Learn How to Make Knitting Stitches

Learn How to Make Knitting Stitches

Knitting is a wonderful craft that allows you to create beautiful and functional items using just a pair of needles and some yarn. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, understanding the basics of knitting stitches is essential. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of making various knitting stitches, from the basic knit and purl stitches to more advanced techniques like cables and lace.

Knit Stitch: The knit stitch is one of the fundamental building blocks of knitting. To make a knit stitch, insert your right needle into the front of the first stitch on the left needle, from left to right. Wrap the yarn around the right needle, crossing it over the front of the left needle. Pull the right needle through the stitch, bringing the yarn with it. Slip the old stitch off the left needle and onto the right needle. Repeat this process until you have completed a row of knit stitches.

Purl Stitch: The purl stitch is the reverse of the knit stitch and creates a bumpy texture on the right side of your work. To make a purl stitch, insert your right needle into the front of the first stitch on the left needle, from right to left. Wrap the yarn around the right needle, crossing it under the left needle. Pull the right needle through the stitch, bringing the yarn with it. Slip the old stitch off the left needle and onto the right needle. Repeat this process until you have completed a row of purl stitches.

Tips: Remember to keep your tension even and to relax your shoulders while knitting. It may take some practice to get your stitches consistent, but don’t get discouraged! Knitting is a skill that improves with time and patience.

With these basic stitches under your belt, you can start exploring more advanced techniques and stitch patterns. Cables, lace, and colorwork are just a few examples of the endless possibilities in knitting. So grab your needles, choose your favorite yarn, and start knitting!

Understanding the Basics

Before diving into knitting stitches, it’s important to understand the basics of knitting. Knitting is a technique that uses two or more needles to create a fabric or garment by interlocking loops of yarn.

To start knitting, you will need knitting needles, yarn, and basic knowledge of a few key terms:

  • Casting on: This is the first step in starting a knitting project. It involves creating the initial loops on the needle to begin knitting.
  • Knit stitch: This is the most basic stitch in knitting. It involves inserting the needle into a loop, wrapping the yarn around the needle, and pulling the loop through.
  • Purl stitch: This stitch is the opposite of the knit stitch. Instead of inserting the needle from front to back, it is inserted from back to front, creating a different texture.
  • Row: A row is a horizontal line of stitches. It is created by working across all the stitches on the needle.
  • Pattern: Knitting patterns provide instructions on how to create a specific design or stitch pattern. They often include a combination of knit stitches, purl stitches, and other techniques.

It’s helpful to have a good understanding of these basics before moving on to more complex knitting stitches. Once you have mastered the basic stitches, you can start exploring different stitch patterns, increasing and decreasing stitches, and creating beautiful designs with your knitting skills.

Gathering the Necessary Materials

Before you can start learning how to make knitting stitches, it’s important to gather all the necessary materials. Here are the items you’ll need:

1. Yarn: Choose a yarn that is suitable for the type of project you want to make. There are various types of yarn available, such as acrylic, wool, cotton, or a blend of different fibers.
2. Knitting Needles: Purchase a pair of knitting needles that are appropriate for the yarn you’ve chosen. The size of the needles will determine the gauge and the size of the stitches you’ll make.
3. Scissors: You’ll need a pair of sharp scissors to cut the yarn at the end of your project or whenever necessary.
4. Stitch Markers: Stitch markers are small, removable rings or clips that can be placed on the needles to mark specific stitches or sections of your knitting. They can be helpful in keeping track of your progress and guiding you through certain stitch patterns.
5. Yarn Needle: A yarn needle, also known as a tapestry needle, is a large-sized needle with a blunt end. It is used for weaving in loose yarn ends and sewing pieces of knitted fabric together.
6. Measuring Tape: A measuring tape is useful for measuring your gauge, as well as determining the dimensions of your finished project.
7. Pattern or Instruction Book: If you’re a beginner, it’s helpful to have a pattern or an instruction book that provides step-by-step guidance. This will help you understand the different techniques and stitches involved in your knitting project.

Once you have gathered all the necessary materials, you’ll be ready to start learning how to make knitting stitches. Make sure to have a comfortable and well-lit workspace to enhance your knitting experience.

