How to Start Knitting

How to Start Knitting? Knitting is a fun and creative hobby which you can quickly turn into an income-generating business. You can make warm blankets, cute sweaters, scarves, and hats if you know how to knit.  

Want to start knitting but don’t know where to begin? Worry not because every proficient knitter has faced the same challenge. Knitting seems like a difficult task to take on, but you will be surprised how easy it is once you get the hang of it.

To learn more about knitting, let’s get started.

What Do You Need to Knit?

Getting the supplies for your newfound knitting hobby is exciting. You just want to purchase all the beautiful yarns and needles in the store. You may end up buying more than you need while getting started as a knitter, which is expensive.

So what do you need to get started?

    1. Knitting Yarns

Knitting yarns
Image source: Unsplash

The availability of the various types of beautiful yarns is enough to send you on a shopping spree. You just want to buy everything. A beginner guide is essential to purchasing the right kind of yarn to avoid unnecessary spending. Below are instructions for buying the best yarn;

Step 1: Choose the Yarn Material

Knitting yarn is made from different materials. For example, it could be wool, cashmere, alpaca, cotton, or polyester & nylon.

As a beginner, you should go for the most affordable yarn material available. You do not want to spend a fortune on yarn without first perfecting your skills.

Step 2: Choose the Yarn weight

There are six categories of yarn weights.

 Yarn weight refers to the thickness of the yarn. The yarn weight determines the number of stitches in your project.

Step 3: Consider the Woven Labels

The yarn labels provide you with the most information you need as a knitter.

Labels indicate the yarn’s fibre content, weight, and length. They may also suggest needle size and gauge and the dye-lot number. 

Some yarns also have care labels with guidelines on how to launder your knitted garment.

Step 4: The Yarn shape

Yarns appear in different shapes. The most common forms are balls, hanks, and skeins. Your yarn’s body influences its ability to unwind as you knit. Balls are perfect for beginners as they are easy to incorporate and don’t tangle as you develop.

That said, ensure that you pick a yarn that looks good, something that makes you happy to knit and eventually wear.

      2. Knitting Needles

Close up of knitting needles on fabric
Image Source: Spruce crafts

Here’s what to consider when choosing your needles;

    • The Needle Material. Knitting needles are either made of plastic, wood, metal, or carbon. The choice of the best needle material depends on your stitch, how fast you can knit, and your yarn’s friction. Wood knitting needles are a beginner’s best option as they are light, comfortable, and with moderate friction.
    • The Needle Size. Needles come in different sizes. There are four ways of measuring knitting needles: metric size, U.S. size, U.K. size, and Japanese size. 
    • The Needle Type. This refers to the shape of your needles. They can either be single-point needles, double-pointed needles, or circular needles. The choice of a needle type depends on what you want to knit. For instance, if you want to learn how to knit socks, double-pointed needles are your best choice.
    • The Length. Your ideal needle should be long enough to accommodate all your stitches and, at the same time, comfortable to work with.

As you gain more knitting proficiency, your needle needs will change.

      3. A Crochet Hook

Crochet sticks are an invaluable asset every beginner should own. This is because they help to fix dropped stitches and weave on ends quickly. They also come in handy if you ever want to take up crochet.

      4. Measuring Tape

Knit measuring tape
Image Source: Pinterest

Measuring tapes come in handy, especially when knitting a scarf. This is because they help determine when it has become long enough to bind off. It further helps to check your gauge. Your personal preference determines the type of measuring tape to purchase.

      5. A Sewing Needle

Sewing needles come in handy when weaving at the end of your knitting project or sewing together pieces of your garment. Ensure that you purchase sewing needles with large eyes to allow the yarn to pass through them.

      6. Tapestry Needles  

These are large needles that are used to weave in ends or stitch seams together. They come in handy when learning how to knit a sweater. Remember to purchase a container to store them when not in use as they are small hence easy to lose.

      7. A Pair of Scissors

Getting sharp scissors will help you maneuver the process of weaving in loose ends with no difficulty. Ensure that the scissors you acquire are comfortable for your fingers.

Knitting Equipment



They help you maneuver the process of weaving in loose ends.

Tapestry needles

They are used to weave in ends or stitch seams together

Sewing needles

Used when sewing together pieces of your garment.

Measuring tape

It is used to determine when it has become long enough to bind off and suitable when checking the gauge.

Crochet hook

Suitable when fixing dropped stitches and weaving on the ends quickly.

Knitting needles

They come in different shapes and sizes and are essential since you will use them to knit any garment.

