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100 Free Knitting Patterns To Download For Beginners | Learn How To Knit | Fun Craft Tutorials

Updated on February 16, 2016
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Beginner's Knitting Lessons & A Roundup Of Projects

Knitting stitches can be used to make a wide range of items including blankets, chair covers, scarves, gloves, jumpers, cuddly toys, hats and much more - and all you need to start learning is yarn and knitting needles.

The first list of links direct you to excellent online lessons for beginners, and the following links provide you with hundreds of free tutorials, inspiring ideas and patterns.

I hope you find this page useful!

Knitted Pullover

Circle Yoke Pullover
Circle Yoke Pullover | Source

Top-Rated Knitting Books

Like most knitters I am self-taught, and along with using Youtube videos, I also bought quite a few books to aid my learning, including two I have listed below. Books contain excellent diagrams for the basics, but I find that books are mainly useful for knitting texture patterns and ideas, expert advice, informational theory, and beginner projects. I just like the fact that you can find everything in one place, so I definitely recommend any beginner to buy a book to start you off on the right path.

Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook
Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook

A quirky, fresh and fun knitting beginner's book which, along with all of the basic instruction, includes 40 free patterns for items including a manly sweater, a cat bed and a Queen of Hearts bikini.

 
Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book
Vogue Knitting: The Ultimate Knitting Book

A huge and comprehensive guide for teaching you how to knit, with so many techniques covered and an abundance of clear instructions and diagrams. Great for keeping on the shelf and using as a reference - even for advanced knitters.

 
The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting: Learn to Knit with more than 30 Cool, Easy Patterns (Chicks with Sticks (Paperback))
The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Knitting: Learn to Knit with more than 30 Cool, Easy Patterns (Chicks with Sticks (Paperback))

If you already know the very basics of knitting, this is a good choice for taking your skills to the next level. 30 modern projects are included in the book, such as an open weave sweater, a washcloth and a men's crew cap.

 

An Introduction

For Absolute Beginners

Knitting was something that was taught to me by my Nana when I was a child, and I unfortunately didn't pick up knitting needles again for several years until my late teens, and funnily enough, I remembered the basics straight away (which isn't like me because I'm the forgetful sort!) Anyway, this inspired me to progress my skills so I bought a book and found so many techniques that I didn't know even existed...I'd only ever seen straight needles before so I didn't know anything about circular or double pointed needles at all and I have to say it kind of overwhelmed me.

And that's what I think I need to say about knitting for beginners - you will feel overwhelmed when you see all these different abbreviations and complicated looking methods, but you shouldn't let it stop you. I did end up giving up very quickly because it seemed too much of a mountain to climb to get to where I wanted to be (fair isle was my aim), but I came back and got stuck in and eventually I promise it does 'click' in your mind. I now have learnt all the basics and am working my way through circular and DPN knitting, with a view to hopefully being able to accomplish some fair isle knitting by the end of the year *fingers crossed*

I think a list is always helpful to give you something to work through when you don't know where to begin, so here are the techniques I think you should try to learn (in this order), using straight needles:

- Casting on: How to put the very first stitches onto one of your needles. This is the very first step of any project. There are a few different casting on methods, and you can try a few out to see what you like best, but I prefer the 'long tail casting on' method personally.

- Knit stitch: The main stitch you require for projects. Knitting row after row of just knit stitch creates what is called 'garter stitch' which is quite a chunky kind of knit.

- Casting/binding off: This is what you do when you finish your project and want to take the stitches off the needle.

- Purl stitch: This is the other main stitch besides the knit stitch. Alternating rows between knit and purl stitch (e.g. first row knit, second row purl, third row knit etc.) creates 'stockinette stitch' which is a thinner knit than the garter stitch.

These are the absolute basics you need, and next you should move onto increase techniques and decrease techniques which allow you to increase or decrease the number of stitches on your needles whilst you are in the middle of your work so that you can create different shapes than just simple rectangles. At this point, I think buying a book would be a good idea to guide you through the rest of the techniques available so you can choose which you want to learn and which you don't.

I have listed quite a few projects below which are good for practice when you are starting out in this hobby, so I hope you find this page useful...and fun!

Learn to Knit a Dishcloth

Online Knitting Lessons for Beginners

Discover techniques, find tips, and learn the knitting lingo on the pages listed below. For instance, a swatch is a 'sample' of the knitting project you are going to be making (i.e. it is a small section made using the same needle size and yarn as you will be using for the project). A swatch is made to measure gauge when you are creating something wearable or something which must be a certain size.

Square Block Blanket

I love the colours and subtle shades in this blanket.
I love the colours and subtle shades in this blanket. | Source

Easy Scarf for Beginners

Elephant Tank Top

This sweater makes use of a technique known as steeking, where knitwear is knitted in the round without leaving gaps for sleeves etc. as you work. Then later the knitting is cut to create the openings.
This sweater makes use of a technique known as steeking, where knitwear is knitted in the round without leaving gaps for sleeves etc. as you work. Then later the knitting is cut to create the openings. | Source

Flat Knot or Star Stitch Scarf

Sunshine Coffee Sleeve

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A coffee cozy is a perfect beginner's project, and you can find the pattern for this one by clicking here.

How to Knit a BOW

Lightbulb Softies

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Click here for the free pattern for these fun toys.

