Interweave Knitting Glossary

Welcome to the Interweave Knitting Glossary. We do our best to keep this up to date with the latest knitting terms and abbreviations. If there’s a term that you think should be added, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Click on one of the links below to expand that section of the knitting glossary.


2 (3, 4, 5) Stitch One-Row Buttonhole
Work to where you want the ­buttonhole to begin, bring yarn to front, slip one purlwise, bring yarn to back (Figure 1). *Slip one purlwise, pass first slipped stitch over second; repeat from * one (two, three, four) more time(s). Place last stitch back on left needle (Figure 2), turn. Cast on three (four, five, six) stitches as follows: *Insert right needle between the first and second stitches on left needle, draw up a loop, and place it on the left needle (Figure 3); repeat from * two (three, four, five) more times, turn. Bring yarn to back, slip first stitch on left needle onto right needle and pass last cast-on stitch over it (Figure 4), work to end of row.

Figure 1 Figure 2
Figure 3 Figure 4

5-to-1 Dec

[Sl 1 kwise wyb] 2 times, sl 1 pwise wyb, drop yarn, *pass 2nd st on right needle over first (center) st, sl center st back to left needle, pass 2nd st on left needle over center st,* sl center st back to right needle, rep from * to * once, p1 or k1, as directed—4 sts dec’d.


Abbreviations

Download a handy PDF file of commonly used abbreviations found in Interweave Knits and Knitscene. Click here to download. 


Alternate Cable Cast-On
If there are no established stitches, begin with a slipknot, knit one stitch in slipknot and slip this new stitch knitwise to left needle. *For a purl stitch, insert right needle from back to front between first two stitches on left needle. Wrap yarn as if to purl. Draw yarn through to complete stitch and slip this new stitch knitwise to the left needle. For a knit stitch, insert right needle from front to back between first two stitches on left needle. Wrap yarn as if to knit. Draw yarn through to complete stitch and slip this new stitch knitwise to the left needle. Repeat from *.


Applied I-cord
When attaching to an edge without live stitches: With double-pointed needle, cast on number of stitches directed in pattern. With right side of garment facing, *pick up and knit one stitch from edge, slide stitches to opposite end of double-pointed needle, knit to last two stitches, knit two together through the back loop; repeat from * for I-cord.

Backstitch
Insert threaded needle under two rows, right next to the selvedge, and up through both layers of fabric. Count back one row and insert the needle under the next two rows. Continue this circular motion-ahead two rows from where the working yarn emerged from the previous row, and then back one row.
Backstitch


Backstitch Seam

Working from right to left, one stitch in from selvedge, bring threaded needle up through both pieces of knitted fabric (Figure 1), then back down through both layers a short distance (about a row) to the right of the starting point (Figure 2). *Bring needle up through both layers a row-length to the left of backstitch just made (Figure 3), then back down to the right, in same hole used before (Figure 4). Repeat from *, working backward one row for every two rows worked forward.

       


Backward-Loop Cast-On (Right Slanting)
*Loop working yarn as shown and place it on needle backward (with right leg of loop in back of needle). Repeat from *.


Bar Increase (also, k1f&b increase)

Knit into a stitch and leave it on the needle (Figure 1). Knit through the back loop of the same stitch (Figure 2). Slip both stitches off the needle (Figure 3).

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

Binding Off
Get our free eBook, The Essentials of Casting On and Binding Off.


Binding Off Shoulder Seams Together
Place the front and back shoulder stitches onto two separate needles. Hold them in your left hand with the right sides of the knitting facing together. In your right hand, take another needle and insert the right-hand needle into the first stitch on each of the left-hand needles and knit them as one stitch. Knit the next stitch the same way. You now have two stitches on the right-hand needle. Pass the first stitch over the second stitch. Repeat until only one stitch remains on the right-hand needle. Cut the yarn and pull the tail through last stitch.


Blanket Stitch

Embroidery

1) Draw a pair of parallel lines where the stitching will go. Pull the needle through from the back of the fabric to the front at the edge of the lower line.Blanket Stitch

2) Insert the needle into the fabric at the upper line. bring it back out a the lower line directly below where it was inserted and with the point over the thread as it is coming out of the fabric.

3) Pull up the stitch to form a loop. Repeat Steps 2 and 3.


Buttonhole Stitch
Working into edge half-stitch of the knitted piece, *bring tip of threaded needle in and out of a knitted stitch, place working yarn under needle tip, then bring threaded needle through the stitch and tighten. Repeat from *, always bringing threaded needle on top of working yarn.


Cable Cast-On
If there are no established stitches, begin with a slipknot, knit one stitch in slipknot and slip this new stitch knitwise to left needle. *For a purl stitch, insert right needle from back to front between first two stitches on left needle. Wrap yarn as if to purl. Draw yarn through to complete stitch and slip this new stitch knitwise to the left needle. For a knit stitch, insert right needle from front to back between first two stitches on left needle. Wrap yarn as if to knit. Draw yarn through to complete stitch and slip this new stitch knitwise to the left needle. Repeat from *.


Cast-On

Casting on lays the foundation for your knitting project. It is the method by which stitches are formed that you then knit or purl to form your knitted item.

Download our free eBook to learn more about how to Cast-On.

See also: Backward Loop Cast-On, Cable Cast-On, Chain Edge Cast-On, Channel Island Cast-On, Continental Cast-On, Crochet Provisional Cast-On, Invisible Provisional Cast-On, Knitted Cast-On, Middle East Wrap Cast-On, Provisional Cast-On, Tubular Cast-On


Centered Double Increase
Knit into the back and the front of the next stitch on the left needle, then insert the left needle behind the vertical strand that runs between the two stitches just made and knit the strand through its back loop—two stitches increased.


Chain Stitch (Embroidery)
Bring threaded needle out from back to front at center of a knitted stitch. Form a short loop and insert needle back where it came out. Keeping the loop under the needle, bring needle back out in center of next stitch to the right.


