like a hook) or this package of plastic needles with an indent for holding your stitches, both on Amazon.