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Five Essential Tips for Beginner Knitters by AllFreeKnitting.com

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Today’s post is brought to you by Kathryn of AllFreeKnitting.com

Five Essential Tips for Beginner Knitters

Hi everyone! It’s Kathryn from AllFreeKnitting.com. Margo was gracious enough to let me talk about one of my favorite topics with you today – essential tips and tricks for beginner knitters.

Diving into the knitting world for the first time can be a bit of an overwhelming experience. There are materials to buy, stitches to learn, and patterns to decipher. Where do you even start?

Fortunately, there are a few key pieces of advice all beginner knitters can learn in order to make their experience more enjoyable and more productive. Sure, I could tell you how to knit and purl or the difference between linen stitch and basketweave stitch, but oftentimes, the most valuable beginner knitting tips have nothing to do with actual techniques.

Let’s dive in and take a look at the tips and tricks every fiber enthusiast should consider.

1. Carefully Curate Your Knitting Supplies


When you’re first starting out, it’s extremely tempting to head to the nearest craft store and stock up on every knitting material available. However, it’s important to practice some restraint and wait until you’ve been knitting for a while before investing in certain tools.


For instance, as you knit, you’ll discover whether you prefer bamboo to aluminum needles and what notions are most useful. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of needles, try out knitting friends’ notions, and see what you like best before investing your money.

If you want to know more about the materials every beginner knitter should have in his or her kit, don’t miss Beginning Knitting Supplies: The Ultimate Knitting Tools List. This handy guide provides a comprehensive overview of what you can and can’t live without when you decide to learn how to knit.

2. Invest in Basic Yarn

With so many gorgeous skeins of yarn on the market, it’s very tempting to buy the prettiest, most glittery one you can get your hands on. However, these fancy yarns are not beginner friendly. It’s best to start with an inexpensive, synthetic worsted-weight yarn in a light color. Working with a light color helps you see the stitches more easily so it’s obvious when you’ve made a mistake.

Once you’ve progressed further in your knitting career and you’re not constantly ripping out stitches, go ahead and invest in some fancy yarns. Sequin-embellished yarns, bead-embellished yarns, eyelash yarns – grab whatever makes your knitter heart happy!

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3. Knit a Gauge Swatch


When you’re following a pattern and you want your finished knits to come out a certain size, it’s essential to knit a gauge swatch. A gauge swatch is the only accurate way to know how big or small your project will be.

You’ll notice the instructions of every knitting pattern include a recommended gauge. This number indicates how many stitches equal one inch of fabric. Your goal is to match the gauge, because even slight variations can make a big difference in your finished product.

Even though it’s tempting to skip this step and dive straight into the pattern, train yourself to always knit a gauge swatch in order to save yourself a lot of time and frustration down the road. You may think it’s enough to use the recommended yarn and needle size, but your individual tension may be different, so the only way to make sure you have the right gauge is to knit a swatch.

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4. Read the Entire Pattern Before You Start to Knit

Before you cast on your stitches, take the time to read the pattern all the way through. Make sure you understand the instructions and imagine yourself knitting each step in order to visualize the final product.

Does each step make sense? Do you understand the overall construction? Do you know how to do the required skills? If not, take the time to think it through and ask yourself why the pattern says to do this or that.

Once you know which parts of a pattern are essential and which ones can be altered (or ignored completely), you can start making changes to better suit your personal preferences. Think of a knitting pattern as a secret code and once you crack the code, you can use that knowledge to make more informed choices.

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5. Breathe and Relax

It’s easy to become frustrated when you’re learning a new skill and knitting is no different. Before you throw your needles across the room in frustration, take a moment to breathe and relax. It may be beneficial to set your project aside for a few hours or even a few days and revisit it with a clear mind.

Knitting when you’re wound up can negatively affect your tension and cause your stitches to tighten. Spend some time getting in the zone before you dive into your project by listening to relaxing music, drinking some soothing tea, meditating for a few minutes, etc.

