Knit Stitch Tutorial
If you’ve been with me from the beginning (AKA: the getting started guide) you’ll know that any pattern (no matter how complex) is made up of combinations and adaptations of two basic stitches, knit and purl. Knit stitches create a little “v” shaped stitch that is smooth on the front. Purl stitches create nubby or bumpy stitches. Creating a knit stitch vs a purl stitch is all about how you insert the right-hand needle into the stitch and wrap the yarn.
To create a stitch you insert the right needle into first stitch on the left needle. Inserting the needle from front to back with yarn held in the back produced a knit stitch. Inserting the needle from back to the front with yarn held in the front produced a purl stitch.
So let’s break down the knit stitch. Make sure you’ve got your yarn and needles and you have stitches cast on. Don’t freak out if that meant nothing to you. Click back through the getting started guide and tutorial on how to cast on stitches and you’ll be all set!
How to Knit – Getting Started How to Knit – Casting On
Hold the needle with the cast on stitches in your left hand. Right hand holds the empty needle. Check back for more information on holding the needles and yarn right here.
Insert the right needle into the first stitch from front to back.
Loop the yarn tail around the right needle. Yarn should loop behind and come forward between the two needles.
**NOTE: Notice the needles are turned in this picture to show how the yarn comes in between.
Next, bring the right needle forward through the first stitch on the left needle. Catch the wrapped yarn as you go, bring it forward with the right needle.
Slip the first stitch off the left needle.
The good news: You have now created a new stitch on the right needle!! Whoop!
The not as great new: You have to do this many more times. Ha! But it’s worth it. Keep going!
Repeat steps 2-5 until all the stitches on the left needle have been worked onto the right needle.
Each time you work all the stitches from the left needle to the right needle this is called a Row.
Move the needles with the stitches into your left hand and knit another row. Keep knitting rows until your piece is a long as you like.
Yarn is held along the back of the work for a knit stitch.
Hold the yarn with whichever hand feels right for you.
I wrap the yarn tail around my pinky finger to help create a little tension on the stitches. More on what tension is and why it’s important can be found here.
Holding the needles and yarn and coordinating both hand to work together can take some time to master. The only way to get better at this is to PRACTICE! Don’t worry, it’ll soon start to feel normal/comfortable/like an extension of your body.
So there you go! Keep practicing! If you are brand new, you’ll practice this stitch today and then tomorrow pick up the needles and feel like you are starting from scratch again. Don’t Freak Out! Don’t give up! Bookmark this page and come back tomorrow and we’ll go through it again. You’ll build up muscle memory and this will get easier!