How to pick your first knitting project

Choosing too ambitiously your first project in a specific craft may lead to problems with completing it, dissatisfaction with the activity and giving up. Sometimes up to long dislike.

How not to give up on knitting after first attempt?

1. Pick an easy project. Scarf is always a good idea. It can be done in easy, straight stitches, is always needed and you can stop anytime you want and still have something usable (even if it’s only a placemat).

2. Pick nice, thick wool with no fuzz and easy to undo. Preferably one that isn’t too costly.

Why no fuzz? Fuzz makes it harder to undo, and you will be undoing a lot in your first project. Wool usually has some fuzz, so keep away from it for the start. Cotton is usually good and smooth, but doesn’t come thick enough to make it a quick work.

Thickness again. Your yarn should be thick enough for you to see a result quick, and not work for hours just to have 2cm. I’d say 200m / 100g is a good idea (my personal favourite for most winterwear – made gloves, scarfs and a sweater with this one, also several pairs of socks). Don’t pick yarn too thick, as it will take more balls to complete a reasonable size.

So, pick a wool/acrylic, cotton/acrylic or other mix, or pure acrylic. Check them yourself in a yarnshop – does it feel nice? Will you like touching it for the next week or two all the time? Check if the thread is tightly spun or comes apart (easy to put the needle inside and spoil the yarn). Some yarns have additional information on the label (ie. preferred needle size or washing instructions), look for it. Don’t buy yarn that has no content given, ever.

To make your first project more interesting, pick a yarn dyed in different colours. Doing a drab brown or gray scarf will not make you any happier, and crafts are about being happy! So maybe pick one of these:

(links to Polish shops or producers’ websites, but you can probably google them in your local webshops, too, or take this list and go to a normal shop and ask)

Yarn Art Flamenco (special yarn to make boa scarf, comes with directionc, one ball, one scarf, VERY thick!)

Alize Dantela (Comes with directions on how to make a scarf, one ball makes one scarf, very thick!)

Eden (same as above, but no directions)

Alize Bamboo Batik Design (230 m/100g and has pretty colours)

Big Delight Drops (wool, but only a little fuzz, and has such nice colours)

Cotton Bamboo Batik (120m/50g)

Always Magic (mix, very nice to work with, knits quickly – made 3 pairs of socks and 2 pairs of mittens with various colours of this one)

Elian Merino (very nice to touch, 100% wool but only slight fuzz)

Other YarnArt yarns you may want to try out:



Crazy Color

Magic Fine (a bit too fine, but the colours!)

Merino Garden (same as above)

Color Garden

Finnish Novita yarns you may consider if you can get them:

7 Veljesta Raita

7 Veljesta Polkka

Nalle Kukkaketo

Puro Batik

3. Don’t force yourself to finish. Don’t promise that scarf to anyone and end up hating it because you must complete it. Don’t pick a deadline. Just knit when you want.

4. Cast on (find a youtube video on casting on and try out different methods) 20-30 stitches maximum, this way you won’t get the feeling that your rows are unending.

5. Don’t try anything fancy. Just knit. No cables, no complicated stitches. Just. Knit.

4 Comments on “How to pick your first knitting project”

  1. anastasiamw says:

    Good advice. I think my first real project was a Christmas stocking. It was tough, but fun! Once I figured out how to knit in the round, the project was a breeze. Up until the heel, but thanks to YouTube I figured that out. I think easy projects are a good idea, but I think knitters also need to be somewhat fearless. A good challenge helps you learn new techniques. :)

    Great post!

    • srebrna says:

      Hi, thanks for your comment :)
      I was thinking mostly in categories of someone really having problems to start at all – remembering myself at 10 and my first scarf, 6 stitches dropped, everything uneven and loopy and me feeling all butterfingers when comparing my work to my grandma’s (she made thet first inch or so for me to show what it’s supposed to look like) ;)

  2. yarntospin says:

    I’m working on my first scarf, and you’re spot on about fuzzy wool yarn. Unfortunately, the yarn is bought and I’m well on my way. Other beginners, heed these warnings!

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