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember knitting is a fun hobby that should bring you joy, so resist the urge to become completely overwhelmed. Sometimes, a simple change in perspective is all you need to remember why you’re a fiber enthusiast in the first place.

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So there you have it! These five tips for beginner knitters are a great place to start if you’re interested in successfully exploring the wonderful world of fiber arts.

Want to know what materials every beginner knitter needs in order to get started? Be sure to check out Beginning Knitting Supplies: The Ultimate Knitting Tools List.

Thanks to AllFreeKnitting.com for these helpful tips! Looking for a comprehensive collection of free knitting patterns? Look no further! AllFreeKnitting.com has one of the best collections of free knitting patterns for you to enjoy. Happy knitting!

Top 10 Ombre Yarns from Indie Dyers

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1. Dyed to Order Gradient Yarn

by Snail Yarn on Etsy

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Ombre knitting patterns are a huge hit right now in the knitting community! It’s no wonder, I mean there’s something so and satisfying to the senses about colors that fade from light to dark. Beautiful shawls like the Sea Urchin Shawl (left) and the Inara Wrap (right) by Ambah O’Brien are celebrations of this trend.

Recommended projects for this yarn:

Sea urchin wrap

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2. Cashmere Gradient Yarn

by Yarn Lux on Etsy

Cashmere gradient yarn

I love how this gradient yarn fades from one color to another. You could knit a pattern that’s one solid stitch pattern, and change colors every few inches. Yarn Lux has some colorways that I am really excited about, here are just a few:

Mulberry yarn by Yarn Lux on Etsy

 

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3. La Vie en Rose

by knitcircus on Etsy

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Named after one of my favorite songs, this colorway is bold, feminine, and sexy. Knitcircus is pretty popularly known for their gradient yarn cakes, so if you’re looking for a project to use this yarn for, you won’t be disappointed with a simple search on Ravelry.

4. Alpaca Silk Cashmere Gradient Yarn Set

by yarnfibre on Etsy

Cashmere silk alpaca gradient yarn

Ok, so combine the most soft, silky, luxurious fibers in the world, and what do you get? Silk, Alpaca, and Cashmere yarn– that’s what you get!

5. Deep Magenta Ombre Fingering Yarn

by What The Flock Handdyed on Etsy

 

Hand dyed ombre yarn

 

 

There are so many things I would love to see knit up in this merino by What The Flock Hand Dyed on Etsy! Here are just a couple:

6. Terracotta Ombre Yarn

by Pigeonroof

Teracotta ombre yarn

You can just see the softness in this yarn. This twisted superwash merino sock yarn set contains 6 skeins of 80 yards each. I honestly think I would buy this yarn if I didn’t even knit- just to hold it. I kind of want to make a really luxury stuffed animal out of it so that I can feel safe and warm every night! Anyone else? Just me? Ok, yeah I’d probably make a beautiful scarf or shawl.

7. Rainbow Gradient Castro Pride Ombre

by Wanderlust Hues on Etsy

Rainbow yarn

I feel like if you shaved a unicorn and spun it into… unicorn yarn, this is what it would look like. Like joy! I love this rainbow hand dyed yarn from Wanderlust Hues!

I think I would choose this scarf to show off the beautiful hues in this yarn.

Rayures scarf knitting pattern

Rayures Scarf by Amy Miller

8. Hand Beaded & Dyed Mulberry Silk Yarn

by Vanessa Knits

Beautiful hand dyed ombre yarn

The dark and moody tones of this yarn juxtaposed with the feminine and intricate hand beading make this mysterious yarn shimmer. A simple shawl pattern is all you need to show the beauty of the yarn.

9. Midnight Song Lace Yarn

by Wool Silk Lace on Etsy

Silk lace ombre yarn

10. Hand Dyed Gradient Yarn Green

by Shelridge Yarns

Ombre yarn

This sweater knitting pattern features green ombre stripes (however this particular pattern uses fingering weight yarn).