How to Start a Knitting Project

How to start a knitting project
Image Source: Spruce Crafts

How do you start your knitting project? Here is a step-by-step guide on how to start knitting.

Step 1: Choose your project.

What do you want to knit? Is it a washcloth, a scarf, sweater, or socks? A blanket, perhaps?

When choosing your project, you should consider the time requirement. How long will it take to knit? It’s prudent to select a project that does not take up so much of your time to incorporate.

Step 2: Choose your knitting materials

What do you use to knit? Gather all the essential knitting supplies for your first knitted project.

Step 3:Equip yourself with the required knitting skills

 To knit, you need three essential skills.

    • The cast on
    • The Knit stitch 
    • The cast-off

These skills are the backbone of your knitting project; therefore, you must master them.

Once you have decided on your knitting project and learned the essential knitting skills, you’re good to go.

Knitting Patterns for Beginners

For the best results in your first knitting project, you should choose a suitable pattern. Let’s have a look at some beginner-friendly patterns;

    1. Garter Stitch Pattern

Garter stitch pattern
Image source: Studio knits

The garter pattern is reversible, meaning that each side of the knitted work looks the same. 

      2. Moss Stitch Pattern

Moss stitch pattern
Image source: Handy little me

The moss stitch pattern is created by alternating knit and purl stitches in the same row, repeating that row, then knitting the opposite stitches in the next row and repeating that row. 

      3. Broken Rib Pattern

Simple knitting stitches for beginners
Image source: Handy Little Me

The Broken Rib Stitch Knitting Pattern creates ribbing columns of the smooth stockinette stitch separated by the bumpy Garter Stitch texture rows.

How to Start a Knitting Knot

How to start a knitting knot
Image Source: Studio Knit

The knitting knot, also known as the slip knot or the running knot, is the first stitch for your knitting project. The slip knot fastens the yarn to your knitting needle, allowing you to cast on the rest of your knitting stitches.

So how do you start a knitting knot? Here is a practical guide on how to start a knitting knot;

Step 1: Unravel your yarn and select a place to start on the yarn’s strand

Step 2: Hold your yarn strand in an arch, leaving enough tail for your knitting project

Step 3: Twist the top of the loop in a clockwise direction

Step 4: Spread the arc with two fingers

Step 5: Reach through  the loop and pull the right strand up

Step 6:Now, place your coil on your knitting needle

Step 7: Finally, tighten the loop on your knitting needle

Voila, there goes your knitting knot! You are now set to start your knitting needle or cast on.

How to Start Knitting with a Needle

So, you have got your needles and your yarn. But how do you start knitting? You now need to get your thread onto your needles to knit. For this, you need to learn how to cast on knitting!

What is casting on? Casting on refers to the process of turning loose yarn into neat stitches that sit perfectly in your needle. This is the first step in knitting.

Want to learn how to start knitting with a needle? The following are the various casting techniques;

How do you start knitting
Image Source: Instructables Craft

    1. Single Cast on 

The single cast on, also known as the thumb cast, is one of the easiest ways to start knitting a needle. It also comes in handy when you need to cast on stitches at the end of the row. 

So how do you single-cast on?

 Step 1: Make a slip knot.

Start by making a loop with the yarn. Then, bring the thread through the loop, creating another circle with a knot at the end.

Step 2: Slide the slip knot onto the needle.  Pull yarn to tighten the knot

Step 3: Wrap the working yarn (yarn connected to the ball of yarn) around your thumb. You now have a loop around your thumb.

Step 4: Bring the needle under and up through the loop around your thumb

Step 5: Remove your thumb from the loop and pull the yarn

Step 6: Continue from step 2 until you have desired number of stitches cast on  

      2. Cable cast-on Technique

How to start a knit stitch
Image Source: Instructables Craft

The cable cast-on requires two knitting needles. It gives a neat, firm edge and is suitable for adding stitches in the middle of your project. Here is a guide on how to cable cast-on;

Step 1: Make a slip knot

Step 2: Place the slip knot in your left needle

Step 3: Insert the right needle into the slip knot from underneath. The two needles should form a cross with the left needle above the right needle.

Step 4: Wrap yarn around the right needle

Step 5: Scoop the needle towards you through the loop on your left needle. 

Step 6: Carefully transfer the stitch on your right needle onto the left needle (move it over the top of the left needle) and release it. There are now two stitches on your left needle.

Step 7: Insert the right needle in between the two stitches on the left needle.

Step 8: Wrap the yarn around the right needle.

Step 9: Pick up the wrapped yarn with the right-hand needle and pull it through the two stitches.