Chain-Edge Cast-On
This cast-on method is worked with a crochet hook and can be used in one of two ways: as a decorative cast-on that forms a tidy chain and perfectly matches the bind-off row, or as a provisional cast-on. If the decorative cast-on is desired, use the working yarn for the crochet chain. For a provisional cast-on, use waste yarn for the chain and then knit a plain row with the working yarn (the provisional cast-on is not complete until there is a row of working yarn stitches on the needle).

Place a slipknot on crochet hook. Hold knitting needle and yarn in your left hand and hook in your right hand, with yarn under needle. Place hook over needle, wrap yarn around hook and pull loop through loop on hook (Figure 1). *Bring yarn to back under needle, wrap yarn around hook, and pull it through loop on hook (Figure 2). For the decorative cast-on, repeat from * until there is one fewer than the desired number of stitches on needle. Slip loop from hook to needle for last stitch. For the provisional cast-on, repeat from * until the desired number of stitches are on the needle and then chain a few more stitches without placing them on the needle to secure the chain before fastening off.

Figure 1 Figure 2


Channel Island Cast-On
The Channel Island cast-on pairs beautifully with k1, p1 ribbing or garter stitch.

The Channel Island cast-on

The Channel Island cast-on makes a decorative picot edging that’s also elastic but firm. This cast-on was originally used on the hems of fisherman sweaters, thus the name Channel Island. It pairs beautifully with k1, p1 ribbing or garter stitch.

Step 1. Holding three strands of yarn together, make a slipknot about six inches from the ends and place it on the right needle (this does not count as a stitch). Divide the three strands, using a single strand as the working yarn and the two remaining strands as the tail.

Step 2. Place the single strand around the index finger. Wrap the two strand tail counterclockwise around the thumb so that two wraps are  visible below your thumbnail. Make a yarn over on the needle with the single strand (Figure 1).

Step 3. Beginning at the base of the thumb, slide the needle up through both loops on the thumb, then bring it over the single strand, going to the index finger to grab it, then go back down through the two loops on the thumb (Figure 2). Drop the thumb loops and tighten all three yarns. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for the desired number of stitches; each repeat creates two stitches.

Distribute the stitches over your chosen needles and remove the slipknot from the needles (but don’t undo it) before joining for working in the round, knitting the “beaded” stitches and purling the yarn overs. Undo the slipknot just before weaving in the tails.

Illustrations by Gayle Ford

Step 1: Channel Island cast-on              Step 2: Channel Island cast-on

For more cast-ons and bind-offs, check out our free eBook, How to Cast-On and Bind-Off Knitting!


Couching Stitch
Lay thread(s) to be covered on top of knitted background. Bring threaded needle out from back to front at side of thread(s). *Bring needle over thread(s) and insert it close to other side. Bring needle back out a short distance away. Repeat from *.

Crochet Bind-Off
Insert crochet hook into first stitch on needle, as if to knit. Wrap yarn around hook (Figure 1), pull this loop through stitch on needle, and let stitch drop off needle. *Insert hook into next stitch as if to knit, wrap yarn around hook, pull loop through both stitch on needle and first loop on hook (Figure 2), letting stitch drop off needle. Repeat from *.
                  


Crochet Chain (ch)
Make a slipknot on hook. Yarn over hook and draw it through loop of slipknot. Repeat, drawing yarn through the last loop formed.


Crochet Chain (Provisional) Cast-On

With smooth, contrasting waste yarn and crochet hook, make a loose chain of about four stitches more than you need to cast on. Cut yarn and pull tail through last chain to secure. With needle, working yarn, and beginning two stitches from last chain worked, pick up and knit one stitch through the back loop of each chain (Figure 1) for desired number of stitches. Work the piece as desired, and when you’re ready to use the cast-on stitches, pull out the crochet chain to expose the live stitches (Figure 2).

Figure 1 Figure 2

Cross-Stitch
*Bring threaded needle out from back to front at lower left edge of knitted stitch to be covered. Working left to right, insert needle at upper right edge of same stitch and bring it back out at lower left edge of adjacent stitch, directly below and in line with insertion point. Repeat from * to form one half of the cross. Then work from right to left in same manner to work other half of cross.


Daisy Stitch
Bring threaded needle out from back to front at center of a knitted stitch. *Form a short loop and insert needle back where it came out. Keeping loop under needle, bring needle back out in center of next stitch over. Beginning each stitch at the same point on the knitted background, repeat from * for desired number of petals (six shown).
   


Double Crochet

Yarn over hook, insert hook into a stitch, yarn over hook and draw a loop through (three loops on hook), yarn over hook (Figure 1) and draw it through two loops, yarn over hook and draw it through the remaining two loops (Figure 2).         

Figure 1                        

Figure 2

  

Check out our Double Crochet Step By Step Article


Double Cross-Stitch
Work cross-stitch as described at left, then bring needle out at base of crossed yarn, over cross, and back in at top of cross, then out again at left side of cross and back in on right side. The double cross-stitch in the sample is worked over four knitted stitches.


Duplicate Stitch

Bring needle out of -knitted background from back to front, wrap yarn around needle one to three times, and use thumb to hold in place while pulling needle through wraps into background a short-distance from where it came out. Duplicate Stitch
Horizontal:Bring threaded needle out from back to front at the base of the V of the knitted stitch you want to cover. *Working right to left, pass needle in and out under the stitch in the row above it and back into the base of the same stitch. Bring needle back out at the base of the V of the next stitch to the left. Repeat from *.

Vertical: Beginning at lowest point, work as for horizontal duplicate stitch, ending by bringing the needle back out at the base of the stitch directly above the stitch just worked.


Embroidery Stitches
See: Backstitch, Blanket Stitch, Buttonhole Stitch, Chain Stitch, Couching Stitch, Cross-Stitch, Daisy Stitch, Double Cross-Stitch, Duplicate Stitch, Fern Stitch, Fly Stitch, French Knot, Jacobean Couching, Running Stitch, Satin Stitch, Split Chain Stitch, Stem Stitch, Straight Stitch, Woven Web


Emily Ocker’s Cast-On
The circular cast on technique comes from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Knitter’s Almanac (Dover, 1981).