Ombre green stripe sweater

I think any striped sweater would look amazing with ombre yarn. And in DK weight it would knit up fast! I’m imagining the green ombre yarn in every striped sweater pattern I see now.

Sweater knitting pattern

Low Contrast by Suvi Simola

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Maxfield Cardigan by Amy Christoffers

Cora Cowl Cable Knit Infinity Scarf

Free cable knit infinity scarf pattern by Margo Knits

Hey hey and happy Thursday! Remember a few weeks back when I posted the Minty Morning Headband? Well what a difference a gauge makes! Today I’m actually going to be using the exact same pattern as the Minty Morning Headband, but with superbulky yarn to make a cowl!

The Cora Cowl features edge cables, and a big beautiful braided cable right in the middle. I love the effect of cabled edges. I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick yarn, and I’m really happy with the way it turned out. The texture of the yarn is so soft, and the cable pattern is my new go to! The Cora Cowl is knit flat, and seamed. You can make it to any length you want.


What you need to make the Cora Cowl

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick n’ Quick

Yardage: 160-180 yards

Needles:

US Size 13 (9.0mm)

Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Cable Needle

Abbreviations:

CO : Cast on

K : Knit

P : Purl

C6F: Cable 6 Front (Slip 3 stitches onto cable needle, and hold in front. Knit 3 from needles, then knit 3 from cable needle).

C6B: Cable 6 Back (Slip 3 stitches onto cable needle, and hold in back. Knit 3 from needles, then knit 3 from cable needle).

Gauge: 18sts. & 12 rows = 4” in cable pattern

You will work the following 8 row repeat stitch pattern until your scarf reaches 43 inches, or your desired length.


Free cable knit infinity scarf pattern

Begin Pattern:

Using US Size 13 (9.0mm) knitting needlles, CO. 28sts.

Row 1, 5: K6, P4, K8, P4, K6

Row 2, 4, 6, 8 : P6, K4, P8, K4, P6

Row 3: C6B, P4,  K2, C6F, P4, C6F

Row 7: C6B, P4,  C6B, K2, P4, C6F

Repeat rows 1-8 until scarf measures 43 inches (109cm)

Cut yarn, leaving about a 14” tail. Fold scarf in half, sew seams together with tail. Weave in all ends. Block if needed. Enjoy!

And if you love free knitting patterns, check out AllFreeKnitting.com!

Emily Hat Crochet Hat That Looks Like Knitting

free hat crochet pattern rib hat

Last week I posted a pattern for this easy crocheted cowl that looks like knitting. Now I want to introduce to you, it’s soulmate, it’s other half! The Emily Hat! The Emily hat is an easy to make project that only takes an evening. It looks great and completes the look of the Emily Cowl.

Get the Free Emily Cowl Pattern Here

It’s really one of those go to beanies that you can wear all the time. You know how I love my T.V. crochet projects, so of course this pattern is simple enough to zone out in front of some Netflix. It uses worsted weight yarn and a size 8 crochet hook.

I like to keep my ongoing projects by the couch, in a nice little organizer so that I can just grab it and start. This Needle Arts Caddy in particular comes in really handy for keeping my T.V. knitting projects organized.

Free crochet hat pattern that looks like knitting

To Purchase the PDF printable version of this crochet pattern, please visit my Etsy shop. Pattern sales help support this blog and make it possible for me to bring you more patterns! Thanks for supporting an independent designer!


To make the Emily Hat you will need:

Yarn: Worsted weight yarn

Yardage: approx. 120 yards.

Hook Size:

US Hook 8 (5.0mm)

Abbreviations:

sc: single crochet

sl: Slip stitch

Gauge: 14sts. & 10 rows = 4” in pattern


Begin Pattern

Chain 32

Row 1: Sc into each ch, ch1, turn

Row 2: sl into each sc, ch 1, turn

Row 3: sc into each sl, ch1, turn

 

Repeat rows 2 & 3 until piece (lenghthwise) measures 16 inches

 

Hat Band:

After the ch1 of last row, turn and sc around the long side of your work to make the hat band. Distribute sts. Evenly, creating about 45- 50 sc, ch1, turn.

