News, Patterns, Tips

Helping new knitters choose patterns

Lots of people have been taking up knitting this year, thanks to lockdown and the current social distancing measures, giving them more time at home. If you’ve been teaching someone to knit you may well be thinking about how to help them progress.

One difficulty for new knitters, is finding suitable patterns once they have mastered the basics. We think there are two ways to approach choosing patterns – picking something that will deliver quick results or a simple pattern that might take more time but add to a beginner’s skills.

Quick knits

Patterns in chunky and super-chunky, like these from Rico and Stylecraft provide quick results which can be very satisfying and give you fun cheerful accessories.

Once a new knitter has mastered these types of pattern, they are in a good position to knit gifts too. On the other hand, using large needles can be tiring on the hands so knitters may need to pace themselves.

An extra-large scarf in Rico Creative Smile from Rico magazine Lovewool No. 11
Colourful accessories in Stylecraft Special XL, pattern number 9786

Skilling up

When choosing a pattern that might be a challenge to a new knitter but help them learn or perfect new skills, the key is not to add too many new techniques at once. Simply shaped garments in interesting yarns can be a good option. Think about garments that will help beginners practice increasing and decreasing for example, but which won’t be too complicated to put together.

In this sweater in King Cole Curiosity DK (5675), the sleeves are worked in one piece with the front and back, so there is less sewing up. The self-striping yarn adds interest without extra work.

For anyone thinking of trying a cardigan for the first time a plain stocking stitch version is a good plan so a beginner can concentrate on the shaping without having to worry about making a stitch pattern work with decreases as well.

This DK cardigan from James C Brett would be a good choice with only three buttonholes to work, but there is a challenge in getting the band right.

Homewares like the cushions below are a way of trying out stitch patterns but without having to think about shaping at the same time – and they off the opportunity to create items to match your home décor.

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