Learn How to Knit Step by Step with Pictures

Learn How to Knit Step by Step with Pictures

Knitting is a popular craft that has been practiced for centuries. It is not only a great way to create unique and personalized items, but it also has many therapeutic benefits. If you’re a beginner looking to learn how to knit, this step-by-step guide will help you get started.

First, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials. This includes knitting needles and yarn. Knitting needles come in various sizes, so it’s important to choose the right size for your project. As for the yarn, choose a type that is suitable for beginners, such as a medium-weight yarn. You’ll also need a pair of scissors and a tapestry needle to weave in the loose ends.

Next, you’ll want to learn the basic knitting stitches. The two main stitches you’ll need to know are the knit stitch and the purl stitch. The knit stitch is the most basic stitch and is often used to create the majority of knitted items. The purl stitch, on the other hand, creates a bumpy texture and is often used for ribbing or creating patterns.

Once you’ve mastered the basic stitches, you can start practicing different knitting techniques, such as increasing and decreasing stitches, knitting in the round, and creating different types of stitches and patterns. There are countless resources available online, such as video tutorials and knitting blogs, that can help you expand your knitting skills.

Remember, knitting is a skill that takes practice and patience to master. Don’t be discouraged if your first few projects don’t turn out perfectly. With time and perseverance, you’ll be able to create beautiful knitted items and enjoy the meditative and creative process of knitting.

What is Knitting?

Knitting is a popular craft that involves creating fabric by interlacing yarn or thread using knitting needles. It is a versatile and creative skill that allows you to make a wide variety of items, such as clothing, accessories, home decor, and more.

Knitting has been practiced for centuries and is believed to have originated in the Middle East. It has since spread to different parts of the world and has become a beloved hobby and art form for many people.

When knitting, you work with two or more knitting needles, which can be made of various materials such as metal, wood, or plastic. The needles have pointed ends, allowing you to easily manipulate the yarn and create different stitches.

One of the defining features of knitting is the use of loops called stitches. By creating and manipulating these loops, you can produce a variety of patterns and textures. Knitting can be done by hand or with the help of knitting machines, but this guide will focus on hand-knitting.

Knitting is often used to create garments, such as sweaters, scarves, hats, and socks. However, it can also be used to make other items like blankets, pillows, and even toys. The possibilities are endless.

Whether you’re just starting or have some experience, learning to knit can be a rewarding and relaxing activity. It allows you to unleash your creativity and make something unique with your own hands.

Benefits of Knitting

Benefits of Knitting

Knitting is a popular hobby that not only allows you to create beautiful and unique handmade items but also offers several benefits for your physical and mental well-being. Here are some of the key benefits of knitting:

  • Relaxation: Knitting has a calming effect on the mind and body. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation. The repetitive motion of knitting and focusing on the task at hand can distract from negative thoughts and provide a sense of peace.
  • Creativity: Knitting allows you to express your creativity and individuality. You can choose from a variety of colors, patterns, and yarns to create unique designs. Knitting is a great way to showcase your personal style and create something one-of-a-kind.
  • Brain Stimulation: Knitting requires concentration and mental focus, which can help keep your brain sharp. It stimulates various areas of the brain, including visual-spatial processing, problem-solving, and memory. Regular knitting can improve cognitive abilities and prevent cognitive decline.
  • Motor Skills: Knitting involves precise hand movements and coordination. It can improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Regular knitting can also help strengthen hand muscles and improve dexterity.
  • Socialization: Knitting can be a social activity. Joining knitting groups or attending knitting classes can provide opportunities to meet like-minded individuals and make new friends. Knitting circles often offer a supportive and encouraging environment where you can learn from others and share your passion for knitting.
  • Productivity: Knitting allows you to create tangible and functional items. Whether it’s a cozy sweater, a warm scarf, or a decorative blanket, knitting gives you a sense of accomplishment as you see your project progress and complete. The satisfaction of creating something with your own hands can boost self-esteem and promote a sense of fulfillment.
  • Therapeutic Benefits: Knitting has been found to have therapeutic benefits. It can help individuals with chronic pain, arthritis, and other conditions manage their symptoms. The rhythmic motion of knitting can provide pain relief and distraction.

