When you're just starting out knitting, the wide world of patterns available to you might seem daunting and unattainable - especially if you're beginning to navigate tools like the Ravelry pattern search for the first time. A search for a simple hat pattern can yield thousands of results, and combing through page after page in search of the perfect one (without being sure of your skills) is time better spent knitting to improve your skills. To help you out, I've put together a list of some great beginner recommendations for knitting patterns – I'll have a crochet version coming out soon, too.
For knitting, 'basic' skills are basically casting on, knit, purl, and binding off. Some of these patterns do have a little shaping – you can do it! Learning new things is key to developing the skills to make anything you want.
Purl Soho has a wealth of wonderful beginner patterns of all types - you'll see a pattern from them listed in both the Knit and Crochet section of this blog post for that reason. Even better, many of their patterns are available for free - which means that you can look at them before starting or purchasing. For knitting, I love the Broken Garter Scarf (pictured above). This scarf is a step beyond basic garter stitch and adds a 'repeat' element to your knitting. Repeats of stitch patterns are commonly found in patterns, and this simple one is a good way to teach your mind (and hands) to keep track as you work along.
I love these Simple House Slippers from Temple of Knit (pictured above). Another free pattern, these minimalistic slippers are a great choice for gifts and to keep around your house. I have visited quite a few knitter households that have a basket of cozy slippers in varying sizes right by the front door, and it's so nice to feel like one of the tribe when you come in and slip a pair on! They use circular needles, but you can switch to double points if you've already tried them and feel comfortable.
I love this Five by Five Cowl (pictured above), designed by Sweet Georgia Yarns dyer, owner, and operator Felicia Lo to show off vibrant, fun, and intense colorways. If you're already collecting yarn but not sure what to do with it yet, this simple ribbed cowl is created by knitting a scarf, then seaming both ends. I have two of these I've knit for myself and I wear them every winter – they're so simple and beautiful, they match everything!
A go-to for many knitters, the Tin Can Knits' Simple Collection (pictured above) is full of easy beginner patterns, from socks, to hats, to sweaters. The Flax sweater, which comes in sizes for newborns up to adults, is a great first-time sweater. There is a little raglan shaping – meaning increases and decreases – to learn, but it won't take long to understand with the well-written pattern and clear explanation of how to do things like separate the sleeves and finish up.
Designer Wooly Wormhead (pictured above) is well known for her innovative and accessible hat patterns, and Chunkeanie is no exception. This free pattern is knit in chunky yarn and works up fast – by the time you get a hang of using the double pointed needles, you'll be ready to make another.
If you're still not sure where to start, remember that at Knitcrate, we have a wonderful beginning knitting series called Knitcrate Newbies. Former owner Andrea walks you through a variety of beginner patterns that teach you a huge range of skills – a great place to start if you'd like a little extra help. We allow you to access the videos for each class free, or give you the option to order the kit and take the guesswork out of getting started. Find that series here.
Stay tuned, I'll be back soon with some great beginner crochet patterns!
- Hannah Thiessen