It’s no secret that I knit all the time. As a result, I tend to end up giving out a lot of recommendations for knitting patterns for various levels of expertise, most often people just starting or people who’ve done a little knitting previously but went away for a long while. So I figured I would gather all of them into the same place.
In case you’ve never knit anything or it’s been a while, here are a couple of videos to help you get started:
Shawls are my favorite. They always fit and they’re super forgiving of any mistakes and they’re so easy to block after finishing.
Find Your Fade is one of my all time favorites. It’s massive and squishy and warm and also so very simple! The shawl I made with this pattern has been without question the most worn knitted item in my wardrobe.
The Margaret Dashwood Shawl is another deceptively simple shawl that’s both fun to make and fun to wear.
French Cancan is utterly addictive. Delicate and so much fun to knit. I should know, I’ve made 5 and I’m seriously considering making yet another one.
It’s a bit more complex, but when What The Fade is finished, it’s such a satisfying thing to both look at and wear. I finished mine a couple of weeks ago so it hasn’t yet gotten a lot of wear yet, but I can thoroughly recommend it as a project.
Lots of people love wearing handknit socks. I’m one of them. I just really hate making them. They’re boring enough that you want to stop paying attention but small enough that you can’t! Just as you hit your stride on the leg, a heel appears. Just as your hit your stride on the foot, the toes attack. The foot is harder, because if you keep knitting just a centimeter too long, you wind up with a sock that doesn’t fit comfortably and that’s completely the opposite of the point of a hand-knit sock. However, to be able to wear a hand-knit sock, sometimes you have to knit a hand-knit sock. What follows is a list of the most unobjectionable sock patterns I have ever made.
Rye socks are simply stinking cute. I don’t know what it is about this super-simple pattern, but it’s just so cute. And the simplicity of the pattern allows people to apply their own flair in the creation. There are some truly gorgeous examples on the pattern page.
This is the most cunning, most comfortable pair of hand-knit socks I’ve ever made. I don’t usually re-knit sock patterns, mostly because by the time I’m done with them, I’m Done with them. I’ve made Arch-Shaped Socks several times because they’re just that good. My previous pair is starting to wear out, but I just haven’t been able to bring myself new ones. But I know I will eventually make another pair because I just love wearing them.
Paraphernalia are more complex but they’re also very cute and one of the seemingly quickest pairs of socks I’ve ever made. Unlike most socks, these were pretty much a delight to make.
I love sweaters so very much. Wearing a handknit sweater is like a hug that you can walk around in. The only downside is that you need to be much more aware of your tension and they take a long time to make. Not for the faint of heart!
Spin Raglan is by far and away my favorite sweater to wear. The pattern is simply but fits really well and has enough interest and the yarn I paired it with was just perfect for it and it’s warm and all those good things. It’s just so good.
Sidewalk Sweater is such a great thing to wear on those days when nothing seems to be warm enough. It’s made with a fairly thick yarn which knits up quickly, the fit is great and that collar really keeps all your body heat next to your skin.
Fireside Pullover has such great construction. The collar and yoke are so much fun to knit and the end result is cozy but also fairly smart-looking. Another for those cold days.
Sweaters for the whole family! Flax (and Flax Light, which is the fingering weight version of the same sweater) comes in all kinds of sizes from newborn to 4XL. It’s a GREAT project for a first sweater because it’s very simple, the pattern is very clear, and it’s a fairly flattering finished garment.
Yeah, it’s another Andrea Mowry aka Drea Renee Knits pattern. What can I say, I’m addicted. I don’t usually like wearing cardigans that don’t close at all, but Comfort Fade Cardi is just such a great pattern. When it’s finished, it looks SUPER IMPRESSIVE, but it’s also a fairly simple thing to make. And that collar! I just love it.
I don’t usually wear scarves. For whatever reason, I vastly prefer cowls for a number of reasons, not least because cowls are self-contained and rarely get stuck on anything. Although, I prefer mine puddle-y, which increases the likelihood of getting stuck.
Chilkat Cowl is my favorite cowl. It’s a long tube of puddle-y goodness with a mixture of textures to keep your interest as you knit. I start wearing it as soon as the weather turns chilly and keep wearing it until it becomes too cold for the lace sections. Hasn’t happened yet, but maybe some day?
I love Hilary Smith Callis’ patterns so much. They’re so great as fashion cowls that help you stay just a bit warmer. Not to mention that because they’re interesting to make, they work up fast! None more so than Dewberry, which is a great mixture of mesh and garter.
3 Color Cashmere Cowl is another one of those puddle-y cowls that is just too good to pass up. It’s so good I’ve already made it twice and I’m planning a third as soon as I manage to choose the colors.
A lot of knitters watched Hunger Games, saw the cowl Katniss wore and went “I want that”. Huntress Cowl is my favorite of those patterns and I’ve worn the garment so much since I finished it. It’s such a great thing to throw on in that awkward time of year when the nights and mornings are freezing, but the daytime temperatures are far too warm for winter jackets. Also after getting your arm tattooed.
However, if you ARE going to make a scarf, you can’t go wrong with a Doctor Who scarf.
Hats are so important! Sure, hat hair is a thing, but without hats, you’d wind up with cold ears and a sore mind.
Windschief is everything a hat needs to be. Simple, yet effective, a showy piece that is just so nice to wear.
Who doesn’t want to wear a Dalek on their head? INSULATE! is here to provide! It’s warm and fun to wear. Especially with the Scarf of Doom!
Shedir is by far my favorite hat. It’s made with a thin enough yarn that it winds up being pretty light, despite all the cabling. It’s fussy enough that I will probably never make another, but I’ve worn this one a TON.
Warm All Winter always makes me think of a knight’s helmet. This is one of the very few projects that I made for someone else so I’ve never actually worn it. However, it was a fun project to make, so if we ever get an actual winter here in Helsinki again, I’m totally making another one for myself.
Porom is the perfect beret. Slouchy and lacey, and all those good things. It’s also so much fun to make, and because it’s a small project, you can make it using a really nice yarn and you wind up with a lovely thing.
But what about crochet?
I cannot crochet to save my life. I’ve made many attempts but I’ve had few successes. Basically, I cannot hold tension at all when I crochet, nor can I read the stitches. So I need projects where it doesn’t matter that I have no clue where I am nor How long my stitches need to be.
Enter the Copenhagen Cowl! My one actually, really successful crochet project. Done from a video.
If you make things, what are your favorite things to make?