Band row 1: sc across, ch1, turn

Repeat band row 1, 4 more times.

 

Finishing the hat:

 

Cut yarn, leaving about a 30 (76cm) inch tail. Lay hat flat with band at the bottom, and right side facing upwards. Fold 2 edges in to the middle. Sew seam up to top.

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Closing the top of the hat:

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Weave in and out all the way around the hat. Pull the yarn to close the hat. Sew the top of hat together to secure. Weave in ends.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

Emily Cowl Crochet Cowl That Looks Like Knitting

Crochet cowl pattern free

A beautiful, simple crochet cowl pattern. The Emily cowl is crocheted flat in a simple repeating rib pattern that is really fun to do, and it looks like a knit cowl! If you know how to slip stitch and single crochet, you can make this cowl too.

A printable, ad free PDF version of this pattern is available for sale in my Etsy shop. Supporting my designs helps me keep creating free content for this blog. Thank you!

What you need:

Yarn: Any Worsted weight yarn

Yardage: approx. 120 yards.

Hook Size:

US Hook 8 (5.0mm)

Abbreviations:

sc: single crochet

sl: Slip stitch

Gauge: 14sts. & 10 rows = 4” in pattern


Begin Pattern:

Chain 32

Row 1: Sc into each ch, ch1, turn

Row 2: sl into each sc, ch 1, turn

Row 3: sc into each sl, ch1, turn

Repeat rows 2 & 3 until piece measures 8 inches in width.

Finishing the cowl:

Cut yarn, leaving about a 10inch (25cm) tail. Lay the piece flat and fold in half with right side facing upwards. Sew seam. Weave in ends.

I hope you enjoyed crocheting this cowl. Look out for a matching hat pattern next week!

 

Turban Hat Crochet Free Pattern

TURBANHAT

When I saw this Turban Hat by The Bunny Studio– I instantly needed to make it. Don’t you love projects like that? I dropped all plans for laundry, dishes, and general adult responsibilities in favor of picking up my crochet hook to create this beautiful hat.

What I used to make the hat:

Lion Brand Wool Ease Yarn

Us size 9 Crochet Hook

I think what stood out to me was the ease of the pattern. It was something I could do without having to figure out a new stitch, or a new technique. I had the knowledge, the yarn, and the power to create something pretty. If you know how to crochet in the round, and do a back post double crochet, you’re good to go!

At the end, I decided to alter the hat by making a small band, and sewing it on top of the cinched seam instead of doing the flowers. There are so many possibilities. If you don’t feel like crocheting an extra piece for the cinched front, you could always add a rhinestone button, or just wrap yarn around it. Your choice!

Get the free pattern from The Bunny Studio

If you want to do my alteration, here are the instructions:

Ch 4

Row 1. Sc into the 2nd ch from the hook. Sc to end of row, ch1, turn

Repeat row 1 until your band reaches about 1 3/4 – 2 inches. Cinch your hat at the seam, and sew on the piece to cover up the seam.

I’m planning to make another turban hat with a different embellishment soon. If you want to see what other hooky adventures I’m up to, you can follow my adventures on Instagram! For more amazingly popular free crochet patterns, head over to AllFreeCrochet.com and prepare to spend your day browsing beautiful patterns until your eyes glaze over!!

TURBANALT

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Minty Morning Headband


FREE headband knitting pattern!

Gosh I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted a new knitting pattern! But I’m back at it and what I wanted to share with you was this simple, satisfying pattern that you can finish in an evening! The Minty morning headband features cabled edges, and a middle braided cable.

I only had a little bit of this colorway in Vanna’s Choice yarn left, so I knew I wanted to make something small. If you’re up for a quick, fun, fashionable project, let’s get started!