Make a simple loop of yarn with the short end hanging down (Figure 1). With a crochet hook, *draw a loop through main loop, then draw another loop through this loop (Figure 2). Repeat from * for each stitch to be cast on (Figure 3). After several inches have been worked, pull on the short end (shown by arrow) to tighten the loop and close the circle.


Gauge
To check gauge, cast on 30 to 40 stitches using recommended needle size. Work in pattern stitch until piece measures at least 4″ (10 cm) from cast-on edge. Remove swatch from needles or bind of loosely and lay swatch on flat surface. Place a ruler over swatch and count number of stitches across and number of rows down (including fractions of stitches and rows) in 4″ (10 cm). Repeat two or three times on different areas of swatch to confirm measurements. If you have more stitches and rows than called for in instructions, use larger needles; if you have fewer, use smaller needles. Repeat until gauge is correct.


German Short-Rows
With yarn in front, sl 1 pwise from left needle to right needle. Pull yarn to back of work over needle until both legs of st in row below are on top of needle (as shown), creating a “double st” on both sides of needle (figure 1).

When working the double-st on subsequent rows, work it as a single st (figure 2).

German short-rows


Grafting Garter Stitch
To graft garter stitch, place live stitches on needles held parallel. Thread tapestry needle with yarn and go through first stitch on front needle as if to purl, then first stitch on back needle as if to purl, leaving both stitches on the needles. *Then go through first stitch on front needle as if to knit and slip it off the needle, go through second stitch as if to purl and leave it on. Go through first stitch on back needle as if to knit and slip it off the needle, go through second stitch as if to purl and leave it on. Rep from * until no stitches remain.


Half Double Crochet (hdc)
*Yarn over, insert hook in stitch, yarn over and pull a loop through stitch (three loops on hook), yarn over (Figure 1) and draw through all the loops on the hook (Figure 2). Repeat from *.


I-cord
With double-pointed needle, cast on desired number of stitches. *Without turning the needle, slide the stitches to other end of the needle, pull the yarn around the back, and knit the stitches as usual; repeat from * for desired length.


I-cord Bind-Off
When there are live stitches or picked-up stitches on left needle: With right side facing, cast on number of stitches needed for I-cord (as directed in pattern) onto left needle. *Knit to last I-cord stitch (e.g., if working a two-stitch I-cord as shown, knit one), knit two together through the back loops (Figures 1 and 2), and transfer all stitches from right needle to left needle (Figure 3). Repeat from * until required number of stitches have been bound off.
Every serious knitter knows how to do the I-cord bind-off, and you can too with these free, quick instructions.


I-Cord Cast-On
These instructions are for a 5-stitch I-Cord. Cast on 5 stitches, leaving a 6″ tail. Next row K5, do not turn. *Next row Slip 5 sts back to left needle without twisting them, k1f&b, k4, do not turn. Rep from * until there are 5 more stitches on the right needle than the total number of cast-on stitches desired (and no stitches on the left needle). Place the first 5 stitches on the right needle onto a holder or bind them off, as the pattern indicates.


Icelandic Bind Off
K1, *slip stitch from right needle to left needle purlwise (Figure 1). Insert right needle purlwise into first stitch on left needle, then knitwise into second stitch to catch front loop of second stitch (Figure 2). Draw front loop of second stitch through first stitch and knit it (Figure 3). Drop both stitches from left needle (Figure 4). Repeat from *.

IcelandicBindOff-01IcelandicBindOff-02  IcelandicBindOff-03IcelandicBindOff-04


Invisible Seam
Working from the right side of the garment, place the pieces to be seamed on a flat surface, right sides up. Begin at the lower edge and work upward, row by row. Insert a threaded tapestry needle under the horizontal bar in the middle of the edge stitch on one side of the seam, and then under the corresponding bar on the opposite side. Continue alternating from side to side, pulling the yarn in the direction of the seam, not outward toward your body, to prevent the bars from stretching to the front. When the seam is complete, weave the tail end down through the seam allowance for 2" (5 cm).
Invisible Seam

Italian CO:
Leaving a tail as for long-tail cast-on, make a slipknot on right needle (counts as the first purl stitch). Insert your left thumb and index finger between two strands, with tail end on thumb side. To create the next knit stitch (Figure 1), bring needle toward you, under front strand, up between strands, over back strand to grab it and pull it under front strand to make loop on needle. To create the next purl stitch (Figures 2 and 3), take needle away from you, over both strands, under both strands, up to grab front strand and pull it under back strand to make loop on needle. Continue alternating knit and purl stitches, ending with a knit stitch. Turn work. Keeping strands crossed to preserve the last cast-on stitch, work 1 row as foll: *p1, k1; rep from * to end.

Tubular Cast on 1

Figure 1

Tubular Cast on 2

Figure 2

Tubular Cast on 3

Figure 3


Jacobean Couching

Make long straight stitches on a knitted background parallel to each other and about 1z2" (1.3 cm) apart. Work another series of straight stitches on top of and at right angles to the previous ones. Then couch the resulting crosses with tiny straight stitches (shown) or small cross-stitches.


Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off
Step 1. If the stitch to be bound off is a knit stitch, work a backward yo (bring yarn to the front over the needle; Figure 1.) Knit the next stitch, then insert left needle into yo and lift it over the knit stitch (Figure 2). If the stitch to be bound off is a purl stitch, work a standard yo (Figure 3). Purl the next stitch, then insert left needle into yo and lift it over the purl stitch(Figure 4).

Step 2. Repeat step 1 for the second stitch to be bound off. Insert left needle from second stitch from tip of right needle and lift it over the next stitch. Repeat step 2 until all stitches have been bound off. As you get into the rhythm of this method, you may prefer to lift the yo and the previous stitch over the next stitch together in a single motion (Figure 5).
Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off


Jogless Jog (Meg Swansen’s)

Knitting color stripes in the round can result in jogs at the “seam” line where each new round begins. In Meg Swansen’s Knitting (Interweave, 1999), Meg offers an ingenious technique for eliminating these jogs when working solid-color stripes of two or more rounds.

