Knitting that first sweater can feel like such a monumental rite of passage in a knitter’s life and finding the perfect beginner sweater knitting pattern can be daunting.
I know I agonized over choosing the perfect pattern, which I never ended up knitting because I was too afraid to mess it up. That pattern had a gorgeous scoop neck, lace, and a slim fit. So many beautiful details that baby knitter Rachel could screw up!
My first sweater ended up being a newborn version of Flax that I made for a teddy bear so I could learn basic sweater construction with very low stakes. 😂
Today, I’m here to tell you that, with basic knitting skills, you can knit yourself a you-sized sweater! I’ve rounded up three free and easy sweater knitting patterns for beginners that will have you knitting sweaters with confidence in no time.
If you only know how to knit a scarf, you can knit the Simple Knit Sweater!
The first beginner sweater knitting pattern I’ve chosen is perfect if you have only ever knit a scarf, that ultimate of first knitting projects.
Simple Knit Sweater by Sewrella
Most of this sweater is constructed by knitting back and forth to make flat garter stitch panels (i.e. knit every row) that you will seam together in the end.
If you have already learned to cast on, knit flat, and bind off, this sweater would be a great next project!
Get Yarn for the Simple Knit Sweater
This beginner sweater knitting pattern calls for super bulky yarn, which makes it an extremely quick knit. You’ll be enjoying your handiwork in no time!
I recommend Mighty Stitch Super Bulky yarn from Knit Picks for this project. This 80% acrylic/20% wool machine washable super bulky yarn comes in 24 beautiful colors so you can knit the perfect sweater in your favorite color.
Head on over here to check out the free pattern: Simple Knit Sweater.
Designer: Ashleigh Kiser, aka Sewrella.
Sizes available: 7 adult sizes ranging from XS to XXL.
If you want a tutorial, try Flax.
Flax is one of the most popular easy sweater knitting patterns for beginners–and for good reason!
Tin Can Knits designed Flax to be a perfect first pullover pattern. In addition to a clearly-written pattern with helpful hints along the way, they also published a series of blog posts that will walk you through how to knit this sweater in even greater detail.
Flax is worked with a seamless, top-down raglan construction so you can try it on as you go–and if you don’t know what that means, don’t worry, Tin Can Knits have explained everything!
Another benefit of this pattern is that it comes in baby, kids, and men’s sizes too!
When I first started knitting sweaters, I was scared to dive in with a me-sized project right away. I actually knit the 0-6 months size of this sweater to learn the ropes before diving into an adult-sized sweater for myself.
Get Yarn for Flax
I think this sweater would be oh so snuggly in a superwash (i.e. machine washable) Merino wool, like Swish Worsted from Knit Picks. This incredibly soft 100% Merino wool yarn comes in 47 gorgeous colors. I have used this yarn for sweaters for both myself and my partner and those sweaters are some of our favorites.
Get the free pattern here: Flax.
Designer: Tin Can Knits.
Sizes available: 7 child sizes and 12 adult sizes from 0-6 months to 6XL.
If you want something a bit more shapely, try Brick!
Brick is another fantastic free beginner sweater knitting pattern that I love. Like Flax, it is a top-down raglan worked seamlessly in the round, which means you can try it on as you go.
However, unlike Flax, Brick contains instructions for a slightly scooped neckline and waist shaping. I actually chose Brick for my own first adult sweater because I thought those details gave it a beautiful, classic fit.
Get Yarn for Brick
Brick was actually the first sweater I knit for myself, after knitting that baby Flax sweater. I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, which I still think is absolutely perfect for a first sweater project!
Wool of the Andes is an affordable 100% wool yarn that comes in a mind-blowing 265 colors so you will definitely be able to find your perfect shade.
Or, go for the superwash version for a 100% wool machine washable option in 135 colors.
I used the Cobblestone Heather colorway of Wool of the Andes for my version of Brick, which looks slightly different from the pattern because I added some lace on the front and down the sleeves.
Here I am in the bathroom at my old job back in 2015, modeling my modified Brick using Wool of the Andes!
Download the free pattern from Ravelry here: Brick.
Designer: Clare Lee.
Sizes available: XS, S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X.
I hope this post helped make the prospect of knitting your first sweater a little less daunting. I think any of these three patterns would be great for a beginner knitting their first sweater. Let me know if you have any other ideas in the comments!
If you’ve already knit a sweater, what pattern (if any) did you use for your first? And if you’re ready for a little bit of a challenge, check out my Strikethrough sweater pattern.
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