A Beginner’s Guide to Knitting: Patterns

Green knitted booties

As I mentioned in Part 2 of this series, there are millions of knitting patterns out there! So where do you start? Here are a few of the patterns I first started out on. Some are easier than others, but hopefully you’ll be inspired to start knitting!

Quite a few of these pattern links are to links on Ravelry, which I talked about in detail in Part 2. It is free to join and a great community for knitting, so I’d recommend signing up. You can find my Ravelry Project Gallery here.

Bunny baby washcloth

If you want to start super simple, then a wash cloth is a good first pattern. They’re square, not too big and there’s a lot of patterns to choose from. They make great gifts for babies, or you can use it yourself in the shower or even in the kitchen on your dishes. Find a 100% cotton yarn for making washcloths, so they are soft and super absorbent.
Grandmother’s Favourite Washcloth
Ballband Dishcloth
Bunny Washcloth (pictured above)
Penguin Washcloth


Baby projects are small and tend to be fast. I made a lot of baby items as first projects, even though I had no babies to give them to! They can often have a few tricks in them, but are a quick way to learn new skills without taking too much time.
Simple Knitted Beanie (pictured above)
Baby Uggs
Ribbed Baby Jacket

Republic hat

Hats can be a bit tricky as they are usually knit in the round (on circular needles), but once you get used to the idea, it’s great! It means that the hat is made continuously, so there’s no seam to close at the end. Here are some of my favourite hat patterns.
Calorimetry Ear Warmer (knit on regular, straight needles)
Hurricane Hat
Robins Egg Blue Hat (similar to above)
Swirl Hat (newborn – adult sizes)

Wisp Wisp

While I don’t think scarves are a good beginner project because they are a bit boring, repetitive and big, a lot of you would probably like to tackle a scarf anyway. Here are a few that I think are good to start out with.
Wham Bam Thankyou Lamb Neckwarmer
Infinitely Simple Lace Infinity Scarf
Wisp (pictured above left and right)
Honey Cowl

If you have some simple patterns you can recommend, please leave a link in the comments!

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Also in this series:
Part 1 – All you need to know about Knitting Equipment
Part 2 – Online Resources to learn how to Knit
Part 3 – Pattern Suggestions for Beginners

Online Knitting Class

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  1. says

    That is a great collection of patterns. I started with a couple of cowls, because scarfs just take so long (and boring) and I’ve worked up to “arm warmers”, which were knitted on straight needles and sewn up at the end, with just one complicated part when they split off for the thumb. I think its important to find a good guide for the abbreviations and have that handy at all times, plus a book or website with all the possible stitches you will need, so you can refer back when they come up again. And when you get to a tricky part try not to freak out, just read the pattern carefully and work one step at a time. The arm warmer pattern had several mistakes in it, resulting in a very small thumb on one hand and big thumb on the other, I spent some time unpicking and reknitting with more sensible counts (suggestion for part 4, do you have a quick way to unpick without ruining what you’ve already done??). I really want to finish the sock I started and then try a vest. I’m struggling to find a simple sock pattern on 4 needles (I only have 4, so many patterns use 5!), so if you know of one…. I’ll keep searching. Thanks again, great beginner knitter series!

    • says

      Great tips Liz! I always google a pattern before I start to see if there are any mistakes or errata. Saves a lot of time if there’s problems. I’ve never done it, but you can add a ‘lifeline’ to your knitting to help when you have to unravel a part to fix something. I’ve never done socks, they look way too tricky.

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