Easy knitting patterns for beginners 2023
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.
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 a collection of the best easy knitting patterns for beginners to help you do just that.
Easy knitting patterns for beginners
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! Head over to our knitting for beginners guide for all the basics, then grow your stash with our round-up of knitting kits for beginners, and discover our library of knitting stitch patterns to practise.
The best easy knitting patterns for beginners 2023
Ready to knit? Reach for your needles and pick your favourite beginner knitting pattern from our list below!
That Crafty Stitch: Beginner Scarf 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 Beginner Scarf Kit includes 300g of chunky acrylic yarn, 10mm bamboo knitting needles, tapestry needle, a clear pattern and video instructions – all for £30.
- Pick up the kit from That Crafty Stitch's Etsy shop
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.
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.
More like this
These placemats use four shades and 4mm knitting needles and were originally in Knit Today.
- Cast on this knitted placemat pattern
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.
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.
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. See our how to increase a stitch in knitting and how to decrease in knitting tutorials for how they're done.
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
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.
- Get the Button Up Knit Pillow pattern free to download on Yarnspirations’ website
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.
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.
- Get all you need to knit this textured treat from Yarnspirations, including the free downloadable pattern
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.
- Order the kit from Wool and the Gang and knit in just two days
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 you to knitting in the round (which really isn’t as complicated as you might think), knitting 2x2 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.
- Learn how to knit a bobble hat
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.
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.
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 (find out more with our yarn weight conversion chart).
The rib is a twisted rib (which involves knitting into the back of your stitches), but can be customised to be a simple 1x1 rib if preferred.
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 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.
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.
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 follow a pattern
If you're having trouble deciphering your first knitting pattern, our how to read knitting patterns guide can help!
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.
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.
- Get the pattern from www.jostorieknits.com (£5.50)
Little Songbird Knits: Knitted Cactus
This cuddly cactus can be cast on by anyone – regardless of whether you’ve knitted before or not. The pattern takes you through casting on and off, working knit stitch and decreasing to create your plant.
To make the cactus you need a 50g Ball of DROPS Alaska in Light Olive, and a small quantity of Mustard, a pair of 4.5mm knitting needles, some toy stuffing, and a mini plant pot.
- You can treat yourself or a lucky pal to the pattern from Little Songbird Knits’ Etsy shop
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.
- Cast on this baby blanket knitting pattern
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.
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.
- Download the PDF for £3.49 or order a print version for £3.99 from The Knitting Network
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 knitting 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!
- Get the free Easter egg pattern
The Knitting Network: Striped Ombré 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!
- Download the pattern or order a print copy for £2.99 from The Knitting Network.
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.
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.
- Buy the pattern for £4.50 at www.jostorieknits.com and start your cable journey today!
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!
- Learn how to knit leg warmers
Try an easy beginner knitting pattern
Whether you're learning to knit for the first time, coming back to the craft after a break, or looking for some simple TV or travel knitting, an easy knitting pattern for beginners is what you need!
While these designs are simple, they certainly aren't boring – you might be surprised by how many different things you can make with just a few basic stitches.
Whatever you choose from our list, we're sure you'll love making it – and do share your finished project with us on our social media!
Learn to knit with Gathered
Master all the skills you need to knit your first pattern with our guide to knitting for beginners.
Lou is a writer and maker based in Bristol, where she lives with her husband Rory, two ball pythons she refers to as “silly sausages” and (possibly) too many plants. If she’s not working on your next issue of Love Embroidery, then she’s crafting or snacking. As well as stitching, she's also a keen knitter. She has worked with a huge range of best selling magazines, including Simply Knitting, The Knitter, Simply Crochet, BBC Countryfile, Boundless, Rowan Collection, Mollie Makes and Cross Stitch Crazy.
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