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30 easy knitting patterns for beginners 2021

Always wanted to learn how to knit? Now’s the perfect time! We’ve rounded up our favourite simple knitting patterns – from hats to scarves and blankets – to help you get to grips with your knitting needles.

Easy knitting patterns for beginners

Whether it’s your first time picking up a pair of knitting needles, or you’re rediscovering a craft you learned as a child, we’re here for you! You’d be surprised at how quickly you can go from casting on your first few stitches to casting off your very first jumper. And we’ve rounded up 30 of the best easy knitting patterns around to help you do just that.

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When you’re new to knitting, or you’re refreshing your skills, it’s a good idea to pick a pattern that keeps things simple. Try starting with something straight – like a scarf, cushion or blanket – that uses only garter stitch (which is when you knit every row) or stocking stitch (when you knit your odd-numbered rows and purl your even-numbered rows). We recommend starting with a chunky garter stitch scarf – the length of the project is a great way to practise your tension and is where we start off our list of knitting patterns below!

Of course we’ve also packed Gathered with useful advice to support you in your  knitting journey. We have some expert guides to help you get started! Grow your stash with our round-up of knitting kits for beginners, discover our library of 118 knitting stitch patterns to practise or learn all about the importance of knitting tension squares.

Ready to knit? Reach for your needles and pick your favourite beginner knitting pattern from our list below!

1

Deramores: Wool Week Cowls by Sarah Hatton

If you’ve already got some wool in your stash, but you’re on the lookout for an inspiring pattern to get your needles moving, look no further! Sarah Hatton’s cosy garter stitch cowl, designed as part of Wool Week, is the perfect quick knit for beginners. The pattern includes design variations, such as chunky cables (if you’re feeling ready for them!) and is totally free to download.

Brunette woman with her hair pulled back is wearing a large garter stitch scarf. The scarf is red-pink and wrapped around her neck.

2

Deramores: Bobble Hat & Snood

We’re big fans of anything we can knit and wear quickly! Deramores’ Bobble Hat and Snood pattern ticks both those boxes. They’re knitted on 10mm knitting needles, using Hayfield Bonus Super Chunky yarn – a combo that means you could whip either option up in an evening or two. The hat is worked in a rib pattern and finished with a large bobble (hence the name), and the cowl is knitted in simple garter stitch.

Easy rib hat knitting pattern

3

I Knit Pretty: Lila Scarf Knitting Kit

If you’re looking for easy knitting patterns, then a simple garter stitch scarf is a great choice. This knitting kit contains everything needed to see you through casting on and casting off this scarf. The simple garter stitch construction is a great way to practise your knitting tension and get used to holding your knitting needles – if you’ve knitted in the past, it’s perfect to get you back into your stitches.

The Lila Scarf Knitting Kit includes plenty of super-chunky yarn to knit a scarf approximately 24x150cm, wooden knitting needles, sewing needle, a clear pattern and instructions – all in a cotton project bag for £38.

Easy knitting patterns I Knit Pretty scarf

4

Wool And The Gang: Sunshine Blanket

Now you’ve mastered garter stitch, why not introduce some stripes of colour? Wool And The Gang’s Sunshine Blanket kit uses six bold shades to create a rainbow blanket – and you can pick your favourite colours to make up those stripes! Changing colours is easier than you might think, and the pattern shows you exactly how to do it. You’ll get 6 balls of Shiny Happy Cotton in your chosen shade, plus a set of 5mm circular needles and a copy of the Believe Blanket pattern inside.

Beginner knit Sunshine blanket from Wool and the Gang in garter stitch rainbow stripes

5

Knit Today: Stripy Placemats

You can’t beat a project that’s fun to knit and is a certified stash buster! And that’s exactly what Katina Killey’s striped placemats are. Mix and match your favourite colours and knit stripes of garter stitch, carrying your colours up the edge of your rows as you go, to create these stylish accessories. And at the end, you can use leftover strands of your yarn to give your placemats some pretty fringes. These placemats use four shades and 4mm knitting needles and were originally in Knit Today.

Free knitted placemats pattern

6

Yarnspirations: Bernat Twisted Knit Headband

Whatever the weather, it’s always good to have a trusty headband close to hand – or, preferably, on your head! We love Bernat’s quick and easy design. It’s knitted using moss stitch and finished with a stylish twist in the middle – moss stitch is where you knit and purl alternately across the row and then when you turn your work you purl the knit stitches and knit the purl ones to create a pattern of bumps.

