Learn to knit – The free knitting school

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 complete knitting stitch index and I’m going to 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 knitting stitch patterns library as well. And don’t forget to check out my list with the best knitting tips either. 

learning how to knit the continental way with a swatch

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.

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Knitting tutorials for beginners: Step by step lessons to get you started

how to knit 2 stitches together - a sample patch on the needle with right leaning k2tog stitches

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.

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different knitting needles in metal, wood, and carbon

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.

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different hanks and skeins of wool yarns in different colors

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

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the long tail cast on method on the needle

Lesson 4: How to cast on knitting stitches

A step by step tutorial on cast techniques for beginners. 3 easy methods you should know as you start out.

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Inserting the needle into the second loop to knit the second knit stitch

Lesson 5: How to knit the basic knit stitch

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to make the most basic stitch step by step. Plenty of pictures and videos will teach you two easy methods in no time.

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A sample swatch knitted in garter stitch on the needles

Lesson 6: Your first project in Garter Stitch

By knitting in the knit stitch across all rows, you can create a wonderful elastic pattern. Here’s how.

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The last cast off stitch on the needle

Lesson 7: How to cast off knitting stitches

Once you finished your work you need to bind off the remaining stitches so they don’t unravel. Here’s how to do that properly.

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Wraping the yarn around the needle with your middle finger to purl

Lesson 8: How to knit the purl stitch

Time to learn your second stitch. A step by step tutorial to the purl stitch. Together with the knit stitch you’ll be able to access tons of new patterns.

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Working on a piece in stockinette stitch with a garter stitch edge

Lesson 9: How to knit the stockinette stitch

Now the real knitting starts! Everything you need to know about the smooth an incredibly versatile stockinette stitch. Combine a purl and a knit stitch.

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someone holding up two ends to join them with the spit splice

Bonus 1: How to join yarn

A lot of projects require more than just one skein. Here’s how to add another ball the easy way.

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How to weave in ends - step by step

Bonus 2: How to weave in ends

After you finished a project, you do need to tidy up. This process is called weaving in and here’s how to do it

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comparing different selvage knitting techniques

Bonus 3: How to knit neat edges

Probably no part in your knitting is more visible than the edges. And they are easy to mess up. Here’s how to prevent that.

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Knitting Increases

A list of all the ways to increase knitting stitches – Left-slanting and their right-slanting variations. There is more than just M1L and it pays off to expand your skills, so you got the perfect increase for every occasion. Here a post with a side-by-side compression of all knitting increases you might want to check out as well.

Make one right with a right slanted loop picked up

Make 1 Left and Make 1 Right (M1L & M1R)

The probably most popular knitting increase for beginners. Easy to knit and quite inconspicious

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kfb knit front back on right needle

Knit front and back (KFB)

A very popular and easy to knit increase with an almost invisible variation where you only slip the second stitch.

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wrap the yarn counter clockwise around the right needle once to yarn over

How to yarn over (yo)

The easiest increase of them all. By throwing the yarn over the needle, you can increase your row by one stitch. This will create an eyelet.

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the resulting krl increase on the left needle

Knit Right Loop (KRL)

A very invisible left-slanting increase for stockinette stitch. A bit more difficult to knit, but not as likely to create eyelets as KFB or M1L.

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Inserting the needle from behind/above for the right loop increase

Backward Loop Increase (M1BL)

An often overlooked increase that allows you to cast on stitches on the edge of a project.

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a sample swatch with two kll increases - one in red with a contrasting yarn and one almost invisible

Knit Left Loop (KLL)

The most invisible increase for stockinette stitch and my all-time favorite. A bit more difficult to knit as it involves the row below but worth it.

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a swatch with the make two double increase

How to knit Make Two (M2)

A very versatile double increase with a couple of interesting variations. Perfect for shawls and lace patterns.

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close up of a knitting swatch with the central double increase

How to knit the Central Double Increase (CDI)

A symmetrical double increase for lace patterns and 4 easy alternatives.

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A swatch with stacked increases in different heights - from high to low

How to knit the Stacked Increases

A fun advanced technique to increase by an infinite number mid-row by slipping stitches back and forth

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knitting a kfb knitting increase

How to purl front & back (pfb)

A simple bar increase for the purlside. Easy to knit and versatile.

