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- Best Overall: Wool and the Gang
- Best Introduction to Casting On: Sheep & Stitch - How to Cast On
- Best Hat Tutorial: Skillshare - Learn Knitting in the Round With a Slouchy Hat on Skillshare
- Best Needle Breakdown: Studio Knit
- Best Knitting Basics: Instructables
- Best DIY Dyeing: Skillshare - Hand Dyeing Wool Yarn
- Best Introduction to Knit Socks: VeryPink Knits
Best Overall: Wool and the Gang
Wool and the Gang is a free, one-stop shop for knitters. Not only does it sell almost every knitting material under the sun, but it also provides a ton of education and how-tos.
The company's manifesto asserts, “Our mission is to inspire the next generation of makers through a reinvention of the craft experience.” Whether it’s straightforward knitting, crochet, or macrame, Wool and the Gang has come up with designs and patterns, so you can tackle any project.
And, better yet, its YouTube channel features a variety of free tutorials. You can choose from a series of playlists, whether it’s by skill level (Easy, Beginner, or Intermediate), a dedicated Beginner series, knitting how-tos (demonstrating herringbone, hexagon, purl, moss, garter, stocking stitch, and more), crochet and macrame how-tos, or an A to Z playlist.
Best Introduction to Casting On: Sheep & Stitch
This is where it all starts. If you’ve got the yarn, needles, and are ready to begin your knitting journey, mastering the cast on will set a solid foundation for nailing the craft.
With the help of Sheep & Stitch founder Davina Choy, you'll learn about knitting tutorials, patterns, and general knitting inspiration. She starts her free beginner's series with How to Cast On, designed to be simple enough for those who haven’t picked up a set of needles before.
In its most basic form, knitting consists of three steps: first, casting on, then the stitch, and finally, casting off. The cast on a technique she demonstrates in the video is the thumb method cast on—a method regularly used by pro-knitters as well. Casting on transforms your loose yarn into actual stitches; you’ll then be able to build upon them for whatever you’re creating.
In addition to breaking down each individual step in casting on, Choy also recommends that beginners use a chunkier yarn, as well as thick needles, to get a handle on this technique—they’ll both be easier to grip.
Best Hat Tutorial: Skillshare - Learn Knitting in the Round With a Slouchy Hat on Skillshare
In addition to her own website and YouTube channel with tutorials, Davina Choy of Sheep & Stitch also shares her expertise on Skillshare. This is a one-hour class designed for intermediate knitters.
In addition to creating a cool slouchy hat to add to your accessory wardrobe, you’ll also be picking up some new key skills. Over the course of 13 easy-to-follow video lessons, you’ll learn four techniques to add to your knitting knowledge: knitting in the round, working with double-pointed needles, decreasing stitches, and how to create your very own pom-pom.
If you don’t have a Skillshare membership yet, you’ll be able to take the class for free during the platform’s two-week, free trial period. Their Basic Membership tier is roughly $1 per month, and the Premium Membership costs about $15 per month.
Choy also has a series of other classes on Skillshare depending on your comfort level, including Knitting I: Learning the Basics with Simple Scarf, Knitting II: Learn Stitch Widths with a Triangle Scarf, and Knitting IV: Learn Advanced Techniques with a Trendy Headband.
Best Needle Breakdown: Studio Knit
Knowing your tools is key to mastering your knit. As a part of Studio Knit’s Absolute Beginner series on YouTube, Kristen, an independent knitting teacher, walks you through the entire process of selecting which needles are suitable for not just your level of skill, but also the current project you’re working on.
First, Kristen breaks down the variety of knitting needle shapes (whether they’re straight, double-pointed, circular, or cable). Then, she goes through the array of knitting needle sizes and what to look for. Pairing your knitting needle size to your yarn weight is key—and larger needles are best for beginner knitters. (Kristen recommends size 11 U.S.) She then moves on to the benefits of knitting with larger needles.
