Friday, September 9, 2016

Basic Stitch Patterns

Once you've mastered the knit and purl stitches, you can knit just about anything. Here are a few basic stitch patterns--they're great for scarves or blankets if you want to stick to items that don't require any shaping, or you may see them as part of more complex patterns. Give them a try!


Note: If you're new to reading patterns, k stands for knit and p stands for purl. So if a pattern says k1, p1, it means knit 1, purl 1.


Garter Stitch
  • Works with any number of stitches
  • How it's done: Knit every stitch in every row

Stockinette Stitch
  • Abbreviated st st in most patterns
  • Works with any number of stitches
  • How it's done:
    • Row 1: knit all stitches
    • Row 2: purl all stitches
    • Repeat these two rows as desired.


Reverse Stockinette Stitch
  • Abbreviated rev st st in most patterns
  • Works with any number of stitches
  • This is (as the name implies) simply the reverse of the stockinette stitch. The Wrong Side (WS, or back) of the stockinette stitch is the reverse stockinette stitch, and vice versa.
  • How it's done:
    • Row 1: purl all stitches
    • Row 2: knit all stitches
    • Repeat these two rows as desired.

Seed Stitch
  • Works with even numbers of stitches
  • How it's done:
    • Row 1: k1, p1, repeat to the end of the row
    • Row 2: p1, k1, repeat to the end of the row
    • Repeat these two rows as desired.

Moss Stitch
  • Works with even numbers of stitches
  • How it's done:
    • Rows 1 & 2: k1, p1, repeat to the end of the row
    • Rows 3 & 4: p1, k1, repeat to the end of the row
    • Repeat these four rows as desired.

Ribs
Ribbing can be done in an extremely wide variety of sizes. My 2 samples are:

1x1 Rib
  • Works on an even number of stitches
  • How it's done:
    • Every row: k1, p1, repeat to the end of the row

(1x1 ribbing is a very stretchy pattern--it's often used for the cuffs of shirts/sweaters. When it's not stretched out, it tends to scrunch up so that it almost looks like stockinette stitch except that it's thicker and the reverse side looks exactly the same as the front.)

2x2 Rib
  • Works on a multiple of 4 stitches (i.e. could be done easily on 16 or 20 stitches, but not so well on 18)
  • How it's done:
    • Every row: k2, p2, repeat to the end of the row

You could easily do ribs in any other size too. (Just add the number of knit stitches to the number of purl stitches to find out what number you'll need a multiple of. For instance, to do k3, p3 ribs, you'd want a multiple of 6 stitches.)



Waffle Stitch
There are all sorts of waffle stitch varieties, but these are two of my favorites.

1x1 Waffle
  • Works with an even number of stitches
  • How it's done:
    • Row 1: k1, p1, repeat to the end of the row
    • Row 2: purl every stitch
    • Repeat these two rows as desired.

2x2 Waffle
  • Works with a multiple of 4 stitches
  • How it's done:
    • Rows 1 & 2: k2, p2, repeat to the end of the row
    • Row 3: knit all stitches
    • Row 4: purl all stitches
    • Repeat these four rows as desired.
The 2x2 waffle stitch is an especially good stitch for blankets--I made a wedding blanket for a friend with it, and my mom made a baby blanket for my Little Bear when he was born. Both blankets are super warm and snuggly!

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