Step 10: Bring the right needle up and place the stitch onto the left needle.

Step 11: Pull the right needle

Step 12: Repeat steps 7-11 until you hit your target cast-on stitches

      3. The Long Tail Cast On

Cast on row to knit logo
Image Source: Knitfarious

The Long Tail cast is perfect when knitting a scarf or a hat. Here is a guide;

Step 1: Make a slip knot.

Step 2: Place the slip knot on your knitting needle and hold it your hand

Step 3: Insert your left thumb and index finger between your two yarn strands while crossing the rest of your fingers around the yarn

Step 4: Insert the needle under the strand around your thumb, then scoop the strand on your index finger.

Step 5: Bring your yarn out through the thumb loop. Pull your thumb from the snare of the thread.

Step 6: Pull the yarn to tighten the new stitch

Step 7: Repeat until you have enough stitches.

How to start the knit stitch

How to get started knitting
Image Source: Spruce Crafts

So you have successfully turned loose yarn into neat stitches. Now what? They cannot just sit there. They need to be knit.

The knit stitch, also known as the basic stitch, is the foundation of knitting. Want to learn how to start a knit stitch? Here is a guide;

    • Hold the needle with the cast on rows of stitches on your left hand. The empty needle should go to your right hand.
    • Insert the tip of the right needle( the empty needle) into the first stitch. The end should go from the front to the back of the first stitch.
    • Wrap the yarn over the head of the right-hand needle, from the front to the back. This should create a loop. Ensure that you hold the cord with your left index finger to maintain the loop around the needle.
    • Gently pull the yarn through the first cast-on stitch by sliding the right needle down.
    • Now, let the original stitch( the one on the left-hand needle) slip off as the new stitch replaces it on the right-hand needle. Repeat the same process until you end the first row.
    • Once you are done with the first row, turn your work around and repeat the same process. Keep doing this until you hit your desired length.

How to Cast Off Knitting

What you need to knit
Image Source: Spruce Crafts

Congratulations on getting to your desired length. Now all you need is cast-off to complete your very first project. 

Casting off, also known as binding off, refers to removing stitches from a needle while looping each over the next to finish off knitting.

 There are various ways to cast  off your knitting, including;

    • Standard bind off
    • Stretchy cast-off
    • Picot cast off
    • Invisible ribbed bind off

Want to learn more about how to cast off knitting? Let’s delve in;

    1. Standard Bind Off

This technique is suitable for scarves and shawls, to mention a few. To cast off using the standard method, you;

      • Knit the first two stitches on your left needle onto the right needle
      • Insert the left needle onto the first stitch you made on the right needle
      • Lift the stitch over the first one on the right needle
      • Now, keep doing this until you complete the entire row

      2. Stretchy Cast-off

If your first knitting project is learning how to knit a scarf, then the stretchy cast-off is the perfect way to complete your work. Here is what you ought to do;

      • Knit the first two stitches together. This gives you one stitch on your right needle.
      • Slip the stitch back to the left needle
      • Repeat this until there is no stitch left on the left needle

      3. Picot cast off

If you are learning how to knit a chunky blanket or a scarf, then the picot cast-off is a great way to complete your project.

For this technique, you should;

Step 1: Cast On 

Using one of the above casting techniques, create new stitches.

Step 2: knit the two stitches

Step 3: Bind off

      • Take  the first stitch in the row and loop it over the second one
      • Remove the first stitch from the needle while looping it over the second stitch 

Step 4: Knit one stitch

      • Knit one new stitch and move it onto the left needle
      • Slide the second stitch over the new stitch using the left needle
      • Now, remove the stitch from the left needle. You will have one decorative stitch on the right needle

Step 5: Continue with the above process until you get to the end of the project.

Knitting Technique

Meaning Methods

Casting on

Turning loose yarn into neat stitches that sit perfectly in your needle.

    • Cable cast-on
    • Long-tail cast on
    • Single cast on

Casting off

Removing stitches from a needle while looping each over the next to finish off knitting.

    • Standard bind off
    • Stretchy cast-off
    • Picot cast off
    • Invisible ribbed bind off


Knitting is an effective way to spend your leisure time. You can make yourself exceptional garments and additional income if you choose to venture into the knitting business.

To start your knitting project, you need to learn how to create a slip knot, cast on, knit a stitch, and cast off. In addition, you should gather suitable knitting material for your project.

But remember to choose something you will enjoy knitting and feel good while wearing for your first knitted project. Did you get an idea of how to start knitting?