Clear knitting instructions for beginners are so important. I know because I learn to knit on my own.
A beginner must first understand some knitting terms that are going to appear in any knitting pattern or instructions. I have included some video tutorials as well as written instructions with illustrations. I suggest viewing the videos for an overall idea of how knitting is like and then use the written instructions to practise at your own pace.
Cast On or Casting On
This is the process of making the first row of stitches on your needle. Cast on is usually written as CO in patterns. There are a couple of ways to cast on and here is the one that I think beginners should use: Knitted Cast On or Cable Cast On.
Written instructions: Step by step instructions with diagrams for the Knitted Cast On.
Knitting is basically made up of 2 basic stitches. The first one is the knit stitch. The video will show you how to knit a whole roll of knit stitches. The knit stitch is usually written as K in patterns.
Written instructions: Step by step instructions with diagrams for the Knit stitch.
The purl stitch is the other basic stitch. The purl stitch is usually written as P in patterns.
Bind off or Cast off
This is the last row in your knitting. It can be called casting off or binding off although in most patterns it is written as BO. Binding off should be done loosely and you will see the reason why once you start binding off yourself. You need the little bit of extra space to move the loops.
Written instructions: Step by step instructions with color illustrations for Bind Off.
The 4 knitting terms above should get you through some simple beginner projects.
Practise the 4 techniques above until you are quite comfortable with them or when you get bored. Then, you should move on to other more projects with more challenging techniques such as increasing and decreasing, cables, lace, and more.
Here is a very simple garter stitch dishcloth pattern for you to practise as well as create a practical product that you can use in your home.
A garter stitch square dishcloth pattern
Garter stitch is produced when every row is made up of knit stitches.
CO – cast on
BO – bind off
Size 7 (US) needles
1 ball worsted weight cotton yarn, any colour you fancy
CO 39 stitches
Knit 76 rows
Other knitting patterns for beginners
- Easy Beginner Garter Stitch Scarf Knitting Pattern designed by Susan Druding
- Rockstar scarf
- Dishcloth by Lion Brand
- Colourful dishcloths