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the wrong side of a swatch increased with pll - purl left loop

Left lifted purl increase (LLPI)

A super invisible increase for the wrong side of your knitting

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the wrong side of a swatch increased with the right lifted purl increase

Right lifted purl increase (RLPI)

Another invisible purl increase for the wrong side 

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Knitting Decreases

A list of all the ways to decrease knitting stitches – Left-slanting and their right-slanting variations you should be aware of. Finding the right decrease is sometimes a bit hard and this list will help you find your perfect match. But always remember that there are also purl decreases for the wrong side of your project.

Pull the yarn through two stitches to knit two together

Knit two together (K2tog)

The classic and easiest way to decrease kit stitches. By knitting two together you create a right-leaning decrease.

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the finished ssk stitch on the right needle

Slip, Slip, Stitch (SSK)

By slipping two stitches before your knit them together, you create the left-leaning counterpart to k2tog often knit in pairs.

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Pull the yarn through the two stitches to p2tog

Purl two together (p2tog)

The easiest left-slanting decrease on the purl side of stockinette stitch that looks like k2tog on the RS.

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Insert the needle from the back of the loop to the front

Purl through back loop (P2tog tbl)

Slip, slip, knit is the left leaning counterpart to k2tog often used on the left side of a garment. Here’s how:

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Pull the yarn through to purl three stitches together

Purl three together (p3tog)

A very fast-paced left-slanting decrease for the purl side that’s a bit more difficult to knit

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Knit three togther by inserting the right needle through 3 stitches as if to knit

Knit three together (k3tog)

A fast way to decrease knitting stitches on the knit side. Right-slanting and a bit more difficult to knit

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insert needle through back loop

Knit two together through back loop

A rarely used but useful decrease for twisted stitches

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inserting the needle through the back loop into three stitches from behind

How to p3tog tbl

Purl 3 together through back loop is a rare right-leaning double decrease for the wrong side

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a hand illustrating how to purl three together centered (p3tog)

Centered double decrease purl (CCDP)

A rare double decrease that creates a neat decrease line on the right side

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close-up of a swatch in k1tog LL

How to K1tog RL & LL

An uncommon and very unique way to shape a fabric and close eylets, and avoid jogs

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swatch with a k2tog twisted

Knit two together twisted

The corresponding right-leaning decrease for k2tog tbl

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a swatch with a traveling twisted decrease

Traveling twisted decrease to the right

A right-leaning decrease for twisted stitches

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inserting the needle through the backloop of those two stitches

How to knit SSP

Slip, Slip, Purl is the neatest way to achieve a left-leaning decrease from the wrong side

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pulling the yarn through the second stitch only - staying in the back

How to knit k2tog left

A neat but complicated left-leaning decrease where you manually adjust the tension.

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passing the slipped stitch over the one just knitted to finish skp

How to knit SKP

An easy yet still neat left-leaning decrease for every circumstance and difficult spots in your pattern.

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Advanced knitting stitches

There are more than just knits and purls. Here are some fun variations to get more structure and interesting patterns into your knitting

Knitting through the back loop for a m1l

How to knit through the back loop (KTBL)

Twisted stitches are a favorite choice for ribbings, can add further structure to cables and close eyelets.

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Make one purl left mean purling the stitch through the back loop

Purl through the back loop (Ptbl)

If you want to knit a twisted rib, you need to adjust your purls on the wrong side. Here’s how.

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Cast on techniques

Before you start any project, you have to cast on stitches. Here are some simple and more advanced techniques you should be aware of to get neater edges – some are more stretchy, others quite ornamental.

How to knit the longtail cast on

The most versatile cast on of them all that creates a very neat edge and is moderately stretchy.

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a knitted cast on on the needles with another knitting needle, blue yarn and scissors in the background

How to knit the knitted cast on

A very versatile cast on technique that is easy to learn for beginners and creates a neat edge.

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close-up of the provisional cast on with a crochet hook right below it

How to do a provisional cast-on with a crochet hook

An easy method that allows you to knit in the other direction

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A longtail purl cast on on the needles

How to knit the longtail purl cast on

Create the perfect cast on edge for ribbings by creating purl stitches. 

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someone holding up a two needle cast on with their fingers

How to do the two-needle cast on

A stretchy variation of the standard long to cast on perfect for ribbings and lace

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a single cast on on the knitting needles with various tools in the background

How to do the single cast on

A perhaps easiest way to cast on knitting stitches of them all.

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close up of a german twisted cast on on the knitting needles

How to knit the German twisted cast on

Create a super stretchy edge perfect for sock cuffs and hats. 

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someone holding up the stretchy edge of ribbing with german twisted cast on purl

How to knit the German twisted purl cast on

A lovely technique if you want to cast-on in pattern and need a stretchy edge.

