Knitting through the back loop is an essential technique for any beginner knitter to learn. This method creates a unique twist in the stitches, resulting in a distinct pattern and texture in your knitted fabric. Whether you’re a seasoned knitter looking to expand your skills or a complete beginner just starting out, this guide will walk you through the steps of knitting through the back loop.
Knitting through the back loop, often abbreviated as Ktbl, involves inserting the needle through the back of the stitch instead of the front. This simple alteration changes the way the stitch is oriented on the needle and gives your work a different look. While it may seem daunting at first, learning this technique will open up a world of design possibilities and allow you to create beautiful knitwear with an added touch of detail.
One of the benefits of knitting through the back loop is that it tightens the stitch and creates a more pronounced ribbing effect. This makes it a popular choice for knitting ribbed cuffs, collars, and edges. Additionally, using this method can also result in a more defined stitch pattern when working with twisted cables or complex stitch patterns. With a little bit of practice, you’ll be able to master this technique and incorporate it into your knitting projects with confidence.
Pro tip: When knitting through the back loop, pay extra attention to ensure that you don’t accidentally twist the stitches. It’s easy to get confused, especially when first starting out, but with practice and concentration, you’ll be able to avoid this common mistake.
Now that you understand the basics of knitting through the back loop, it’s time to grab your needles, choose your yarn, and get started on your first project. By incorporating this technique into your knitting repertoire, you’ll be able to take your knitting skills to the next level and create unique and stunning pieces that truly stand out.
What is the Back Loop in Knitting?
In knitting, the back loop refers to the loop of yarn that is formed when you insert your knitting needle into the stitch from the back side. This is also known as knitting through the back loop (ktbl). When you knit through the back loop, the stitch twists, creating a different texture and appearance in your knitted fabric.
The back loop is a useful technique in knitting because it adds visual interest to your project and can be used to create various stitch patterns. By knitting through the back loop, you can create ribbing, cables, and other textured designs.
When knitting through the back loop, it’s important to note that the stitch will be twisted, which means it may be tighter than a regular knit stitch. This can affect the tension and gauge of your knitting, so it’s important to adjust your knitting technique accordingly.
To knit through the back loop, insert your right-hand knitting needle into the back loop of the stitch on the left-hand needle, instead of the front loop as you would with a regular knit stitch. Then, wrap the yarn around the needle and pull it through to create a new stitch.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind when knitting through the back loop:
- The back loop is usually indicated in knitting patterns with the abbreviation “ktbl” or “ktbl”
- Knitting through the back loop is commonly used in ribbing and twisted stitch patterns.
- The back loop creates a twisted stitch that gives your knitted fabric a different look and texture.
- Knitting through the back loop can affect the tension and gauge of your knitting, so make sure to adjust your knitting technique as needed.
By learning how to knit through the back loop, you can expand your knitting skills and create unique and interesting designs in your projects.
Why should you Learn how to Knit through the Back Loop?
Learning how to knit through the back loop, also known as Ktbl or knit through the back of the loop, is a valuable technique that every knitter should learn. It may seem like a small variation in the way you knit, but it can make a big difference in your finished projects.
Here are a few reasons why learning how to knit through the back loop is important:
- Creates a tighter stitch: When you knit through the back loop, you twist the stitch, resulting in a tighter and more secure stitch. This can be especially useful when knitting certain stitch patterns or when you need a tighter fabric, such as in socks or gloves.
- Enhances stitch definition: Knitting through the back loop can help enhance the definition of certain stitch patterns, such as cables or twisted stitches. By twisting the stitch, the texture of the pattern becomes more prominent and stands out.
- Adds a decorative touch: Knitting through the back loop can be used to create unique decorative elements in your projects. For example, by knitting through the back loop on specific rows, you can create ribbing or twisted stitch patterns.
- Expands your knitting skills: Learning new knitting techniques is a great way to expand your skills and challenge yourself. Knitting through the back loop is a simple yet valuable technique that can be easily incorporated into your knitting repertoire.
- Builds muscle memory: By practicing knitting through the back loop, you develop muscle memory and become more confident in your knitting abilities. As a result, you’ll be able to tackle more complex projects with ease.
Overall, learning how to knit through the back loop is a useful technique that can elevate your knitting projects and expand your skills as a knitter. It’s worth taking the time to practice and incorporate this technique into your knitting repertoire.