Overall, knitting is a rewarding and enjoyable hobby that offers numerous benefits for your well-being. So pick up your knitting needles and start exploring the world of knitting!

Getting Started

Before you begin your knitting journey, it’s important to gather the necessary supplies. Here’s a list of items you’ll need to get started:

  • Yarn: Choose a yarn that is suitable for beginner knitters. Look for a medium-weight yarn made of cotton or acrylic.
  • Knitting Needles: Start with a pair of straight knitting needles in a size appropriate for your chosen yarn. Size 8 (5mm) needles are a common choice for beginners.
  • Tapestry Needle: A tapestry needle with a large eye will be useful for weaving in ends and sewing pieces together.
  • Scissors: A pair of sharp scissors will come in handy for cutting yarn.
  • Stitch Markers: Stitch markers can help you keep track of your stitches and make it easier to follow patterns.
  • Measuring Tape: A measuring tape or ruler will be useful for checking your gauge and measuring your project.

Once you have your supplies ready, it’s time to learn the basic knitting techniques. Here are the steps you’ll follow to get started:

  1. Make a Slip Knot: Start by making a slip knot, which will be the first stitch on your knitting needle.
  2. Cast On: Learn how to cast on stitches, which is the process of adding stitches to your needle.
  3. Knit Stitch: Master the knit stitch, which is the foundation of knitting. This stitch creates the smooth “v” shape on the right side of your work.
  4. Purl Stitch: Familiarize yourself with the purl stitch, which is the opposite of the knit stitch. It creates a bumpy texture on the right side of your work.
  5. Practice and Explore: Practice knitting and purling and experiment with different stitch patterns to build your skills and creativity.

By following these steps, you’ll be on your way to becoming a confident and skilled knitter. Remember to take it slow, be patient with yourself, and enjoy the process!

Choosing Knitting Needles

Choosing the right knitting needles is an important first step for beginners. The type and size of needles you use can greatly affect your knitting experience and the final outcome of your project. Here are some factors to consider when choosing knitting needles:

  • Material: Knitting needles can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and bamboo. Each material has its own unique characteristics and can affect the way your stitches slide on the needles. Experiment with different materials to find the one that you are most comfortable with.
  • Size: Knitting needles come in different sizes, which are measured in millimeters (mm) or US sizes. The size of your needles will depend on the thickness of the yarn you are using and the desired tension of your knitting. Thicker yarns require larger needles, while thinner yarns require smaller needles. Check the yarn label or pattern instructions for the recommended needle size.
  • Type: There are two main types of knitting needles: straight needles and circular needles. Straight needles are straight shafts with points at one end and knobs or stoppers at the other end to prevent stitches from falling off. Circular needles have flexible cables connecting two needle tips, allowing you to knit in the round or work on larger projects with ease. Choose the type of needles that suits your preferred knitting style and projects.
  • Length: If you decide to go with straight needles, consider the length of the needles. Longer needles are better for larger projects, as they can hold more stitches. Shorter needles are more portable and are suitable for smaller projects or knitting on the go.
  • Additional Features: Some knitting needles come with additional features, such as interchangeable tips, ergonomic designs, or smooth finishes. These features can enhance your knitting experience and make it more comfortable. Explore different options and choose needles that feel comfortable in your hands.

Remember, knitting is a personal and individual experience, so it’s important to choose knitting needles that work best for you. Don’t be afraid to try different needles and find the ones that feel right. Happy knitting!

Types of Yarn

When it comes to knitting, there are various types of yarn to choose from. Each type has its own unique characteristics, which can affect the final appearance and texture of your knitted projects. Here are some common types of yarn:

  • Wool: Wool yarn is a popular choice for knitting due to its warmth and elasticity. It comes in different weights, from lightweight to bulky, and can be found in various natural and dyed colors.
  • Cotton: Cotton yarn is known for its softness and breathability, making it ideal for lightweight and summer knits. It doesn’t have much elasticity, so it works well for projects that require structure.
  • Acrylic: Acrylic yarn is a synthetic yarn that is often used as a more affordable alternative to natural fibers. It is lightweight, easy to care for, and available in a wide range of colors.
  • Alpaca: Alpaca yarn is known for its softness and warmth. It is similar to wool but tends to be less itchy. Alpaca fiber can be blended with other fibers to create unique and luxurious yarns.
  • Mohair: Mohair yarn is made from the fiber of Angora goats. It has a fluffy texture and a lustrous sheen. Mohair yarn is often used for knitting projects that require a fuzzy or feathery appearance.