Choosing the Right Yarn

Choosing the right yarn is an essential step in knitting. The type of yarn you select can greatly affect the overall look, feel, and drape of your finished project. Here are some factors to consider when choosing yarn for your knitting project:

Fiber Content

The fiber content of the yarn determines its characteristics, such as warmth, softness, and stretch. Yarns can be made from a variety of fibers, including wool, cotton, acrylic, alpaca, and silk. Each fiber has its own unique properties and is suitable for different types of projects. Wool, for example, is warm and elastic, while cotton is breathable and lightweight.


The gauge of your knitting project refers to the number of stitches and rows per inch. It is important to choose a yarn with a gauge that matches the pattern you are following. If the yarn you choose has a different gauge than the pattern, your finished project may turn out too small or too large. Be sure to check the recommended gauge on the yarn label or ask your local yarn store for assistance.


The texture of the yarn can also impact the appearance of your knitting project. Yarns can be smooth, fluffy, slubby, or textured. Smooth yarns are great for showing off stitch patterns, while fluffy yarns create a soft and cozy texture. The texture you choose depends on the look and feel you want to achieve.


The color of the yarn can make a big difference in the overall look of your project. Some knitters prefer solid colors, while others like to work with variegated or self-striping yarns. Consider the color of your yarn in relation to your project’s design and pattern. Bright colors can make a bold statement, while subtle tones create a more classic look.



The price of yarn can vary greatly depending on the fiber content, quality, and brand. It is important to consider your budget when choosing yarn. While it can be tempting to splurge on expensive yarns, there are also many affordable options available. Keep in mind that different projects may require different amounts of yarn, so be sure to calculate the total cost before making your final decision.

In conclusion, choosing the right yarn is crucial for a successful knitting project. Take into account the fiber content, gauge, texture, color, and price when making your selection. Experiment and have fun exploring the wide variety of yarns available to create beautiful and unique knitted items.

Mastering the Basic Knitting Stitches

When starting your knitting journey, it’s important to master the basic stitches. These stitches will form the foundation for more complex patterns and techniques. Here, we will guide you through step-by-step instructions for each stitch.

1. Knit Stitch (K)

The knit stitch, commonly referred to as the “K” stitch, is the most basic knitting stitch. It creates a smooth, interlocked fabric. To knit:

  1. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from left to right.
  2. Wrap the working yarn around the right needle counterclockwise, creating a loop.
  3. Pull the right needle back through the stitch, slipping the new stitch onto the right needle while transferring the old stitch off the left needle.

2. Purl Stitch (P)

The purl stitch, or “P” stitch, creates a bumpy texture on your fabric. To purl:

  1. Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from right to left.
  2. Wrap the working yarn around the right needle clockwise, creating a loop.
  3. Pull the right needle back through the stitch, slipping the new purl stitch onto the right needle while transferring the old stitch off the left needle.

3. Garter Stitch (G)

The garter stitch, represented by “G,” is created by knitting every stitch on every row. This stitch creates a ridged texture. To create a garter stitch, knit every stitch on every row.

4. Stockinette Stitch (St st)

The stockinette stitch, abbreviated as “St st,” is created by alternating knit and purl rows. This stitch creates a smooth, flat finish on one side and a bumpy texture on the other. To create the stockinette stitch, alternate between knitting and purling rows. For example, knit one row, then purl the next row.

5. Ribbing Stitch

Ribbing is a common stitch pattern used for cuffs, collars, and hems. It creates a stretchy, textured fabric. This stitch is achieved by alternating knit and purl stitches within a row. For example, a common ribbing pattern is K2, P2: knit two stitches, purl two stitches, and repeat.

6. Seed Stitch

The seed stitch creates a rich texture with alternating knits and purls. To create the seed stitch:

  1. Row 1: *K1, P1*. Repeat from * to * across the row.
  2. Row 2: *P1, K1*. Repeat from * to * across the row.
  3. Repeat these two rows to create the seed stitch pattern.

7. Cable Stitch

The cable stitch is a decorative stitch pattern that creates twists and braids in your fabric. To create a cable stitch, you will need a cable needle:

  1. Slip the desired number of stitches onto the cable needle and hold it in front or back of your work.
  2. Knit or purl the next stitches on your left needle.
  3. Knit or purl the stitches from the cable needle onto your right needle.
  4. Continue working across your row, following the cable pattern.