This Twist Knit Headband is knitted using one ball of Bernat Velvet – there are a whole host of colours for you to choose from.

Woman with long brown hair is smiling at the camera. She wears a blue knitted headband that is twisted at the front and stands in front of a dark red background.

7

Mama in a Stitch: Backpack Knitting Pattern

One of our favourite things about knitting is that it’s often both pretty and practical. This easy-knit drawstring bag highlights just how much so it can be. It’s worked mostly in stocking stitch, with some garter stitch for the top, and uses soft cotton yarn with a tight-knit tension to make the finished backpack more durable.

The pattern uses Lion Brand Worsted Weight Cotton and 6mm circular knitting needles.

Easy knit backpack pattern

8

Mollie Makes: Heart Coaster

Share the knitting love with these sweet garter stitch coasters – a great gift for Valentine’s Day or any time of year. They’re ideal for learning the basics of increasing and decreasing, as you use the kfb and k2tog stitches to create the classic heart shape. These hearts only use a small amount of chunky yarn each, so if you have some leftover from a previous project, why not give them a go?

Find out how to knit a heart coaster.

How to knit a heart coaster

9

Yarnspirations: Bernat Button Up Knit Pillow

Give your favourite armchair a knitted makeover with this simple but stylish cushion from Bernat. The pattern uses a beginner-friendly combo of knit and purl stitches to create texture and is worked in chunky Bernat Blanket yarn.

You’ll need three buttons to finish off your cushion and we’ve got tips on how to sew a button right here on Gathered.

Blue stocking and garter stitch button cushion pattern

10

Simply Knitting: Garter Stitch Cowl

There’s nothing more satisfying for a knitter than casting off a project that’s ready to wear. That’s why we love Jo Allport’s gorgeous chunky cowl so much – that, and it’s beautiful. The super chunky yarn, knitted on 10mm needles, means you’ll whiz through the stitches of this easy cowl.

Since it’s so quick and fun to knit, it makes for a great last-minute gift. And what’s more? You can download it for free right here on Gathered.

garter stitch scarf

11

Yarnspirations: Bernat Waffle Stitch Twist Knit Throw

This waffle stitch blanket is a must-knit if you like to knit away while in front of the telly. The pattern is easy to memorise and repeat. So, before you know it, you’ll have a full-size throw ready to be cast off. If you’re new to textured patterns it might look complicated but it’s really a clever combo of knit and purl stitches, mixing columns of purl stitches with columns of knit and purl stitches.

Free waffle stitch knitted blanket pattern

12

Wool And The Gang: Dreamin’ Jumper

So, you’ve worked your way through a few garter stitch scarves and you’ve cast off your fair share of blankets. Now, you’re ready to take on your first jumper and we’ve got you covered with WATG’s Dreamin’ Jumper kit. The design is knitted flat and seamed afterwards – that’s right, you can basically knit wider garter stitch scarves and sew them up to make a cosy jumper. It’s really as simple as that.

The kit comes with all you need to make yourself this oversized jumper, including 5-8 balls of Crazy Sexy Wool (depending on your chosen size) and a pair of 15mm knitting needles. If you’ve got a weekend free on your calendar, get to it.

Easy knit garter stitch Dreaming jumper from Wool and The Gang

13

Mollie Makes: Bobble Hat

If you’ve ever wanted to knit, then you’ve wanted to knit yourself a classic bobble hat. Luckily, the team at Mollie Makes have a super-simple tutorial showing you how to do just that. The pattern will introduce to working in the round (which really isn’t as complicated as you might think), knitting 2×2 rib stitch, basic decreases and making your own pom-pom. How fun does that sound?

