Tag Archives: beginning knitting

Knifty Kits for Knew Knitters

“Allison, help me!  My niece has been bugging me to teach her how to knit.  What should I get her?  Also, I hate teaching, and don’t know what to do?”

Remember The nOOb Hat?  Print that puppy out and give it to your niece along with:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA-1 skein of worsted weight yarn in her favorite color (I like wool, but acrylic will do.  Plant fibers like cotton and linen aren’t recommended, since they’ll sag and make the hat a little sad after a while)

-1 pair of size 8 needles

-1 tapestry needle (or 1 pack, if you can’t find them sold singly)

-1 pair of tiny scissors (you can skip this if you think your niece already has scissors)

-1 project bag (if you sew, might I recommend the Fat Quarter Project Bag?)

In theory, that’s enough to get her going on a knitting adventure of her own, but be ready to answer questions.  Sometimes photos and written instructions aren’t enough to learn something.  Anyway, knitting the n00b hat together will give you a chance to hang out with your super-cool niece.  Win-win.

n00b Hat, or Learning to Knit: Part 1

So, I heard that some of you don’t know how to knit (yet).  If you’re interested, let’s fix that.

This is a pattern I created years and years ago.  I was part of my college club the “Knitting Illini” (at the University of Illinois, hence the “Illini”).  We had to teach a new crop of people how to knit every year, and we didn’t want to scare them off with great big scarves, or boring washcloths.  I thought a hat was a fun, useful, and small enough project for new knitters.  And, you end up with a hat at the end of a couple of weeks. Win-win.


It’s a basic beanie with a garter stitch brim.  It’s knit flat and seamed up the back.  It’s pretty much one size fits all, and is super cozy.  I have a couple I’ve made over the years and I wear them all the time.

I’m going to be posting small chunks of the project every Friday for the next couple weeks.  That way you can play along at home.  As you work on the hat you’ll learn how to cast on, knit, purl, decrease and finish a project, skills that constitute about 90% of all knitting.  And, if you keep up, you should end up with a pretty nifty hat by the time truly cold weather kicks in.

“Yes!” you say.  “I want to do this!  What do I need?”

Well, dear reader, you don’t need much:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA-1 skein of worsted weight yarn.  You can go luxurious or cheap, or somewhere in between.  If you want to go the cheap route, Red Heart SuperSaver costs about two bucks and can be found literally everywhere.  If you want to go the luxurious route, find an independent yarn store and ask the clerk to get you something fancy for a worsted weight hat.  May I recommend Malibrigo?

-1 pair of size 8 knitting needles.  Whatever kind you like.  I recommend straight needles for ultra beginners.  Wood or metal, doesn’t matter.

-1 tapestry needle.  I forgot to take a picture of this.  It’s a big sewing needle.  Sometimes they are metal, sometimes they are plastic.  You’ll use this at the very end to finish your hat.

-1 pair of scissors (or really strong teeth, I suppose).  You won’t need these until the very end.