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Some Easy First Projects for New Knitters

Some Easy First Projects for New Knitters

By Meg Dedolph

We’ve been talking with a lot of new knitters in the shop recently, and I guess they’ve been on my mind, because when I woke up in the middle of the night, I was thinking about new knitter projects.

Most of the time, I wake with the usual middle-of-the-night thoughts: “Where is the light switch? What time is it? I could use a drink of water.”

But early this morning, my brain greeted me with, “Why do new knitters so often pick a scarf for a first project?”

Don’t get me wrong, scarves are great. They’re useful, they can be fun to make, and they’re a great canvas for trying out new stitch patterns and techniques. I knit one of these with Urth yarn this year and I couldn’t put it down.

But as a learning tool? Most beginners get their knits and purls sorted out about three feet before the scarf is done. 


Here’s some ideas for first projects that mix practice with practicality that aren’t scarves.

  • Fingerless mitts. We use this in our Knitting 101 class as a project. Knit a square or rectangle long enough to wrap around your hand. Cast off and sew into a tube, leaving a thumbhole. Decorate with some funky buttons. 
  • A rabbit. One of our customers reminded me of this idea the other day and I love it. I can’t wait to make a garter stitch square and try it out. Someone find me a kid who wants to learn to knit. 
  • A cowl. Pick a skein of pretty fingering weight yarn and bigger needles and go to town.
  • Washcloths. Or dishrags. I can’t say enough about these. Try a different pattern on each one. Don’t worry about mistakes. There are dozens of free patterns and cotton yarn is inexpensive. If it comes out well, you have a beautiful facecloth. And if it doesn’t quite meet your expectations, you have something to wipe counters with. 

knitted washcloth on the edge of a sink
Click here for free (easy!) washcloth pattern.

So what’s going on your needles next?

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Pamela Moriarty - February 10, 2024

I’ll help you when you have the bunny class for kids.

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