Not only will the right needle be easier to handle overall, but your knitted piece will “knit up” faster, as heavier weighted yarns make for larger items and quicker assembly time. Finally, Kristen discusses the pros and cons of all knitting needle materials—wood (bamboo is her preferred choice), but also aluminum and plastic. The lesson is free, and you can also browse a wealth of other tutorials on her website.
Best Knitting Basics: Instructables
Created by Becky Stern, a designer and content creator at Instructables who has been knitting for almost 20 years, this free online course will give you all the tools to feel confident in your knitting skills.
With 11 lessons in total, over the course of the class you’ll get acquainted with the language of knitting patterns and make a basic scarf, a stretchy, ribbed scarf, a striped hat in the round, and a pair of mittens—all on your own. Complete with close-up images and clear, easy-to-follow instructions, Becky explains all the intricacies of each project.
You’ll start with a foundational lesson outlining the class and what tools and materials you’ll need before moving to casting on and perfecting the knit stitch, binding off (securing all your stitches), and learning the purl stitch.
One crucial point in the class is Lesson 6: Fixing Mistakes—addressing how to handle any errors and streamline your technique. You’ll then continue onto understanding pattern abbreviations and knitting gauge, knitting in the round, stitch decreases, increases, DPNs (double-pointed needles), and finally, picking up stitches.
Best DIY Dyeing: Skillshare - Hand Dyeing Wool Yarn
Customizing your own yarn is a great way to lend your projects a unique twist. In this course, taught by fiber artist Alexander Reynoso, you’ll get a quick tutorial in hand dyeing wool yarn in three fun techniques: speckles, space-dyed, and an ombre/gradient pattern.
The whole point of the class is to get you to loosen up and get playful with dye—and it will surely reflect that feeling in whatever piece you create with your transformed yarn. Reynoso’s recommendation is to download the PDF of class materials first, as it also includes a variety of helpful tips. Then, before attempting a chosen technique, watch all the demonstrations, and choose before rewatching and executing.
This will help you get comfortable with the process before taking the plunge. Like the other class mentioned above, if you don’t have a Skillshare membership yet, you’ll be able to take this class for free during the site’s two-week trial period. There is a monthly subscription charge beyond that.
Best Introduction to Knit Socks: VeryPink Knits
Knit socks can be a cozy gift for someone you love (or a treat for yourself), but making them on your own can be a bit tricky. Don’t be intimidated, though. Take on the challenge with this six-part online video series from VeryPink Knits.
Creator Staci Perry is a knitwear designer and teacher, and in addition to being spotlighted in The New York Times, she’s also had feature articles in Vogue Knitting and Yarn Market News. At the heart of Perry's online teaching is creating patterns with video tutorials that are easily digestible and, according to her site, will “ease knitters into advanced techniques.”
At the completion of this free class, you’ll have a pair of worsted-weight socks. To make them, you already need to be comfortable with how to knit and purl. You’ll start with the cuff, then move onto the heel flap, gusset, foot, shaping the toe, and finish with the Kitchener stitch. No matter what happens during the process, Perry will guide you every step of the way.
How We Chose the Best Online Knitting Classes
In order to choose the best online knitting classes, we evaluated a variety of factors. First of all, we examined price accessibility—the majority of classes on this list are free to take. We also wanted to feature classes that covered various areas of knitting technique—whether it’s a general introduction to the craft, knitting in the round, learning how to hand dye yarn, or learning more about your materials. Reviewing the expertise of the instructor was a critical factor as well.
We also wanted to provide classes that catered to a variety of techniques: hand-dyeing wool (Skillshare), sock-knitting (VeryPink Knits), and making hats (also Skillshare). But we wanted to consider basics, too, which is why we chose Instructables and Studio Knit.
All of the classes on this list were created by experienced instructors who are experts in knitting and are able to communicate technique and execution in a clear enough way that you’ll be able to follow along—and most importantly, feel comfortable—at home.