13 Free Easy Knit Afghan Patterns for Beginners


13 Free Easy Knit Afghan Patterns for Beginners

A quick knit blanket pattern is a great next step after you've finished your first scarf, so here are some options.

13 Knitted Blankets and Throws for Beginners

The next step for most beginning knitters after their first scarf is tackling a blanket... or, at least, trying to. The appeal of free easy knit afghan patterns for beginners is multi-faceted: not only are you still working in a flat rectangle, so there's no need to graduate to knitting in the round quite yet, but the size of your project has increased significantly, giving you a larger canvas on which to practice fun stitches, work on your tension, or even play around with a new yarn weight.

Knitted blanket patterns for beginners are also excellent reasons to pick up a pair of circular knitting needles for the first time, just to accommodate the large number of stitches and get used to the way they feel in your hands before facing the dreaded hat or infinity scarf. However, I find that most people who attempt to start a blanket, throw, or even afghan right after finishing up their first-ever project find themselves giving up just a few rows in. Why? Well... blankets are enormous!

Blankets are a huge commitment even for veteran knitters. I've been knitting for eight years, myself, and have only ever finished a few baby blankets because their size is a lot more palatable. That isn't to say that if you're a beginner you should just give up your pipe dream of knitting a blanket before you even start—that just means you need to be selective of the pattern you choose.

It's important to find a pattern that is quick to knit up, mindless enough to knit in front of the television or what have you, and interesting enough to grab your attention, but not so interesting that you're doubling back every few rows to fix a mistake you made. We'll go over a few options for free easy knit afghan patterns for beginners that even knitters with the shortest attention span will be able to accomplish.

BONUS! Scroll for our favorite beginner baby blankets!

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1. Get Fresh Throw

The Get Fresh Throw is ideal for beginners since the super bulky yarn means it works up quickly, the garter stitch design means that as long as you can knit, you can finish this blanket, and the stripes add a bit of a fun element while also teaching you something new: changing colors in your knitting! The best part is how customizable this blanket is; you can make it in a gradient of purples, blacks and grays, or fun neons.

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Knit Throw for Beginners

2. Heavenly Ivory Throw

The Heavenly Ivory Throw is made using yarn that's even bigger than super bulky—that's right, you make this using jumbo yarn, which makes it even quicker than some of the quickest blanket patterns out there! The white color is classic and would look good draped over any couch, and the manageable size of this blanket means you won't be poring over this pattern for weeks on end. Be warned, however: there is a lot of switching between knit and purl in this blanket pattern, so if you're easily distracted, this one should be avoided.

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Heavenly Ivory Easy Knit Throw Pattern

3. Wonderful Big Stitch Throw

This jumbo yarn throw has all of the benefits of the Heavenly Ivory Throw, but a much simpler stitch pattern. For that reason, it's a bit less intriguing to knit, but it's great to get a hang of your needles and work on your tension. Plus, the classic stockinette stitch design won't clash with anything else in your home. It's even designed with a nifty garter stitch border so the blanket doesn't curl up at the edges.

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Wonderful Big Stitch Easy Knit Blanket

4. Stormy Weather Blanket

This Stormy Weather Blanket is one of those easy knitted afghan patterns that every knitter has in her arsenal. All that's to this pattern is just casting on and knitting back and forth until you reach the end, where you bind off. That's right; it's all garter stitch! Paired with the fact that it's knit on super bulky yarn held double (that means you're knitting with two strands of yarn at once for extra bulk), you'll find yourself completing this big, squishy masterpiece in no time... and all of your friends will want to steal it away every time they come to visit you. You have been warned.

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Stormy Weather Knitted Blanket Pattern

5. Sunny Days Rib Stitch Blanket

If you know you want to keep the stitch pattern simple and the yarn weight large, but you don't want your knit blanket to look like everyone else's out there, you should give this Sunny Days Rib Stitch Blanket a shot. Free easy knit afghan patterns for beginners just don't typically look this interesting. Ribbing is just a simple alternating knit and purl pattern, so any beginner can pick it up, and this blanket is knit with thick-and-thin yarn, which is a kind of yarn that is thicker in some places and thinner in others, exactly as it sounds. It gives the finished product a sort of controlled-chaos look, which is perfect for the eclectic home (and, obviously, for sleeping kittens).

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Sunny Days Rib Stitch Blanket

6. Light Spectrum Afghan

If you love the idea of knitting stripes, but you're not as into the calculated look of the Get Fresh Throw, this Light Spectrum Afghan is a good alternative. Like with the first throw we suggested, this pattern is knit in a simple garter stitch, but you get to work with way more colors in a stripe pattern that's a lot more jumpy and visually entertaining. However, make note that this pattern involves a lot of counting rows, so if you can't make note of how many rows you've knit on paper or even just mentally, this may be more frustrating to knit.

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Light Spectrum Afghan

7. Simple Striped Seed Stitch Afghan

Seed stitch is my all-time favorite simple stitch pattern, and if you're a lover of texture and color, this Simple Striped Seed Stitch Afghan is for you. That said, as lovely as seed stitch can be, it truly does take longer than many other stitch patterns because you're switching between knit and purl every single stitch. Personally, I think the results are worth it, but if you merely tolerate purling, this is not the pattern for you. Bonus: like some of the other free easy knit afghan patterns for beginners listed above, this pattern uses stripes, so you can get used to basic colorwork and customize the colors!

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Simple Striped Seed Stitch Afghan

8. Ultra Soft Gray Throw

Since this Ultra Soft Gray Throw uses bulky yarn as opposed to super bulky or jumbo yarn, it won't knit up quite as quickly as the others, but it will sport a slightly more delicate look, if you're afraid that massive yarn would just look too gaudy in your space. The blanket is knit entirely in stockinette stitch, so you knit one row and then purl the other, so the end result will be a really lovely, classic knitted look... with a whole lot of curling. Consider adding a garter stitch or seed stitch border to help minimize that curl.