Work the first stripe (let’s call that color A) for the desired number of rounds, change colors (color B) and knit one round.

Work the first stitch of the second round with color B as follows: Pick up the right side of the stitch in the row below the stitch on the needle (it will be color A), put it on the left needle and knit it together with the first stitch on the needle. You will have worked the first stitch of the round twice, but because you work into the stitch below the one on the needle the second time, you have only worked it for one round and it appears as if it were worked just once.

The jog between the two colors disappears and the beginning of the round for color changes only is shifted one stitch to the left. Note: Do not change the position of markers required for the placement of any shaping decreases or increases (such as ones used for waist shaping).

Continue working as many rounds as you want with color B.

To change to another color, simply repeat the process, working the first stitch of the round a second time by picking up the stitch in the row below the stitch on the needle and knitting it together with the first stitch on the needle, thereby shifting the beginning of the round one more stitch to the left for color changes.


Judy’s Magic Cast-On (JMCO)

Hold two needles parallel in your right hand, one on top of the other and needle points facing to the left. Leaving a tail long enough to cast on the required number of stitches, drape the yarn over the top needle so the tail is in front and the ball yarn in back (Figure 1).

Cross the yarns so the tail is in the back and the ball yarn in the front, then place the thumb and index finger of your left hand between the two strands so that the tail is over your index finger and the ball yarn is over your thumb (Figure 2). This forms the first stitch on the top needle.

*Pivoting both needles together, bring the bottom needle over the top of the finger yarn, then bring the finger yarn up from below the bottom needle, over the top of this bottom needle, then to the back between the two needles (Figure 3). This forms the first stitch on the bottom needle.

Point the needles downward, bring the bottom needle past the thumb yarn, then bring the thumb yarn between the two needles to the front then over the top needle (Figure 4). There are now two stitches on the top needle.

Repeat from * until you have the desired number of stitches on each needle. Both needles should have the same number of stitches (Figure 5).

Remove both yarn ends from your left hand, rotate the needles like the hands of a clock so that the bottom needle is now on top and both strands of yarn are at the needle tip (Figure 6).


K1f&b increase (also, bar increase)

Knit into a stitch and leave it on the needle (Figure 1). Knit through the back loop of the same stitch (Figure 2). Slip both stitches off the needle (Figure 3).

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

K2tog decrease

From The Knitter's Companion Deluxe Edition, by Vicki Square


Kitchener Stitch (St st Grafting Knitting)
To begin the Kitchener Stitch:

Step 1: Bring threaded needle through front stitch as if to purl and leave stitch on needle (Figure 1).

Step 2: Bring threaded needle through back stitch as if to knit and leave stitch on needle (Figure 2).

Step 3: Bring threaded needle through first front stitch as if to knit and slip this stitch off needle. Bring threaded needle through next front stitch as if to purl and leave stitch on needle (Figure 3).

Step 4: Bring threaded needle through first back stitch as if to purl and slip this stitch off needle. Bring needle through next back stitch as if to knit and leave stitch on needle (Figure 4).

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until no stitches remain on needles.

 

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4


Knit Stitch: English Method

1. Cast on 20 stitches (or enough to practice several stitches).

2. Hold the needle with the cast-on stitches in your left hand, the empty needle in your right hand. Hold the needles a few inches from the tips, between your thumb and first couple of fingers.

3. With the working yarn in back of the needle, insert the right needle into the front of the first stitch (the one closest to the tip) from left to right (Figure 1, below).

4. Now with your right index finger, bring the yarn between the needles from back to front (Figure 2).

5. With your right hand, pull the right needle-which now has a loop of yarn around it-toward you and through the stitch (Figure 3).

You now have a stitch on the right needle. All you need to do to finish the stitch is to slip the old stitch off the left needle. Tug gently on the working yarn to secure the new stitch. Repeat this process through the end of the row! When you have knitted every stitch on the row, you will have an empty needle in your left hand. Swap needles so that the "full" needle is in your left hand and the empty one is in your right hand, and do it all over again!


Knitted Cast-On

Place slipknot on left needle if there are no established stitches. *With right needle, knit into first stitch (or slipknot) on left needle (Figure 1)

Knitted Cast On Fig 1

...and place new stitch onto left needle (Figure 2). Repeat from *, always knitting into last stitch made.

Knitted Cast On Fig 2

Knitting In Reverse
To avoid constant turning of the work, you can knit and purl from the same side. To purl from the knit side: With RS facing and yarn in back, insert left needle into first st on right needle from front to back, wrap yarn over top of needle and then around to back, and pull loop through. Or, simply hold work with WS facing, insert needle as if to purl and wrap yarn around, turn work so RS faces, noting where and how the needle and yarn are positioned, and continue to purl from the knit side. To knit from the purl side: With WS facing and yarn in front, insert left needle into first st on right needle from back to front, wrap yarn under bottom of needle and then around to front, and pull loop through. Or, simply hold work with RS facing, insert needle as if to knit and wrap yarn around, turn work so WS faces, noting where and how the needle and yarn are positioned, and continue to knit from the purl side.Knitting in Reverse


KSP Decrease
Knit one stitch, then slip this knit stitch from the right needle back to the left needle without twisting it (Figure 1). Use the point of the right needle to pass the second stitch on the left needle over the first stitch and off the left needle (Figure 2). This decrease produces a fairly pronounced right-slanting decrease (Figure 3). Use this decrease to mirror a SKP Decrease (a left-slanting decrease).KSP_glossary-01

LLI: see Lifted Increase

Larks Head Knot
Learn how to make a lark's head knot. lark's-head-knotB
Pull lp through indicated sp, draw ends through lp. Pull tight


Lifelines
A lifeline is a strand of yarn that is inserted into the work so that, if an error is encountered, it is easy to rip back to that point. Lifelines are often used in lace knitting. Leave lifelines in your work until the piece is complete.

