Basic Knitting Patterns

Garter stitch This is the pattern made by working knit stitch into every stitch on every row, Stocking stitch This is one of the most common stitch patterns. Simply work the first and following alternate rows in knit stitch. Work the intervening rows in purl stitch. The right side of the fabric, which faces you when you are working in knit stitch, has interlocking V shapes.

Reverse stocking stitch In this pattern the reverse side of stocking stitch, which resembles garter stitch but is firmer, becomes the right side. Work rows of purl and knit stitches alternately, beginning with a purl row.

Single rib This is a very elastic stitch, ideal for cuffs, welts and neckbands. It can be worked on any number of stitches. Work knit stitch and purl stitch alternately across the row, bring the yarn forward before a purl stitch and take it back again for a knit stitch. On the second and following rows, work a knit stitch into each purl stitch, and purl stitch into each knit stitch of the previous row.

Moss stitch This is also worked by knitting and purling alternately across the row, but by knitting into each knitted stitch and purling each purled stitch of the previous row. The pattern is seeded and not stretchy.

Double rib For this stretchy pattern to work you must have a multiple of four stitches plus two extra in the row. In the first row, knit and purl two stitches alternately to the end. In the next row, do the same but begin with a purl. Repeat the two rows to make the pattern.

Stripes Working in stripes — horizontally or vertically — is an easy way of creating a pattern without complication. It is also a useful way of using up left-over yarns, providing they are all of similar thickness and so do not affect the tension.

The patterns can consist of regular-sized stripes, each with the same number of rows or stitches, or you could make a more random effect by varying the numbers.

For horizontal stripes, introduce the yarn for the stripe at the beginning of the row as if joining a new ball. You should do this at the beginning of a knit row for a smooth, unbroken line in stocking stitch.

You do not need to break off the old colour if you need it again in a few rows. Simply carry it up the side of the work and twist it round the last colour before using it. You can carry as many colours as wished up the side in this way.

Vertical stripes are best made with up to five stitches in each so that you can swap colours easily and carry the yarn between them across the back. Twist the yarns together before using the new one to avoid making a hole, and carry the colour not in use loosely across the back of the stripe being worked.

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