Are you ready to try some knitting patterns?
Once I had mastered the basic knitting skills, I remember how keen I was to start a “real project”. Completing a pattern is very satisfying and will boost your confidence. You will be producing great hats/socks/blankets in no time!
I know I was surprised how quickly I was able to move from knowing nothing to knitting some great garments. Much to my amazement, people started admiring my work within the first couple of weeks!
If you are as impatient as I am, you might want to check out the free beginner knitting patterns below.
However, before you steam ahead, it helps to be familiar with the common knitting terms and knitting abbreviations.
Also, you might find this quick guide helpful:
All knitting patterns give you a list of materials required. The designer has based his/her measurements on the size of knitting needle and the type of yarn suggested. If you change either of these then who knows what the end product will look like!
Tension (or gauge) is the number of stitches and the number of rows that you get when you measure a 10×10 cm or 4×4″ square on your knitting.
You will find a tension measurement at the beginning of each pattern.
Tension determines the size of the finished piece, so if the number of stitches/rows on your sample swatch do not match those on the pattern then you will need to make adjustments. If it is too loose, then use smaller needles; if it is too tight, use larger needles.
Tension swatches are so boring but overlook them at your peril!
Patterns often give instructions for a range of sizes of the same garment. When this is the case, the smallest size is printed first, followed by the others sizes in curved brackets:
eg 7(8:9:11) 50g DK Cotton
The above example shows that the amount of yarn you will need will vary according to the size of the garment. This same format is then used throughout the knitting pattern
eg Cast On 73(81:85:89) stitches
Highlight the figures for the size you are making to avoid confusion!
Understanding Brackets and Asterisks
Asterisks and brackets are used in patterns to mark where you need to repeat a sequence of stitches. If your piece is going to look like the pattern photo then you need know how to correctly read these abbreviations.
Here are some examples:
1. [k1,p1] twice means knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one (ie 4 stitches)
2. *k1,p1; rep from * twice more means knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one (ie 6 stitches)
3. P2, [k1,p2] to end means purl the first two stitches then knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one etc to the end of the row
4. *K5,p2,[k1,p2] 3 times; rep from * to end means that only the instructions in the square brackets need to be repeated three times. So you would knit five, purl two, knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one, knit five, purl two, knit five, purl two to the end of the row.
The following beginner knitting patterns are extremely easy and are suitable for complete novices and children.
These two beginner knitting patterns are ideal for a first project because you don’t have to worry about which yarn to use or whether or not your knitting is the right gauge/tension.
These knitting patterns will help you to become used to common knitting abbreviations and you will soon be keen to move on to more advanced knitting patterns.
Beginner Knitting Pattern for Double Rib Scarf
Suggested materials: DK Yarn and 4mm (US size 6) needles
NB For this pattern you can use any yarn you want. Just remember to choose knitting needles that match the yarn. Also, the size will vary depending on the size of needles/weight of yarn.
Cast on 40 stitches (or more if you want a wider scarf)
Row 1: *K2,P2, repeat from * to the end of the row
Repeat Row 1 until the scarf is the desired length
Yes, it really is that simple to make a basic scarf!
Tip: To make the project more interesting choose a novelty yarn or knit a bigger version of this scarf quickly with a chunky yarn
Beginner Knitting Pattern for Small Stockinette Purse / Wallet
Suggested materials: DK Yarn and 4mm (US size 6) needles
Cast on 25 stitches.
Row 1: * Knit to end of row.
Row 2: Purl to end of row.
Repeat from * until your work measures 16cm, finishing with a purl row. Then,
K2tog at each end of every knit row.
Purl to end of every purl row.
Continue until 12 sts remain.
Finish off by folding the fabric (with the wrong side outwards) into approximate thirds, so it resembles an envelope. Using a darning needle and the same yarn, sew the two side seams.
Turn the purse inside out, so the right side now faces outwards.
Finally, sew on a button of your choice and create an appropriate sized loop (more instructions on this stage coming soon!)
Hey presto! A useful purse to keep buttons and such like in for future knitting projects.
Knit a Hat – Simple Cat Hat Pattern
If you want to learn how to knit a hat and you are looking for a very simple pattern then this is a good one to try. The following pattern for a “cat” hat is one of the simplest there is so it is perfect for children and beginners. You only need two needles (rather than four or a circular one) and no knowledge of decreasing is required.
Also, you may be wondering why it is called a “cat” hat. The reason for this is that the corners of this hat are pointy and look a bit like cats ears. This sounds a bit strange but the end product looks great.
[Photo coming soon]
Easy / Beginner
1 ball DK yarn
4.5mm (US Size ) straight knitting needles
Cast on 100 stitches
1st Row: Knit to end
Repeat 1st Row for the next 11 rows
Then, knit 17 cm of stockinette (ie knit one row, purl one row)
NB Remember to leave a long yarn end for sewing the seam!
To Make Up
Lay your piece of knitted fabric out horizontally. Then, fold both ends in so that they meet in the middle. Sew the ends together with mattress stitch. Finally, with the wrong side facing you, sew a seam along the top edge.
Turn the hat inside out and there you have your cat hat!