A Look At Some Popular Knitting Stitches

knit products with different stitches

Knitting stitches are a result of two basic stitches: the knit and purl stitches. There are many types of stitches; the stitch patterns listed below are the most common.  They include the garter stitch, stockinette stitch, seed stitch, and rib stitch.

Garter Stitch.

As a beginner, the first simple stitch you can learn is the garter stitch. The stitch is a basic stitching pattern that only requires one stitch for every row.

an example of the Garter Stitch
Mittens with the Garter Stitch.  Image by WordRidden

How to Identify a Garter Stitch.

• The garter stitch is ideal for making thick and stretchy fabric, and it creates wave patterns.
• The stitch has flat layers that are reversible.
• Every row has a knitted loop that forms horizontal ridges.
• There are no waves.

What Do You Need to Make a Garter Stitch?

• A yarn with a color of your choice.
• Scissors.
• Knitting needles.
• Tapestry needle.

How to Make Garter Stitch.

Step 1: Cast as many stitches as you want. The first raw is the right side of your work, which should be visible after knitting.
Step 2: This will be a stressful step. You must complete all the stitches while on the wrong side of your job.
Step 3: Continue stitching until the end by following the previous steps. When you’re finished, cast off the stitches and weave the ends together.

Tips to Help you Stitch Like a Pro.

• The patterns should be reversible, which means they should look the same on both sides.
• You need garter stitch borders for your job to look perfect. Check that the edge layers are flat.
• Discover how to mix layers naturally.

Stockinette Stitch.

Stockinette stitch is a simple stitch to master for a smooth classic pattern. This type of stitch allows you to hone your purling and knitting skills. Stockinette results from two types of knitting techniques—sewn on the first row, followed by purling on the second row.  (This one is my personal favorite — I think it’s a classic!)

A sample of the front of a stockinette stitch
Example of the front of a stockinette stitch – Source: Wikipedia Commons

How to Identify a Stockinette Stitch.

  • This stitch has two sides: the right side and the wrong side.
  • The right side, also known as stockinette, is smooth, whereas the wrong side, also known as purl, has waves and bumps.
  • In some designs, stockinette has bottom edges and top curls.

What Do You Need When Stitching Stockinette?

  • A yarn with any gauge.
  • Scissors.
  • Knitting needles.
  • Tapestry needle.

How to make a Stockinette Stitch.

Step 1: On the knitting needle, cast several stitches.
Step 2: Begin by knitting all the stitches together. Because it is on the right side and visible after finishing the stitch, consider perfect the first row.
Step 3: Because this is the wrong side of your job, proceed by purling all the second-row stitches.

Tips to Help You Stitch Like A Pro.

  •  Find a perfect way to carry the yarn up your work’s side and ways to switch to a different yarn color for a perfect job.
  • Because the stitches are not reversible, each side of your work should be unique.
  • The edges should be curly to aid in blocking your work.

Seed Stitch Pattern.

The raised bumps from the purl stitches that resemble seeds are the secret to the name seed stitch. Consider using a seed stitch to create dimple patterns on fabric. The pattern has a classical reversible look that works well for blankets, sweaters, scarves, hats, and neckties. This pattern also makes a good edging for sweaters and scarves.

How to Identify a Seed Stitch Pattern.

  • Both sides of the pattern are reversible.
  • The pattern consists of alternating knitting and purling stitches that create bumps that look like sides.
  • The pattern does not have curls make it easy to lie flat.

How to Make Seed Stitch Patterns.

Step 1: As a simple way of making seed stitches, cast an odd number of stitches on the stitching needle. Ensure that the knit follows the same pattern on each row for both the right and wrong sides.

Step 2: Knit 1 and purl 1 on the entire line continuously. Tighten at the end of each raw to finish a line. Repeat the pattern for each line.

Rib Stitch.

To make a rib stitch, rotate the purl and sew stitches to form a vertical column. To keep it firm, sew the fabric with a small needle to create a reversible fabric for the majority of the time.

Source: Knitting Kingdom on Pinterest

How to Identify a Rib Stitch.

  • The stitches are reversible.
  • It has a perfect wrong side.

How to Make a Rib Stitch.

Step 1: To make an even number of stitches cast the yarn on a multiple of two.
Step 2: Bring the working yarns forward and purl two stitches.
Step 3: Reverse the yarn and sewn two stitches.
Step 4: Repeat the process until you have completed a row.

Get More Stitch Ideas!


Deborah lives in rural Arizona, near the New Mexico border. She has a variety of interests, including water rights, writing/reading and web development. Her goal this year is to write consistently on things that she finds interesting.

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