Learn how to knit the stockinette stitch

Learn how to knit the stockinette stitch

Are you a beginner in knitting or an experienced knitter looking to learn a new stitch? The stockinette stitch is a classic and versatile knitting technique that every knitter should have in their repertoire. It is the foundation of many knitting patterns and creates a smooth and uniform fabric that is perfect for a wide range of projects.

The stockinette stitch, also known as the stocking stitch, is created by alternating between knitting and purling rows. The result is a fabric with V-shaped knit stitches on one side and smooth purl stitches on the other side. This stitch is commonly used for creating scarves, sweaters, hats, and other garments, as well as various household items like blankets and dishcloths.

One of the secrets to mastering the stockinette stitch is understanding how to achieve an even tension. Tension refers to the tightness or looseness of your knitting stitches. If your tension is too tight, the fabric will be stiff and not have enough drape. On the other hand, if your tension is too loose, the fabric will be flimsy and prone to stretching. Finding the right balance will ensure that your stockinette stitch fabric has a smooth and professional finish.

Another important tip for knitting the stockinette stitch is to pay attention to your stitch counts. It’s easy to get carried away with the rhythm of knitting and lose track of your stitches, especially when working on larger projects. To avoid mistakes and unraveling rows, it’s recommended to use stitch markers or keep track of your stitches by counting them periodically. This will help you maintain an even and consistent fabric throughout your project.

Understanding the Basics of Stockinette Stitch

Understanding the Basics of Stockinette Stitch

The stockinette stitch is one of the most popular and widely-used knitting patterns. It features V-shaped rows on one side and smooth, flat rows on the other side. This stitch is also known as the stocking stitch or stockinet stitch.

To create the stockinette stitch, you will need to alternate between knitting and purling. The knit stitch creates the smooth, flat side of the fabric, while the purl stitch creates the V-shaped side.

Here are the basic steps to knit the stockinette stitch:

  1. Start by casting on an even number of stitches. This will ensure that you have an equal number of V-shaped and flat rows.
  2. Row 1: Knit all stitches.
  3. Row 2: Purl all stitches.
  4. Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you reach the desired length.
  5. Finish by binding off all stitches.

The stockinette stitch is often used for making garments, such as sweaters, scarves, and hats, as well as home decor items, like blankets and pillow covers. It creates a smooth and sleek fabric that is great for showcasing patterns or designs.

It’s important to note that the stockinette stitch tends to curl along the edges. To prevent this, you can add a border or use techniques like ribbing or garter stitch at the edges of your project.

Tips for knitting the stockinette stitch:
Tip Description
Use stitch markers Placing stitch markers at the beginning and end of each row can help you keep track of your knitting.
Check your tension Make sure to maintain an even tension while knitting to create a uniform fabric.
Block your finished project Blocking your knitted item can help even out the stitches and give it a neater appearance.

By understanding the basics of the stockinette stitch and practicing it regularly, you’ll be able to create beautiful and versatile knitted items.

Choosing the Right Yarn and Needles

When it comes to knitting the stockinette stitch, choosing the right yarn and needles is crucial. The yarn and needles you choose will affect the overall look and feel of your knitted fabric.

Yarn Weight: The weight of yarn you choose will depend on the desired outcome of your project. Thicker yarns, such as bulky or super bulky, will create a chunkier and faster knitted fabric. On the other hand, thinner yarns, like fingering or lace weight, will create a more delicate and light fabric.

Yarn Fiber: The fiber content of the yarn will also impact the final fabric. Natural fibers like wool or cotton will result in different textures and drape compared to synthetic fibers like acrylic or nylon. Consider the characteristics of the fiber you choose to ensure it matches your project’s requirements.

Needle Size: The size of your knitting needles will determine the tension and gauge of your stitches. Thicker needles will create larger stitches, while smaller needles will produce tighter stitches. Be sure to check the recommended needle size on your yarn label or pattern to achieve the desired outcome.

Needle Material: Needle material can affect the overall feel of your knitting experience. Common materials include wood, metal, and plastic. Wood needles are known for their warmth and smoothness, metal needles offer speed, and plastic needles provide flexibility and affordability. Consider your preference and the specific project requirements when choosing needle material.

