10 Free Beginner Knitting Patterns for Absolute Beginners

10 Free Beginner Knitting Patterns
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Are you struggling to find Free Beginner Knitting Patterns that:

  • Are Knit Flat on Straight Needles
  • Use Knit and Purl only
  • Have Clear Instructions
  • Are Classic or Modern Styles
  • And are FREE!

I get your frustration! I was so eager to make something beautiful and useful when I was a newbie knitter, but was surprised at how complicated, poorly written, or boring the free beginner knitting patterns are.

So, I’ve collected these free knitting patterns that are great for a first project. All you need to know are the basics of casting on, binding off, knit stitch and purl stitch. Only a few require extra skills. If they do I made a note below the description.

This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend. I receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you click them and make a purchase. Thanks for your support! See my full disclosure here.

Before you Get Started

If you still need to learn the basics, I highly recommend this Startup Library from Bluprint. After several frustrating attempts, this is where I finally got the hang of knitting and really took off with it. It’s a full class of videos and printable materials that is SO easy to follow and will help you learn better than anything else I’ve found.

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Startup Library: Knitting

You can preview the full Knit Stitch Lesson for free here and sign up for a free trial…which should give you plenty of time to learn the basics and decide if it’s worth it for you. I LOVE having access to ALL the pros and amazing classes. I use it all the time!

A Few Notes

I did my best to find ONLY patterns that met the criteria listed above, but a few of these patterns do require skills outside of the basics. I still included them because the designer does such a good job of teaching it should still be easy. I’ve included a note if the pattern has extra skills to learn.

1) Malt Baby Blanket Pattern by Tin Can Knits

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Tin Can Knits

The Malt Blanket is part of Tin Can Knits learn to knit series called the Simple Collection. It’s an excellent series of beginner patterns that will walk you through several projects allowing you to practice new skills before moving on in difficulty.  Their patterns are VERY well written, including diagrams and detailed notes.

Note: This blanket is knit flat going back and forth in rows, but in order to hold all the stitches you will use circular knitting needles. The cable gives the stitches room and makes everything easier to hold.

Required Skills: Cast on, Bind Off, Knit

Size: Approximately 30″ W x 32″ L

Recommended Materials:

2) Easy Knit Hat Pattern by Bhooked Crochet

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Are you a visual learner? Bhooked Crochet has a video tutorial to go along with this hat! This is a great classic hat that will knit up quickly and only requires one skein of bulky yarn!

Note: It IS knitted with in the round with circular needles, but since it has no decreases you don’t need to worry about double pointed needles.  And, instead of binding off you use a darning needle to cinch up the top, which makes finishing your hat super simple!

Required Skills: Cast on (loosely!), Knit, Purl, *Knit in the Round*

Size:  Adult, 17″ Stretch to Fit 22″ Circumference

Recommended Materials:

3) Easy Knit Flat Baby Hat by Little Red Window

This basic baby/toddler hat pattern is free in the 12 Month size, with other sizes available to purchase. 

It is knitted flat and seamed up the back, so you can skip the circular needles for now if you’re not ready.  Little Red Window also suggests you can use this pattern to easily modify her Pretty Kitty, Frog, and Bear Baby hats to be knit flat as well!  

Required Skills: Cast On, Bind Off, Knit, Purl, *K2tog* (knit two together decrease)

Size:  Free:12 Months or Paid PDF: 0-3, 6m, 12m, 2t+

Recommended Materials:

4) Easy Trust Cowl Pattern by Brome Fields

I love this simple cowl pattern. It’s as easy as making a scarf, but the added button and clever seaming give it a classic comfy look. Plus, no fiddling with tying a scarf. Just slip this on and you’re ready to go!

Required Skills: Cast On, Bind Off, Knit Stitch, Sew seams and buttons

Size: One Size, Tween-Adult

Recommended Materials:

5) Easy Knit Sweater by Mama in a Stitch

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Photo: Mama in a Stitch

This Blanket Sweater is such a comfy, cozy pattern and right on trend with everything that’s oversized, bulky, and Hygge. It would make a perfect first sweater project.

