Ready to jump into knitting, but not sure where to start? There are plenty of options for easy knitting patterns that will have you creating all kinds of practical and fun projects right away. Here’s a list of 25 free and easy knitting patterns for beginners that are perfect for getting you started.
Easy Knitting Patterns for Beginners
To get started with knitting, all you need to know are a few basic stitches (knit and purl are the most common). Add a few more skills, like increasing, decreasing, and working in the round, and you’ll have dozens of wonderful knitting patterns to choose from!
Fortunately, there are plenty of knitting patterns for beginners (and intermediate-advanced knitters, too) available for free. So you can knit to your heart’s content!
Below are a few of my favorites to get you started.
What is the first thing a beginner should knit?
Some of the easiest projects for first-time knitters include scarves, baby blankets, and dishcloths. These patterns can be knitted up quickly and only require knowing one or two stitches, worked back and forth.
Fortunately, all of these types of patterns are included in this post!
What to look for in an easy knitting pattern
But how can you tell if a knitting pattern is easy or not? Here are a few things to look for as you peruse around for the perfect project.
Simple stitch pattern
Many patterns will tell you right in the introduction what skills or stitches you’ll need to know. When you’re just getting started, look for simple stitch patterns, such as the garter stitch, stockinette stitch, or rib stitch.
Increases, decreases, and easy shaping
When you’re ready for something slightly more advanced than a scarf, seek out projects that utilize the skills of increasing, decreasing, and easy shaping. Shawls and hats are great beginner knitting projects that generally use these techniques.
Some yarn weights are easier to knit than others. Worsted and Bulky tend to be the simplest to handle. After you get a few projects under your belt, you can start experimenting with heavier and lighter weights.
Colorwork in knitting is the technique of using multiple colors in your project. It may sound difficult, but it can really be quite simple. Stripes are one of the easiest types of colorwork for beginners. More complicated colorwork patterns will provide you with a color chart.
Read through all of the instructions before getting started. Make sure you understand the techniques before jumping into your project. This will save you a lot of frustration as you knit.
Many knitting pattern instructions include pictures or even videos, so you can visualize exactly what you need to do.
Best Yarn and Needles for Beginning Knitters
Worsted-weight yarn is the easiest yarn for beginners. Bulky yarn is a close second! With these yarns, you can easily see your stitches, and they won’t quickly get tangled like some lighter-weight yarns.
Each of the free knitting patterns below includes suggested yarn weights. Be prepared to see worsted and DK suggestions a lot! (Fortunately, there are also tons of options for yarn choices in these weights!)
Medium to large-sized knitting needles are best for beginners. They’re easy to work with and hold as you practice your stitches. Sizes 8-11 U.S. (5mm-8mm metric) are excellent choices.
As you knit different projects, you’ll want to have a collection of straight, double-pointed, and circular needles. You can purchase starter packs or needle collections to make sure you have a variety of sizes and types of needles.
Easy Knitting Patterns for Beginners
Here’s a list of 25 knitting patterns for beginners. Find one you love and start knitting!
A scarf is one of the best knitting projects to start with for beginners. This comprehensive guide will teach you how to make an entire scarf from start to finish, even if you’re brand new to knitting.
Booties are the perfect gift to give to a new baby. Unfortunately, knitting baby boots can be complicated. On the bright side, this pattern makes knitting baby booties simple! Unlike most baby boot patterns, this one uses single-point needles and doesn’t require any tricky shaping.
This pattern only uses one simple stitch – the garter stitch. It also utilizes some simple shaping, done by increasing and decreasing. This is a great beginner sweater, but if you’re brand new to knitting, you may want to save this project until after you have a scarf or two under your belt.
The fun, confetti colors that fill this scarf are made by knitting the project with 7 different strands of yarn at once. Don’t worry, though! It’s not as hard as it might sound, since the yarns tend to curl around one another and stick to each other as you knit. The pattern even includes 8 different pictures of ideas for your colors choices.
This pattern offers five sizes of mittens, from toddler to adult large. You’ll work in a round, knitting from the cuff to the hand, and then finishing with the thumb. This is a fairly basic knitting pattern, but may not be suitable for those who are super new to knitting.
What better way to keep yourself warm than with your own, hand-knitted sweater? The only problem with this sweater is that all your friends will be asking you to knit them one, too! This pattern is best for the more experienced beginner, and it includes sizes from infant through adult.
This triangle-shaped shawl is made mostly with the stockinette stitch and accented with lovely garter knit eyelet sections. Best of all, you can easily make it as large or small as you like in order to create the perfect shawl drape for you.
Here’s another snug, comfortable hat for winter. Knit in the round until you finish your hat, then make your own pom pom to keep it fun! This pattern also includes video tutorials to walk you through the knitting process.
Yarn weight: Super Chunky
Suggested yarn: Cascade Magnum and Malabrigo Rasta
These fingerless mittens were created to keep farmers’ fingers warm as they catch newborn lambs at lambing time. But even if you don’t have sheep, everyone can find a time when fingerless gloves are just what they need. This pattern includes instructions for size small, medium, and large mittens.
This pattern is excellent for learning (or improving your skills on) how to knit in the round using double-pointed needles. Alternatively, you can use the magic loop method. Your legs will stay toasty warm with this easy, handmade project.
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Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.
Thanks for your free help, patterns and advice. Excellent website. Well done. Beautiful creative ideas for all the family to enjoy and create.
Monday 27th of February 2023
Sarah, I am so impressed with your site and how you send out the cheat sheets. I printed them off and I love them all. Thank you so much.
Wednesday 26th of October 2022
Love your site, well done. I have made Praying hands wash cloths, Difficult Little rabbits, as toys for my cats, An unfinished afghan I started 52 years ago. It is in panels with lacy panels in between and purple violets scattered around. Cute butterflies for the fridge. half finished red hat. it got difficult so it sits. I have been caretaking older people so they can stay home so I am always distracted. I need a new hat and like the red one of yours Chunky hat for beginners.
Thank you for your helpful everything. It is easy to learn.