Suggestions for my next project.

Ok all you experts out there I need some suggestions. If you read my initial blog post you will know I have been knitting about 1 week. My first project, a test scarf, is going to be done soon and I would really like to move onto something that I would feel good about giving to someone. My first scarf is a mess. It ranges from 24 to 32 stiches (not on purpose) and the tension is all over the place. I have knitted the whole thing (no purling anywhere). I know that my 2nd project will also not be perfect, but I am hoping I can do something with some character. The important thing to me is that I am able to make fairly good progress on it so I do not get discouraged. I was thinking of two things:

o Another scarf with fancier yarn. perhaps try a 2k, 2p pattern or something like that.
o A hat.

the problem with the hat is I do not know how to knit in the round yet. I would also have to go buy some new needles (which I don't mind doing). Right now I only own a set of #9 plain knitting needles, some end protectors, a crochet hook (size g) and a finishing needle.

Anyway, if any of you have any ideas please let me know. I don't want to take on a project I am not ready for.


PS, any good recommendations for a yarn store in the Seattle, WA area?


I second the idea for another scarf. You'll probably never knit up enough of those... especially living in the northwest. It helps to start with something relatively easy so you get a feel of the yarn and the needles and tension and all that good stuff. You wouldn't want to put a ton of time and work into something only to find that you don't like how it looks or it doesn't fit. Scarves are good that way. No problems with size.

I like the idea of throwing some ribbing in there too. It will get you used to purling and will probably help you see where you're gaining stitches while you're working because you can see where the rib goes wrong.

Just have fun and enjoy it.

SKHolt's picture

I'd second the second another scarf. I knit a scarf anytime I am trying to learn a knew stitch. One of my favorite patterns is to cast on a multiple of three stitches. Then you k2 p1 on both sides. It gives you a lovely textured scarf that is nice. I also find knit a scarf with yarn I've never used before just to see what it will turn out. Some fibers knit differently than others.


kylewilliam's picture

I'd suggest another scarf too - but if you want to make it fun, maybe you can buy a number of different yarns and make it striped randomly. Be careful and count your stitches - it's very easy to pick up extra stitches, and easy to drop them if you move too fast -

honestly, I'd suggest finding a knitting group (or make friends with you LYS) and hang out there and practice by making scarf #2 out of one spectacular yarn. I love Manos from manos de Uruguay.... it's so neat - 100% wool and gorgeous thick/thin which makes for a forgiving yarn for starters who aren't great at keeping their tension correct.

With practice and a few more scarves, you can tackle something bigger (like a blanket) - which takes longer, or maybe try incorporating a new skill like decreasing and working on double pointed needles and try a hat.

Just don't give up, whatever you do - you'll do great! I remember my first "scarf" which started with about 15 stitches, and ended up on the other side (about 6 or 7' later) with around 45 stitches! it's all a matter of slowing down, counting, and establishing a relationship with your craft.

Welcome to the addiction.




twistknit's picture

I think you should do a big practice swatch. Cast on twenty stitches on size 8 needles with a light colored worsted weight yarn. Practice decreases and increases and yarn overs. Do purling and also some ribbing. Then practice color changes by doing some stripes.
By trying out harder techniques on a project that is disposable it helps to build up your confidence and even out your knitting tension. After you do the swatch you will be amazed at how much easier it is to knit a scarf to your liking.

Tallguy's picture

Well, I want to disagree with some of the suggestions here, but most of the guys already know my opinion!

I would suggest that you work on some dishcloths/washcloths in cotton. It's cheaper, and is usually smoother so you can see your work easily. Use a lighter colour for best results.

I like small projects like dishcloths for doing samples since they don't take too long to do. You can try out a pattern in that space, with a thicker yarn (like cotton) to learn how the pattern works and can easily see each stitch and how it fits in. No matter if you mess it up somehow (and it can easily be ripped out and re-knit) but you can still use it even with mistakes!

I like to use Bernat's Handicrafter cotton, but you can find others as well. There are thousands of patterns you can use -- try this:
You can even use any pattern that is reversible as a scarf.