Note: The sweater pictured was made with a yarn has been discontinued. The designer recommends Lion Brand Color Made Easy as a replacement.

Required Skills: Cast on, Bind Off, Knit, Purl

Recommended Materials:

6) Glimmer Scarf by Purl Soho

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Photo: Purl Soho

This scarf is so luxurious no one will guess it was knit by a newbie!

The key to the look is the amazing premium yarn you can get from Purl Soho. They even sell it in a kit so you don’t have to guess about color combos or yardage.

If the cost is out of reach you can try the comparable yarn I recommend below.

Required Skills: Cast on, Bind Off, Knit, Purl, *Slip Stitch* (you just transfer the stitch over to the right needle without doing anything to it)

Size: 8½” W x 68″ L

Recommended Materials:

7) Kids Knit Cowl by Make and Do Crew

Kids Knit Cowl by Make and Do Crew
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Make and Do Crew

I love that this free cowl pattern comes in a kids size and you get that fair isle look just by using the Wool Ease Thick & Quick yarn in the Monarch color.

There’s also a Toucan (gray/yellow), Parakeet (gray/green), Purple Martin (gray/blue), Flamingo (gray/pink)! Such an easy and quick knit you can deck out the whole family in matching accessories!

Note: It is nearly impossible to find a 9″ circular needle in size 15. For a beginner, I suggest simply using straight needles and knitting flat. Knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side, then seam up the cowl when you’re finished.

If you’ve gotten the hang of knitting in the round and feel comfortable you could try the magic loop method with a long circular needle (24″ would work), or double pointed needles.

Required Skills: Cast on, Bind Off, Knit, Purl, *K2tog* (knit 2 together decrease)…convert pattern to flat, use magic loop or double pointed needles

Size: Toddler, Big Kid, Teen/Adult

Recommended Materials:

8) Planter Cover by The Merrythought

This free beginner knitting pattern is mean to fit a 6″ tapered planter. I love the clean and modern, yet super comfy look. It’s like sweater for your plants!

Note: This pattern is knit flat, but does call for increases. Using a circular needle will allow you to check the fit as you go. And, thankfully, all the increases are at the edges and will disappear in the seam.

Required Skills: Cast On (they use a Crochet Cast On), Knit, Bind Off, *Increasing*

Size: Fits 6″ tapered planter

Recommended Materials:

9) Tassel Trimmed Pillow by Lion Brand

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Photo: Lion Brand Tassel Trimmed Pillow

This pillow is a great pattern if you want to knit in color without dealing with changing balls of yarn, or weaving in a bazillion ends. Add some fun tassels to take your decor up a notch. Bonus: This yarn is machine washable and dryable, so feel free to let your kids play with your masterpiece.

Note: This yarn is a Light / 3 weight yarn, just a little thinner than worsted. It can sometimes be slightly more fiddly if you’re used to bulky yarn, but it’s too cute to pass up!

Required Skills: Cast on, Bind Off, Knit, Make Tassels (instructions in pattern)

Size: About 16 x 16 in. (40.5 x 40.5 cm)

Recommended Materials:

10) Boulevard Blanket by Fifty Four Ten on Bluprint

The Boulevard Blanket
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Photo: Bluprint

This blanket looks so luxurious, doesn’t it? This pattern includes directions to make a blankets in standard bedding sizes, so you can make a bedspread to spruce up your decor! Just be sure to purchase long enough needles and enough yarn!

Required Skills: Cast on, Bind Off, Knit, Purl,

Size: Several Sizes from a Baby Blanket all the way up to XXL (53” wide x 60” long)

Recommended Materials:

I’d Love to Hear From You!

Which Pattern are you going to try? What have you found most difficult about finding a good beginner pattern? I’d love to hear about your first knitting project, too. Comment below!

10 Free Beginner Knitting Patterns for Absolute Beginners
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