"A beginner should use medium weight yarn such as sock and sweater yarn and #4 or #5 needles for practice work, making the various stitches in small swatches until a satisfactory degree of proficiency is reached. It is also wise to work a sample swatch of each new stitch used in a garment before starting to knit it. This serves two purposes. It will familiarize you with the stitch before you start to knit and to shape a garment. Also it will serve as a stitch gauge to compare with the measurements in which the original model was made."
Good Reading Rack Service, 1956