11 Easy Knitting Patterns to Help You Hone Your Skills
When the weather outside is snowy and blustery, the best remedy for cabin fever is picking up a new project. Try your hand at one of these easy knitting ideas.
Knitting is an activity beloved by every level of crafter. Whether you're just learning how to knit or you want to revisit some of the stitches that made you fall in love with the craft in the first place, we're sharing projects that you'll want to keep in your back pocket. Our easy knitting patterns are the perfect mix between fun and practical: You can make everything from timeless accessories to home décor.
For those new to knitting, forego the needles and opt for your fingers. Yes, you read that right. You can make our Finger-Knit Necklace without even investing in a set of knitting needles. Once you start to hone your knitting prowess, try moving on to more intricate projects. One of our favorites? A stylish garter stitch headband. The finished product will help keep your ears warm during the winter months while also showing off your personal sense of style. If you're looking for something to use around the home, try knit pot holders. This is a household essential that can easily serve as a gift for a loved one. And this present will keep on giving—especially for those who love to cook.
When it comes to piecing together décor for the rest of your home, easy knitting patterns can also be a saving grace. If you want to add more comfort to your kitchen space without sacrificing décor, you can simply craft a knitted stool cover. This is just what you need to give any guest the best seat in the house. Plus, you can style the stool cover in a color that matches your kitchen aesthetic or add the pop of color you've been craving to tie the whole space together. Here, we share even more levels of easy knitting patterns that will help beginners start their knitting journey and those more established hone their skills.
No needles in reach? Yarn and your two hands are all you need for this simple technique. The knit "stitches" are emulated by weaving the yarn between your fingers. Finger knitting is often taught to children because of its ease and safety over manipulating knitting needles. For adults, it's a perfect, quick alternative to traditional knitting.
Once you've tried finger-knitting, graduate to arm-knitting. The art of arm-knitting—with its relative ease and satisfyingly quick results—lets you churn out sweaters, scarves, and super-soft pillows. For your introductory project, try making our giant knit blanket—a top favorite among knitters of all skills.
Knit Pot Holders
Both pretty and practical, this easy project only uses two basics stitches of knitting: knit and purl. When you alternate them, you change the look of the fabric pattern. For a colorful embellishment, sew a length of twill tape that matches the width of the knit groove. To begin, cast on 24 stitches (make sure to decide on the width of the stripes and where to place them). Next, knit at least eight rows in a garter stitch before placing the stripes. For a narrow stripe: Row one: knit. Row two: purl. Row three and the following rows: knit. For a wider stripe: Row one: knit. Row two: purl. Row three: knit. Row four: purl. Row five: purl. Row six and the following rows: knit. Then cast off after knitting a total of 48 rows and weave in the ends. Continue by cutting a 7 1/2 inch piece of the twill tape, matching the width of the knit groove, and fold the ends under 1/2 inch and place in the groove. Next, stitch the tape to secure, hiding the stitches in the knit stitches. For the loop, cut 3 inches of 1 inch of the twill tape. Fold under 1/2 inch and sew to one side of the pot holder. Lastly, fold the other end under; stitch to the other side of the pot holder.
Shop Now: Willbond Cotton Twill Tape, 1/2 inch, $8, amazon.com; Lotus Yarn One Skein Cashmere Knitting Yarn, $12, amazon.com; Takumi Bamboo Single Pointed Knitting Needles, size nine, $5.79, michaels.com.
If you know how to knit a garter stitch, you can make this cozy headband and say goodbye to flyaway hairs come winter. The garter stitch is a fabric pattern in which you knit every stitch in every row. This is typically the first pattern that beginners learn as it requires no purling. It produces a sturdy, flexible knit piece that won't curl around the edges. To make this craft, use double-pointed needles to cast on four stitches. Next, create an I-cord: Knit across the four stitches, then, without turning the work, slide the stitches to the opposite end of the needle. With working yarn coming from the leftmost stitch, knit across the row and tug gently. Repeat these steps until the I-cord measures at 11 inches. Then change to single-pointed needles, then knit one, increase one, and knit across the row. Repeat this step until there are 28 stitches on your needle. Continue by knitting every row until the headband (not including the I-cord) measures 14 inches. At the end of this row and every row after, decrease by knitting the last two stitches together. Repeat until four stitches remain. Change to double-pointed needles. Knit I-cord for 11 inches. And then snip the yarn, leaving a 4 inch tail. Thread through the tapestry needle; pass through the four remaining stitches on a double-pointed needle and tug to secure. Lastly, weave into an I-cord.
Knitted Catnip Delight
A knit toy for your feline friend is the perfect use for leftover wool, and good knitting practice for you! Using different yarn weights and needles will produce a variety of sizes. For beginners, use chunky-weight yarn and size-11 needles to make a 3 inch-wide heart.
Don't be fooled by its intricacy at a glance: If you can knit an 8 by 11 inch rectangle in stockinette (knit one row, purl next) then you can craft this carry-on accessory. Once done, simply fold in half and sew the sides together with a yarn needle. To personalize yours, add a button to an eyeglass case, or fabric lining to the pouch.
Patchwork Knit Blanket
No need to be intimidated by its size. If you can knit a basic scarf, you can knit this blanket. As seen here, a dozen rectangles of natural-colored wool are knit and then pieced together with the mattress stitch.
Have a pair of leather strips as well as wool fabric on hand? Knit this soft tote bag. This accessory is made in three essential steps: knitting the stockinette, cutting the fabric to size, and stitching the pieces (as well as the straps) together.
Knit Hand Warmers
If you're not quite ready to take on a pair of hand-knit gloves, try a much easier alternative: hand warmers. They fit on all sizes without compromising on coziness, and without knitting in the round. Create this craft by casting on 36 stitches (6 inches) with two strands of yarn (use thicker wool and only one strand for adult-size version, which yields 7 inches). Knit every row for 80 rows (7 inches)—or for adults 65 rows (8 inches). Next, cast off and weave in all ends. Stitch together along selvedge from the bottom up to 3 inches and from top down to 2 inches to create the thumb opening.
Shop Now: Clover Takumi Bamboo Circular Knitting Needles, size six, $5.96, amazon.com; Lotus Yarn One Skein Cashmere Knitting Yarn, $12, amazon.com; Loops & Threads Knit Quick Plastic Needles, $1, michaels.com.
Knitted Stool Cover
It's easy: Knit a square in stockinette, increase and decrease to craft indented corners, stitch them together to create a slipcover, and you have the coziest seat in the house. To create for yourself, cast on 17 stitches and knit in a stockinette for five rows (1 3/4 inches). Next, increase four stitches at the beginning of the next row, as well as at the end. Continue knitting in a stockinette for 17 1/2 inches. Then decrease four stitches at the beginning of the next row, as well as at the end. Continue knitting for five more rows. Continue by casting off and weaving in the ends. Stitch together all the corners, creating a slipcover, and place the batting on the seat of the stool. Place the slipcover over the batting and staple excess to the underside of the stool.
Shop Now: Knitter's Pride Knitting Needles, size 17, $9.50, amazon.com; Lion Brand Knitting Yarn Truboo Three-Skein Factory Pack, $23.34, amazon.com; Jonathan Swivel Scooped Seat Stool, 18 inches, $112.49, target.com.
These handmade gifts are perfect for adults and kids alike. They are easy to make and one size fits all, so you can make a chunky scarf with thick needles or a tighter knit with thin needles for a custom present anyone will enjoy.