Before you begin learning how to knit through the back loop, make sure you have the following materials:
- Yarn: Choose a yarn that is suitable for beginners, such as a medium weight yarn. You can use any color or type of yarn that you prefer.
- Knitting Needles: Select a pair of knitting needles that are appropriate for the weight of your yarn. Beginners usually start with a size 8 or 9 needle, but you can refer to the yarn label for recommendations.
- Tape Measure: It’s important to have a tape measure handy to measure your work and ensure accuracy.
- Scissors: You will need scissors to cut the yarn at the end of your project or to change colors if desired.
- Tapestry Needle: A tapestry needle is useful for weaving in loose ends and finishing your project.
- Stitch Markers (optional): If you find it helpful, you can use stitch markers to mark certain stitches or sections of your work.
Having these materials ready will ensure that you can fully engage in learning how to knit through the back loop without any interruptions. Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you will be ready to start your knitting journey!
Knitting needles are one of the essential tools you need to begin your knitting journey. They are long, slender rods typically made of metal, wood, or plastic, with a point on one end and a cap or knob on the other. The size and material of the knitting needles can vary depending on the type of project and personal preference of the knitter.
Types of Knitting Needles:
- Straight Needles: Straight needles are the most common type of knitting needles. They are straight in shape and come in pairs. The two needles are used to hold and manipulate the stitches during the knitting process.
- Circular Needles: Circular needles consist of two needle tips connected by a flexible cable. They are used for knitting in the round or for working on large projects such as blankets or shawls. Circular needles can also be used for flat knitting by knitting back and forth.
- Double-Pointed Needles: Double-pointed needles, or DPNs, are shorter needles that come in sets of four or five. They are mainly used for knitting small circumference projects such as socks, sleeves, or hats.
Choosing the Right Needles:
When choosing knitting needles, consider the yarn weight you will be using and the desired gauge or tension of your project. Thicker yarns generally require larger needles, while thinner yarns require smaller needles. The packaging of the yarn usually suggests an appropriate needle size range to achieve the desired gauge.
Additionally, consider the material of the needles. Metal needles are durable and have a smooth surface that allows stitches to glide easily. Wooden needles are lightweight and have a warm feel, making them great for those with arthritis or sensitive hands. Plastic needles are affordable and lightweight, but they may not be as sturdy as metal or wood.
Tips for Knitting Needles:
- Choose a needle size that is comfortable for you to work with.
- Avoid storing your needles in a way that may bend or damage them.
- Keep your needles clean and free from any sticky substances that may affect the flow of your knitting.
- If you find it difficult to hold your stitches, consider using needles with a grip or a needle holder.
Knitting needles are crucial tools that can greatly impact your knitting experience. By choosing the right type and size of needles, you can ensure that your knitting projects turn out beautifully and enjoyable to work on.
Yarn is a vital component in knitting. It is a continuous strand of fibers that are twisted or spun together. Yarn comes in various materials, thicknesses, and colors, making it suitable for different knitting projects.
Some common types of yarn include:
- Wool Yarn: Wool yarn is made from the fleece of sheep and is known for its warmth and elasticity. It is commonly used in cold climates and for making cozy sweaters and blankets.
- Cotton Yarn: Cotton yarn is made from the fibers of the cotton plant. It is lightweight, breathable, and ideal for making garments for warm weather.
- Acrylic Yarn: Acrylic yarn is synthetic and is often chosen for its affordability and durability. It is easy to care for and is great for everyday items.
- Alpaca Yarn: Alpaca yarn is made from the fleece of the alpaca animal. It is known for its softness, warmth, and hypoallergenic properties.
Yarn is available in different thicknesses or weights, which are indicated by a number or a name. The weight of yarn you choose for a project depends on the desired outcome and the knitting pattern you are following.
Here are some common yarn weights:
|Weight Number||Weight Name||Usage|
|0||Lace||Delicate shawls and doilies|
|1||Fingering||Socks and light garments|
|2||Sport||Lightweight sweaters and baby items|
|3||Dk||Cardigans and hats|
|4||Worsted||Aran jumpers and blankets|
|5||Chunky||Scarves and beanies|
|6||Super Chunky||Thick blankets and winter accessories|
When choosing a yarn for your knitting project, consider both the material and weight that will work best for the item you want to create. Experimenting with different yarns can add variation and excitement to your knitting projects!
