How to Get Started Knitting

Published: August 21, 2018

Want to find out how to get started knitting? Ironically, it can be overwhelming to jump into such a popular creative medium when there’s an abundance of information out there. I’m going to try to break it down as simply as possible so you can get started knitting easily. (Remember, knitting should be enjoyable, not stressful.) 🙂

Beginning Knitting Supplies

Luckily, when you first start knitting, you really don’t need that many supplies. You can basically get going with a pair of needles, a skein of yarn, and some scissors.

lion brand wool ease yarn


You don’t want to start with the cheapest yarn out there, because, yuck. Nor do you want to race into your local knit shop and drop a hundred bucks on the most gorgeous yarns in the joint. Luckily, there are tons of happy mediums out there.

Start with:

  • A smooth yarn so you can see your stitches and you won’t keep getting your needles caught
  • Worsted weight, which is a good medium thickness
  • A fairly light color makes it easier to see your stitches

Try Wool-Ease (80% Acrylic, 20% Wool), or Red Heart With Love if you hate even that small percentage of wool.


Start with bamboo!

They aren’t as slippery as metal, making you less likely to drop stitches off the needles. TIP: Practice dropping stitches on purpose from time to time, so you can practice replacing them without having an emotional meltdown. (See the links to fixing knitting mistakes at the end of this post.)

I would also have on hand some of these plastic needles if you don’t already, and a crochet hook, just to use for dropped stitches. (Not that you’ll ever make any mistakes ever, ever, ever.) (Plus, what if you want to take up crochet as well? See what an art supply enabler I am?)

This Mug

funny knitting mug: knit happens

You obviously will need to share with the world that you are now a knitter, right? HAY-AY! Knit happens.

First Knitting Techniques

There are 3 things you need to know to get started knitting.

  1. Cast on – This is getting the yarn on the needle to begin with. There are different methods to do this, and some are easier than others to learn.
  2. Knit and purl – You’ll want to practice exactly 2 stitches at first: knit and purl. These 2 stitches, and variations on them, make up all of knitting.
  3. Cast off – Also known as binding off, this is how to finish the edge of your knitting so it doesn’t unravel.

I like these videos by Happy Berry Knitting. They’re bright, close-up, not too much intro garbage, and she explains slowly and clearly.

Cast on

Knit Stitch

Purl Stitch

Cast Off

Perfect First Knitting Projects

The classic beginning knitting project is a scarf. I for one hate scarves, so when I started I knitted approximately 1/2 of a scarf before moving onto hats. If you like scarves, go for it. It’s a great way to practice your stitches for a long time, so that you commit them to muscle memory.

I made a beginning knitting project for kids, where you knit and felt bracelets, but my current washing machine hasn’t been working very well to felt items, so take that into consideration if you try this.

Want to Dive Full Force Into Knitting? Explore More:

Ravelry is a super fun knit and crochet community where you can find your tribe of like-minded knitters (and crocheters).

Knitting Books

Here’s a great comprehensive resource book to get started knitting that you will want sitting next to you always. Get your highlighters and page markers ready. 🙂

These 4 are more for knitting pattern ideas and instruction:

Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's HandbookStitch ‘n Bitch: The Knitter’s HandbookBuy Now750 Knitting Stitches: The Ultimate Knit Stitch Bible750 Knitting Stitches: The Ultimate Knit Stitch BibleBuy NowCute & Easy Little Knits: 35 quick and quirky projects you'll love to makeCute & Easy Little Knits: 35 quick and quirky projects you’ll love to makeBuy NowBaby Beanies: Happy Hats to Knit for Little HeadsBaby Beanies: Happy Hats to Knit for Little HeadsBuy Now

  1. The Stitch ‘N Bitch book is so much fun and has been a big hit for a while- Debbie Stoller is fun to read, but also her knitting ideas are great.
  2. 750 Knitting stitches is a super resource for learning and practicing different knit stitches, which is actually really fun. You can sit around practicing while watching tv, and using up some of that yarn left over from other projects.
  3. I have to admit that I don’t actually own Cute & Easy Little Knits, but I felt the need to include it here because it actually does look fun! Let me know if you try this one. 🙂
  4. I ADORE this Baby Beanies book and have made several of the hats in here, sometimes modifying the colors or yarns I use, but they always come out great. This will make you want to quickly move onto learning circular knitting!
    Knitting Instruction Videos

Knitting Classes

Here’s where everything will really break through for you! There’s nothing like seeing someone show you how to knit live, being able to pause and rewind as much as you need, and get all the tips and tricks they offer as well. YouTube is great, but let’s face it, wading through all those ads can be annoying, and you have to hunt and peck to go on to the next technique.

Startup Library: KnittingCheck it Out My First Infinity ScarfCheck it Out Startup Project: Cable Knit Hat & HeadbandCheck it Out

How to Fix Common Beginner Knitting Mistakes

This is a great resource for lots of common beginner knitting mistakes.

Here are some nice, clear videos on fixing some common knitting mistakes.

Now go practice so you can move on to knitting this toilet paper.

knitted toilet paper roll

Tell me your knitting stories! Have you tried before? Are you excited to started knitting?

Get Started Knitting



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