You can raid your stash for two matching or contrasting colours – or treat yourself to some new balls of yarn that can be knitted up on 7mm knitting needles.

free knitted bobble hat pattern step 8

14

Sirdar: Premature Baby Hat

Another great hat option is this cute teeny tiny pattern for premature babies. It’s worked flat – so is a good alternative if you want to try knitting hats but aren’t feeling ready to work in the round just yet – and shows you how to knit a pattern while introducing decreases to create shaping. The pattern uses Sirdar Snuggly DK with 3¼mm (for the hat rib) and 4mm knitting needles (for the main part of the hat) and you’ll also find details on how you can donate your finished premature hat if you’d like to.

free knitting patterns for premature babies

15

Mollie Makes: Easy Mittens

If you can knit hats you can knit mittens too! Follow the simple step-by-step instructions from Mollie Makes to create these cute colourblock mitts – we love this mint and silver colour combo! The mittens are worked in easy ribbing and stocking stitch, and they don’t have thumbs for extra simplicity, so there’s no need to worry about fiddly shaping or which mitt is which – just knit and enjoy.

easy mitten knitting pattern 1

16

Miskunn: Unique Hat Pattern

This beanie design is a fab step-up project for beginners looking to mix up their stitches. It still uses a combination of knit and purl stitches – with a bit of shaping thrown in at the top – but the clever placement of those stitches is what creates the textured diamond effect.

The PDF, which costs £2.75, comes with patterns for both worsted weight and sport weight yarns – which are the equivalent of aran weight and DK weight yarns in the UK. The rib is a twisted rib (which involves knitting into the back of your stitches), but can be customised to be a simple 1×1 rib if preferred.

Easy knit diamond beanie knitting pattern

17

Simply Knitting: Phone cover

When you know how to do a knit stitch and purl stitch, the possibilities are endless. There are so many beautiful (and complicated-looking!) stitch patterns that you can create using just these two stitches. One of them is the gorgeous textured design on this phone cover by Kirstie McLeod. It’s knitted in DK weight yarn on 3.5mm knitting needles, and works up in a flash – the perfect weekend project. If you’ve been inspired by this, make sure you take a look at our collection of knit and purl patterns for more stitch ideas too.

phone cover knitting pattern main
18

Knit Today: Star Knitting Pattern

It’s never too early to start decking the halls, in our opinion. Plus, you can knit this pattern multiple times and string it up into bunting for any time of the year – stars aren’t just for Christmas, after all.

You can knit this design by Rosee Woodland two ways; work it flat on straight needles, or in the round using double-pointed needles (DPNs). It’s a quick way to learn how to decrease in knitting (by knitting or purling your stitches together) while making a pretty decoration.

Star knitting pattern

19

Simply Knitting: Baby Booties

We’d be lying if we said the sight of these adorable booties didn’t make us squeal with joy just a little bit. Baby booties are a brilliant way of learning to understand the way knitting is constructed and shaped by its stitches. The small nature of the project means you won’t be overwhelmed as you learn new methods, and also guarantees quick cast-off satisfaction.

These baby booties, by Monica Russel, are knitted flat from the cuff down to the toe and seamed up at the end. The pattern will show you how to work a sweet little picot edge at the cuff and have you mastering the basics of increasing and decreasing to work the foot and toe. All you need to get started is some DK yarn and a pair of 4mm needles.

How to knit baby booties

20

Wooly Crew: Teddy Bear

Whether there’s a little one on the way or a birthday that needs a gift and fast, this adorable teddy bear pattern needs to go straight to the top of your knitting list. The PDF pattern includes step-by-step pictures to make knitting and construction easy to follow. And it will show you how to cast on using the thumb and two-needle method, as well as covering increasing, decreasing and casting off. You can knit it in 100g of any DK yarn you fancy. The finished bear measures approx. 33cm (13in) in height and 31cm (12in) around.

Easy knit teddy bear knitting pattern

21

Jo Storie Knits: Chloe Cardigan

Comfort and style go and hand-in-hand with this gorgeous pattern. The slouchy shrug is a must make if you’re looking for easy knitting patterns for beginners and want to try making your own garments. It’s designed with a drape collar and uses mistake rib and bee stitch to create the beautiful texture throughout. It can be knitted in three different sizes on 3.25mm and 3.75mm knitting needles.

Slouchy cardigan shrug knitting pattern

22

Little Songbird Knits: Beginner’s Lesson in a Bag, Knit Your Own Cactus

This cuddly kit can be cast on by anyone – regardless of whether you’ve knitted before or not. It shows you how to cast on and off, work knit stitch and decrease. For £23.50, you’ll get a pair of knitting needles, 100% wool yarn in two colours, easy-to-read and fully illustrated instructions and a mini plant pot to finish off your project.

