Learn the Basics of Knit Stitch

Learn the Basics of Knit Stitch

Knitting is a timeless craft that allows you to create beautiful and functional items with just a pair of needles and some yarn. If you are new to knitting, it can seem intimidating at first, but with some patience and practice, you’ll be able to create your own knitted pieces in no time. One of the basic stitches in knitting is the knit stitch, and learning how to do it is the first step towards becoming a skilled knitter.

The knit stitch is created by inserting the right-hand needle into the front of the first stitch on the left-hand needle, then wrapping the yarn around the right-hand needle from back to front, and pulling the right-hand needle through the stitch, sliding the stitch off the left-hand needle. This creates a new stitch on the right-hand needle while transferring the old stitch to the right-hand needle. The motions may sound complicated, but with some practice, they will become second nature.

To begin learning how to knit stitch, start by casting on a few stitches onto your left-hand needle. Hold your needles so that the left-hand needle, with the cast-on stitches, is held in your left hand, and the empty right-hand needle is held in your right hand. Make sure your yarn is loosely wrapped around your fingers and is being held behind your work. Now, follow the steps described above to create your first knit stitch. The more you practice, the more comfortable and confident you will become.

Remember, knitting is a slow and steady process, so don’t rush through it. Take your time and focus on the steps involved in creating each knit stitch. Soon enough, you’ll be able to complete rows and rows of beautiful knitted fabric.

Once you have mastered the knit stitch, you can move on to learning other stitches and techniques, such as the purl stitch, which is the second basic stitch in knitting. With these two stitches, you’ll be able to create a variety of patterns and textures, from simple stockinette stitch to intricate lace patterns. So grab your needles and yarn, and let’s get started on this knitting journey together!

Choosing the Right Knitting Needles

When it comes to knitting, choosing the right needles is essential for a successful and enjoyable knitting experience. There are various factors to consider when selecting knitting needles, including material, size, and type.



Knitting needles can be made from different materials, each offering its own benefits and characteristics:

  • Wood: Wooden knitting needles are known for their smooth surface, warmth to the touch, and lightweight nature. They provide excellent grip, making them suitable for beginners and those who prefer a slower knitting pace.
  • Metal: Metal needles, usually made of aluminum or stainless steel, are smooth, durable, and lightweight. They are popular for their speed and slickness, making them ideal for quick knitting projects.
  • Bamboo: Bamboo needles are lightweight, warm to the touch, and have a natural grip. They are known for reducing hand fatigue during long knitting sessions and are often favored by those with arthritis or joint issues.
  • Plastic: Plastic needles are lightweight, inexpensive, and great for beginners. However, they can sometimes have a bit more resistance, making them not as smooth for knitting.


Knitting needles come in different sizes, ranging from small to large. The size of the needles affects the final gauge or tension of your knitting project. The recommended needle size for your specific yarn can usually be found on the yarn label or in knitting patterns.

The size of the needles is often measured in millimeters (mm) or US sizes. It’s important to match the needle size with the recommended size to ensure accurate gauge and stitch size.


There are various types of knitting needles available, including:

  • Straight Needles: Straight needles are the most traditional type and consist of two separate needles. They are ideal for knitting flat pieces, such as scarves or dishcloths.
  • Circular Needles: Circular needles have two needle tips connected by a flexible cord. They are versatile and can be used for both flat and in-the-round projects. Circular needles are particularly useful for knitting larger items like blankets or sweaters.
  • Double-Pointed Needles: Double-pointed needles (DPNs) are short needles with points at both ends. They are typically used for knitting small circular or tube-shaped projects, such as socks or mittens.


When choosing knitting needles, it’s important to consider your own preference and knitting style. Some knitters prefer the feel of certain materials or enjoy the speed of metal needles, while others appreciate the warmth and grip of wooden or bamboo needles.

