Alice Starmore at Virtual Yarns Creative Course No.1 - Knitting, Felting & Embroidery

Beginner Projects

If you are new to knitting, or if you are nervous about trying a particular style of knitting for the first time, then we have a variety of designs to start you off depending on what kind of project you would like to try.

The majority of the projects suggested below are "choose your own colours" which are ideal for personalising, or even making more than once using different shades while you really get comfortable with your chosen technique. They are also mainly smaller designs which can feel like an easier task for someone new to knitting.

In addition to the suggestions below we also have a free Video Tutorial section which shows you all of the basics of casting on, knit and purl, casting off, tension, openwork and stranded knitting with steeks.

Briodag Video Class Kit

This choose your own colour video class kit is the ideal starter project for a beginner who wants to really see their skills develop, as well as being a beautiful design to make at any point in your knitting journey.

The Briodag comes with an online step-by-step video class which takes you through the beret, gloves and scarf that the kit comprises. By the end of the project you will no longer be a beginner knitter, but will have a good grounding in stranded knitting and an introduction to openwork.

Hat Trick Patterncard Kit

The Hat Trick kit uses the same colour palette to create three very different stranded hats. In this project you get to try stranded knitting on a small scale, learning how to decrease the crown of a hat or beret and have a go at ribbing and a garter stitch border.

Sulaire Video Class Kit

The Sulaire shawl is a quick and easy openwork project that can be made in a choice of sizes and colours. This design is a great introduction to openwork and also helps a beginner knitter understand pattern setting. As with the Briodag this design comes with online access to video tutorials which take you through all the key aspects of making this shawl.

Lapwing Video Class Kit

The Lapwing Collar is a challenging project when looked at as a whole, but because it is constructed piece by piece and comes with a step-by-step video class which is intended for all abilities it is suitable and achievable for a beginner. This gives an excellent grounding in colourwork and garment construction. It can be tackled feather by feather and is the perfect way to your understanding of shaping within knitting and complex garment construction. This design is the ideal starter for a knitter who wants to progress to designs such as the Katherine Howard or Jane Seymour. It is also a choose your own colour kit so can be personalised easily.

Creative Course 1

Creative Course 1 is an immersive online course which teaches you techniques which are invaluable in costume creation through a small and achievable project. During the course you will learn how to knit, felt and embroider a variety of hats. The skills learnt from making these hats are the building blocks for developing complex costume experimenting creatively with both design and colour.

Persian Tiles

The Persian Tiles Wrap pattern can be found in the book A Collector's Item, and the yarn pack can be ordered in a choice of your own colours of Hebridean 2 Ply. The Persian Tiles shawl is a larger project which is knitted in the round with a steek. It is a good introduction to knitting in the round with steeks because it only uses two colours, so attention can be focused on the pattern and knitting without the added complication of joining in and breaking off new colours. Please note that you will need a copy of the book A Collector's Item for the pattern instructions, the yarn pack linked below is yarn only.

Rosarie Patterncard Kit

The Rosarie is more complex as it is knitted in the round with a front, front neck, back neck and armhole steeks, but for the beginner who wants to try a first full garment it is a good project to begin with. It uses only five colours, and these can be personlised to your own taste. This smaller colour palette means that there are fewer colour changes throughout the knitting. The pattern is also large scale and bold, so you can see where you are building on it easily. When it comes to cutting the steeks we have a full video tutorial on cutting and finishing steeks to help you through the process.

Na Craga

The Na Craga design from the book Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore (2010 edition) is a great introduction to cables and textured knitting. Though the design features a lot of cables they are all very simple and straightforward, so this is a great project for starting off your first full textured garment. Please note that you will need a copy of the book for the pattern instructions, the yarn pack linked below is yarn only.