Knitting is an incredibly versatile craft, with a huge variety of different stitches to choose from. But which knitting stitches should you try first?
In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular knitting stitches and show you how to do them. Grab your needles, and let’s get started.
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35+ Different Knitting Stitches
When I first started knitting, I was amazed – and slightly intimidated – by all of the different stitches and patterns I came across.
Like most beginners, I started with the basic knits and purls, before moving on to stockinette and garter stitch. But as I practiced and learned more, I discovered many more interesting and complex stitches that I could use. I remember the first time I tried knitting cables – it was like magic watching the stitches twist and turn on my needles!
If you’re interested in learning new knitting stitches, too, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of 35+ different knitting stitches for you to try. From easy beginner stitches like ribbing and moss stitch to more complicated ones like lace and cables, this list has something for everyone.
Knitting Stitches vs. Stitch Patterns
Before we get to the list, let’s quickly talk about the difference between knitting stitches and knitting stitch patterns.
A knitting stitch is a basic knitting technique – the building blocks of knitting, if you will. There are only two basic stitches: knit and purl.
A stitch pattern, on the other hand, is an arrangement of those two basic stitches that creates a visual pattern. For example, what we call “stockinette stitch” is actually a stitch pattern made up of alternating rows of knits and purls.
(Yes, knitting lingo can be a little confusing, especially because most knitters refer to “stitch patterns” as “stitches”).
There are hundreds of ways to combine knits and purls to create all sorts of different stitch patterns. That’s why knitting is so fun – you can use the same two stitches to make a huge variety of different textures.
So please, don’t be intimidated by the long list of stitch patterns below! Most of these stitch patterns are made up of the same basic techniques that you already know: knit and purl. And if you know how to knit and purl, you can make any of the stitch patterns on this list.
Knitting Stitch Patterns
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s look at some popular knitting stitches! We’ve organized this list into four basic categories so you can easily find the stitch you’re looking for:
1. Easy Stitches: These stitches are easy to master and use basic stitches (knit and purl). Examples include stockinette stitch, garter stitch, seed stitch, and moss stitch.
2. Ribbing Stitches: Ribbing stitches are great for making stretchy fabric, perfect for cuffs and collars. Examples include 1×1 ribbing, 2×2 ribbing, and broken rib.
3. Textured Stitches: These stitches create a textured fabric with raised bumps or ridges. Examples include seed stitch and bobble stitch.
4. Specialty Stitches: Add some extra interest to your projects with these specialty stitches, like lace and cables
35+ Knitting Stitch Patterns for Beginners and Beyond
Here is a list of different knitting stitch patterns that every knitter should try.
This is another textured stitch pattern that consists of alternating knit and purl stitches. It is a four-row repeat.
Cast on an even number of stitches.
Rows 1 and 2: *k1, p1; rep from *
Rows 3 and 4: *p1, k1; rep from *
Note: This stitch pattern is sometimes called Irish Moss, American Moss, or simply Moss stitch. Don't confuse it with British Moss, aka Seed Stitch. American/Irish Moss Stich is a four-row repeat, while British Moss/Seed Stitch is a two-row repeat.
Fishman's Rib stitch creates a stretchy thick fabric that's reversible. It's great for scarves, and any other item you want to be warm and fluffy. It looks a little similar to Brioche, but it's easier to work.
Cast on an even number
Set up row: Knit
Row 1: k1, *k1, knit next st in the row below; rep from * to last stitch, k1
Twisted rib creates a ribbing pattern with creating crisp, defined columns. It's takes a little longer to knit than regular 1x1 ribbing, since all of the knit and purl stitches are worked through the back loop. Keep in mind that twisted rib doesn't stretch and contract as much as standard ribbing does.
Half-twisted rib is very similar to twisted rib, but only half the stitches are worked through the back loop on each row. Generally, the knit stitches that show on the outside (right side) of the work are twisted and the purls are worked in the standard manner.
Cast on an even number of stitches
Row 1: *K-tbl, p; repeat from * Row 2: *P-tbl, k; repeat from *
The Herringbone stitch creates a gorgeous, textured pattern that would be perfect for home decor projects. It might look intricate, but you only need to know simple knits, purls, and slip stitches to create it.
The bobble stitch is a fun textural element that can be added to almost any background. This tutorial will teach you how to knit bobbles on the right side row, against a background of plain stockinette stitch.
Trinity Stitch, sometimes called the Raspberry or Blackberry stitch, creates a staggered bobble texture that almost looks like a bunch of berries. In this four-row repeat pattern, you'll use a series of increases and decreases to create the raised texture.
Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches.
Row 1: Purl
Row 2: * (K1, p1, k1) into next stitch, p3tog; rep from *
Row 3: Purl
Row 4: * P3tog, (k1, p1, k1) into next stitch; rep from *
The bubble stitch has an awesome 3D texture that's fun to knit and easy to memorize. It has a longer row repeat than other stitches on this list, but don't let that scare you - most of the rows are plain knits and purls.
Check out the video and accompanying written instructions to see how easy it is to knit the bubble stitch.
Knit cables are one of those classic knitting techniques that everyone should try at least once. To knit a cable, you'll work stitches out of order: first, you'll hold a set of stitches to the front or back of your work, then knit a set of stitches off of the left needle, then knit the previously held stitches This creates the look of a twist in your work.
This video tutorial shows how to create the basic six-stitch cable in an easy four-row repeat.
More Knitting Tutorials
If you’d like to learn even more about how to knit, check out these articles:
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Sarah Stearns has helped millions of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
With over a decade of experience in knitting and crochet, she has been featured in prominent publications like The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, and Lifehacker.
Just downloaded these simple patterns/tutorials. Slowly working my way through them. Very easy to follow and seems like I will definitely improve in confidence. Thank you Sarah for sharing your great gifts.