It can be helpful to try out different types and sizes of needles to see what works best for you. Every knitter is unique, and finding the right knitting needles can greatly enhance your knitting experience. Happy knitting!

Understanding Basic Knitting Terminology

When learning how to knit, it’s important to understand the basic knitting terminology. Knowing these terms will help you follow knitting patterns and instructions more effectively. Here are some common knitting terms:

  • Knit Stitch: This is the most basic stitch in knitting. It is created by inserting the right-hand needle into a stitch on the left-hand needle, from left to right, and pulling a loop of yarn through the stitch.
  • Purl Stitch: This is another basic stitch, and it is the reverse of the knit stitch. It is created by inserting the right-hand needle into a stitch on the left-hand needle, from right to left, and pulling a loop of yarn through the stitch.
  • Garter Stitch: This is a simple stitch pattern created by knitting every row. It results in a fabric with ridges on both sides.
  • Stockinette Stitch: This is a basic stitch pattern created by knitting one row and then purling the next row. It creates a smooth and flat fabric.
  • Cast On: This is the process of adding stitches to the knitting needles at the beginning of a project. There are various methods of casting on, including the long-tail cast on and the knitted cast on.
  • Bind Off: This is the process of finishing a project by removing the stitches from the knitting needles. It creates a finished edge by forming a row of stitches that is secured and won’t unravel.
  • Row: This refers to a horizontal line of stitches across the knitting needles. It is created by knitting across all the stitches on the needles.
  • Repeat: When a pattern or instruction indicates to repeat a set of stitches or a sequence of steps, it means to perform those stitches or steps again.

Understanding these basic knitting terms will give you a strong foundation as you begin your knitting journey. As you gain more experience, you will encounter additional terminology and techniques that will expand your knitting skills.

Getting Started with the Knit Stitch

The knit stitch is one of the basic stitches in knitting and is often one of the first stitches beginners learn. It creates a smooth, flexible fabric and is commonly used for making scarves, hats, and many other knitting projects. If you’re new to knitting, here are some steps to help you get started with the knit stitch:

  1. Gather your materials: To get started with the knit stitch, you’ll need some knitting needles and yarn. Choose a pair of knitting needles that are appropriate for the weight of your yarn. You can find this information on the yarn label.
  2. Make a slipknot: Start by making a slipknot at the end of your yarn. To make a slipknot, create a loop with the end of the yarn, and then pull the end through the loop.
  3. Cast on stitches: Hold the knitting needle with the slipknot in your right hand and the other needle in your left hand. Insert the left needle into the slipknot from left to right and bring the yarn over the right needle. Pull the right needle through the loop to create a new stitch. Repeat this step until you have the desired number of stitches on your needles.
  4. Hold the needles: Hold the needle with the stitches in your left hand and the empty needle in your right hand. The working yarn should be attached to the last stitch on the right needle.
  5. Knit stitch: To knit a stitch, insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from left to right. Wrap the yarn around the right needle counterclockwise. Use the right needle to bring the wrapped yarn through the stitch, slipping the stitch off the left needle. You have now created a new stitch on the right needle.
  6. Continue knitting: Repeat the knit stitch on each stitch until all the stitches are on the right needle. Then, transfer the stitches from the right needle to the left needle to begin the next row. Keep repeating these steps to continue knitting.

Learning the knit stitch is an essential step in becoming a proficient knitter. Once you’ve mastered the knit stitch, you can explore different stitch patterns and create a wide variety of beautiful knitted items. Practice regularly, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes—the more you knit, the more your skills will improve!