Aside from the knitting needles and yarn, there are a few other tools that can come in handy when learning how to knit through the back loop.
Tape Measure: A tape measure is useful for measuring gauge and sizing. It helps ensure that your finished project will match the intended measurements.
Stitch Markers: Stitch markers are used to mark specific stitches or sections in your knitting. They can help you keep track of patterns or indicate where to make increases or decreases.
Row Counter: A row counter is a small tool that helps you keep track of the number of rows you have completed. This is especially useful if you are working on a pattern that requires a specific number of rows.
Tapestry Needles: Tapestry needles, also known as yarn needles, are used for sewing up seams and weaving in loose ends. They have large eyes that can accommodate yarn and make it easier to work with.
Scissors: A pair of sharp scissors is essential for cutting yarn. Make sure to have a dedicated pair of scissors for your knitting projects to keep them in good condition.
Stitch Holders: Stitch holders are used to hold stitches in place while you work on a different part of your knitting. They help prevent stitches from unravelling and allow you to continue working without losing any progress.
Row Counter App: If you prefer using digital tools, there are also row counter apps available for your smartphone or tablet. These apps make it easy to keep track of your rows without the need for a physical row counter.
Knitting Bag or Project Bag: While not a necessary tool, a knitting bag or project bag can help keep all your knitting supplies organized and portable. It’s a convenient way to store your needles, yarn, and other tools when not in use.
Having these additional tools can make your knitting experience more enjoyable and efficient. They help you stay organized, keep track of your progress, and ensure your finished project turns out the way you want it to.
If you’re new to knitting or just looking to learn a new technique, knitting through the back loop is a great skill to add to your repertoire. This technique creates a twisted stitch that adds texture and interest to your knitting projects.
Before you begin, there are a few basic knitting supplies you’ll need:
- Yarn: Choose a yarn that is appropriate for your project. Thicker yarns are easier to work with when learning new techniques.
- Knitting needles: Select a pair of needles that are the correct size for your yarn. The recommended needle size is often printed on the yarn label.
- Tapestry needle: This needle is used for weaving in ends and finishing your project.
- Scissors: A pair of scissors will come in handy for cutting your yarn.
Once you have your supplies ready, it’s time to learn how to knit through the back loop. Follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Cast on: Start by making a slipknot and placing it on your knitting needle. Then, using a cast-on method of your choice, cast on the desired number of stitches for your project.
- Tension: Hold your knitting needle with the cast-on stitches in your right hand and the empty needle in your left hand. Make sure your tension is even and comfortable.
- Insert the needle: Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from the back to the front, going through the back loop of the stitch.
- Wrap the yarn: Wrap the yarn around the right needle counterclockwise, just like you would for a regular knit stitch.
- Pull through: Pull the right needle with the wrapped yarn through the back loop of the stitch, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
- Drop the stitch: Slide the original stitch off the left needle, leaving the new stitch on the right needle.
- Repeat: Continue knitting through the back loop for each stitch on the left needle until you have completed all the desired stitches.
With practice, knitting through the back loop will become second nature. You can use this technique in various knitting patterns to create unique textures and stitches.
Step 1: Cast On Stitches
Before you can start knitting, you need to cast on stitches onto your knitting needle. Casting on is the process of creating the foundation row of stitches.
Here are two common methods for casting on stitches:
1. Long-Tail Cast On:
- To begin, leave a long tail of yarn. The length of the tail should be roughly four times the width of your finished knitting.
- Make a slipknot by creating a loop with the yarn.
- Insert the knitting needle through the loop and tighten the slipknot around the needle.
- Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand, and hold the long tail of yarn in your left hand.
- With your right hand, bring the needle over the long tail of yarn, and then under it.
- Gently pull the needle and the long tail of yarn apart to tighten the stitch.
- Repeat steps 5 and 6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
2. Knitted Cast On:
- Make a slipknot and place it on the needle.
- Hold the needle with the slipknot in your right hand.
- Insert the point of the right-hand needle into the slipknot from front to back, as if to knit.
- Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle counterclockwise, forming a loop.
- Use the right-hand needle to pull this new loop through the slipknot, creating a new stitch on the left-hand needle.
- Slide the new stitch onto the left-hand needle.
- Repeat steps 3-6 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches.
Once you have cast on the required number of stitches, you are ready to move on to the next step in knitting.
Step 2: Knit through the Back Loop
Once you have successfully cast on your stitches, you are ready to start knitting through the back loop.
- Hold the knitting needle with the cast on stitches in your right hand.
- Insert the tip of the left knitting needle into the first stitch on the right needle, but instead of inserting it from the front, insert it through the back loop of the stitch.
- Keep the working yarn at the back of the needles.
- With the left needle behind the right needle, bring the tip of the left needle up and towards you, making sure it goes through the back loop of the stitch. This will create a twist in the stitch.
- With the left needle, catch the yarn and pull it through the back loop of the stitch, bringing the loop of yarn through to the front of the work.
- Slide the stitch off the right needle and onto the left needle, completing the knit stitch through the back loop.
- Repeat steps 2-6 for the remaining stitches on the right needle.
- Continue knitting each stitch through the back loop until you have completed the desired number of rows.
Knitting through the back loop creates a twisted stitch, giving the finished fabric a different texture and appearance. It is commonly used in various knitting patterns to create interesting designs and textures. With practice, knitting through the back loop will become second nature and you can experiment with different stitch patterns and designs in your knitting projects.
Step 3: Knit Rows
Now that you have mastered the knit stitch, it’s time to move on to knitting rows. Knitting rows is simply repeating the knit stitch across multiple stitches on your knitting needles.
To knit rows, follow these simple steps:
- Hold your knitting needles with the completed row of stitches in your left hand and the empty needle in your right hand.
- Insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle, going from back to front.
- Wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle, again going from back to front.
- Use the right-hand needle to pull the yarn through the first stitch, creating a new stitch on the right-hand needle.
- Slide the original stitch off the left-hand needle.
- Repeat steps 2-5 for each stitch on the left-hand needle until there are no stitches left.
Remember to keep your tension even and the stitches snug but not too tight. As you continue knitting rows, you will see your fabric slowly taking shape.
It’s important to count your stitches after each row to ensure you haven’t accidentally added or dropped any stitches. This will help you stay on track and create an even fabric.
You can use the knit stitch to create various stitch patterns and textures by combining knits and purls in different ways. Experiment with different stitch patterns to add interest to your knitting projects.
Once you have finished knitting your desired number of rows, you can move on to the next step in your knitting project, whether it’s shaping the fabric, changing colors, or adding other design elements.
Practice knitting rows until you feel comfortable and confident in your skills. Knitting rows is a fundamental technique in knitting and will be used in many future projects.
Next, we’ll move on to the next step in our beginner’s guide: purling.
Why should I learn how to knit through the back loop?
Learning how to knit through the back loop allows you to create unique stitch patterns and textures in your knitting. It adds a different twist to your knitting projects and can really enhance the overall look of your finished piece.
Is knitting through the back loop difficult?
Knitting through the back loop may feel a bit different at first, but with some practice, it becomes easier. It may take a few tries to get comfortable with the new technique, but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature.
Can I use the knit through the back loop technique for any knitting project?
Yes, you can use the knit through the back loop technique for most knitting projects. However, it is most commonly used when creating twisted stitch patterns or ribbing. It adds a unique texture and can make your knitted pieces stand out.
Are there any tips for knitting through the back loop?
When knitting through the back loop, it’s important to pay attention to your tension and make sure you don’t tighten your stitches too much. It can also be helpful to use a smaller needle size to ensure you have enough space to insert your needle through the back loop.
What are some common mistakes when knitting through the back loop?
Some common mistakes when knitting through the back loop include accidentally twisting your stitches the wrong way or knitting through the back loop when you should be knitting through the front loop. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions and pay attention to which loops you are supposed to be knitting through.
Can I use the knit through the back loop technique for purl stitches?
No, the knit through the back loop technique is specifically for knit stitches. If you want to create twisted or crossed textures with purl stitches, you will need to use different techniques such as purling through the back loop or working purl stitches in a specific order.
How can I practice knitting through the back loop?
You can practice knitting through the back loop by creating small swatches or samples. Alternatively, you can find patterns that incorporate the technique and work on those projects. Practice will help you become more comfortable and confident in this knitting technique.