While all that is required to begin knitting is yarn and knitting needles, there is a wide variety of knitting accessories available for specific knitting needs. These accessories include yarn and needles, but also bags, books, rolls and patterns. These accessories make it easier to knit, especially for someone learning to knit, and may be required for certain projects.
There are three basic types of knitting needles: single-point, double-point, and circular knitting needles. All come in many sizes. Single-point needles are often used for making flat knit patterns. One end has a point and the other end is capped to stop knitting from slipping off the needle. They can be made of a variety of materials, including plastic, wood or aluminum. Double-point needles have a point on each end and are typically used to make seamless items, such as socks or sleeves. Circular needles are commonly made of a nylon or plastic tubing with stable tips on each end. They serve the same function as double-point needles but can accommodate larger work. Less common are cable needles, which are curved to allow the knitter to catch the cabled part of the pattern in the curve.
One of the most popular knitting accessories is a knitting roll, which knitters who use a variety of needle sizes and types use to store their supply. The roll is a long, flat piece of fabric with slots sewn on one side. The needles fit into the slots and a flap of fabric flips over the open end of the slots to keep the needles in place. The fabric is then rolled up from one end and tied shut to allow for easy, portable needle storage.
There is a nearly endless variety of knitting yarns available. What type of yarn a knitter uses typically depends on the project and the knitter's budget. Yarn can be found in a variety of different colors, patterns, textures, fibers, weights and ply.
Knitting books can be found on everything from beginning knitting to complicated projects. Some of the projects covered include children's knits, socks and sweaters. Specialty books also may include projects to knit with one skein of yarn, blankets and toys. These books sometimes include knitting patterns. Patterns can also be bought individually or found in knitting-related magazines.
Many knitters like to work on projects to pass the time while waiting. To keep all of their knitting accessories portable and organized, knitting bags are necessary knitting accessories. Any bag could suffice, but bags made specifically to house knitting accessories usually include compartments; snaps instead of zippers, so knitting projects don't get stuck; and hard sides for better durability.