Mastering the Knit Stitch Technique

The knit stitch is one of the most basic and essential techniques in knitting. Once you master this stitch, you can create a wide variety of patterns and projects. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you hone your knit stitch skills:

  1. Get the right materials: You’ll need knitting needles and yarn. Choose a pair of needles that is suitable for your yarn weight.
  2. Make a slipknot: Start by making a slipknot, which will serve as the first stitch on your needle.
  3. Hold the needles: Hold one needle in your right hand (if you’re right-handed) and the other in your left hand. The needle with the slipknot will be in your right hand.
  4. Insert the right needle: Insert the right needle into the loop of the slipknot from front to back.
  5. Wrap the yarn: Using your left hand, bring the yarn over the top of the right needle and around to the front.
  6. Pull the yarn through: With the right needle, pull the wrapped yarn through the loop on the left needle, forming a new stitch.
  7. Slide the stitch: Slide the new stitch off the left needle and onto the right needle.
  8. Repeat: Continue steps 4-7 until you have the desired number of stitches on your right needle.

Remember to practice regularly to improve your knit stitch technique. As you gain more experience, you can experiment with different yarns, needle sizes, and stitch patterns to create unique and beautiful knitted items. Happy knitting!

Common Mistakes to Avoid when Knitting

Here are some common mistakes that beginners often make when learning how to knit. By being aware of these mistakes, you can avoid them and have a more enjoyable knitting experience.

  1. Tension Issues: One of the most common mistakes is having inconsistent tension. This means that some stitches are tight while others are loose, resulting in an uneven fabric. To avoid this, practice keeping an even tension as you knit and try using different needle sizes if needed.
  2. Dropped Stitches: Dropped stitches can easily happen if you’re not paying attention. When a stitch drops, it unravels the row below and can create a hole in your fabric. To prevent this, make sure to double-check your work regularly and fix any dropped stitches immediately.
  3. Not Counting Stitches: Forgetting to count your stitches can lead to mistakes in your pattern or uneven edges. Always count your stitches at the end of each row to ensure you have the correct number. This is especially important when working on complex patterns.
  4. Skipping Gauge Swatching: Gauge swatching is a crucial step before starting any knitting project. It helps you determine if your gauge matches the pattern and ensures that your finished item will be the correct size. Skipping this step can result in a garment that doesn’t fit properly.
  5. Ignoring Mistakes: It’s easy to overlook mistakes and keep knitting, but it’s important to fix them as you go. If you come across a mistake, such as a twisted stitch or a misplaced increase or decrease, try to fix it right away. This will make your finished project look more polished.
  6. Not Using Lifelines: Lifelines are a great tool for saving your work if you need to rip back rows. By threading a contrasting yarn through the stitches of a certain row, you can easily rip back to that point without losing all your progress. Using lifelines can save you from having to start over.
  7. Not Blocking your Finished Piece: Blocking is the process of shaping and smoothing your finished piece by wetting or steaming it. This step can greatly improve the overall appearance of your knitting, making it look more professional. Don’t skip blocking, especially if you’re knitting a garment.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you’ll be able to create beautiful knitted items with fewer frustrations and more confidence in your skills.

Troubleshooting Knitting Issues

As a beginner knitter, it’s common to encounter some challenges along the way. Here are some common knitting issues and how to troubleshoot them:

Tension Problems

One common issue is having inconsistent tension, which results in uneven stitches. To improve your tension, try the following:

  • Practice knitting regularly to develop a steady rhythm.
  • Hold the yarn loosely but firmly, allowing it to flow smoothly while you knit.
  • Pay attention to your knitting and make adjustments if you notice any tight or loose stitches.

Dropped Stitches

Dropping stitches happens when you accidentally let a stitch slip off the needle. Here’s how to fix it:

  1. Locate the dropped stitch and insert a spare needle through it to secure it.
  2. Place the secured stitch back onto the working needle in its correct orientation.
  3. Tighten the stitch to match the tension of the surrounding stitches.

Holes in Your Knitting

If you notice holes in your knitting, it’s likely due to unintentional yarn overs or dropped stitches. Here’s how to address it:

  1. If it’s a yarn over, carefully unravel the excess yarn and re-knit the stitch correctly.
  2. If it’s a dropped stitch, follow the steps mentioned earlier to secure and fix it.
  3. Inspect your knitting regularly to catch any mistakes early and prevent holes from forming.