Additional Considerations:

  1. Consider the washing instructions for your chosen yarn to ensure it can be cared for properly once your project is complete.
  2. Think about the color and dye lot of your yarn to ensure consistency throughout your project.
  3. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different yarn and needle combinations to achieve the desired look and feel of your knitted stockinette stitch.

By carefully choosing the right yarn weight, fiber, needle size, and material, you will be on your way to creating beautiful and comfortable pieces using the stockinette stitch.

Getting Started with Stockinette Stitch

The stockinette stitch is one of the most basic and versatile stitch patterns in knitting. It is commonly used in everything from scarves and sweaters to blankets and accessories. If you’re a beginner knitter or looking to expand your knitting skills, learning the stockinette stitch is a great place to start.

To get started with the stockinette stitch, you will need:

  • Knitting needles in the appropriate size for your yarn
  • Yarn in the color and weight of your choosing
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry needle
  • Stitch markers (optional)

Once you have all of your materials ready, follow these steps to begin knitting the stockinette stitch:

  1. Make a slipknot: To start your knitting project, make a slipknot by creating a loop with the yarn and pulling the end through the loop. Tighten the knot around your knitting needle.
  2. Cast on stitches: Determine how many stitches you want to cast on for your project. There are different methods for casting on, but the long tail cast on is commonly used for the stockinette stitch. Hold the slipknot in your hand and use your other hand to hold the tail of the yarn. Insert the knitting needle into the loop on your thumb, then bring the yarn over the top of the needle and around it. Bring the needle through the loop on your thumb, and slip the loop onto the needle. Repeat this process until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
  3. Begin the stockinette stitch: Once you have cast on your stitches, you are ready to start knitting the stockinette stitch. The stockinette stitch consists of alternating knit and purl rows. Begin by knitting the first row: insert the needle into the first stitch from left to right, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull it through the stitch, leaving the stitch on the right needle. Continue knitting each stitch across the row.
  4. Purl the next row: After you have completed the knit row, it’s time to purl the next row. Purling is similar to knitting, but instead of inserting the needle from left to right, you insert it from right to left. Wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull it through the stitch, leaving the stitch on the right needle. Repeat this process for each stitch across the row.
  5. Continue alternating knit and purl rows: After completing the purl row, continue alternating knit and purl rows until you have reached your desired length. This will create the classic “V” pattern on one side of the fabric and a smooth, flat surface on the other side.
  6. Bind off: Once you have finished knitting your project, it’s time to bind off. Knit the first two stitches of the row, then use the left needle to pull the first stitch over the second stitch and off the needle. Knit one more stitch, and repeat the process of pulling the previous stitch over the new stitch until you have one stitch left. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail, and pull the tail through the last stitch to secure it.

Now that you know the basic steps for knitting the stockinette stitch, you can start experimenting with different yarns, colors, and project ideas. The stockinette stitch is a versatile pattern that can be used in a variety of knitting projects, so have fun and get creative!

Mastering the Knit Stitch

The knit stitch is one of the basic stitches in knitting, and mastering it is essential for any knitter. Once you’ve learned how to knit, you can create a variety of patterns and designs using the knit stitch. Here are some tips to help you master the knit stitch:

  1. Hold the yarn correctly: Before you start knitting, make sure you are holding the yarn correctly. Place the yarn over your fingers in a way that feels comfortable and allows you to easily manipulate the yarn.
  2. Insert the needle: Insert the needle into the first stitch on your left needle, from left to right.
  3. Wrap the yarn: Take the yarn that is connected to your ball or skein and bring it over the top of the right needle, from back to front.
  4. Pull the yarn through: Use the right needle to pull the yarn through the first stitch, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
  5. Repeat: Continue inserting the needle, wrapping the yarn, and pulling it through each stitch until you have completed a row.

Remember to keep your tension consistent and not too tight or too loose. Practice regularly to improve your speed and technique. Once you’ve mastered the knit stitch, you can move on to more complex stitches and patterns.

Troubleshooting Knit stitch:
Problem Solution
Stitches are too tight Loosen your grip on the needles and relax your hands. Try using larger needles or a looser tension.
Stitches are too loose Tighten your grip on the needles and make sure you are pulling the yarn tightly after each stitch.
Dropped stitches If you notice a dropped stitch, try using a crochet hook to pick it up and re-insert it correctly.

With enough practice and patience, you’ll become a master of the knit stitch in no time. Enjoy the process of creating beautiful knit projects!