Stitch Abbreviations
Stitch Abbreviation
Knit K
Purl P
Garter Stitch G
Stockinette Stitch St st

By mastering these basic knitting stitches, you will have a solid foundation for creating a variety of patterns and designs. Practice each stitch individually before combining them to create more intricate projects. Happy knitting!

Creating Different Patterns

Once you’ve mastered the basic knitting stitches, you can start creating different patterns by incorporating various techniques. Here are a few popular knitting patterns that you can try:

  • Garter stitch: This is the simplest knitting pattern, where you knit every row. It creates a ridged texture that is great for scarves and blankets.
  • Stockinette stitch: This pattern alternates between knitting one row and purling the next. It creates a smooth and flat fabric and is commonly used for sweaters and socks.
  • Ribbing: Ribbing is created by alternating knit and purl stitches in a specific pattern, such as K2, P2. It creates a stretchy fabric that is commonly used for cuffs, collars, and hems.
  • Seed stitch: The seed stitch pattern alternates between knit and purl stitches within the same row. It creates a textured fabric that resembles scattered seeds and is often used for scarves and hats.

Aside from these basic patterns, you can also experiment with more advanced techniques like cables, lace, and colorwork. These techniques involve manipulating the stitches to create intricate designs and patterns.

When attempting new patterns, it’s always a good idea to practice on a small swatch first. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with the pattern and make any necessary adjustments before starting a larger project.

Pattern Description Suggested Uses
Garter Stitch Knit every row Scarves, blankets
Stockinette Stitch Alternate knit and purl rows Sweaters, socks
Ribbing Alternate knit and purl stitches in a specific pattern Cuffs, collars, hems
Seed Stitch Alternate knit and purl stitches within the same row Scarves, hats

With these patterns in your knitting repertoire, you’ll be able to create a wide variety of projects that showcase your skills and creativity. Remember to take your time and enjoy the process, as knitting can be a relaxing and rewarding hobby.

Adding Texture and Color to Your Knitting

In knitting, you can add texture and color to create unique and visually appealing designs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, here are some techniques you can use to enhance your knitting projects:

1. Cables

Cables are a popular way to add texture to your knitting. By crossing stitches over each other, you can create intricate patterns that resemble twisted ropes or braids. Cables can be simple or complex, depending on the number of stitches and rows involved.

2. Lace

Lace knitting involves creating patterns that feature decorative holes. This technique adds a delicate and airy look to your knitting. Lace patterns often incorporate yarn overs and decreases to create the openwork design.

3. Colorwork

Colorwork involves adding multiple colors to your knitting projects. There are several techniques you can use, including stranded colorwork (also known as Fair Isle), intarsia, and slip stitch colorwork. Each technique creates different visual effects and requires different knitting skills.

4. Texture Stitches

Texture stitches create tactile interest in knitting. Examples include seed stitch, moss stitch, and ribbing. These stitches involve alternating knits and purls to create a textured surface. You can use texture stitches in various parts of your knitting, such as borders, cuffs, or entire sections of a garment.

5. Stripes

Stripes are an easy way to add color to your knitting. You can alternate between different colors to create horizontal stripes or use different shades of the same color for a subtle effect. Stripes can be used in various ways – from simple bands to intricate patterns.

6. Embellishments

Embellishments are another way to add texture and color to your knitting. You can add beads, sequins, or small fabric flowers to your knitting projects to create decorative accents. Embroidery is also a popular technique for adding intricate designs to knitted pieces.

7. Mixing Yarns

By mixing different yarns with varying textures and weights, you can create interesting visual and tactile effects. For example, combining a fluffy yarn with a smooth one or using a metallic yarn as an accent can add dimension and interest to your knitting.

Remember to practice these techniques and experiment with different combinations to create unique and personalized knitting projects. Have fun exploring textures and colors in your knitting!

Fixing Common Knitting Mistakes

Knitting is a relaxing and rewarding hobby, but it’s not uncommon to make mistakes along the way. Fortunately, many knitting mistakes can be easily fixed without having to start your project over from scratch. Whether you’ve dropped a stitch, made a stitching error, or encountered a problem with your tension, here are some common knitting mistakes and how to fix them:

Dropped Stitch

Dropping a stitch is one of the most common mistakes in knitting. When you notice a dropped stitch, don’t panic! Simply use a crochet hook or knitting needle to pick up the dropped stitch and return it to the correct position on the needle. Make sure to pull the working yarn snugly to fix any loose stitches.

