beginner-friendly-patterns

10 Free beginner-friendly knitting patterns

I have collected 10 free knitting patterns that can be knitted by the brand new knitter. All you need to know in advance is how to cast on, knit, and purl. The projects presented here are all excellent choices for your very first knitting project, but they are cool enough that you may find yourself inspired even if you are an experienced knitter. Best of all, almost all the patterns have detailed tutorials.

Every pattern is knitted flat, which means that you knit back and forth on two straight, single-pointed needles, as opposed to knitting tubes of fabric on circular needles or double-pointed needles. There’s one exception of a knitted blanket which is still knitted flat, but on circular needles to accommodate a large number of stitches. A few of the patterns involve only the knit stitch (when all stitches are knitted it’s called garter stitch), but most are a combination of both the knit stitch and the purl stitch. You will find patterns here with stockinette stitch, 1×1 ribbing, 2×2 ribbing, waffle stitch, seed stitch, and double seed stitch. One of the patterns introduces the concept of shaping your knitting with increases and decreases, but the rest involve no shaping. There’s a huge variety of items you can make from simply knitting rectangles and seaming them up in different ways. I hope these patterns will inspire you to make your own creations as well.

Scarves

Chunky garter stitch scarf

chunky garter stitch scarf free knitting pattern from thesprucecrafts.com
A chunky garter stitch scarf is a great choice for a first project. It’s a relatively fast knit, and you can get started on a real project before you’ve even learned how to purl. Also, it’s super cute. Click the image to go to the pattern.

The Harry Potter scarf

Harry Potter scarf, free pattern from Sheep & Stitch
This is a really nice project to try your hand at colored stripes. The 1×1 ribbing is easy to learn and a great knitting skill to have. And who doesn’t want a Harry Potter scarf! I’m a Ravenclaw – no doubt about it. Click the image to go to the pattern.

Corner to corner – Grandmother’s Favorite Dishcloth

Knitting a garter stitch square from corner to corner is a classic knitting pattern that goes by the name of Grandmother’s Favorite. When you are knitting from corner to corner, you cast on only a few stitches, and then you increase the number of stitches by one each row until you reach (half of) the desired size, and then you decrease one stitch per row. This is also called knitting on the bias and it results in rows that are diagonal to the edges of the knitted piece. The pattern is an excellent choice for beginners that want to learn to make increases and decreases. It’s usually a fast knit because there are no purl stitches.

Once you have learned the concept of knitting the corner to corner square, you can expand it to knitting rectangles as well. You will be able to adjust the pattern to any size, using any type of yarn. Here I will provide you with a dishcloth pattern from Very Pink Knits. She provides instructions for both squares and rectangles.

  • Pattern: Free pattern available from VeryPink Knits
  • Skills: cast on, bind off, weave in ends, knit stitch, increase: yarn over, decrease: knit two together
  • Tutorial: YES, you are guided through every step of the pattern with descriptions and videos
  • Suggested yarn: Worsted weight 100% cotton (e.g. Lily Sugar n Cream)
  • Needles: US Size 7 (4.5 mm)

Baby blankets

The corner-to-corner pattern can easily be adapted to a baby blanket. Consider using a super bulky yarn for an even faster knit blanket. Here’s a bulky corner-to-corner baby blanket from Shea Leonard, available for free on Ravelry. Note that this pattern also involves the increase “knit front and back”.

The Warm Waffles Baby blanket

Waffle baby blanket
The waffles baby blanket looks great, although different, from both sides, and it has a wonderfully squishy structure. You can knit it with stripes as shown here, or you can knit it in a single color. Either way, it is sure to be a hit with the new parents. Click the image to go to the pattern.
  • Pattern: Free pattern available from Suzies Yarnie Stuff
  • Skills: cast on, bind off, weave in ends, knit stitch, purl stitch
  • Tutorial: NO
  • Suggested yarn: Worsted weight (No specific suggestion, but remember baby-friendly means soft and machine-washable)
  • Needles: US Size 10 (6 mm), circular needles 24-29 inch (60-80 cm). The blanket is knitted flat, but the circular needles are needed to accommodate the large number of stitches.

A Blanket of blocks

When you are knitting a reasonably sized blanket, knitting it on long, straight needles can be a challenge. The stitches don’t seem to fit on the needles, and the longer you make the blanket, the more you will struggle with the weight of the fabric on the needles. The previous blanket pattern dealt with this by using circular needles. An alternative is to knit square blocks or long stripes and seam them together afterward.

Introducing Ohlalana’s Mystery Knit A Long Blanket of Blocks

ohlalana mystery knit a long blanket of blocks
Every 10-11 days Ohlalana releases the free pattern for a new block for a blanket. So far, 5 blocks are out, and they are really cute and made entirely using knit and purl. The finished blanket will consist of 28 different blocks and measure 35.5″ X 62″ (90 X 157 cm). A knit-a-long is a really good option for beginners because you can get help and support from both the designer and the community of knitters that are knitting the same project you are.
  • Introduction to Ohlalana’s Mystery Knit-A-Long
  • Pattern: 5 free patterns for the MKAL released already. Please consider supporting the designer on Patreon or with a one-time donation.
  • Skills: cast on, bind off, weave in ends, knit stitch, purl stitch
  • Tutorial: NO, but the patterns have helpful tips and are very well written. There are both written instructions and knitting charts for each block.
  • Suggested yarn: DK weight (no specific suggestion)
  • Needles: US size 7 (4.5 mm) & US size 6 (4 mm)

A hat knitted flat

Many new knitters feel intimidated by circular knitting. Rest assured, you can still knit hats even if you don’t quite feel ready to break in the circular needles or the double pointed ones. A hat can be knitted as a flat piece on regular straight, single-pointed needles and then sewn together. Here’s a great beginner-friendly example from Gina Michele.

flat knit hat from Gina Michele
This flat-knitted hat is a great beginner project – small, simple and fun. The hat has a 2×2 ribbed brim and is otherwise stockinette stitch. It is knitted as one flat piece and then the top and sides are sewn together. Finally, a running stitch gathers all the extra fabric in the top.

Fingerless gloves / Wristwarmers

In their simplest form, wrist warmers can be knitted as a rectangle and seamed together, leaving a hole for the thumb. It’s an easy and fast project, perfect for gifts. I love wearing wrist warmers. I use them when it’s moderately cold outside, and I want my fingers free for my phone obsession, and for chilly days in the office (I’m wearing a pair right now while typing this). I have found two great free patterns for you.

Garter stitch fingerless gloves from Joanne’s Web

Fingerless gloves from Joanne's web
Simple, but oh so pretty and useful. The tail ends are cleverly used to seam the sides together, forming a tube and leaving a hole for the thumb.
  • Pattern: free fingerless gloves pattern from Joanne’s Web
  • Skills: cast-on, bind-off, knit stitchhttps://www.lionbrand.com/wool-ease-thick-and-quick-yarn.html
  • Tutorial: YES, video tutorial to accompany the written pattern.
  • Suggested yarn: worsted weight (no specific suggestion)
  • Needles: US size 8 (5 mm)

Garter and stockinette fingerless mitts from Roxanne Richardson

Easy fingerless mitts from Roxanne Richardson
Combining garter stitch and stockinette can give a really pretty pattern. Also for this pair, you knit a rectangle, but here it’s the cast-on and bind-off edges that are seamed together, rather than the selvedges.
  • Pattern: free pattern from Roxanne Richardson available on Ravelry
  • Skills: cast-on, bind-off, knit stitch, purl stitch, weave in ends
  • Tutorial: Partly. Helpful tips for the written pattern, but no help with seaming.
  • Suggested yarn: worsted weight wool (no specific suggestion)
  • Needles: US size 7 (4.5 mm)

Placemats

Placemats and coasters are great beginner projects. Think about choosing a yarn that is machine washable. Cotton is a great choice, but some acrylics can be used as well. You can knit a rectangle in garter stitch, or you can try a more complex stitch. Here’s a pattern from Yarnspirations in double seed stitch.

placemats pattern from yarnspirations
The double seed stitch (also called double Irish, double moss, or box stitch) is a 4-stitch repeat with 4 repeating rows, involving only knit and purl. It may take a little getting used to, but you will get the hang of it after a few repeats. The result is an interesting structured fabric that is sure to look good on any table. Please note that there’s a mistake in the written pattern so be sure to watch the YouTube tutorial for clarification!

Seed stitch headband

Seed stitch headband from allaboutami
This seed stitch headband is a quick knit, and the pattern comes in 4 sizes, adult, child, toddler, and baby. Seed stitch is a great stitch for learning how to switch between knit and purl stitches and how to read your knitting.

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