Perfecting the Purl Stitch

The purl stitch is an essential component of the stockinette stitch, and mastering it will help you create beautiful and professional-looking knitting projects. Here are some tips to help you perfect the purl stitch.

1. Set up your knitting needles

Before you start purling, make sure your knitting needles are properly set up. Hold the needle with the stitches in your left hand, and the empty needle in your right hand. Make sure the working yarn is in front of your needles.

2. Insert the right needle

Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from right to left, as if you were going to knit the stitch.

3. Wrap the yarn

Take the working yarn and wrap it around the right needle counterclockwise, bringing it to the front of your work.

4. Pull yarn through

While holding the right needle with the wrapped yarn, use your right hand to pull the right needle and the wrapped yarn through the stitch, creating a new stitch on the right needle.

5. Slide the stitch

Once you have completed the purl stitch, gently slide the original stitch off the left needle, leaving the new stitch on the right needle.

6. Repeat

Continue to purl each stitch on the left needle following steps 2-5 until all the stitches have been purled.

Troubleshooting tips

Here are some common issues that may arise when purling, along with tips to help you overcome them:

  • Curling stitches: If your stitches are curling too tightly, you may be pulling the yarn too tightly when purling. Try to keep your tension relaxed to achieve a more even result.
  • Stitches too tight: If your purl stitches are too tight, try using a larger needle size or adjusting your tension. Experiment and find what works best for you.
  • Confusing knit and purl stitches: It can be easy to mix up the knit and purl stitches, especially when you’re first starting out. Take your time and double-check each stitch to ensure you’re working the correct stitch.


The purl stitch is an important skill to master in knitting. With practice and patience, you will be able to create beautiful purl stitches that will enhance your knitting projects. Remember to take your time and enjoy the process of perfecting the purl stitch.

Creating Beautiful Texture with Stockinette Stitch

The stockinette stitch is a versatile knitting stitch that can be used to create a variety of beautiful textures in your knitting projects. By simply alternating rows of knit and purl stitches, you can achieve different effects and add depth to your fabric.

Smooth and Sleek

One of the most common textures created with the stockinette stitch is a smooth and sleek fabric. This is achieved by knitting all of the stitches on the right side (RS) of the fabric and purling all of the stitches on the wrong side (WS) of the fabric. The result is a fabric with a smooth and even texture that is great for garments like sweaters and scarves.


Incorporating ribbing into your knitting projects is another way to use the stockinette stitch to create texture. By alternating rows of knit stitches and purl stitches, you can create a ribbed fabric that has a stretchy and textured appearance. Ribbing is often used for cuffs, collars, and waistbands to provide a snug fit.

Seed Stitch

The stockinette stitch can also be combined with the purl stitch to create the seed stitch, which is another textured pattern. To create the seed stitch, alternate knit and purl stitches within the same row and across multiple rows. The result is a fabric that has a bumpy texture and is often used for decorative edgings or to add interest to plain garments.

Combining Stockinette Stitch with Other Stitches

One of the great things about the stockinette stitch is that it can be easily combined with other stitch patterns to create unique textures. For example, you can use the stockinette stitch as a background for cables, lace, or colorwork. By combining different stitch patterns, you can create intricate and visually appealing designs in your knitting projects.


The stockinette stitch is a versatile and fundamental stitch that can be used to create a range of beautiful textures in your knitting projects. Whether you want a smooth and sleek fabric, a textured ribbing, a bumpy seed stitch, or a combination of different stitch patterns, the stockinette stitch is a great technique to learn and master.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

As with any new skill, knitting the stockinette stitch can be challenging at first. However, by being aware of common mistakes, you can avoid frustration and develop your knitting skills more effectively.

