Beginner-Friendly Patterns that Make Learning Easy

Are you ready to take your knitting skills to the next level? We think these patterns are perfect for knitters who already have the basics down and are ready to graduate to sweaters, or have knit one sweater project and are ready to go to the next level.

With our easy-to-follow instructions and comprehensive guidance for choosing a size, you'll be creating a beautiful hand-knit wardrobe in no time. From seamless, top-down raglans, to cozy hoodies and classic tees, there's something for everyone in our collection. Plus, we have patterns for all skill levels, so you can start small and work your way up to more complex designs.

We believe that anyone can learn to knit, and our beginner-friendly patterns are here to make the learning process enjoyable and stress-free. So, grab your knitting needles and get ready to unlock your knitting potential.

Looking for a first sweater?

The freshly re-designed Sunup on 82nd offers many features for knitters new to garment making. Inside, you'll find a progress chart, a comprehensive schematic with sizing guidance, and a clear, easily navigated pattern experience.

Learn More

Are you ready to knit sweaters?

If you're new to knitting sweaters, you might be wondering if you have the skills to knit a sweater. We think there are a few key skills you need before you go from scarves and hats to garments.

  1. Maintain tension. If you're able to knit for a long time while maintaining the same gauge, you're ready to take on a larger project that depends on gauge to fit.

  2. Ability to read a pattern. Sure, you could jump in the deep end and design your own sweaters - but you'll have the best luck if you get a few patterns under your belt first. Do you understand the terminology, shorthand, and abbreviations used in knitting patterns? Great! You're ready to start knitting more complex patterns.

  3. Adventurous spirit. Knitting is soothing and meditative - except when you've got to rip out a week's worth of work. The knitters who can throw out perfectionism, are hungry for knowledge, and enjoy the pride that comes from tackling a new skill are the most successful sweater knitters. We've seen knitters go from 'first sweater' to 'advanced garment knitter' over just a few projects - that could be you!

Choosing a beginner-friendly pattern

We don't make assumptions about what makes a pattern easy or hard for YOU. Instead, we like to list the techniques you'll use, and let you decide. Here are some of our favorite tips:

  • If you struggle to maintain tension on the wrong side of your garment, consider a textured knit. There's no 'all purl' side, so the wrong and right side are equally fun - and equally likely to be the same tension.

  • Choose the yarn that works well for you. If you're contending with your first splitty, thick-and-thin, needs-to-be-alternated, or unspun yarn, this might not ALSO be the time to tackle your first garment.

  • Consider a pieced garment. If you need to rip back, you won't be ripping out the whole garment, just one piece of it.

  • Review the techniques - but also review when you'll use them. If you're working your first cables at the same time as working your first neckline shaping instructions, that can feel like a lot. Choose a pattern that introduces new techniques sequentially. This might mean a bottom-up sweater, so you have plenty of time to work on the new stitch pattern between the hem and any juicy things that start happening at the underarm.

Versatile, wearable

Choosing a first sweater? Choose something you'll love to wear, with an easy fit and relaxed silhouette.

Get yours today!

Cast on at the right time

If you're accustomed to quick-win hats and socks, plan a pace for your first sweater. Consider choosing a pattern and yarn that you'll be excited to wear in six months, so that you're motivated to stay on task. It can be unintuitive to cast on a fall garment when the daffodils are barely pushing up out of the ground, but future you will be so glad you can wear your sweater this year!

Also consider the yardage, and plan breaks for yourself. If you're used to 400 yard projects, plan breaks for yourself every 400 yards or so. Knowing that you have plenty of time to knit the body, have an instant-gratification moment, and then come back and still finish on time? That's a plan we can get behind.

