Today’s Knitting 101 is all about how to knit the knit stitch.
Believe it or not, this basic stitch is the foundation of knitting. Easy to do, the knit stitch also creates a lovely fabric.
In this photo tutorial you’ll learn:
- About the knit stitch.
- How to do a knit stitch.
- About garter stitch knitting.
- How to start knitting. Yes!
Before we begin, let's clear up a little confusion about this basic stitch.
Knit Stitch or Garter Stitch
When learning to knit there is often some confusion over the knit stitch and garter stitch. Simply, the first is a technique, while the latter is a pattern of repeats.
Take a look at the image below.
In this knit swatch, each hill is a stitch. Collectively though, these hills - or stitches - create the garter stitch pattern. In other words, one knit stitch isn’t garter stitch. If you repeat this stitch for each and every row, then this creates garter stitch.
As you learn to knit, here are some important facts about garter stitch.
What You Should Know About Knitting in Garter Stitch
- It produces a row of horizontal hills or bumps.
- Garter stitch is stretchy.
- It’s reversible. Both sides are identical.
- There’s no right or wrong side.
- A garter stitch piece will lay flat and will not curl.
- You can also create garter stitch by purling every row.
Want to make this blanket?
As you learn to knit, you’ll find that there are many different knitting styles.
Knitters try different knitting styles for different reasons. For some, it’s a matter of knitting hand pain that causes them to seek out a new technique. For others, it’s usually a desire to knit faster.
One common knitting style is Continental knitting, also known as picking. In this style, the yarn is held in the left hand. You can see a video of Continental knitting here.
Personally, I knit using the Portuguese knitting style. This style uses a knitting pin to control tension. I love it because it makes purling a breeze. See for yourself.
But I didn’t start with either of these. As a beginner knitter, I learned English knitting. More on that in a minute.
Ultimately, each knitting style is worth checking out and trying. You may discover a new method is just what you were looking for.
Now, more on the English knitting style.
English Knitting (or American Knitting)
The style of knitting used in this photo tutorial is English knitting. It’s also known as American knitting. Knitters who use this style often call themselves “throwers”. This is because the knitter throws the yarn counter-clockwise to knit the stitches.
I say all this just to let you know that you have options when it comes to knitting. But don’t get hung up on knitting style. If you're still figuring out how to use knitting needles and yarn, don’t stress about it. With time, you'll find a method that works best for you.
Now, I’ll teach you how to start knitting.
How to Knit Stitch
For this Knitting 101 tutorial, I am using ChiaoGoo interchangeable knitting needles in U.S. size 8 (5 mm). I prefer to use circular needles so I don’t lose the other needle, but you may use whatever you like.
I’m also using Cascade 220 worsted weight wool as my knitting yarn.
I used these knitting supplies:
To start a knit stitch, first hold the needle with the cast on row of stitches in your left hand. Hold the empty needle with your right.
Second, insert your right needle from front to back into the first stitch of your cast on row.
Next, wrap (or throw) the yarn counter-clockwise around to the front of the right hand needle. This will create a loop on the right needle.
Now, slide the right needle down and through the original stitch. Your right hand needle should now be in front of the left hand needle. Then, slip the new stitch up and onto the right needle.
You've just learned how to do a knit stitch. Way to go!
Finally, continue this process until you’ve worked all the stitches onto the right hand needle.
That’s it. That’s how you start knitting.
How Do You Knit Garter Stitch
Now, if you’d like to continue knitting garter stitch piece, it’s easy to do.
From above, you have your first row of worked stitches on your knitting needle. Now, place this needle back in your left hand. With your right needle, repeat the same process as above. This is how you start a new knitting row.
Continue this process every time you come to the end of the row. See? It’s easy to knit garter stitch. And as I mentioned earlier, garter stitch creates reversible knitting stitches.
Now that you know how to start knitting, it’s time to practice.
Ready to learn more about the garter stitch vs stockinette confusion? Let's keep learning.
I hope you've enjoyed this Knitting 101 tutorial on how to knit the knit stitch. If you like what you see or just have questions, please drop me a line. I'd love to hear from you.