  • Tension inconsistency: One of the most common mistakes beginners make is having inconsistent tension while knitting. This can result in uneven stitches and a lumpy finished fabric. To avoid this, make sure to maintain a consistent tension throughout your knitting.
  • Forgetting to switch between knit and purl stitches: The stockinette stitch is created by alternating between knitting and purling rows. Forgetting to switch between these two stitches can result in a fabric that does not look like the stockinette stitch. Pay close attention to your pattern instructions and ensure you are alternating between knit and purl stitches correctly.
  • Not counting stitches: It’s important to count your stitches regularly as you work on the stockinette stitch. Missing or adding stitches can throw off the pattern and result in an uneven fabric. Using stitch markers or making a habit of counting your stitches at the end of each row can help you catch any mistakes early on.
  • Skipping blocking: Blocking is a crucial step in finishing your knitting project. It helps even out the stitches and ensures the fabric lays flat. Skipping this step can result in a finished piece that looks unprofessional and doesn’t drape as intended. Take the time to block your stockinette stitch project for the best results.
  • Not using the correct needle size: The size of your knitting needles can greatly affect the outcome of your stockinette stitch. Using needles that are too small can result in a tight and stiff fabric, while using needles that are too large can create a loose and sloppy fabric. Always check the recommended needle size in your pattern and swatch to ensure you achieve the desired gauge.

Avoiding these common mistakes will help you achieve beautiful, smooth stockinette stitch fabric and enhance your overall knitting skills. Remember to practice regularly and be patient with yourself as you continue to learn and improve.

Troubleshooting Tips for Stockinette Stitch

Stockinette stitch is a classic knitting stitch pattern that creates a smooth fabric with a distinct “V” pattern on one side and a bumpy texture on the other side. While it may seem simple, there are a few common issues that can arise when knitting stockinette stitch. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you avoid and fix problems:

  • Curling edges: One common problem with stockinette stitch is that the edges tend to curl. This is caused by the tension difference between the knit and purl stitches. To minimize curling, you can try adding a border of garter stitch (knitting every row) or seed stitch (alternating knit and purl stitches in a row) to the edges of your project.
  • Uneven tension: Another issue that can occur in stockinette stitch is uneven tension, where some stitches are tighter or looser than others. To achieve even tension, try to maintain a consistent gauge and tension throughout your knitting. You can also block your finished project to even out any tension inconsistencies.
  • Inconsistent stitch size: If you find that your stitches are coming out different sizes within the same row, this may be due to uneven tension or accidental yarn overs or decreases. Take care to knit each stitch with the same tension and check your work periodically to ensure all stitches are the same size.
  • Rolled or twisted stitches: Occasionally, you may notice that some stitches appear twisted or rolled rather than lying flat. This can happen if you inadvertently twist the stitches when knitting or purling. Make sure to insert your needle into the correct part of the stitch and pay attention to the direction of your working yarn.
  • Splitting yarn: If your yarn splits easily while knitting stockinette stitch, it may be helpful to switch to a yarn with a tighter twist or use a smaller needle size. Additionally, take care to insert your needle into the center of the stitch to avoid splitting the yarn.

By keeping these troubleshooting tips in mind, you can overcome common issues and achieve beautiful, smooth stockinette stitch fabric in your knitting projects.


Can you explain what the stockinette stitch is?

The stockinette stitch is a basic knitting stitch that creates a smooth, flat fabric. It is achieved by knitting one row and purling the next row, and repeating this pattern.

Is the stockinette stitch difficult to learn?

The stockinette stitch is considered one of the easiest knitting stitches to learn. It only requires basic knitting and purling skills, and it is a great stitch for beginners to practice.

What type of projects can I make using the stockinette stitch?

The stockinette stitch can be used in a wide range of knitting projects, such as scarves, sweaters, hats, and blankets. It creates a smooth and even texture, making it suitable for many different types of garments and accessories.

How do I fix a mistake in the stockinette stitch?

If you make a mistake while knitting the stockinette stitch, you can easily “frog” or unravel the stitches back to the mistake and reknit them correctly. Alternatively, you can use a crochet hook to pick up the mistake and fix it, without having to unravel the entire row or project.

Can I use the stockinette stitch to create patterns or textures?

While the stockinette stitch itself is smooth and doesn’t create patterns or textures, you can combine it with other stitches, such as ribbing or cables, to create interesting designs. You can also use different colors of yarn to create stripes or color blocks within the stockinette stitch fabric.

What type of yarn is best for knitting the stockinette stitch?

The stockinette stitch looks best when knit with smooth and even yarn, such as a worsted weight or sport weight yarn. Yarns with a lot of texture or variegation may hide the smoothness of the stitch pattern.

Is it possible to knit the stockinette stitch in the round?

Yes, it is possible to knit the stockinette stitch in the round. Instead of alternating between knitting and purling rows, you would simply knit every round. This creates a seamless fabric without a wrong side.


How to Knit the Double Stockinette Stitch


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *