Essential Online Knitting Tips: A Beginner's Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Learn basic knitting terms
  2. Select the right knitting supplies
  3. How to hold your knitting needles
  4. How to cast on
  5. How to knit and purl stitch
  6. How to bind off
  7. How to fix common knitting mistakes
  8. Reading a knitting pattern
  9. Online knitting resources

Are you on the hunt for a new hobby? Or perhaps you've already fallen in love with the satisfying click of knitting needles and the cozy warmth of fresh-knit scarves? Either way, knitting is an activity that offers a delightful blend of creativity and comfort. This blog is here to guide you as you navigate your way into the world of knitting online. We'll start from the basics, and before you know it, you'll be knitting up a storm!

Learn Basic Knitting Terms

Let's jump right in and start with the ABCs of knitting. The knitting jargon might seem like a foreign language at first, but don't worry—before long, it will become your second language. Here's a short list of some basic knitting terms you'll encounter on your online knitting journey:

  • Knit (K) and Purl (P): These two are the foundation of all knitting. The knit stitch is formed by inserting the needle in the left-hand stitch from left to right. The purl stitch is just the opposite.
  • Cast On: This is how you add the first row of stitches to your needle. There are many ways to cast on, and we'll be discussing one of the simplest methods later on.
  • Bind Off: Also known as casting off, this is how you remove the stitches from your needle when your project is complete.
  • Yarn Over (YO): This technique involves wrapping the yarn over your needle to create an extra stitch or an intentional hole—handy for lace patterns!
  • Gauge: This is the number of stitches and rows per inch you get with a specified yarn and a specified needle size. It's important when knitting garments that need to fit.

These are just the tip of the iceberg, but learning these will set you off on the right foot. And remember, when you're knitting online, it's easy to pause and look up any terms you're not sure about. So, let's grab those needles and get ready for the next step.

Select the Right Knitting Supplies

Now that you're familiar with the basic knitting terms, let's talk about the tools of the trade. Selecting the right knitting supplies might feel overwhelming at first, especially when you're knitting online and can't physically touch the items before you buy. But don't fret, here's a simple list to get you started:

  • Knitting Needles: These come in different types—straight, circular, double-pointed—and sizes. For beginners, a pair of size 8 straight needles is a great start.
  • Yarn: Yarn varies in weight (thickness) and fiber content. For starters, medium-weight yarn, also known as worsted weight yarn, is easy to work with and it comes in an array of beautiful colors. Cotton or acrylic yarns are great for beginners because they're durable and affordable.
  • Scissors: Any pair will do, but a small, sharp pair of scissors can make cutting yarn easier.
  • Tapestry Needle: This is a large-eyed blunt needle for weaving in your ends when you've finished your project. It might not be a must-have item for your first project, but it's handy to have around.

Once you have these items, you're ready to begin your first knitting project! Remember, picking out your knitting supplies is part of the fun when knitting online. It's your chance to express your personal style, so embrace it and enjoy the process.

How to Hold Your Knitting Needles

Now that you've got your knitting supplies, let's get down to business. How should you hold those shiny new knitting needles? Well, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to that. It's about finding what feels most comfortable for you. When knitting online, you'll find two common methods: the 'English' method and the 'Continental' method.

  • The English Method: This method, also known as "throwing," involves holding the yarn in your right hand. You wrap the yarn around the right needle with your right index finger, while the left hand holds the other needle and the knitting.
  • The Continental Method: Often called "picking," here you hold the yarn in your left hand. The right needle picks the yarn off the left index finger to make a new stitch.

Try both methods and see which feels more natural to you. Remember, there's no right or wrong way. It's all about personal preference. As you continue your knitting online journey, you'll find what works best for you.

How to Cast On

So, you've figured out how to hold your knitting needles. Great job! What's next? It's time to learn how to cast on, which is the process of adding stitches to your needle. In knitting online, you'll come across various methods to cast on, but let's focus on the most straightforward one: the 'slipknot and knit-on' method.

  1. Make a Slipknot: Start by making a loop near the end of your yarn. You then pull a new loop through the first one to create a slipknot. Slide this knot onto one of your knitting needles and tighten it—this is your first stitch.
  2. Knit On: Now, hold this needle in your right hand. Insert the left needle into the stitch from left to right, and knit a stitch but keep the old stitch on the left needle. Then, with your right needle, lift this old stitch over the new one and off the needle. Congratulations! You've just added a stitch.
  3. Repeat: Keep repeating the second step until you have the number of stitches required for your project.

It may seem a bit tricky at first, but don't worry. With practice, you'll be casting on like a pro in no time. Remember, knitting is a journey, not a race. The more you explore knitting online, the more comfortable you'll become with these steps.

How to Knit and Purl Stitch

Alright, you've successfully cast on your stitches. Bravo! Now let's move onto the next step—learning the knit and purl stitches. These two are the building blocks of any knitting project. So, ready to dive into the world of knitting online? Let's go!

  1. Knit Stitch: Begin by holding the needle with the cast-on stitches in your left hand, and the empty needle in your right. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, from left to right. Now, with your right hand, loop the yarn under and over the right needle. Gently pull this loop through the old stitch, and let the old stitch slip off the left needle. Ta-da! You've completed a knit stitch.
  2. Purl Stitch: For the purl stitch, hold the yarn in front of your work. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, from right to left. Loop the yarn over the right needle, pull it through the old stitch, and let the old stitch slide off. And voila! You've mastered the purl stitch.