The type of yarn you choose will depend on your project, personal preference, and the desired outcome. It’s always a good idea to swatch with different yarns to see how they knit up and to check if they meet your requirements for the project.

Basic Knitting Stitches

Learning the basic knitting stitches is essential for any beginner. These stitches form the foundation for many knitting patterns and projects. Here are three of the most common knitting stitches:

1. Knit Stitch: The knit stitch is the most basic and fundamental stitch in knitting. It creates a smooth and twisted stitch. To knit, insert the right-hand needle into the front of the stitch on the left-hand needle, from left to right. Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle and pull it through the stitch, sliding the stitch off the left-hand needle. Repeat this process for each stitch on the needle. Knit stitches are commonly represented by the letter “K” in knitting patterns.

2. Purl Stitch: The purl stitch is the reverse of the knit stitch and creates a bumpy texture. To purl, insert the right-hand needle into the front of the stitch on the left-hand needle, from right to left. Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle and pull it through the stitch, sliding the stitch off the left-hand needle. Repeat this process for each stitch on the needle. Purl stitches are commonly represented by the letter “P” in knitting patterns.

3. Stockinette Stitch: The stockinette stitch is created by alternating between knit and purl rows. This stitch creates a smooth, flat fabric with one side showing all knit stitches and the other side showing all purl stitches. To create the stockinette stitch, knit one row and then purl the next row. Repeat these two rows for the desired length. Stockinette stitch is commonly used in scarves, sweaters, and other projects.

These basic knitting stitches are the building blocks for more complex patterns and techniques. By mastering these stitches, you will be able to create a wide range of knitted items. Experiment with different stitch combinations and patterns to unleash your creativity in knitting!

Knitting Techniques

Knitting Techniques

  • Casting On: This is the first step in starting a knitting project. There are different ways to cast on, such as the long tail cast on and the knit cast on. Each method creates a row of stitches on your needle to begin knitting.
  • Knit Stitch: The knit stitch is the most basic stitch in knitting. It involves inserting the right needle into the stitch on the left needle, wrapping the yarn around the right needle, and pulling the loop through to create a new stitch.
  • Purl Stitch: The purl stitch is another basic stitch in knitting. It is the reverse of the knit stitch and creates a different texture on the fabric. To purl, insert the right needle into the stitch from right to left, wrap the yarn under and over the right needle, and pull the loop through.
  • Knit Two Together (K2tog): This is a decrease stitch that helps shape your knitting. It involves knitting two stitches together as if they were one, which results in one stitch being decreased.
  • Purl Two Together (P2tog): Similar to K2tog, P2tog is a decrease stitch in purling. It reduces two stitches to one.
  • Yarn Over (YO): Yarn Over creates an additional stitch and is often used to create decorative holes or lace patterns in knitting. To yarn over, bring the yarn forward between the needles and then wrap it over the right needle.
  • Increasing: There are several ways to increase the number of stitches in your knitting. Some common methods include knit into the front and back of a stitch (KFB), make one (M1), and yarn over between stitches.
  • Decreasing: To decrease stitches, you can use techniques like knit two together (K2tog), purl two together (P2tog), slip slip knit (SSK), and slip slip purl (SSP). These techniques help shape your knitting or create decorative patterns.
  • Binding Off (Casting Off): This is the final step in finishing your knitting project. Binding off involves securing the stitches and creating a neat edge. It is done by knitting two stitches, passing the first stitch over the second stitch, and repeating until only one stitch remains.

Casting On

Casting on is the first step in starting a knitting project. It creates the foundation row of stitches that you will work with throughout your project. There are several methods for casting on, but the most common method for beginners is the long tail cast on.

Long Tail Cast On:

  1. Hold the yarn in your right hand with the tail end over your thumb and the working end over your index finger.
  2. Create a slipknot by crossing the tail end over the working end to form a loop. Insert your knitting needle into the loop and tighten it.
  3. Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand and use your left hand to position the yarn.
  4. Bring the yarn behind the needle and use your thumb to hold it in place.
  5. With your right hand, bring the needle under the yarn and then between the yarn and your thumb.
  6. Use your right hand to pull the needle and yarn through the loop on your thumb, creating a new loop on the needle.
  7. Repeat steps 4-6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.