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Advanced bind off techniques

There are many ways to end a scarf, sweater, or blanket. Most knitters will learn the standard cast off / bind off. While it is versatile enough, there are many others you should know. Some are very ornamental, while others are super stretchy for projects where you need that extra bit of give.

a swatch with a partially knitted icord bind off on the needles

How to knit the I-Cord Bind off

A popular bind-off technique that creates a tubular horizontal edge. Easy to knit, but takes quite a while to finish.

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two swatches joined with a three needle bind off

How to knit the 3-needle bind-off

A very neat way to join two knitted pieces together without seaming or a tapestry needle.

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a knitted swatch with a picot bind off edge on a wooden board with various knitting tools in the background

How to knit the picot bind-off

Create evenly spikes along your edge with a really simple method very popular for lace shawls.

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a stretchy bind off for the 2x2 rib stitch that kind of flares out a bit

Stretchy bind-off for 2×2 rib

A surprisingly stretchy bind-off method for double ribbing

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Advanced knitting techniques

You will probably start with single-pointed bamboo needles and a garter stitch scarf, but there are endless other ways to finish a project and just so many possibilities. Here’s an overview for you

Starting knitting on the second double pointed needle in the round

How to knit in the round on DPNs

Socks, hats, or toys – knitting with double-pointed needles opens up a host of possibilities. 

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Intarsia knitting swatch with the letter N

How to knit intarsia patterns

Transform any picture into knitting. Intarsia will open up a whole new world to you.

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a swatch knitted in intarsia in the round

How to knit intarsia in the round

An interesting technique for advanced knitters who like to be challenged and add some extra to their socks, etc.

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closing the seam of a project knit in the round with the kitchener stitch - the seam is invisible

How to do the Kitchener Stitch

An easy way to graft to knitted pieces together with an invisible seam so it looks just like knitting.

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two pieces grafted together with a kitchener stitch on the purl side

How to do the Kitchener Stitch on the purl side

Grafting purl stitches to join two pieces together without a seam.

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close-up of a gusset pattern knit in bavarian twisted stitches

How to knit Bavarian Twisted Stitches

A tutorial on this amazing regional style of knitting from the far South of Germany.

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pulling on the tail to close the mattress stitch after having seamed an inch

How to do the Mattress Stitch

An invisible way to join stockinette stitch vertically

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someone grafting knitting stitchces with a tapestry needle

How to graft knitting stitches

Join a project in the round or create invisible seams

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seaming garter stitch with the mattress stitch using a red contrasting yarn

How to seam garter stitch

An easy way to join two pieced knitted in garter stitch together.

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multicolored entrelac knitting pattern seen from an angle

How to knit entrelac

An ingenious way to knit a basketweave pattern in multiple colors

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Brioche stitch knitting

Soft and luxuriously textured: brioche stitches a popular knitting niche that requires some special techniques. Normal increases, decreases or colorwork techniques just won’t work.

A brioche stitch knitting sample pattern

How to knit the classic brioche stitch

Scarfs, hats, and jumpers – the perfect knitting pattern to keep you warm

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How to increase the brioche stitch

When regular increases won’t work – create beautiful brioche cables

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close-up of a swatch with left- and right-leaning brioche stitch decreases

How to decrease the brioche stitch

A step by step tutorial on the right- and left-slanting basic decrease

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a swatch with a BR4ST DEC centered double decrease for the brioche stitch and an alternative version

How to knit the brioche double decrease

Scarfs, hats, and jumpers – the perfect knitting pattern to keep you warm

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the half brioche knitting stitch pattern

How to knit the half brioche stitch

Looks almost exactly the same but used a lot less yarn. A simple variation of the classic stitch.

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Double knitting

A very simple colorwork technique that creates a fully reversible fabric in two or three colors. Perfect for potholders, winter garments or other projects where you need an extra layer. You can also use double knitting to knit two at a time.

different types of double knitting side by side

How to double knit

An introduction to the basic technique, how to change colors, the best selvage stitches, etc.

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the finished cast on for double knitting two at a time on the needles

4 ways to cast on for double knitting

From easy to invisible, four ways to cast on for double knitting 

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a swatch in double knittin ribbing in white and blue on a wooden board

How to double knit ribbings

A technique for advanced knitters with so many beautiful possibilities.

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a close-up shot of the edge the invisible bind-off for double knitting creates

Invisible bind-off for double knitting

A very easy way to create an invisible bind-off edge for your double knitting project

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