The Essential Guide to Knitting Techniques

So you want to start knitting, but you don’t know where to start? This guide will teach you the basics of knitting, from casting on to binding off. Once you have mastered these techniques, you will be able to knit any type of project, from a simple scarf to a complex sweater.

Knowing the right techniques to use while knitting is essential to producing a beautiful and well-crafted finished project.

Here are some of the most common knitting techniques:

A snow covered mountain

Knit stitch –

A close up of a basketball game

The knit stitch is the most basic stitch in knitting and is used to create fabric. To knit, you simply loop the yarn around the needle in a forward motion, then pull the yarn through the loop to create a new loop.

Purl stitch –

The purl stitch is used to create a ribbed fabric and is similar to the knit stitch, except that you loop the yarn around the needle in a backward motion.

Cast on –

Cast on is the process of starting your knitting project by creating the foundation stitches. There are many different cast-on methods, and the method you choose should depend on the type and style of your project.

Bind off –

The bind-off technique is used to finish your knitting by binding off (tying together) the stitches at the end of a row or section so that they don’t unravel as part of your knitting.

Garter stitch –

The garter stitch is easy to accomplish and is created by knitting every row. It creates an extremely stretchy, durable fabric that doesn’t curl.

Stockinette stitch –

This popular stitch creates a smooth fabric that’s great for scarves or sweaters since it won’t curl at the edges. To knit stockinette stitch, you alternate rows of knitting with rows of purling.

Moss or seed stitch –

The moss or seed stitches are used to create patterns in knitted fabrics. They consist of small “V” shapes alternating over two rows with small horizontal bars across two rows. These stitches are often seen on cuffs and collars of sweaters because they add depth to the fabric.

knitting in the round –

This technique is used to knit items such as hats, socks, and mittens that need to be in a circular shape. It’s done by using double-pointed needles or circular needles to knit around and around instead of back and forth in rows.

Cables –

Cables are created using a special knitting technique to produce twisted stitches across the row. There are many different types of cables, but the most common have two or more stitches crossing over each other in an S-shape.

Ribbing –

Ribbing is a series of knit and purl stitches worked across an even number of stitches. It’s used to create elastic-like edges for sweaters, hats, mittens, socks, and scarves that can stretch around the wearer’s body or face.

k2tog –

A decrease stitch that combines two stitches into one stitch by knitting them together from two needles instead of working them separately on different needles. This decreases the number of stitches in your row by one stitch.


Another decrease stitch is like k2tog but it worked differently because it uses a different hand position (the left needle goes through both front loops). It results in a leaner, more pointed edge than the k2tog decrease.

Yo –

A yarn over is a technique used to increase the number of stitches in your row by one. You simply wrap the yarn around the needle before you knit the next stitch, and then knit the stitch as normal.


Knitting is a versatile craft with countless patterns, stitches, and techniques that allow you to create all sorts of incredible projects. Learning the basics is essential for any knitter, but it’s also important to know what other designers are doing so you can expand your skills and decorate your pieces in new ways.

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