Beginner-friendly knitting stitches and techniques

There's a balance that happens between "I don't want to spend a ton of money if I don't know how it will turn out" and "if I don't love the yarn, I won't stay motivated because I know I won't love it." Be uncompromising when it comes to choosing yarn and patterns that will come together to create something you'll be utterly thrilled to wear. For your first sweater, we especially love:

  • Sport weight yarn. Many of us overestimate how cold we'll be and how thick of a sweater we'll want to wear all day. Fingering weight is wonderful, but you might have an easier time reaching the finish line if you go up one weight and look for sport. Sport weight is between fingering weight and DK weight.
  • Non-superwash wool. These yarns tend to be the most forgiving to knit, and to be the least deceptive when you swatch them. Look for merino, rambouillet, or targhee - in my opinion, these yarns offer the most versatility, are the least scratchy for most knitters, and have stitch definition you can see from space.

  • Look for single-stitch patterns. The designer may have had no problem getting gauge across all three stitch patterns in a row, but what if your gauge in stockinette is significantly looser when you get their cable gauge? Getting gauge is critical to a sweater that fits the way you expect, so make sure you're setting yourself up for success.

Tips for successful beginner knitting projects

Now that you have our top tips for your first hand-knit sweater, it's time to explore some easy knitting patterns for beginners. These patterns are designed to be approachable and provide a sense of accomplishment for beginners. Here are a few examples:

  1. A top-down, seamless raglan. These are the darlings of beginner knitters because you won't need to know how to seam, and you can 'try-on-as-you-go' - periodically block your project while it's still in progress and try it on and make sure you're happy with it. Tip - if you want to try this, we recommend making sure you work your collar first, since the fit of the garment will be affected by the collar. We recommend Sunup on 82nd and Classic LBD.

  2. A seamless set-in sleeve tee. Without miles of sleeves to knit and with the most difficult bits of seaming out of the question, these tees offer quick results and a beautiful fit. If you can work a short row, you can make these tees. We recommend Alice and Anna.

  3. A seamed basic raglan. A raglan is a perfect first seaming project, because you won't have to seam across the shoulders or set in a sleeve cap. These patterns offer huge flexibility in adjusting the sleeve fit, so if you're someone with a juicy upper arm, a seamed raglan is your fastest route to success. We recommend Study Group - with or without the colorblocks.

These are just a few examples of beginner-friendly knitting patterns. As you gain confidence and experience, you can gradually move on to more complex designs and techniques.

Tips for learning and improving knitting skills

To ensure a successful knitting experience, here are some tips to keep in mind when working on your beginner projects:

  1. Start with pieced (seamed) projects: Begin with seamed projects that have pieces that can be completed quickly. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and keep you motivated.

  2. Take it slow: Knitting is a skill that requires patience and practice. Don't rush through your projects; take your time and enjoy the process!

  3. Practice regularly: Set aside dedicated time for knitting each week. Regular practice will help you improve your skills and build muscle memory.

  4. Don't be afraid to make mistakes: Mistakes are a natural part of learning. Embrace them as opportunities to grow and learn from your experiences! My rule of thumb is that if it won't bother you, don't worry about it!

  5. Join a knitting community: Connecting with other knitters can provide support, inspiration, and valuable tips. Consider joining a local knitting group or an online knitting community, like the One Wild Slack Group.

Remember, knitting is a journey, and each project is an opportunity to learn and grow. Embrace the process and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with creating something beautiful with your own hands.

Embrace your knitting journey and unlock your potential

If you're eager to expand your knitting skills and learn new techniques, we want to connect you to the tools we love best.

  1. The One Wild Broadcast - join us as we talk behind the scenes, dig into fit and modifications, and share snippets from our design studios. Available on YouTube, Spotify, and Apple.

  2. Knitting books - invest in a few beginner-friendly knitting books that provide detailed instructions, patterns, and tips. Books often offer a more comprehensive understanding of knitting techniques and can serve as a valuable reference. We love recommending June Hemmons Hiatt's The Principles of Knitting.

  3. Local yarn stores - local yarn stores often offer knitting classes and workshops for beginners. These in-person learning experiences provide hands-on instruction and the opportunity to ask questions.

  4. The One Wild article library - we're constantly adding new articles to help you create the handmade wardrobe of your dreams!
Beginner-Friendly Patterns that Make Learning Easy
Back to blog

Leave a comment