Knitting is an amazing and incredibly satisfying hobby. But not everyone had the luck that grandma taught them how to knit. Well, thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to start this wonderful craft. On this page, I put together a very detailed free knitting course to help you out. I am going to be your knitting teacher and you can follow along through tons of videos, pictures, helpful texts, and knitting charts. It’s a free and self-guided course where I share my experience from 30+ years of knitting. All you need are the right knitting tools (<- read my list) and the willingness to learn! Experienced knitters might want to check out my index of all knitting techniques as well. And don’t forget to check out my list with the best knitting tips either.
How to knit for beginners
The ultimate step-by-step tutorial on how to start knitting. A beginner-friendly resource with all the basic techniques you need for your first projects. Easy to follow instructions, big pictures, and slow-motion videos included.
Level 1: Knitting tutorials for beginners: Step-by-step lessons to get you started
Definition: A knitting beginner is someone who grasps the most basic stitches and can finish simple patterns with aid.
The following couple of stitches and skills are what I would recommend focusing on as you start out. It’s a simple set of techniques that will allow you to finish some basic projects.
Lesson 1: Is knitting hard to learn? What to expect
How long will it take for you to learn knitting and what you can (and what you cannot) expect of your first projects?
Lesson 2: How to find the right knitting needles
A very detailed guide to finding the best knitting needles for beginners. Pros and cons of bamboo, and metal needles.
Lesson 3: The best knitting yarn for beginners
Everything you need to know about the different materials, weights, and how easy they are to knit
Lesson 4: How to cast on knitting stitches
A step-by-step tutorial on cast-on techniques for beginners. Easy methods to get you started
Lesson 5: How to knit the basic knit stitch
Learn how to make the basic stitch. Plenty of pictures and a video will teach you two easy methods in no time.
Lesson 6: How to bind-off stitches
A bind-off secure your stitches, keeps them from unraveling, and finishes your project.
Lesson 7: How to knit a coaster
A simple project for beginners to utilize those first skills and create a useful item in a short amount of time.
Lesson 8: How to knit the purl stitch
Time to learn your second stitch. Together with the knit stitch, you’ll be able to access tons of new patterns.
Lesson 9: How to knit the stockinette stitch
Combine a purl and a knit stitch to create this classic and super smooth knitting stitch pattern.
Lesson 10: How to join a new ball
A lot of projects require more than just one skein. Here’s how to add another ball the easy way.
Lesson 11: How to weave in ends
After you’ve finished a project, you need to tidy up the tails. This process is called weaving in.
Lesson 12: How to seam knitting
Using the ingenious mattress stitch, you can seam two knitted pieces together in an invisible way.
Lesson 13: How to decrease knitting
Learn a simple decrease to shape your fabric and knit projects beyond simple rectangles.
Lesson 14: How to knit an increase
Do you want your fabric to get wider? Well, then you need to work a so-called increase.
10 easy patterns for beginners
Are you looking for some easy projects you will be able to finish with these skills? Here is a list for you.
Level 2: Advanced Beginner
Definition: A knitter who easily handles the standard stitches, has learned directional increases & decreases, can follow simple patterns and knows a technique to add color and texture to their projects.
Once you’ve learned the basics, you can dig a little bit deeper into the way stitches work and your finished fabric behaves. Knitting has direction and the way you enter stitches matters as much as when and where you position a certain stitch. As an advanced beginner, you can also start to explore the many possibilities to knit with two colors.
Reading tip 1: Wrong side vs right side
How to keep the two sides of your project apart? And what does it mean?
Reading tip 2: How to knit neater edges
Your edges are all wonky? Here are some helpful tips and tricks!
Reading tip 3: How to read knitting patterns
A proper pattern will open a whole new world to you.
Reading tip 4: How to count rows
It’s easy to get lost. But it’s quite easy to count your knitting if you know this trick.
Reading tip 5: A neater last bind-off stitch
Does your last bind-off stitch always create an ear? Here’s how to avoid that.
Reading tip 6: How to keep knitting from curling
10 tips to prevent curling edges.