Begin Pattern:

Using US Size 9 knitting needlles, CO. 28sts.

Row 1, 5: K6, P4, K8, P4, K6

Row 2, 4, 6, 8 : P6, K4, P8, K4, P6

Row 3: C6B, P4,  K2, C6F, P4, C6F

Row 7: C6B, P4,  C6B, K2, P4, C6F

Repeat pattern until headband measures about 17-19 inches, bind off, and sew seam. Enjoy!

And… If you’re looking for more patterns- I’ve just added a new hat pattern to my shop:

The Dottie Hat

The Dottie Hat features a light worsted yarn in a diagonal lace pattern. It’s comfy, cute, and perfect for transitioning into (or out of) winter!

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View the pattern on Ravelry

or

Anna Hat Free Knitting Pattern

Free Cable Hat Knitting Pattern

I stepped outside to play with my dog in the snow last week, and snapped a few pics of my latest design: The Anna Hat. The next day, the snow melted in the 50 degree heat, so I’m glad I did! And hey- I’m definitely not complaining. I stepped outside yesterday in a t-shirt and jeans, admiring what looked like a beautiful spring day in February.

Cabled hat free knitting pattern

I’m sure we’ll get our fair share of snow this year, but winter’s mercy seems to be upon us Ohioans this year. Since we’re heading to Belize in April for my wedding, and we missed last winter all together because we were in Belize, I have to say I feel like mother nature has been really good to me!

I am happy to be back in the States again (not many yarn stores in the tropics. None at all actually.) but I can’t wait to head back to Belize in April, walk down the sandy beach, and marry the love of my life! Hopefully before then, we’ll get one more beautiful snowy day that I can wear my new hat, but if not… eh, there’s always next year!

Follow along below for the free pattern to make your own Anna Hat!

Description

The Anna hat features a warm fold up brim, and a beautiful cable motif that is easy to knit. It is worked in the round with worsted weight yarn. This has been by far one of my favorite hats to knit. Hats are my favorite thing to knit. I haven’t done a cable pattern in a while- and knitting this hat re-ignited my love for cabling!

What You Need

Yarn: 120 yards Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice

Colorways shown: Dusty Rose & Mustard

Needles: US size 9 (5.5mm) 16 inch (40cm) circular knitting needles and Double Pointed Needles

Stitch Marker

Yarn Needle

Gauge:

20 sts. & 22 rows = 4” in cable pattern

Pattern Notes:

When pattern becomes difficult to knit on circular needles during decrease rounds, switch to DPN’s. The pattern is meant to fit snugly on your head. If you need to wet block at the end, instructions are given.

Abbreviations:

pm – place marker

K – Knit

P – Purl

C6F: Cable 6 Front (slip 3 stitches onto cable needle and hold in front. Knit 3, then knit 3 from cable needle.)

C6B: Cable 6 Back (slip 3 stitches onto cable needle and hold in back. Knit 3, then knit 3 from cable needle.)

C4B: Cable 4 Back (slip next 2 sts. onto cable needle and hold in back. Knit 2, then knit 2 from cable needle.)

ssk – slip slip knit

ssp – slip slip purl

Begin Pattern:

Co 80 sts. onto circular needles, join in the round, pm

Brim:

*K2, P2

Repeat until brim measures 3”

Hat body

Rounds 1, 5, 9, 21, 25, 29 and all even rounds: *K12, P2, K4, P2 around

Rounds 3, 7, 23, 27, 39:

*K12, P2, C4B, P2

Rounds 11, 15, 19, 31, 35:

*K3, C6F, K3, P2, C4B, P2

Rounds 13, 17, 33, 37:

*[C6B] twice, P2, K4, P2

Begin decrease rounds:

Switch to double pointed needles when circular needles become too difficult to work on during decrease rounds.