At first, it might feel like you need an extra pair of hands to manage all this, but don't fret. It gets easier with practice. The beauty of learning knitting online is that you can go at your own pace, repeating steps as many times as you need. With a bit of patience, you'll soon be knitting and purling with the best of them.

How to Bind Off

Once you've made your piece as long as you want it to be, you'll need to finish it off. This process is known as binding off, and it secures the stitches so they won't unravel. So, how do you bind off?

  1. First, knit the first two stitches of the row.
  2. Now, insert the left needle into the first stitch you knitted on the right needle.
  3. Using the left needle, pull the first stitch over the second stitch and off the right needle. You've now bound off one stitch.
  4. Next, knit another stitch and repeat the process. Continue doing this until you have one stitch left on your right needle.
  5. Finally, cut the yarn, leaving a tail. Thread this tail through the last stitch, pull tight, and your piece is secure!

Binding off might seem a bit tricky at first, but just like everything else in knitting, practice makes perfect. And the best part about learning to knit online? You can pause, rewind, and replay instructions as many times as you need until you get it right. Happy knitting!

How to Fix Common Knitting Mistakes

Knitting is a skill that requires patience and precision. Even the most experienced knitters can make a mistake now and then. The good news? Most of these mistakes are easy to fix once you know how. Here are some common knitting mistakes and how you can correct them:

  1. Dropped Stitch: This is when a stitch slips off your needle and unravels down a row or two. Don't panic! Simply use a crochet hook to pull the loop through the stitch directly above it, working your way up until you can place the stitch back on your needle.
  2. Extra Stitch: If you suddenly find you have more stitches on your needle than you should, you may have accidentally created a yarn over or split a stitch. To fix this, you can simply knit two stitches together.
  3. Twisted Stitches: If your stitches look crossed or distorted, you may be twisting them as you knit. Make sure you're entering each stitch from the correct direction—left to right—and not wrapping your yarn the wrong way around your needle.
  4. Misplaced Purl: If you find a purl stitch where there should be a knit stitch, you can fix it by carefully dropping the stitch off your needle and pulling it apart down to the mistake. Then, using your needle, pick up the stitch again in the correct manner.

Remember, knitting is supposed to be a relaxing and rewarding hobby. Don't let a small mistake deter you from your project. With a little bit of practice and the wealth of resources available for knitting online, you can easily fix these common hiccups and continue creating beautiful knitted pieces.

Reading a Knitting Pattern

Knitting patterns can seem like they're written in a different language. But don't worry, once you understand the basics, you'll be reading them like a book. Let's break down the elements of a knitting pattern:

  1. Materials List: This is where you'll find what type and how much yarn you'll need, the size of the knitting needles, and any additional supplies like stitch markers or a yarn needle.
  2. Gauge: This is a crucial number that tells you how many stitches and rows should fit in a 1-inch square. To check your gauge, knit a small swatch and compare it to the gauge in the pattern. If it doesn't match, adjust your needle size.
  3. Abbreviations: Patterns use a lot of abbreviations. Some common ones are K (knit), P (purl), St(s) (stitch(es)), and Rep (repeat).
  4. Instructions: This section will guide you step by step through your knitting project. It might include special stitch instructions, shaping details, and assembly or finishing instructions.

Knitting patterns can vary in their complexity, so starting with simpler patterns and working your way up is a good strategy. And remember, when it comes to knitting online, there are a multitude of resources available to help you understand and master reading knitting patterns. The key is to keep practicing and not be afraid to ask for help or clarification if you need it.

Online Knitting Resources

One of the best aspects of knitting online is the wealth of resources available at your fingertips. Whether you're looking for inspiration, tutorials or like-minded communities, the internet is your oyster. Here are some top online knitting resources you might find useful:

  1. Knitting Tutorials and Videos: Websites like KnittingHelp and VeryPink offer a plethora of free videos and tutorials for knitters of all levels. They cover everything from basic stitches to advanced techniques, making learning new skills a breeze.
  2. Online Knitting Communities: Joining a knitting forum or social media group can provide a sense of camaraderie and a place to share your projects, ask questions, and learn from other knitters. Ravelry and Knitting Paradise are two popular knitting communities where you can connect with others who share your passion.
  3. Knitting Blogs: Following knitting blogs can provide a constant stream of inspiration and knowledge. Blogs like Fringe Association and Wool and the Gang regularly share patterns, tutorials, and insights into the knitting world.
  4. Online Knitting Patterns: Websites like LoveCrafts and Purl Soho offer a wide range of free and paid patterns for all sorts of projects. You can find patterns for everything from scarves and hats to blankets and sweaters.
  5. Knitting Podcasts: For those who like to listen while they knit, podcasts like Knitmore Girls and Yarniacs offer engaging content about knitting, yarn, and the fiber community.

As you delve into the world of knitting online, don't be afraid to explore and discover your own favorite resources. There's an entire digital universe of knitting knowledge waiting for you to discover and enjoy. Happy knitting!

If you enjoyed our Essential Online Knitting Tips: A Beginner's Guide and want to expand your knowledge of traditional crafting techniques, check out the 'Creative Ways to Use Traditional Hand Embroidery Techniques' workshop by Irem Yazici. This workshop will help you explore the world of embroidery and give you new ideas for incorporating these techniques into your knitting projects.