Lesson 15: Directional Increases – M1R & M1L
Increases have a slant or lean. This tutorial shows you a neat set of directional increases.
Lesson 16: SSK – a left-leaning decrease
Decreases also come in pairs. Slip, Slip, knit will make your fabric lean to the left – as opposed to k2tog (right-leaning).
Lesson 17: How to knit the cable stitch
A super fancy and yet super simple way to create stunning patterns. Don’t be scared!
Basic knitting stitch patterns
As an advanced beginner, you can definitely explore the many ways to combine knit and purl stitches. These two simple stitches can create so many stunning patterns that are very simple to knit at the same time. Some of them, like ribbings, are super useful as they are very stretchy and can be used for hems & cuffs, while other stitches are just beautiful to look at. Here are 6 stitches you definitely should have heard of. Maybe knit a little coaster or potholder to practice them. And for the more adventurous, here’s my knitting stitch library.
1×1 rib stitch
The mother of all cuffs and hems: Stretchy, easy to knit for beginners and very versatile.
2×2 rib stitch
A very popular knitting stitch pattern for hems, cuffs, and socks – with a lot of negative ease.
A very simple knit/purl variation suitable for beginners, and a great choice for more texture.
A popular and easy pattern for larger projects. Reversible, lays flat, and not too stretchy.
Broken Rib stitch
Lots of texture and yet quite stretchy. A simple 2-row repeat with stunning effects.
Beautifully textured 4-row repeat. Very easy to remember and only needs knit and purl stitches.
As an advanced beginner, you may want to explore at least one way to do colorwork. Certainly, these techniques will occupy you for a lot longer but nothing speaks against some first steps. Most of these techniques just require the same basic stitches you have been using all along.
Reading tip 7: How to change colors
Joining in a new color seamlessly will enable you to knit beautiful stripes and so much more.
Option 1: Simple Stranded knitting
If you know how to knit and purl, then you absolutely can start with your first Fair Isle project.
Option 2: 2-colored fisherman’s rib stitch
Create stunning projects by employing a simple trick. Basically, you knit across each row twice.
Knit in the round: the basics
Knitting in the round can seem quite daunting – and it can be. But there are also tons of super easy tubular projects out there. A simple beanie could be well within your reach at this stage.
How to join your cast-on in the round
You know how to cast-on but how do you create a seamless round?
Option 1: Magic loop
Employ a trick to use large circular needles to knit small(er) diameter tubular projects
Option 2: Knit with double-pointed needles
The traditional way to knit in the round.
The most common knitting mistakes
As a beginner, it’s very easy to develop bad habits. This fun list explores the 15 most common ones and how to avoid them. Fix your mistakes and prevent future mishaps!
III. Intermediate knitter
Definition: A knitter who can follow most patterns with ease, is able to read knitting and charts, and knows advanced stitches and techniques for neater results. Knitting in the round is no longer a challenge, and advances have been made in lace knitting, brioche, or advanced colorwork.
Once you managed the basics, you can explore in two directions: First, you could learn special techniques and tricks for neater results. This probably means you need to ask a lot more after the why and less how. And secondly, you can also start looking for more advanced stitches and technique to create more ambitious designs and patterns. Most knitters start to specialize at this point and focus on one or two kind of projects they prefer (like socks, shawls, or sweaters).
Reading tip 8: Knit vs purl stitch
Understand how different stitches work and learn to recognize them in your fabric.
Reading tip 9: How to get gauge
If you want to knit a garment from a pattern, you have to get gauge first. Here’s how.
Reading tip 10: How to read charts
Lace, colorwork, cables – most patterns use charts and you need to know how to read them.
Lesson 18: How to knit through the back loop
Twisted stitches are a favorite choice for ribbings, can add further structure to cables and close eyelets.
Lesson 19: Purl through the back loop
If you want to knit a twisted rib, you need to adjust your purls on the wrong side. Here’s how.
The best left-leaning decrease
Do your SSKs all look wonky? Here’s why and how to fix it!
A set of very powerful and very invisible increases that are worked into the row below.