To insert a lifeline, thread a tapestry needle with smooth, tightly twisted yarn (such as crochet or perle cotton) and insert the tapestry needle purlwise through each stitch on the needle, catching each stitch but going around any markers. Do not remove the stitches from the needle. When working on a circular needle, it is easier to insert the lifeline if the stitches are pushed onto the cable portion of the needle. If you must rip back, use a smaller needle to pick up the stitches from the lifeline thread, and then resume working with your regular needle.


Lifted Increases (RLI, RLPI, LLI, LLPI)


Long Tail Cast-On

Leaving a long tail (about 1-2" for each stitch to be cast on), make a slipknot and place on right needle. Place thumb and index finger of left hand between yarn ends so that working yarn is around index finger and tail end is around thumb. Secure ends with your other fingers and hold palm upwards, making a V of yarn (Figure 1). Bring needle up through loop on thumb (Figure 2), grab first strand around index finger with needle, and go back down through loop on thumb (Figure 3). Drop loop off thumb and, placing thumb back in V configuration, tighten resulting stitch on needle (Figure 4).

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4

Loop Cast-On (Right and Left Slanting)

Right-slanting loop CO (also: Backward-loop CO)
*Loop working yarn as shown and place it on needle backward (with right leg of loop in back of needle). Repeat from *.

 

Left-slanting loop CO
*Loop working yarn as shown and place it on needle so right leg of loop is in front of needle. Repeat from *. 


Make One (M1) Increases
With left needle tip, lift strand between needles from front to back (Figure 1). Knit lifted loop through the back
(Figure 2).

Figure 1 Figure 2

Right Slant (M1R)

With left needle tip, lift strand between needles from back to front ­(Figure 1). Knit lifted loop through the front
(Figure 2).

Figure 1 Figure 2
Purl (M1P), (M1LP), (M1RP)
For purl versions, work as above, purling lifted loop.

 


Managing Yarn in Colorwork
Working_With_two_Yarns

Holding one yarn in each hand is just one way of managing yarns while color knitting.


In color-stranded knitting, the stitches alternate colors based on a charted pattern. Both yarns travel across the entire width of the knitting, taking turns being used. The nonworking yarn trails, or strands, behind the stitches of the working yarn. The nonworking yarn may strand for a single stitch or several stitches, depending on the pattern; then the yarns trade places and the first yarn is stranded while the other yarn is worked. Knitters who hold just one yarn at a time must drop the old yarn and pick up and tension the new yarn at every color change, a process that can be slow and tedious and make some knitters shy away from color patterns altogether. However, knitters who can hold and tension both yarns at the same time can work this type of color pattern quickly and easily.

There are two predominant styles of knitting: English, in which the working yarn is carried in the right hand, and Continental, in which the working yarn is carried in the left hand. Each style can be used with two strands of yarn, or you can combine styles and hold one yarn in each hand. Whichever method you choose, you’ll want to keep the same tension on each yarn for even stitches.


Mattress Stitch Seam

With RS of knitting facing, use threaded needle to pick up one bar between first two stitches on one piece (Figure 1), Mattress Stitch Fig 1
...then corresponding bar plus the bar above it on other piece (Figure 2). Mattress Stitch Fig 2
*Pick up next two bars on first piece, then next two bars on other (Figure 3). Repeat from * to end of seam, finishing by picking up last bar (or pair of bars) at the top of first piece. Mattress Stitch Fig3

Old Norwegian Cast-On
Leaving a long tail (about ½" [1.3 cm] for each stitch to be cast on), make a slipknot (this counts as the first stitch.) Place your thumb and index finger between the yarn ends so that the working yarn is around your index finger and the tail end is around your thumb. Secure the ends with your other fingers and hold your palm upward, making a V of yarn (Figure 1).

*Bring the needle in front of the thumb, under both strands around the thumb, down into the center of the thumb loop, then forward toward you. Now bring the needle over the strand going to the index finger to grab it (Figure 2).

Bring the needle back through the loop on the thumb, turning the thumb slightly to make room for the needle to pass through. (Figure 3)

Drop the loop off the thumb (Figure 4) and, placing the thumb back in the V configuration, tighten up the resulting stitch on the needle.

Repeat from * for the desired number of stitches. Distribute the stitches over your chosen needles and join for working in the round.

Old Norwegian Cast-On


Overhand Seam

Hold pieces to be seamed with right sides together. Working close to the edge, from right to left, *bring threaded needle from back to front through both layers. Repeat from *.


Pick Up Stitches Purlwise

With WS facing and working from right to left, insert right needle under selvedge stitch from farside to nearside, wrap yarn as to purl (Figure 1), and pull loop through (Figure 2).

              


Pom-Pom

Cut two circles of cardboard, each 1⁄2” (1.3 cm) larger than desired finished pom-pom width. Cut a small circle out of the center and a small edge out of the side of each circle (Figure 1). Tie a strand of yarn between the circles, hold circles together and wrap with yarn—the more wraps, the thicker the pompom. Knot the tie strand tightly and cut between the circles (Figure 2). Place pom-pom between two smaller cardboard circles held together with a needle, and trim the edges (Figure 3). This technique comes from Nicky Epstein’s Knitted Embellishments, Interweave Press, 1999.


Provisional Cast-On

Place a loose slipknot on needle held in your right hand. Hold waste yarn next to slipknot and around left thumb; hold working yarn over left index finger. *Bring needle forward under waste yarn, over working yarn, grab a loop of working yarn (Figure 1), then bring needle to the front, over both yarns, and grab a second loop (Figure 2). Repeat from *. When you're ready to use the cast-on stitches, pick out waste yarn to expose live stitches.

Figure 1 Figure 2

Also: check out our video on How to Knit a Provisional Cast-On.


Purl Stitch: English Method

  

Step 1: As with the knit stitch, start by holding the needle with the stitches in your left hand and the empty needle in your right. (This tutorial demonstrates the English method of purling.)

