In knitting there are many ways in which stitches can be combined in order to produce various textures and groupings. There are only two basic stitches: plain and purl. In printed patterns plain is called knit! I guess this is so that we can use the abbreviation k where p is used for purl.

The simplest piece of knitting is produced in what is called garter stitch. This is knitted in plain stitch throughout. It produces rows of ridges on both sides of the work. It is often used to produce a neat border as opposed to ribbing.

Ribbing is usually produced on finer needles than the rest of the garment. It gives a slightly “elasticated” feeling at the bottom of a jumper, the cuffs and neckline. It is produced by working knit one stitch, purl one stitch all across the row and then the next row purl one stitch, knit one stitch all the way back. The finished look is one of vertical lines of stitches. It can also be k2, p2 or other combinations. However, all will give the vertical lines.

Many ‘easy’ patterns have the main part of the article produced in stocking stitch. This is one row knit (plain) and one row purl repeated until the correct length is reached. When working the knit row a smooth side facing the knitter and when working on the purl row the ridges or bumpiness is facing.

Moss stitch is worked in the same way as rib but instead of producing lines there is a pleasant spacing of little bumps and dips. To achieve this every row can be started with k1, p1 and so long as there are an even number of stitches on the needle moss stitch will be produced.

Basket Stitch is rather similar to moss stitch but with groupings of stitches, say for instance, k6, p6 for four rows and then p6, k6 for the next four rows with a multiple of 12 stitches on the needle. There can be an unlimited number of variations in size of blocks here.

Lacy stitches are worked using knit and purl stitches usually incorporating working two stitches together and making stitches across each row. Depending upon the lace pattern being produced you will need to work over several rows before it becomes clear. However, once you get the hang of where it is going you will find it surprisingly easy to accomplish. Your finished work will look terrific.

Cable stitches need a little bit of dexterity. A cable needle is necessary to slip stitches onto and then knit from at various points across the row. It doesn’t happen on every row. It is just a case of following the pattern instructions carefully and you will produce beautiful work.

As I said at the beginning knitting is all based on just two stitches:  plain and purl. There is no end to the great pieces of work you will be able to produce once you have perfected them.


You are welcome to write your own tips and advice, or some experience you've had with knitting or crochet or some other yarn craft. Add your own page. It's simple.
Just click here and fill in your details and story