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Topic: Need a good beginner yarn.  (Read 1577 times)
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« on: April 21, 2004 02:43:20 PM »

 I am going to teach my grandmother to knit. I was wondering  what size needle to get and a good yarn. I was thinking about some acrylic yarn. It seems the easiest to learn with. And do you know any good beginner patterns to use besides a scarf because it is actually starting to get warm now. I have a pattern for slippers, but it uses ribbing and it might be kinda confusing. Thanks
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2004 05:16:54 PM »

even though it's getting warm, i still did a scarf for my first project (and thought to myself - what a dumb thing to do - i probably won't even like it next winter). I originally used worsted weight cheap yarn and size 8 needles, but it took soooo long, and I got frustrated. Also I was tense, so the gauge got tighter, and tighter, and...

So I switched to really chunky yarn (i'm sorry i can't remember the brand, but it was cotton, and thick, and slightly fuzzy. It was pretty pricey - $26 dollars a hank, but it made a 9 ft. scarf with yarn to spare) and size 15 needles, I was done in 3 hours, and i could go HURRAY!! I MADE SOMETHING!!

I also like the projects in Yarn Girls - most of them seem pretty simple - maybe you could let her pick out what she wants to do.... if she knits in the round, she could get a ton of practice before getting the decreases...?

Or if you have any babies on the way in your family, Heartstrings has a free fuzzy bunny pattern that looks really easy - it basically just a 6" square that you sew into the right shape.

http://www.knitvixen.com - Good Patterns for Bad Girls
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2004 05:58:03 PM »

I am a big fan of size 10.5 needles.  They are big enough to make the project go at a decent speed, without feeling too bulky in your hands.  Yarn size would depend on you "tight" you want the scarf to be.  Making it a little more loose might be nice so she can use it in the fall.  If not a scarf, mabye a shawl?

« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2004 08:04:18 AM »

How cool that you're teaching your grandmother to knit!  It's usually the other way around, right?

FWIW, I started with acrylic yarn (I think it was patons, whatever, it was a smallish skein, not a huge one) and size 8 needles for my "lessons" . . . and my first project was a huge scarf done with super-chunky yarn and size 17 needles (the one out of Stitch n Bitch).  Second project was a cell phone cozy, which was almost like doing a tiny scarf, but in stockinette stitch and with some bind-off and cast-on in the middle.


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« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2004 08:29:42 AM »

Anything plain is a good beginner yarn.  Wool is fine if you want (I prefer acrylic personally) or any basic worsted weight yarn.  Don't use cotton.  Red Heart acrylic gets trashed a lot but it really is easy to work with and super cheap, and it stands up to being ripped and reknit very well.  A complex yarn will just give her fits.

I think it is way cool that you are teaching your grandma to knit.  
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« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2004 09:49:13 AM »

I am a big fan of size 10.5 needles.  They are big enough to make the project go at a decent speed, without feeling too bulky in your hands.

I'd second this.  I recently made a scarf on size 15 needles, and while it did go very quickly, I found the huge needles incredibly awkward to use, and I can't imagine trying to learn on them.  Maybe I just have smaller than average hands, but 10.5 seems like a good, middle-of-the-road size.
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2004 01:11:37 PM »

How cool that you're teaching your grandmother to knit!  It's usually the other way around, right?

    Yeah, that's even what she said! We will probably ask at the store but I'm thinking about size 8. Yeah I know all about huge needles. I have size 35. They were really ackward at first! I'm definalty going with acrylic! Thanks again
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2004 06:12:07 AM »

Ooh, I just thought of something else -- for beginning, go with a light-colored yarn . . . it's easier to see what's going on than with a dark color.  


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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2004 01:41:47 PM »

Where in the world did you get size 35 needles?Huh?

I agree, go 10-11 for the needle size.. That's pretty standard.. Too small is too hard to see... too big is awkward...  Red heart is a great beginning yarn!  The softer yarns slip off the needles too easily, and a textured yarn (ribbon yarn, etc) is hard to work with... I'd also say don't go with wool since you get those stringey hairs that come off...

Plus, Red Heart will wash really soft if you throw the finished project in the washer a few times.

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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2004 02:11:34 PM »

all the advice that's been given is really good - I learned on size 13 needles and the Lion Brand mohair-look yarn that you can get at Michaels and JoAnns.  I chose off-white and it worked really well b/c, as someone else has observed, you can really see what's going on.  The mohair-look yarn was maybe a little fuzzy for a beginner, but it was very soft and pliable, which is important.  I found size 13s to be excellent for my first time out.

And you can find size 35s at Michaels as well - I think Lion Brand makes them - they have a line of plastic needles.  (I've only ever seen 35s in plastic).  They are super-fun to use!  I knitted a rockin' scarf with 35s and some Rowan Big Wool - it was super-long, super-wide, and super-cool.  (It took two skeins, by the way).

Have fun with your grandma!  Smiley

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