pure beginner - nervous/needs advise

Hello Everyone,

I'm going to make my first attempt at knitting (in my entire life) this week in a short class being held at our public library. (I'm 51 and want to start a new hobby that will take me away from the computer for awhile.)

The course instructor gave a list of items to purchase to bring to the first session. I went to Michael's (a chain-craft store out here in California) to get the stuff this afternoon, but was confused by the wide variety of wool. Also, there was a shortage of knitting needles.

I'm just wondering if I might have better luck buying these things at an online store. If anyone thinks thats a good idea, could you provide me with a link to an online store? This is the "shopping list".

-Approximately 400 yards of worsted weight yarn. (Can also use 200 yards each of 2 different colors.)
Most feltable yarns will say they are feltable on the label.
Suggested yarns:
-Cascade 220
-Lion Wool
-Patons Classic Wool
-Noro “Kureyon”
-1 pair US Size 9 straight knitting needles, any material.
-Darning needle
-Measuring Tape

Class starts Wednesday evening. As usual, I've left this to the last minute!



asbrigida's picture

Hey Daryl,

Good luck on the class. Is there a yarn store near you? When I started knitting, I got a lot of help from a local yarn store. I was able to find the yarn, needles and notions I needed for my first project. I also received a lot of helpful advice. One thing I would say . . . stick with it. I was frustrated when I first started. It will come together in time.

All the best,


daryldarko's picture

There is actually a fabric store down the street from me. I'll check the local listings to see if there is a yarn store nearby. That sounds like a good idea!

And sticking with it. Equally good advise. I know it's going to feel weird doing something new and different with my hands. Hopefully I'll like it!

Thanks Alan!

Bill's picture

I know there are yarn stores in Concord...and maybe even closer to San Ramon, and definitely in Berkley/Oakland.
The Cascade 220 is always safe...and available everywhere.
If you ever get into San Francisco, we have a great Monday Night Knit group at the Caffe
Trieste on Market at Gough...we'd Love to have you join us...one of our guys comes in from Concord.

daryldarko's picture

Hi Bill,

I just found a LYS in Dublin called THAT YARN STORE. I'll go check them out tomorrow. And Cascade 220. Got it!

And a knitting group at Cafe Trieste? Are you kidding? I'll definitely come over and check that out some time.


Bill's picture

Much as we'd love to have you join us in San Francisco...there is also a knitting group at the Caffe Trieste in Berkeley...don't know what night, but the cafe could tell you.

TrvVn5's picture

Hey Daryl. Welcome to our insanity. I, much like the others who have stated already, would try to find a local yarn store (LYS). Your LYS is probably going to have a better selection of needles, better quality needles, and better yarn. We have Michaels here in PA where I live and I find that they just don't have the selection for my needs. Plus, I always have problems finding pure yarns at Michaels. Almost everything is a mixed fiber and half of them are mixed with acrylic, which will in no way felt like the class is asking for.

How mean that they are going to make you buy straight needles. I'd cry if I had to go back to using straights. Nothing but circulars for me anymore.

daryldarko's picture

Circular needles, I'll ask about that right from the start. If it's going to make it easier to learn with, I'm all up for that! And I just searched for a LYS and there is one in Dublin, just 5 minutes away. I'll go there tomorrow and get my stuff.

Thanks TrvVn5!

Crafty Andy's picture

Visit Crafty Andy's Blog
Hey Daryl, welcome to our group, there is a place http://www.knitmap.com this place is great to find Local Yarn Stores and it can be fun as well. Give it a try. There ae nice stores in San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley.

eyedoc's picture

Welcome to our group!
There are many, many online stores...www.lionbrand.com, www.knitpicks.com, www.jimmybeanswool.com, www.anniesattic.com, www.herrschners.com. The list goes on and on.
Good luck!


PaulJMC's picture

Ditto boys

One of the best things I did was to find a great local store. the staff are really helpful and encouraging.

Have fun - you'll get addicted like the rest of us.

Paul :)

In cielo non c'e vino...beviamolo sulla terra!

albert's picture

Welcome, Daryl! Whatever is the result of your first attempt, frame it and keep it.

MMario's picture

We expect a report after your class....

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Lots of luck, Daryl. Welcome to the site...we are a great community. Although, I must confess to using the computer more because I enjoy it here so much. Good thing I rely on public computers or else I'd practically never leave. Enjoy knitting...it is fantastic. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Kerry's picture

Welcome Daryl.

daryldarko's picture

Hey Guys!

Well, the class went pretty well last night. It was only 90 minutes long but by the end I had a pretty good feel for what I was doing, AND actually enjoyed it. I'm afraid that by the time I got home and tried to pick up where I left off I forgot how to do it though. Fortunately, the teacher is a full time reference librarian at our library and she said it was ok to stop by and ask her for advice at any time. Also, she has a series of youtube videos illustrating how to do the different moves. The important thing is that I DID actually enjoy the process and think that once I get a little more time under my belt you won't be able to stop me! This is SOO cool!

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement,

MMario's picture


Knitting is so much more portable then carpentry....

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

You think TSA gets tough on knitting needles...think of the fun trying to get saws and knives on board! -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Bill's picture

Monday Night Knitters are here to help you!
...just drop by Caffe Trieste from 6-9pm.

michaelpthompson's picture

We have Michaels here in Colorado too, but I prefer Hobby Lobby, which is a similar chain, but in my experience they have better selection of yarn and needles and such.

Of course a YLS will have a better selection yet, and friendly, helpful people, though their prices can also be somewhat higher. I've seen yarn for nearly ten bucks a skein in the LYS that's available online for half that, but remember, it's worth it to support the store that will support you. You'll never get that same friendly advice from an online source.

"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."