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Learn to Knit

Knitting for Beginners

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Woman knitting Jacqueline Veissid/Photodisc/Getty Images garter stitch scarf

A Garter Stitch Scarf is a great first knitting project.

Jacqueline Veissid/Photodisc/Getty Images

Learning to knit is a lot of fun, and it's not actually as difficult as you might think. This guide to the basics and beyond has everything you need to get started whether you've never picked up needles before or just need a refresher.

Knitting Skills:

There are several basic skills involved in knitting, such as:

You'll also need a few basic knitting tools to get started.

Picking a Pattern:

Once you've got the basics down, it's time to pick your first project. It's a good idea to start with something small and flat or that doesn't require shaping. Learn more about knitting skill level to help you choose a good beginner project.

Many patterns, even those for beginners, seem to be written in code. Here are some tips on reading a pattern and common knitting abbreviations. If you need more help deciphering a pattern, check out the knitting glossary.

Finishing Projects:

Once you've reached the end of your knitting, all is not quite finished. Depending on the project, you will need to do one or several of the following before your work is done:

Learning New Skills:

Once you're comfortable with the basics and have successfully finished a project or two, there are many more skills to try. Here are a few that are well-suited to beginners:

Troubleshooting:

We all have problems with our knitting from time to time, but most of them are easily fixable. The worst thing that can ever happen when you do something wrong is that you have to tear the work out and start over, but some mistakes, like a dropped stitch, can be fixed in less dramatic ways.

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