Note: The long tail cast on creates a neat edge and is suitable for most projects. If you prefer a different method or have specific project requirements, you can explore other casting on techniques.

Once you have cast on the required number of stitches, you are ready to start knitting! Remember to keep your tension even and practice regularly to improve your knitting skills.

Knit Stitch

The knit stitch is one of the most basic stitches in knitting and forms the foundation for many knitting projects. It creates a smooth, v-shaped pattern on the right side of the fabric and a bumpy, purl-like pattern on the wrong side. Learning how to knit this stitch is essential for beginners.

Step 1: Start with the yarn in your right hand and the knitting needles in your left hand.

Step 2: Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, going from front to back.

Step 3: Wrap the yarn around the right needle in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 4: Use the right needle to pull the wrapped yarn through the stitch on the left needle.

Step 5: Slide the stitch off the left needle, transferring it to the right needle.

Step 6: Repeat steps 2-5 for each stitch on the left needle until all stitches have been worked.

Once you have finished knitting a row of knit stitches, you can turn your work and continue knitting more rows to create a fabric. The knit stitch is versatile and can be used in various patterns and designs.


  • Hold your needles comfortably and don’t grip them too tightly.
  • Tension is important – make sure your stitches are not too loose or too tight.
  • Practice makes perfect – don’t worry if your first few attempts aren’t perfect.

Now that you know how to knit the basic knit stitch, you can start practicing and exploring different knitting patterns and techniques. Happy knitting!

Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is one of the basic stitches in knitting. It is the reverse of the knit stitch and creates a raised row of loops on the right side of the fabric. It is often used in combination with the knit stitch to create different textures and patterns.

To purl, follow these steps:

  1. Hold the knitting needles with the needle containing the stitches in your left hand and the empty needle in your right hand.
  2. Insert the right-hand needle into the front of the first loop on the left-hand needle, from right to left.
  3. Wrap the yarn counterclockwise around the right-hand needle.
  4. Use the right-hand needle to pull the wrapped yarn through the loop, creating a new loop on the right-hand needle.

The purl stitch is often represented in knitting patterns as a letter “p” or a lowercase “p”. For example, a pattern may instruct you to “purl 2, knit 2” to create a ribbed texture.

When you have completed a row of purl stitches, turn your work, and continue to knit or purl as instructed in the pattern. Practice the purl stitch to become more comfortable with it, and experiment with combining it with other stitches to create different patterns and textures in your knitting projects.


What are the basic knitting supplies needed for beginners?

The basic knitting supplies needed for beginners include knitting needles, yarn, scissors, and a tapestry needle for finishing. Additional tools such as stitch markers and a row counter may also be helpful.

How do I choose the right size of knitting needles?

The right size of knitting needles depends on the thickness or weight of the yarn you are using. The yarn label usually recommends a range of needle sizes, and you can also refer to a needle size chart for guidance.

What is the difference between knit and purl stitches?

Knit stitches create a smooth and v-like pattern on the right side of the fabric, while purl stitches create a bumpy and horizontal pattern. By combining knit and purl stitches in different ways, you can create various knit patterns.

How do I cast on stitches?

To cast on stitches, you can use various methods such as the simple cast on, long-tail cast on, or cable cast on. Each method creates a different edge and has its own advantages. You can choose the one that suits your project.

What are the most common knitting mistakes for beginners and how can I avoid them?

Common knitting mistakes for beginners include dropped stitches, twisted stitches, and inconsistent tension. You can avoid them by using stitch markers to keep track of your stitches, checking your work regularly, and practicing to maintain consistent tension.

How do I fix a mistake in my knitting?

If you make a mistake in your knitting, you can use a crochet hook or a knitting needle to carefully unravel the stitches in the affected area and then re-knit them correctly. If the mistake is small, you can also use a technique called “tinking” to undo the stitches one by one.

What are some beginner-friendly knitting projects?

Some beginner-friendly knitting projects include dishcloths, scarves, and simple hats. These projects usually involve basic stitches and are great for practicing your knitting skills. As you gain more experience, you can try more complex patterns and projects.


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