I, however, always have my beginners work a hat, in the round, as a first project. I use double-point needles, but like circulars as well, if you have them. They do a simple hat, all knit, round and round and round, with some K2tog for the crown shaping. After that, we move onto mittens... introducing purling, and picking up stitches. Then the whole world is open to you!!

yarnivore's picture

Yep, a scarf is a good project to keep practicing - and that's the thing that will help the tension and dropped/added stitches. Knitting's an art, and to get a nice even [and relaxed] tension just takes some time.

I'd recommend that you practice with the kind of yarn you think you'll use most. Wool may be easier to start with because it has a little more give than cotton. I love the Manos de Uruguay, too, but you could use a wool blend like Lion to learn on.

Other resources you might like: The Ultimate Sweater Workshop by Jackie McFee - yes, it's a sweater book, but the sampler in the front part was a lot of fun, and you learn lots of techniques that can be used in anything.

I also got my yarn legs back after about 30 years away from the sticks by watching Knitty Gritty, on Another resource I've used a bunch of times:

Whatever you choose for your next project, it's supposed to be fun!



I'll stop after this row. Honest.

I agree that another scarf would be an appropriate beginner's project, but don't be put off too long by trying a hat on dpn's. Working with four or five needles may look complicated, but really you're only using two at a time. It doesn't take long to catch on, and hats are fast, easy, useful, don't require much yarn and make great gifts.

MMario's picture

Hmmm- you seem abitious - you must be smart because:

a) you chose to knit
b) you are here

so why not something like


It was my second project after I learned to purl.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

gregory's picture

Peacock tail? Wow, that is some 2nd project! :-) Looks great though. Did yours turn out as nice as that one did?


MMario's picture

I didn't know any better. *grin* Which is sometimes the best way to approach a project.

Did it (twice) as a half circle shawl - the reciepients cetainly seemed to like them.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

TomH's picture

How did you do it as a half circle pattern since it's done in the round? Did you do it somehow on a long circ needle?

By the way, the pattern is beautiful.

- Tom

MMario's picture

converted the pattern and knit back and forth used a 24 inch circ.

MMario - I don't live in the 21st Century - but I sometimes play a character who does.

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Dishcloth in cotton - ultimately useable and doesn't matter how messed up you get it, it will still work and it's great practice. Knit on both sides, skip the purl. This will give you practice with your tension.


FrankMO's picture

I have just finished my first project; a scarf ('magine that). It turned out very rough. I like to call it 'full of character'. However, i've purchased 6 more skeins of yarn (all different colors/types) and i'm trying to decide what to do for project number 2. I would love to work on something large like an afghan or a sweater, or even the clogs i saw on another post. But after reading these comments i think i'm going to work on a scarf and some small squares to practice stitches. Can anyone recommend a good place to find instructions for different types of stitches? Thank you guys!

...Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting... What do we do we knit, knit, knit...

...Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting... What do we do we knit, knit, knit...

TomH's picture

Great resource for knitting stitches can be found at:

Knitting Patterns Central

This site also has a lot of free patterns, categorized by types of patterns.

Good luck.

BronxKnit's picture

Scarf two would be my call. I had a "Franken-Scarf" that I wound up frogging and re-knitting; so it was really like two scarves with one set of yarn. If you want something cool and funky try a Noro yarn, the yarn stripes for you and it looks great. Whatever you do remember it is supposed to be fun.

My second project was a hat, short row method, garter stitch. I guess to each his own, but ultimately remember why you choose to knit. If you're not enjoying something: stop. I played around with a lot of stuff when I first started, and after those first two or three projects, a lot of stuff got frogged while I learned how knitting worked and how things come together. Aside from learning increases and decreases, look for a copy of this book by reader's digest (just amazoned it and can't find it at all) that has a plethora of knitting stitches and crocheting patterns that is a foundation for a lot of the stuff I try. Make sure you have a good basic book for how to do since it's not a good guide for what goes where when it comes to knit/purl/cast on... but the number of possible patterns once you understand how to read them is great. Also, i have a copy of the knitting answer book that goes with me when I travel incase I forget something.