How to Do a Basket Weave Stitch

Public Art Knitting

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How To Add a Tassel Fringe - Instructions For Adding Yarn Fringe to a Knitted Scarf or Other Item

There are two ways to add tassels to a knitted product (e.g. a scarf or a bag), and they are as follows:


What You Will Need:

* Yarn

* Crochet hook (mid-size)

* Yarn needle

* Small, sharp scissors

* Scrap cardboard


Method 1

This method is best for larger knits (or even knitted/crocheted rugs), or for if you want to add tassels that are relatively large.

- Take a piece of cardboard and cut it to a particular width - a width which depends on the length of tassel you want to make. For instance, in my diagram I have cut the width to 7" because I want to make 3" tassels, so just think what length you want the tassels to be, double it and add 1".

It doesn't matter about the length of the cardboard as long as it's more than 4" or so.

- Fold the cardboard in half lengthways as shown in the diagram so that the width is halved (to 3.5").

- Put a length of yarn inside the folded card so that it sticks out of each end by a couple of inches. You can put more than one (equal) length of yarn inside the card if you wish, as this will be the loop that will attach the tassel to the knitting, so you can use more yarn if you want this link to be stronger.

- Next wrap yarn around the card, moving from left to right and trying to cover the cardboard as you go. Try not to layer yarn on top of other yarn too much.

- The amount of wrapped yarn will determine how wide and chunky the tassel will be so this is personal preference. For a 3" tassel I would have evenly covered around 3" of the card.

- Carefully take the ends of the yarn piece(s) inside the card and move the yarn to the open side of the folded card.

- Tightly tie a secure (double) knot to gather the yarn at the top.

- Take your scissors and cut through the yarn at the bottom (the folded edge) of the card. You can neaten the ends up after you remove the card, so as to make them straight across.

- Take another long piece of yarn and lie the tassel onto it so that it is in the center and the yarn piece is around 1/2" below the top of the tassel.

- Start wrapping this new piece of yarn around the 'neck' of the tassel to make the classic tassel shape. One end will wrap around clockwise and the other will wrap around anti-clockwise. Keep doing this until you are satisfied with the appearance (perhaps around 6-8 wraps).

Knot the wrapping in place and then cut the ends so that they are in line with the other pieces of yarn in the tassel.

- Now you simply have to attach the tassel to your knitting using the free ends of yarn at the top.

- Attach a yarn needle to one end of this piece of yarn and thread it through your knitting where you want to attach the tassel. Thread the other end of the yarn through your knitting in the same place but in the opposite direction.

- Pull this loop tight, then using the yarn needle thread each of the ends into the top of the tassel and down through the wrapped yarn section.

- Separate the yarn in the tassel with you hands and try to arrange it so that the ends you just thread through are in the center and lie next to each other. Then tie these together in a secure knot so that the knot is as hidden and as close to the wrapped section as possible.

- Cut the yarn so the ends are all straight if they aren't already, then if you want more tassels, do the whole process again!


Method 2:

This way is best for finer tassels or fringing and it embeds the tassels into the knitting rather than tying them on with a loop.

- This time you won't need to fold the card in half so just cut a piece of card that has a width equal to the length you want the tassels to be, plus 0.5". So for 3" tassels, the card will be 3.5" wide.

- Wrap yarn around the card evenly, moving from left to right and not doubling back on yourself. Estimate how much yarn you will need, remembering you can easily make more fringing later if you don't have enough.

- Cut the yarn along one edge of the card, giving you lots of individual pieces measuring 7" long.

- Plan out where you will be inserting the tassels/fringing onto the knitting piece before you start, so you can space them out evenly as you go.

- Take a crochet hook and insert it into the knitting where you want the first tassel to go, then pull it back out again after hooking onto the center of a few lengths of the yarn. The number of yarn pieces you include depends on how thick you want the tassel to be. I have shown 4 pieces in the diagram.

- Take the ends of the yarn and feed them all through the space where the crochet hook is.

- Pull the yarn tight so that it is secured. Try to keep the yarn ends together as you do so.

- Trim the yarn ends if they have gone wonky and you want to neaten them up.

- Repeat this as many times as you want.

- Finished!

Hen & Chicks

Beautiful Scarf

This scarf is made using loads of different pattern techniques and I absolutely love it.
This scarf is made using loads of different pattern techniques and I absolutely love it. | Source

Knitted Dalek

Awesome Dalek softie!
Awesome Dalek softie! | Source

Knitting With Roving

The needles were made from sawing a broom stick in half!
The needles were made from sawing a broom stick in half! | Source

Knitted Coin Purse

Source

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    • profile image

      Chandana Saikia 4 months ago

      Loved the site.Lots of good and easy patterns to learn.

    • profile image

      Deanna R Letterman 22 months ago

      Love the scarf! Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      El 2 years ago

      Inspirational collection of projects! Note: Steeking is not knitting in the round. Steeking is when you cut open knits that have been made in the round (like cutting open a pullover to make it into a cardigan).

    • profile image

      Eden 2 years ago

      Thanks for this! Just what I need.

    • profile image

      Odile from Québec 2 years ago

      Great site; I'm looking for pattern of a cardigan with bottoned collar

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 3 years ago

      I want to try Fair Isle knitting and the free hat pattern looks like the perfect first project! Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I appreciate you on your skills.

    • malena10 profile image

      malena10 5 years ago

      you just reminded me of my work in progress, the deck chair for my cat ;)

    • franstan lm profile image

      franstan lm 6 years ago

      Great lens