Stitching Error

If you’ve made a mistake in your knitting pattern and need to correct a single stitch or a small section, you can use a crochet hook to unknit (or “tink”) the stitches back to the mistake. Once you’ve reached the mistake, carefully re-knit the correct stitches, making sure to match the pattern and tension of the surrounding stitches.

Tension Problems

Tension problems can result in uneven or loose stitches. To fix tension issues, you can try blocking your finished project. Wet the item, gently stretch it to the desired shape, and pin it in place until it dries. This can help even out the stitches and create a more uniform appearance.

Twisted Stitches

Twisted stitches can occur when you accidentally knit into the back loop instead of the front loop. If you notice twisted stitches in your knitting, you can easily fix them by dropping down to the row where the twist occurred and carefully reworking the stitches. Make sure to identify the twisted stitches and work them correctly to untwist them.

Wrong Yarn Over

A yarn over is an increase stitch used to create decorative holes in lace knitting. However, if you accidentally yarn over in the wrong place, it can result in a mistake. To fix a wrong yarn over, simply drop the extra yarn over and continue knitting the correct stitch pattern. You can use a crochet hook or knitting needle to help remove the incorrect yarn over.

Joining Yarn

When joining a new ball of yarn in the middle of a project, it’s important to do it in a way that secures the yarn and prevents unraveling. To join yarn, leave a 6-inch tail, overlap it with the new yarn, and knit a few stitches with both yarns held together. Then, continue knitting with the new yarn, leaving the tail to weave in later. This method ensures a secure and seamless join.

Tangled Yarn

If your yarn becomes tangled or knotted, resist the urge to yank it apart. Instead, gently untangle the knots or snarls with your fingers or a crochet hook. Take your time and work through the tangles patiently to avoid breaking or damaging the yarn fibers.

Remember, making mistakes is a natural part of learning and practicing any new skill. Don’t be discouraged if you encounter knitting mistakes – they can usually be fixed with a little patience and know-how. Take your time, stay calm, and enjoy the process of creating something beautiful with your knitting skills!

Exploring Advanced Techniques

Once you have mastered the basic knitting stitches, you may want to expand your skills with some advanced techniques. These techniques can add texture, design elements, and complexity to your knitting projects. Here are a few advanced knitting stitches to explore:

  • Cable Knitting: Cable knitting is a technique that creates a twisted or braided look in your knitted fabric. It involves crossing stitches over each other to create intricate patterns.
  • Lace Knitting: Lace knitting uses a combination of yarn overs and decreases to create delicate and intricate patterns. It is often used for shawls, scarves, and other lightweight garments.
  • Fair Isle Knitting: Fair Isle knitting, also known as stranded knitting, involves working with multiple colors in a single row to create colorful and geometric designs. It is often used for sweaters, hats, and mittens.
  • Entrelac Knitting: Entrelac knitting creates a basketweave pattern by knitting a series of small squares and triangles. It can be used to make blankets, scarves, or other textured projects.
  • Brioche Knitting: Brioche knitting creates a reversible ribbed fabric that is thick and squishy. It involves working with two colors and slipping stitches to create a unique texture.

These advanced techniques require a bit more practice and concentration than the basic knitting stitches, but they can be incredibly rewarding. As you explore these techniques, consider trying them out on small swatches or practice projects before tackling a larger project.

There are many resources available, such as books, online tutorials, and knitting classes, that can help you learn these advanced techniques. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your knitting as you continue to expand your skills!


What are the basic knitting stitches?

The basic knitting stitches are knit and purl stitches. Knit stitch creates a smooth surface, while purl stitch creates a bumpy surface.

How do I make a knit stitch?

To make a knit stitch, insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch on the left-hand needle from left to right. Then, wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle, and pull it through the stitch. Finally, slip the old stitch off the left-hand needle.

What is the difference between knit and purl stitches?

The main difference between knit and purl stitches is the way the yarn is wrapped around the needle. In knit stitch, the yarn is in the back of the work, while in purl stitch, the yarn is in the front of the work. This results in different textures on the fabric.

How do I fix a mistake in my knitting?

To fix a mistake in knitting, you can either rip back the stitches to the mistake and re-knit them, or you can use a technique called “tinking”, which involves undoing the stitches one by one. It is recommended to practice both techniques to become comfortable with fixing mistakes in your knitting.


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