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Ultra Soft Gray Throw

9. Cuddly Quick Knit Throw Blanket

As a beginner, "quick" was a word I looked for a lot. This Cuddly Quick Knit Throw Blanket is speedy as all get-out, using our beloved super bulky yarn and stockinette stitch body with a garter stitch border. What, then, you may ask, makes this blanket different from a bunch that we've already seen? Well, the stripes on this blanket are not only different colors, but also different textures, so this blanket will be a more tactile experience.

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Cuddly Quick Knit Throw Blanket

10. Cool Comforts Knit Throw

The Cool Comforts Knit Throw is the blanket pattern you should choose if you don't want anything fancy and just want to be able to say that you knit a blanket in record-time. It's jumbo yarn with a garter stitch border and stockinette stitch body, and most importantly, it's a throw, so it's small enough to snuggle up under while watching a movie, but not too small to use at all. Pick a color that matches your decor and just go for it—even absolute beginners will have no problems with this throw.

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Cool Comforts Knit Throw

11. Out for a Picnic Knit Throw

If you're bored of all of the easy knitted afghan patterns made of stockinette and garter stitch, and you're looking to expand your knitting horizons with the working-up of your first blanket, try out the Out for a Picnic Knit Throw! The basketweave design of this blanket is accomplished using a relatively simple sequence of knit and purl stitches; check out the pattern itself for a close-up look on the effect. Bonus point: it looks so much more impressive than it is.

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Out for a Picnic Knit Throw

12. Basketweave Chunky Knit Blanket Pattern

The Basketweave Chunky Knit Blanket Pattern is another option if you want to make knit blanket patterns that utilize cool knit-and-purl designs, rather than just the most basic of looks. If you were intrigued by the Out for a Picnic Knit Throw and wanted something similar, but perhaps a little bit more noticeable, this blanket is a great alternative. I recommend going a little lighter on the yarn color in order to see the stitch definition a little better.

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Basketweave Chunky Knit Blanket Pattern

13. Super Easy Lap Blanket

This Super Easy Lap Blanket is for knitters who aren't looking to delve into larger yarn sizes... or maybe who went a little too ham on their first yarn-shopping-spree and just bought a ton of worsted weight yarn that they don't know what to do with. Since it's a lap blanket, it's much smaller and better for wearing while sitting down somewhere, but it uses thinner yarn and therefore will still be more of a commitment to knit up. Since it's all garter stitch, all you'll need to worry about is learning how to switch colors.

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Super Easy Lap Blanket

BONUS! Our Favorite Beginner Baby Blankets

14. Peas and Carrots Baby Blanket

It doesn't get much more classic than the Peas and Carrots Baby Blanket. This pattern is a simple blanket knit on the bias with basic increases and decreases guiding its shape. Patterns like this one are the perfect opportunity to show off your cute variegated, speckled, or self-striping baby yarn, as well as to practice simple stitches for beginners.

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Peas and Carrots Baby Blanket

15. One Hour Knit Stroller Blanket

If you have no time, no patience, and a baby that needs a gift NOW, the One Hour Knit Stroller Blanket is your next project. While every knitter thinks of blankets for newborns, nobody really considers how fussy they can be in a space as cramped as a stroller. This small blanket is more like a pad and just the perfect size for cool outdoor walks with Mommy. All you need to know for this pattern is casting on, stockinette stitch, and binding off, so even the freshest of knitters can accomplish it.

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One Hour Knit Stroller Blanket

16. Baby Steps Knit Blanket

Some of us don't feel like advertising the fact that we're beginners and prefer to knit something that LOOKS complicated... even if it isn't. That's what the Baby Steps Knit Blanket accomplishes. This pattern is simple enough for beginners to accomplish, but it honestly looks like something that a more seasoned knitter should be creating. The multiple colors give it a more intricate look, but the garter stitch construction simplifies it quite a bit. The colorblocked quality is nice and modern, to boot.

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Baby Steps Knit Blanket

17. Sunshine Day Baby Throw

This one's for the color lovers. The Sunshine Day Baby Throw is a cool blanket that you can make with contrasting stripes or a lovely gradient. It's probably going to take multiple balls of yarn to knit a baby blanket, anyway, so why not make it exciting? The only stitch patterns you're going to have to worry about in this one are garter stitch and stockinette stitch, so this is a great way to practice changing colors in knitting without delving into complicated colorwork.

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Sunshine Day Baby Throw

What Knitting Stitch is Best for Blankets?

The answer is: your favorite stitch, of course!

In all seriousness, some knit stitches lend themselves better to blankets than others. If you're knitting a blanket that will get some heavy use, say a bedspread or a baby blanket, you'll want to avoid eyelets and very loose stitches so fingers and toes don't get caught through the pattern. On the flip side, any stitch that is too stiff will leave you with a blanket without too much drape.

My recommendation for beginners is always garter stitch. It lays flat nicely, doesn't curl, isn't too open, and is very doable for the freshest of knitters. Check out our video on garter stitch below!

How Many Stitches Do You Cast On to Knit a Blanket?

If you already have your yarn and stitch picked out and know exactly how big you want your blanket, you might be wondering exactly how many stitches you need to cast on to make a beginner knitted blanket. The answer is, as with most things, "it depends." What is your yarn weight? What size are you looking to knit?

For a quick, easy answer in a printable table, check out our downloadable PDF chart:

How Many Stitches to Cast On for a Blanket

Up Next:

More Easy Knitting Patterns for Beginners

Which blanket are you going to start with?

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