Decrease Rounds:

  1. *[K2, ssk] 3 times, P2, ssk, K2, ssp
  2. *K9, P2, K3, P1
  3. *[K1, ssk] 3 times, P1, ssp, K1, ssp
  4. *K6, P2, K1, P1
  5. *[ssk] 3 times, ssp, ssk
  6. *K3, P1, K1
  7. *ssk

Cut yarn and weave through remaining stitches. Pull tight to close hat. Weave in all ends.

Wet block if necessary. If your hat needs to be stretched a little, wet it and squeeze remaining water out with a towel. Do not wring out. Place on blocking board or foam board, stretch to desired size and place pins to hold in place. Hat will also stretch a little bit with wear.

Happy Knitting!

FREE knitting pattern: Cabled Beanie

 

Gargantuan Scarf

Gargantuan scarf free infinity scarf knitting pattern

I’ve been having a lot of fun with super bulky yarn lately. I wanted to find a way to knit a huge scarf without spending $100 on yarn. So I bought myself a pair of size 50 (25mm) knitting needles and got to work! I realized that if I held 2 strands of super-bulky yarn together, I could achieve the same effect as those beautiful Loopy Mango chunky knits.

Free super chunky infinity scarf knitting pattern

I would love to get me some Loopy Mango yarn, don’t get me wrong. But after the holidays I decided that it wasn’t the right time to splurge. So for my first project, I used 2 strands of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick N Quick held together. It was a great substitute, though I have a feeling I’ll be trying out some more luxurious yarns on these huge needles soon.

You can order the needles on Amazon, and have them at your door in 2 days, which gives you enough time to finish whatever’s currently on your needles, and start this amazingly huge scarf! The cost of yarn for me was only about $16. A pretty good deal I think! So are you ready to begin? Cause I’m already knitting this baby in gray!

What you Need:

Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick n’ Quick 212 yards (2 skeins)

Us Size 50 (25mm) Knitting Needles

Yarn Needle for weaving in ends, and sewing seams

Pattern Notes:

This pattern is made by using 2 strands of super bulky yarn held together.

Gauge:

4 sts. & 4.5 rows = 4” in stockinette st.

Abbreviations:

Co: Cast on

K – Knit

P – Purl

Bo: Bind off

Begin Pattern:

With 2 strands of Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick yarn held together, cast on 16 stitches. Knit the stitches that are cast on together as 1 stitch, holding the 2 strands together throughout the pattern.

Row 1: Knit all sts.

Row 2: Purl all sts.

When your scarf reaches 52 inches long, Bo. Using yarn needle, fold scarf in half and sew seam together.

Enjoy!

PS. Want sneak previews of all my free knitting patterns? Follow me on Instagram!

Free knitting pattern for super chunky infinity scarf using giant knitting needles

Free scarf pattern

 

Shop Crush: Home Decor from Terrain

The best home decor roundup

Lately I’ve been into discovering cool new things on the internet. Ok, well not so much lately, but more like since I discovered the internet in ’94. It’s bad- I could spend all day online looking at neat things you guys. I’ve been crushing on a lot of shops that I’ve discovered, that I bet you never knew existed. So I decided to bring you a new series on the blog called Shop Crush.

I’ll be discovering new shops that I’ve never heard of before, and bringing you a curated list of all the fun things I find (if you don’t have all day to spend online looking at pretty things, this will be your go-to list of coolness!)

This week’s shop crush is Terrain. Oh-my-gosh you guys. I’ve never seen so much cool stuff come from one website, since maybe Anthropologie.

Here are some things from Terrain that I’ve been swooning over.

The most amazing home decor

Left Petrified Wood Serving Trays / Top Right Twig Flatware / Bottom Right Wicker Bar Cart

Forest Glade Chandelier

Forest Glade Chandelier

Wildflower series rectangle platter

Wildflower Series Rectangle Platter

Amazing home decor finds

Top Left Brass Molding Specimen Frame / Top Right Asparagus Condiment Spoons

Bottom Left Blackberry Absinthe Tumbler Candle / Bottom Right Ruffled Marble Bowl