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Youtube is really the best way to learn how to knit if you can’t learn from family, friends, or people in a knitting circle. Find videos of people knitting with absurdly large needles and super bulky (or bigger!) yarn to learn the specific techniques. For my first project, I started each swap between knits and purls by watching a video on the one I was about to do. That sounds like a lot but if you don’t have someone who can teach you in person, it’s the best you can get without leaving the house.

I have no idea where I put my links but I guess they’re not in my favorites so this is pretty paltry.


  • Knit stitch — One of the two individual stitches you need to know to get started. Many patterns are built out of just knits, purls, cast on, and cast off.
  • Purl stitch — Everything after this is a combination of stitches to create a larger design.
  • Cable cast on — This is one of the easiest to learn but it doesn’t make a very nice edge.
  • Long tail cast on — This is the traditional cast on but it’s kind of frustrating to learn. If you don’t estimate the right length tail, you may have to start the cast on over again. It’s not difficult once you get the hang of it and it’s really fast (once you get used to it). But it was really hard for me to wrap my head around.
  • Invisible cable cast on — This is a really rewarding invisible cast on if you’re working in ribbing. It really is invisible and makes a nice edging. It’s complicated to keep track of though.
  • Garter stitch — The most basic pattern. All knits, no purls.
  • Raspberry stitch — Sometimes known as a Trinity stitch.


  • Basketweave scarf — This is the first knitting project I ever did. It’s also great practice because it has a lot of purling and you alternate pretty regularly. You also get to use about two skeins of super bulky yarn which means you can see real progress pretty quickly.
  • Fingerless mittens — These are fun and a quick way to get into knitting in the round (though it doesn’t explain how to knit in the round). You can either use DPNs or a magic loop. I did it both ways and either is fine but DPN is easier to keep track of where your thumb is going to be.