Step 2: Pull the working yarn in front of the needles. Insert the tip of the right needle into the front of the first stitch on the left needle, from right to left (Figure 1).

Step 3: With the yarn in front of the needles, travel around the tip of right needle in a counterclockwise movement, passing between the needles from right to left and back around to the front again (Figure 2).

Step 4: Pull the right needle, with the loop of working yarn around it, down and back (moving away from you) through the stitch on the left needle (Figure 3). Slip the old stitch off the left needle and tighten the new stitch on the right needle. You have your first purl stitch.

Repeat this process through the end of the row. When you have purled every stitch on the row, you will have an empty needle in your left hand. Swap needles so that the "full" needle is in your left hand and the empty one in your right, and you're ready to begin the next row.


Purlwise Raised Increase (M1P)
With left needle tip, lift strand between needles, from back to front (Figure 1). Purl lifted loop (Figure 2)
How to work the m1p increase


RLI: see Lifted Increase


Reading Charts

Unless otherwise indicated, read charts from the bottom up. On right-side rows, read charts from right to left. On wrong side rows, read charts from left to right. When knitting in the round read charts from right to left for all rows.

What does "no stitch" mean?

A "no-stitch" box is just a placeholder; it does not represent an actual stitch. It simply makes room on the chart for an increase or a decrease in the next row/round. Think of it this way: If you decrease a stitch in Row 1, you have one less stitch in Row 2. Charts are boxy and linear, so in order to make the little boxes line up properly (and to keep the roadmap clear so you can visualize the pattern), that "lost stitch" is greyed out in Row 2. (The reverse is also true: If you increase, you will have a new stitch in Row 2 that was not there in Row 1--so Row 1 may need a grey "not-there-yet-but-will-be-soon" placeholder box.) Just skip that greyed-out little no-stitch rascal. Ignore it. "It's just there to make the chart square.".


Reverse I-cord

Work as regular I-cord, but pull the yarn around the front of the work.


Reverse Single Crochet

Working from left to right, insert the crochet hook into a knit edge stitch, draw up a loop, bring the yarn over the hook, and draw this loop through the first one. *Insert the hook into the next stitch to the right (figure 1), draw up a loop, bring the yarn over the hook again (figure 2), and draw this loop through both loops on the hook; repeat from * until the entire edge has been covered (figure 3). Cut the yarn and secure the last loop by pulling the tail through it.

    


Satin Stitch

Work closely spaced straight stitches in graduated lengths as desired, entering and exiting in center of or at side of knitted stitches.

Satin Stitch Knitting


Sewn Bind-off
Bind Off Cut the yarn three times the width of the knitting to be bound off, and thread onto a tapestry needle. Working from right to left, *insert tapestry needle purlwise (from right to left) through first two stitches (Figure 1)...and pull the yarn through, then bring needle knitwise (from left to right) through the first stitch (Figure 2), pull the yarn through, and slip this stitch off the knitting needle. Repeat from *.
Learn how to do the sewn bind-off stitch the right way with this simple and free knitting stitches guide from Interweave.
Learn how to do the sewn bind-off stitch the right way with this simple and free knitting stitches guide from Interweave.

 

 


Short Row: Wrapping Stitches

Work to turn point, slip next stitch purlwise to right needle. Bring yarn to front (Figure 1). Slip same stitch back to left needle (Figure 2). Turn work and bring yarn in position for next stitch, wrapping the stitch as you do so. Note: Hide wraps in a knit stitch when right side of piece is worked in a knit stitch. Leave wrap if the purl stitch shows on right side. Hide wraps as follows: Knit stitch: On right side, work to just before wrapped stitch. Insert right needle from front, under the wrap from bottom up, and then into wrapped stitch as usual. Knit them together, making sure new stitch comes out under wrap. Purl stitch: On wrong side, work to just before wrapped stitch. Insert right needle from back, under wrap from bottom up, and put on left needle. Purl them together.

 

 

Figure 1                                                                          Figure 2

Using Short Rows to Custom Fit Sweaters

How to Use Short Rows in Many Garments


Short Rows (Knit Side)

Work to turning point, slip next stitch purlwise (Figure 1), bring the yarn to the front, then slip the same stitch back to the left needle (Figure 2), turn the work around and bring the yarn in position for the next stitch—one stitch has been wrapped and the yarn is correctly positioned to work the next stitch. When you come to a wrapped stitch on a subsequent knit row, hide the wrap by working it together with the wrapped stitch as follows: Insert right needle tip under the wrap from the front; Figure 3), then into the stitch on the needle, and work the stitch and its wrap together as a single stitch.

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3



Short Rows (Purl Side)

Work to the turning point, slip the next stitch purlwise to the right needle, bring the yarn to the back of the work (Figure 1), return the slipped stitch to the left needle, bring the yarn to the front between the needles (Figure 2), and turn the work so that the knit side is facing—one stitch has been wrapped and the yarn is correctly positioned to knit the next stitch. To hide the wrap on a subsequent purl row, work to the wrapped stitch, use the tip of the right needle to pick up the wrap from the back, place it on the left needle (Figure 3), then purl it together with the wrapped stitch.

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

 

Variation on hiding a wrap: When you come to a wrapped purl stitch on a subsequent knit row, hide the wrap by slipping the stitch and wrap together kwise to the right needle (Figure 4). Insert the left needle into stitch and knit them together through back loops.

Figure 4


Single Crochet

Insert hook in stitch, yarn over and pull a loop through stitch (Figure 1), yarn over and draw through both loops on hook (Figure 2).

Figure 1 Figure 2

  


SKP Decrease
Slip one stitch knitwise (Figure 1), knit the next stitch, and then use the point of the left needle to pass the slipped stitch over the knit stitch and off the right needle (Figure 2). This decrease produces a fairly pronounced left-slanting decrease (Figure 3). Use this decrease to mirror a KSP Decrease (a right-slanting decrease).

  SKP_glossary-01


Slip Stitch Crochet (sl st)

*Insert hook in stitch, yarn over and draw loop through stitch and loop on hook. Repeat from *.

