Our Favorite Knitting Projects for Beginners
by Liz Daly
When the world shut down a few years ago Janet and I started talking about how knitting has helped us through challenging times and we wanted to make sure newish knitters had the support they needed to keep knitting. So we ran our first Newish Knitter Knitalong. We just tried it to see what would happen. Ever since, three Wednesday evenings a month, I've hosted a Newish Knitter Knitalong with a new project every month.
All of the projects that I choose are “conversational knits” where you might pick up one or a few techniques but overall relatively easy patterns. Don’t get me wrong, I also pick some more challenging projects to push everyone out of their comfort zones, but I am with you the entire way, helping you with what you need help with. I also try to work the store so that you are exposed to different yarns and yarn weights.
Here is a list of what we knit up in 2021 and the reasons why they were chosen.
January - Wheat Scarf by Tin Can Knits - This scarf was chosen as a relaxing knit to recover from the holidays. We also discussed how to play with stripes and color with this basic pattern.
February - Rib-a-Roni hat by Jane Tanner - This hat is one of my go-to hats because it is classic. We knit in the round and discussed how to read your stitches with the repeating rib.
March - Touchstone Shawl by Laura Aylor - One of my favorite shawl shapes is the asymmetric triangle. Not only is it easy to wear but you cast on only a few stitches! You can also make these shawls as big or as small as you would like. We discovered how easy eyelets are to put into your knitting.
April - Baby Face Spa Cloths by Cheryl Toy - I think this was one of the most popular projects. We went over one design each week because this pattern had several designs. I don’t think I’ll ever purchase a washcloth again. So many different ways to combine knit and purl stitches.
May - Runaround Pond by Elizabeth Smith - We cast on A LOT of stitches and knit in the round. I showed everyone a trick on how to complete a longtail cast on without worrying about the length of the tail.
June - Olive Night Shawl by Taiga Hilliard - I’m not going to lie, this was a little bit of a challenge but I knew that everyone in the group was going to be able to do it. This pattern used all of the basic increases and decreases and after knitting this shawl everyone was a pro at k2tog, ssk, cdd, kfb, MIL and MIR.
July - Kallara Shawl by Ambah O’Brien - This project we knit with fingering weight yarn. Since the store is closed in August we needed a project that would take us through July and August. This shawl is a great shape and a great knit to use either contrasting colors or monochromatic colors.
September - Which Way Shawl by - Stephanie Shiman - This shawl was sport weight and a great way to play with color and practice carrying your yarn up the side of your work.
October - Great Divide Shawl by - Michele Zatarian - Janet suggested this pattern and it was another popular pick. A great pattern to make it your own, blended colors, contrasting colors, small border, larger border etc…
November - Soundtrack Cowl by Elizabeth Smith - November is a month that gets really busy really quickly and this cowl was quick and easy to knit with great texture. I think most of us used 2 contrasting skeins of worsted weight yarn and this pattern flew off the needles. I have knit 3 so far and Beth said “3?! You never knit that many of any project”. I don’t but I did with this one, it’s that good.
December - Short and Sweet - In December we worked on 3 quick and easy projects: Traditional Dishcloth by Very Pink Knits, Square Coaster by Amanda Berry, Lacy Pinwheel Coaster by Dolly Laishram. December seems to be a busy month for everyone so we took it easy. We also worked with cotton yarn which works up a little differently than wool.
Join us! I'd love to see you on the first 3 Wednesday nights of every month!