Skill Builder: Combining Knits and Purls

Happy New Year, knitting skill set! You may have heard someone say it: There are only two stitches in knitting, and every knit fabric is just a combination of the two.

it’s the truth! We have knit and we have purl and from that knit we make anything and everything. Below is an illustrated and annotated glossary of some of the basic decorations.

Lace and Stockinette

skill set: start knitting It offers some key stitch patterns: the garter stitch, which is done by knitting all the stitches in each row; and stockinette stitch, which is done by knitting one row and brushing the next.

Garter stitch on the left and stockinette stitch on the right

I’m showing you full samples here – not just the averages arranged – so you can get a sense of what the edges look like and see how different fabrics behave.

The garter stitch is the same on both sides and is stable.

However, Stockinette does not want to lie flat, the edges roll off. (More on that below!)

The Stockinette stitch offers, in fact, two different types of fabric… the beautiful smooth front or RS (right side) in the photo above; It is the basic fabric in knitting. Sweaters, gloves, hats, and socks—whether hand-made or machine-made—are likely to be based on the Stockett stitch.

The back of the stockinette stitch, the opposite side is called the stockinette stitch. When you see it on RS, it’s often used as a background for cables, to make it stand out even more.


(K1, p. 1)

With an even number of stitches, you work like this:

All rows: (K1, p1) across.

This will give you exactly the same texture on both sides… The row will start with a knit stitch and end with a water fifth.

If you have an odd number of stitches, they work like this:

Row 1 (RS): K1, (p1, k1) to the end.

Row 2 (WS): P1, (k1, p1) to the end.

When working on an odd number of stitches, RS rows and WS rows (wrong side) will look slightly different: RS rows begin and end with a knit stitch, and WS rows begin and end with a purl stitch. Doing it this way makes the edges symmetrical and tidy, but it’s only a cosmetic difference.

(K2, p2)

Through multiples of four stitches, it works as follows:

All rows: (K2, p2) crosswise.

To make the edges the same, you need a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 more stitches, for example 6, 10, 14 or …

Row 1 (RS): K2, (p2, k2) crosswise.

Row 2 (WS): p2, (k2, p2) across.

(K3, p3)

Through multiples of six stitches, it works as follows:

All rows: (K3, p3) crosswise.

To make the edges symmetrical, you need a multiple of 6 stitches plus 3 more stitches, for example 9, 15, 21 or …

Row 1 (RS): K3, (p3, k3) crosswise.

Row 3 (WS): P3, (k3, p3) across.

Why do we use ribbing patterns

The ribbing pulls the width of the piece, so it’s used for edges like sleeves and glove cuffs, and in necklines where we usually want a little relief.

For ribbing for knitting, it is recommended that you use a needle smaller than you would use to stitch stockinette or key parts of the garment or accessory. Although the polygon pulls inward as you knit, over time it relaxes and stretches, so using a smaller needle helps it maintain its shape and keep it in order.

The most common ribbing patterns we see are equal—that is, they have the same number of knitting stitches as female seamstresses—there is no reason for them to be true; One of my favorite sock patterns (the free pdf!) (K3, p1) uses ribbing.

Knitter Warning

Sometimes the ribbing instructions are only for the first row, and all subsequent rows only tell you to “knit and purl”. Here you begin to develop the all-important skill of reading knitting – decide what is knitting stitch and what is purl. The knit stitch is smooth, and the back stitch is bumpy.

Knit stitch on the left and purl on the right!
Let’s make more knitting!

skill set: start knitting It is a portable book of 9 simple lessons. It is a standalone video app for Apple iOS and Android devices. It is the method of knitting. It is an essential technique resource for all knitting. Thank you for your purchases MDK Shop. They support everything we offer here.

Written by Kay Gardiner and Anne Shane

break in’

There are truly endless variations when combining knitting and backing.

seed stitch It is classic. It’s reversible, it’s flat, and because of the way the thread wraps through the stitches, it looks really good – in crowded variegated threads as well as in solids.

With an even number of stitches, you work like this:

Row 1 (RS): (K1, p1) to the end.

Row 2 (WS): (P1, k1) to the end.

Across an odd number of stitches I worked like this:

All rows: K1, (p1, k1) across.

Seed stitch is sometimes referred to as “broken ribbing” because you do it on purpose wrong Thing. Instead of weaving and refining braids, you’re brushing strands and weaving braids.

moss stitch It is a kind of seed stitch.

Across an even number of stitches, I worked like this.

Rows 1 and 2: (K1, p1) to the end.

Rows 3 and 4: (P1, k1) to the end.

Both make superior fabrics for all kinds of projects. I made beautiful baby blankets in the moss stitch, and there’s a very popular GAP-tastic Cowl design from Jen Geigley in the seed stitch.

go further

You can also “break” other ribs… and combine knits and rings in literally a thousand different ways. This is one of the greatest joys of knitting: So many choices, so many variations!

And isn’t getting exactly the effects we want one of the reasons we make our own clothes and accessories?

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