Worked on edge:

Learn how to do the slip stitch crochet (sl st) the right way with these exclusive, how-to knitting instructions for your future projects!

Worked in chain:

Learn how to do the slip stitch crochet (sl st) the right way with these exclusive, how-to knitting instructions for your future projects!


Slip Stitch Crochet Seam

    
Using the slip-stitch crochet seam

With right sides together and working one stitch at a time, insert a crochet hook through both thicknesses into the stitch just below the bound off edge, or one stitch in front of the selvedge edge.

Catch the yarn and draw a loop through both thicknesses, then catch the yarn again and draw this loop through the first. This secures the end stitches together.

*Insert the hook into the next stitch, through both thicknesses, then catch and draw a loop back through both thicknesses and through the loop on the crochet hook; repeat from *, keeping the crochet stitches even.

To end, cut the yarn leaving a tail 6–8" (15–20 cm) long. Pull the tail end through the last stitch on the hook. Thread the tail on a tapestry needle and weave it back through the seam allowance for 2" (5 cm).

TIP: Slip-stitch crocheted seams are easy to remove if you've made a mistake—just pull on the working yarn to ravel. Because it's so easily removed, it's ideal for adjusting the placement of matching seams or easing in fullness.

—Vicki Square, from The Knitter's Companion


Slipknot

    

A slipknot is a knot that tightens up easily once you place it on the needle.

1. With the tail end of the yarn in your palm, wrap the working yarn around your index and middle fingers, and lay the working yarn across the tail end, forming an X.

2. Spread your fingers slightly and push the working yarn through your fingers from the back of your hand.

3. Pull this loop up slightly while holding the tail end of the yarn to form a knot.

4. Place the loop onto the knitting needle and pull working yarn to adjust the tension.


Split Chain Stitch

Work as for stem stitch, bringing needle out from back to front at center of a knitted stitch, piercing the working thread with each stitch.


Ssk (Single Decrease) and Sssk (Double Decrease)

Slip two stitches knitwise one at a time (Figure 1). Insert point of left needle into front of two slipped stitches and knit them together through back loops with right needle (Figure 2).

Figure 1 Figure 2

 

For Sssk (Double Decrease): Slip three stitches knitwise one at a time. Insert point of left needle into front of three slipped stitches and knit them together with right needle—three stitches reduced to one.



Ssp (Single Decrease) and Sssp (Double Decrease)

Holding yarn in front, slip two stitches knitwise one at a time onto right needle (Figure 1). Slip them back onto left needle and purl the two stitches together through back loops (Figure 2).

           
Figure 1 Figure 2

 

For Sssp (Double Decrease): Holding yarn in front, slip three stitches knitwise one at a time to right needle. Slip them back onto left needle and purl the three stitches together through the back loops—three stitches reduced to one.


Steeks
From the late nineteenth through the middle twentieth century, masterpieces of stranded color work—Fair Isle sweaters, stockings, and caps—were handknitted with fantastic speed by knitters of the Shetland archipelago in northern Scotland. In addition to their considerable skill and experience, Fair Isle knitters often employed a shortcut that today’s color-work knitters can find just as useful: steeking.

Here's a tutorial to show you how to work a steek.


Stem Stitch
Bring needle out from back to front at center of a knitted stitch. Insert needle into upper right edge of next stitch to right, then out again at center of stitch below.


Straight Stitch
*Bring threaded needle out from back to front at base of knitted stitch(es) you want to cover. Insert needle at top of stitch(es) you want to cover. Repeat from *.
Straight Stitch


Suspended Bind-Off

This method is similar to the standard bind-off but produces a more elastic edge. This bind-off is especially good for knitters who tend to bind-off too tightly; use it when you want to make sure your bind-off isn't too tight.

Slip one stitch, knit one stitch, *insert left needle tip into first stitch on right needle and lift the first st over the second (Figure 1), leaving the first stitch on the left needle, knit the next stitch (Figure 2), then slip both stitches off the left needle-two stitches remain on right needle and one stitch has been bound off (Figure 3). Repeat from * until no stitches remain on left needle, then pass first st on right needle over the second.

   
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3


Tacking Down Long Floats
To prevent long floats that can catch on fingers and distort the stitches, floats should be no longer than 1” (2.5 cm) long. If a float needs to span a wider distance, it’s best to trap or “catch” it with the working yarn to keep it snug against the back of the work.

To trap a long float against the back of the fabric, insert the needle tip into the next stitch on the left-hand needle, place the nonworking yarn over the right needle (Figure 1; nonworking yarn is dark), knit the stitch with the working yarn as usual, then lower the nonworking yarn (Figure 2) and knit the following stitch as usual. Do not catch the floats between the same two stitches on subsequent rows or you may produce an unintended vertical “line.”

Trapping floats


Tassels

Cut a piece of cardboard 4" wide by the desired length of the tassel plus 1". Wrap yarn to desired thickness around cardboard. Cut a short length of yarn and tie tightly around one end of the wrapped yarn (Figure 1). Cut yarn loops at other end. Cut another piece of yarn and wrap tightly around loops a short distance below top knot to form tassel neck. Knot securely, thread ends onto tapestry needle, and pull to center of tassel (Figure 2). Trim ends.

Figure 1 Figure 2

Three Needle Bind-Off

Place stitches to be joined onto two ­separate needles. Hold them with right sides of knitting facing ­together. Insert a third needle into first stitch on each of the other two ­needles and knit them together as one stitch. *Knit next stitch on each needle the same way. Pass first stitch over ­second stitch. Repeat from * until one stitch remains on third needle. Cut yarn and pull tail through last stitch

Learn everything you need to know about the three needle bind-off method in knitting with these expert, how-to instructions for this bind-off!


