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To enter a yarn store you will feel somewhat like a child in a candy store. So many different colours, hues, shades and textures. The Artist, Vincent Van Gogh found his oil paints too expensive. So instead of buying all the colours he would need to find a pallet for a painting, he would use a bowl of knitting yarn to help select his palette. That is the depth of the choices you will have.

It is hard to decide even at my age. However, beware if you are trying your first piece with some of these inviting soft fluffy or thick /thin yarns, you will be so frustrated you will never knit again. As you grow in your experience, you find the confidence you need to work with these more challenging yarns. 

As this is for beginners, we will start with some of the basics. But don’t worry that doesn’t mean we have to give up on colour.

Yarns are determined by weight. However this is very confusing to beginners because it means in this case THICKNESS of the fibre. There are 7 different thickness in the U.S.A. They range from 0-lace to 6-super bulky.

As a beginner, we will concentrate on 2 weights:

In this range, you will find:

  • Wools:- Lambs, Merino, Virgin Shetland and Icelandic  Some wools are chemically treated to allow machine washing. It is important to read the labels carefully. Wools not chemically treated  must be hand washed.
  • Cotton: This yarn may be 100% cotton or mixed with other yarns.
  • Synthetics: Nylon, Acrylic and Polyester. There are plant based additions to this class of yarns: Soy. Bamboo, Corn and a newcomer is Modal.  Modal is used a lot in ready to wear and is made from Beech Trees. It has a great “hand” to it and feels like silk.

The easiest way to start knitting is to start something simple. You can start with maybe a scarf. You could choose a variegated yarn for your scarf. A variegated yarn is one that is dyed more than one colour on a skein. We have a few examples in our shop. The variation of the color will help you create a interesting colorful scarf.


Maybe a scarf is not quite your thing. You could choose a cotton yarn (Miss Mattie has a yarn 100% cotton) to create a knit washcloth or dish clothes. These projects are simple and a good way to practice casting on, knitting and binding off.

If you have any questions let us know in the comments below.  Next month come back, we will start in with some of the basics.  So get your needles and yarn ready next month we start knitting. 

Weight – DK

Elegant Yarns Kaleidoscope Yarn, Marsh Land

Weight – Worsted

Croft Shetland Tweed 754 Heylor

Berroco Modern Cotton Yarn Del

Variety Assortment Lily Sugar’n Cream Yarn 100 Percent Cotton Solids and Ombres (6-Pack) Medium Number 4 Worsted Bundle with 4 Patterns (Purple Set)