Mistakes in Pattern Stitch

When following a pattern stitch, it’s easy to make mistakes. Here’s how to correct them:

  1. Identify the mistake and determine the correct stitch or pattern sequence.
  2. Unravel the stitches back to the location of the mistake, using a spare needle or stitch marker to hold the stitches in place.
  3. Re-knit the stitches correctly based on the pattern.
  4. Double-check your work to ensure the pattern is correctly followed.

Uneven Rows or Edge Stitches

Uneven rows or edge stitches can make your knitting look untidy. Follow these tips to achieve neat edges:

  • Pay attention to the first and last stitches of each row, ensuring they are knitted or purled consistently.
  • Use stitch markers to mark the edge stitches, helping you keep them uniform throughout.
  • Practice maintaining an even tension when working on the edge stitches to create a neat and professional finish.

Remember, knitting takes practice, and it’s normal to encounter challenges along the way. With patience and some troubleshooting, you’ll be able to overcome these common issues and improve your knitting skills.

Finishing and Caring for Your Knitted Projects

Once you’ve completed your knitted project, there are a few steps you should take to finish it off and ensure its longevity. Here are some tips for properly finishing and caring for your knitted items.

  • Weave in loose ends: Use a yarn needle to weave in any loose ends on the back of your knitted piece. This will give it a neater appearance and prevent the yarn from unraveling.
  • Block your project: Blocking is the process of shaping and setting your knitted item. Depending on the fiber content, you may need to wet block or steam block. Wet blocking involves soaking the piece in water, gently stretching it to the desired shape, and then pinning it down to dry. Steam blocking involves holding a steam iron near the piece (without touching it) and using the steam to shape it. Blocking helps even out stitches and gives the finished item a more professional look.
  • Store your project properly: To prevent your knitted items from stretching or getting tangled, store them folded or rolled in a breathable container, such as a cotton bag or a plastic bin with holes. Avoid hanging them, as this can cause them to lose their shape.
  • Wash and care for your knitted items correctly: Follow the washing instructions specific to the fiber content of your project. In general, hand washing is the safest method for delicate items, using a gentle detergent. If machine washing is acceptable, place the item in a mesh bag to protect it. Always lay your knitted items flat to dry to avoid stretching.
  • Repair any damage: If you notice any small holes or snags in your knitted item, you can use a yarn needle to carefully stitch them back together. For bigger repairs, you may need to unravel a section and re-knit it if possible.

Flooding and caring for your knitted projects properly not only ensures they look their best, but also helps prolong their lifespan. With these finishing and caring tips, you’ll be able to enjoy your hand-knits for years to come.


What is the knit stitch?

The knit stitch is a basic stitch in knitting that creates a smooth V-shaped pattern. It is the foundation for many knitting patterns and projects.

How do I hold the needles when knitting?

There are different ways to hold the needles when knitting, but the most common method is to hold one needle in your right hand, like a pencil, and the other needle in your left hand.

What kind of yarn should I use for knitting?

The kind of yarn you should use for knitting depends on the project you are working on. However, it is generally recommended to use a medium-weight yarn for beginners.

What are the basic steps to knit stitch?

The basic steps to knit stitch are: 1. Holding the yarn in your right hand, with the working yarn between your thumb and index finger. 2. Inserting the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from left to right. 3. Wrapping the working yarn around the right needle counterclockwise. 4. Pulling the right needle through the stitch, bringing the new loop through to the front. 5. Sliding the old stitch off the left needle and onto the right needle.

Can I learn how to knit stitch without any prior experience?

Yes, you can learn how to knit stitch without any prior experience. The knit stitch is one of the basic stitches in knitting, and it is relatively easy to learn. With a little practice and patience, you can become proficient in knitting.


The KNIT STITCH for Total Beginners

Knitting Basics For Beginners

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