The 5 Best Knitting Patterns for a Beginner


I have been really happy to see the series 'Make Britain' over on BBC iPlayer, I feel that making creating things with our hands is one of the best things we can do for our brains - but if you have read my blog before then you probably already know that!

This week the group of happy volunteers learned to knit and made pretty impressive bobble hats considering they were a group of beginners. Although obviously we did not really get to see the inevitable mistakes that they must have made, because thats not going to make good TV is it!!  However having said that, they all picked up the basics really well and to come away with a wearable hat rather than just a small square of knitting - which lets face it is pretty useless unless you are furnishing a dolls house!

So that got me to thinking that there are literally thousands of knitting patterns available on Ravelry, Pinterest and many many other sites and magazines, that for a newcomer to knitting that must all seem pretty daunting - so I thought I would put a list together for anyone just starting out in the wonderful world of knitting - with the aim of giving them something they can make relatively easily and then 'voila' they can immerse themselves in the the magic that knitting brings and the inevitable addiction to yarn and all things wooly!!!

Without further ado - here we go:

1. The Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits

It would be remiss of me not to start with Tin Can Knits who have just the best patterns for beginners and for the most part they are free!  I have chosen the Barley hat because I have made that myself and can attest to how well the pattern is written for a beginner.  It introduces all the elements, casting on and off, knit, purl and cast off and the range of sizes they offer is fabulous. Also check out the Flax Sweater and their Rye beginner sock pattern!

Check out the pattern HERE and my own version on Ravelry HERE

2.  Shawl - Hitchhiker

The Hitchhiker is a great beginner shawl pattern because is pretty addictive (potato chip knitting!), easy and if you want to use one skein of really gorgeous yarn its easy to do because basically you keep going until you have run out!  I used a lovely skein of sock yarn for mine which was too nice to be hidden away on my feet!  Gauge is not too important - just use the needle size suggested on the ball band if you are not sure!  Its not a free pattern but the price is very reasonable considering it comes in a number of languages!

Check out the pattern HERE and my version HERE

3.  Honey Cowl

Cowls are great for beginners and I have included two here!  Firstly the Honey Cowl which comes in two different lengths depending on how much yarn you have.  I made the shorter one from a one off hand dyed skein I got on holiday in Scotland a few years ago.  I loved the heather colouring which reminded me of the heather on the hills!  A good introduction to working in the round for a beginner and very easy to memorise the pattern.

Check out the pattern HERE and my version HERE

4.  Gaptastic Cowl

Now full disclosure I have never made this cowl - I really want to but hey I live in the desert so maybe thats not going to work for me!  However I think its fab and the shop bought version was really expensive and only in a small range of colours so this would be an opportunity to go crazy!!

Oh and did I mention its also a free pattern!  See HERE

This is the knitters own photo and obviously not mine!!

5.  The Garter Yoke Cardigan

No I have not gone crazy - beginners can absolutely make cardigans and this is not only very cute but no seaming or complicated pattern required.  I have made the baby version of this and its super cute, but I really love the original adult version. Again I have not made it yet myself see excuse re the heat above, but its something on my list for when I go home and live in the wilds of the English Countryside (sigh..... I get so homesick sometimes - 9 years in the desert can do that to a person!!). Being Aran this is going to be a quick knit!!

Anyway check out the pattern HERE  You can also see some stunning versions that others have done on the pattern page.

So I hope this helps if you are just starting out on your knitting journey or even if you are an experienced knitter just looking for something easy to sit and knit whilst doing 'Netflix and Knit' -  I would recommend Designated Survivor and Unabomber!