10 super neat edge stitches
Tired of wonky edges? here is a list with alternatives
3.1 Learn more cast-ons and bind-offs
As a beginner, one technique to start your knitting and one to end is will suffice. But later on, as you progress along your knitting journey, you will greatly benefit from expanding your choices. Some edges need to be more stretchy while others could look a bit neater or fancier. Here are three further options each for your consideration:
The surprisingly stretchy bind-off
Creates a super stretchy edge for cuffs and hems.
Stretchy bind-off for 2×2 rib
A nice and neat edge for all sorts of ribbings with a lot of give.
A highly ornamental and stretchy choice with many fun applications. Perfect for shawls or the cuff of socks.
3.2 Advanced colorwork
Stripes and simple stranded colorwork can be fun but there are so many other options to create colorful designs through knitting. As an intermediate knitter, you may want to explore at least one advanced colorwork technique.
A fun technique to transfer any picture into knitting with no messy backsides.
Create a super cozy and reversible fabric with sheer unlimited design possibilities.
A super fun technique to create a basket-weave kind of pattern
3.3 Intermediate knitting stitch patterns
There are quite a lot of interesting patterns and knitting methods that require more than just knit and purl stitches. As an intermediate knitter, you definitely should dare to delve a little bit more into the many different ways to structure your fabric. Here are some options:
Other useful skills for intermediate knitters
- How to block finished projects
- How to fix more complicated mistakes: How to use lifelines, how to reverse knit, etc.
How to read your knitting
Understand how stitches truly work and how to read them.
How to fix advanced mistakes
Helpful tips and tricks – no more unraveling your work.
How to knit backwards
Knit in the other direction to avoid purling or turning your work.
Patterns for intermediate knitters
Once you start learning more advanced knitting techniques and methods, you can certainly dare to approach more complicated patterns. Here is a selection of basic patterns you definitely can start knitting at this stage, if not earlier.
Expert knitting hacks for better results
A massive list of little hacks that make the difference. Knit faster, neater, or achieve better results with these simple yet effective tricks.
Work in progress…
I will continuously expand this resource. Not only to help you learn how to knit but also to reach the high echelons of master knitting. This will take time. So please be patient. The experienced knitter part is still under construction.
Available master classes on my Patreon account:
IV. Experienced knitter
Definition: Someone who knows how to adjust patterns according to their own preferences, can substitute yarn, is proficient in at least one major knitting technique, and can produce neat results consistently.
Knitting is more than just knowing how to do something. It’s also about knowing techniques to adjust any given pattern/design according to your preferences. This will require a lot of practice but also yet more knowledge about how knitted fabric behaves and how certain stitches/patterns work.
How to graft stitches
Learn special techniques to close seams and gaps in an invisible way – no matter your pattern.
How to knit German Short Rows
A super smart way to add colors or shape fabric – no holes.
How to knit neater ribbings
Are you frustrated by wonky ribbings? Here are techniques to fix that.
The ultimate list of knitting increases
A massive resource with all possible increases in knitting.
The ultimate list of knitting decreases
A list of ALL possible knitting decreases. Left, right, and centered alternatives.
10 increasingly stretchy bind-offs
Comparing 10 different ways to add more stretch to your edge
4.1 Advanced knitting stitch patterns
Are you looking for even more advanced ways to structure your fabric and create unique designs? Well, then here are a couple of techniques that really will make you wow.
Bavarian twisted stitches
A regional style from Germany with stunning design possibilities
4.2 Advanced colorwork techniques
The first simple stripes are easy to knit. But you will probably notice that colorwork can also be incredibly difficult to get right. Maintaining a nice tension and achieving a neater stitch definition defines a true master knitter. Here are some tips to help you along the way.
Advanced intarsia tips
Here are tricks for neater results when knitting intarsia
Intarsia in the round
Challenge yourself with this very advanced technique
Advanced entrelac tips
Looking for neater results? These tips will bring your entrelac to the next level.
10 knitting tips for neater results
An inspirational list of tips and tricks that will help you to achieve neater results. Super smart techniques and little hints with big results.