Beginners lesson in a bag learn to knit cactus kit

23

Simply Knitting: Baby Blanket

Now you’ve mastered your basic stitches, it’s time to take on some colourwork! Monica Russel’s super-soft baby blanket is a great colourwork project for beginners. It uses the intarsia method – which involves using multiple balls of yarn across one row of knitting. The simple pattern is a great way to get used to using several different balls of yarn in the same row.

The blanket uses Sirdar Supersoft Aran in White and Pretty Blue, plus a pair of 5mm knitting needles. You’ll find a full guide to working intarsia knitting alongside the pattern here on Gathered.

Baby blanket knitting pattern

24

Simply Knitting: Hot Water Bottle Cover

For a smaller project that uses intarsia knitting, try Emma King’s cosy hot water bottle pattern. The thick, aran-weight pure wool used to knit the cover makes it extra-snuggly and means you’ll find yourself whizzing through stitches. You can switch up the colour combos and make personalised gifts for your friends – or, pick your favourite shades and treat yourself to an essential accessory for duvet days. The pattern is free to knit on Gathered, where you’ll also find full guides and tips for the intarsia knitting method.

Knitted hot water bottle cover

25

The Knitting Network: Fairytale Blanket

Full of colour and texture, this vibrant design by Nicola Valiji is an excellent way to learn a multitude of stitches in one project, without getting bored or feeling overwhelmed. The blanket is made up of stripes of colours and various stitches. You’ll even learn a spot of lace knitting, which involves wrapping the yarn over the needle before knitting your next stitch in order to create a hole. The blanket is worked on 4mm circular knitting needles, 80-100cm in length to hold all the stitches and measures 90x126cm when finished. 

Learn new stitches rainbow knitting blanket

26

Simply Knitting: Easter egg pattern

Dip a toe into the wonderful world of colourwork knitting with this easy knitting pattern for an Easter egg. Choose from three designs: a plain egg, striped egg and gingham egg, with the latter using simple Fair Isle techniques to create the stitch pattern. Why not make lots and hang them up around your home, or turn them into a fun garland? Not only will you have a pretty Easter decoration to use for years to come, but you’ll improve your knitting confidence too!

Easter egg pattern

27

The Knitting Network: Striped Ombre Scarf

Discover the joys of colour-changing yarns with this textured scarf from The Knitting Network. The pattern combines the solid shade of Stylecraft Special DK yarn with the ombré effect of Stylecraft Cabaret DK – a yarn that is dyed to change colour every few rows. This means you only need to change yarns every few rows but your knitting will look like you’ve used lots more yarns than you actually have – what a nifty trick!

Striped ombre scarf knitting pattern

28

Simply Knitting: Fair Isle Mug Hug

Similar to intarsia, Fair Isle knitting uses multiple balls of yarn in one row. The difference here is that in Fair Isle knitting you carry one yarn across the back of your work while knitting with the other, then you twist the two yarns together and switch which one you were knitting with.

This colourful and easy-to-knit mug hug design by Kirstie McLeod is a perfect introduction to Fair Isle knitting as it’s small and simple to knit. Learn how to work from a colourwork chart – this is also a great project to use up scraps of yarn as it only needs small amounts of each colour.

one ball knitting patterns free

29

Jo Storie Knits: Parc Scarf

Cables can seem like an impossible piece of magic that more experienced knitters know the secret to, but honestly, they’re really easy. All it takes to make a classic cable, for example, is to take your next two stitches and pop them on a spare needle (often a specific one called a, you guessed it, ‘cable needle’). Then, you’ll either hold them at the front or the back of your work while you knit the next two stitches. Once you’ve worked those, you’ll knit the two stitches off your spare/cable needle and voilà! That’s it, that’s all it takes to make a cable. You can put that method to the test in Jo Storie’s Parc Scarf pattern which supersizes cables using ultra chunky and super soft yarn – and check out our how to cable knit guide for more tips.

Easy knit cable scarf

30

Simply Knitting: Leg warmers

Boost your cable knitting skills with these retro leg warmers. The chunky yarn makes it nice and easy to see your stitches, so once you get into the swing of things you’ll find the cable and rib pattern works up really quickly. Use a variegated yarn for an added stripe effect without any of the effort!

How to knit leg warmers
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For more knitting inspiration check out our collection of beginner knitting patterns, and see our how to knit tutorials for expert advice and knitting tips, including our complete knitting for beginners guide.