Thumb Gussets
A thumb gusset is shaped like an inverted triangle positioned along the thumb side of the hand with the apex slightly above the wrist and the base hitting the thumb where it separates from the hand. The widest part of the gusset—or base of the triangle—should approximate the thumb circumference, which for adult mittens and gloves is almost always 3" (7.5 cm). If in doubt, wrap some of the cuff comfortably around the base of your thumb and count the stitches needed to encircle it. The depth of the gusset is usually between 2" and 2 1⁄2" (5 and 6.5 cm). Download Pam Allen's Free Guide to Thumb Gussets as it appeared in Interweave Knits Magazine in 2003 (Winter).


Treble Crochet

Wrap yarn around hook two times, insert hook into a stitch, yarn over hook and draw a loop through (four loops on hook; Figure 1), yarn over hook and draw it through two loops (Figure 2), yarn over hook and draw it through the next two loops, yarn over hook and draw it through the remaining two loops (Figure 3). Repeat above for next stitch.

    Treble Crochet   Treble Crochet


Tubular Bind-Off

Step 1: Insert tapestry needle purlwise into first knit loop on the knitting needle (Figure 1). Draw through, then wrap around side of fabric (not over needle) to the back.

Step 2: From the back, insert tapestry needle knitwise into the first purl loop (second loop on knitting needle) and draw it through.

Step 3: Insert tapestry needle into first knit loop knitwise, slip loop off knitting needle and onto tapestry needle. Insert tapestry needle purlwise into second knit stitch (the second loop now remaining on the knitting needle; Figure 3). Draw yarn through.

Step 4: Insert tapestry needle into first purl loop purlwise, slip loop off knitting needle onto tapestry needle. Wrap tapestry needle to the back of the work, then insert knitwise into the second purl loop (the second loop now remaining on knitting needle; Figure 4). Draw the yarn through. Repeat Steps 3 and 4.

Figure 1 Figure 2
Figure 3 Figure 4

Tubular Cast-On for k1, p1 Ribbing
 
Even Number of Stitches (see below for Odd Number of Stitches)
 
Even Version 1:
With contrasting waste yarn, cast on half the number of stitches required using the backward-loop method. Cut the waste yarn. With the main color yarn, knit 1 row, purl 1 row, knit 1 row. Next row (WS) P1, bring yarn to back, insert tip of right needle into main-color loop at edge of first main color row (Figure 1). Place this loop on left needle and knit it. *P1, bring yarn to back, insert right needle into main-color loop 3 rows below (Figure 2), place loop on left needle and knit it; rep from * to end. Work in k1, p1 ribbing for several rows before removing waste yarn.
Tubular-cast-on-1x1

Figure 1

Tubular-cast-on-1x1

Figure 2


 
Even Version 2 - aka Alternate CO, Italian CO:
Leaving a tail as for long-tail cast-on, make a slipknot on right needle (counts as the first purl stitch). Insert your left thumb and index finger between two strands, with tail end on thumb side. To create the next knit stitch (Figure 1), bring needle toward you, under front strand, up between strands, over back strand to grab it and pull it under front strand to make loop on needle. To create the next purl stitch (Figures 2 and 3), take needle away from you, over both strands, under both strands, up to grab front strand and pull it under back strand to make loop on needle. Continue alternating knit and purl stitches, ending with a knit stitch. Turn work. Keeping strands crossed to preserve the last cast-on stitch, work 1 row as foll: *p1, k1; rep from * to end.

Tubular Cast on 1

Figure 1

Tubular Cast on 2

Figure 2

Tubular Cast on 3

Figure 3

 
Odd Number of Stitches
 
Odd Version 1 (beginning and ending with k1)
With contrasting waste yarn and using the backward-loop method, cast on half the number of stitches required plus one (total sts + 1, divided by 2). Cut the waste yarn. With main color yarn work as foll:

Row 1 K1, *yo, k1; rep from * to end (Figure 1).

Row 2 K1, *sl 1 pwise wyf, k1; rep from * to end (Figure 2).

Row 3 *Sl 1 pwise wyf, k1; rep from * to last st, sl 1 pwise wyf.

Rep Rows 2 and 3 once more.

Next row K1, *p1, k1; rep from * to end. Cont in k1, p1 rib as established, removing waste yarn after a few rows.

tubular-cast-on-1-odd-number

Figure 1

tubular-cast-on-2-odd-number

Figure 2

 
Odd Version 2 (beginning and ending with p1)
With contrasting waste yarn and using the backward-loop method, cast on half the number of stitches required plus one (total sts + 1, divided by 2). Cut the waste yarn. With main color yarn work as foll:

Row 1 (WS) K1, *yo, k1; rep from * to end.

Row 2 Sl 1 pwise wyf, *k1, sl 1 pwise wyf; rep from * to end.

Row 3 K1, *sl 1 pwise wyf, k1; rep from * to end.

Rep Rows 2 and 3 once more.

Next row (RS) P1, *k1, p1; rep from * to end. Cont in p1, k1 rib as established, removing waste yarn after a few rows.


Turkish Cast-On

Hold two needles parallel. Leaving a 6" (15 cm) tail in front, bring yarn from front to back between needles. *Wrap working yarn over top of both needles, around front, and under needles to back. Rep from * until number of wraps over top of needle equals half the number of stitches needed. Make sure that you have the same number of wraps on the bottom needle (Figure 1). Work stitches on top needle; stitches should be seated so that right leg is in front (Figure 2). Note that last stitch is anchored only by the tail; be careful not to pull free (Figure 3).

Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3

Rotate needles and work stitches on bottom needle (Figures 4 + 5).

Figure 4 Figure 5

Twisted Cord
Cut several lengths of yarn about 2 1/2 times the desired finished cord length. Fold the strands in half to form two equal groups. Anchor the strands at the fold by looping them over a doorknob. Holding one group in each hand, twist each group tightly in a clockwise direction until they begin to kink. Put both groups in one hand, then release them, allowing them to twist around each other counterclockwise. Smooth out the twists so that they are uniform along the length of the cord. Knot the ends.
Twisted Cord Fig 1 and 2


Vertical Buttonhole

Work a ribbed band to 2 rows before the bottom of the buttonhole position, ending on a right side row. *With wrong side facing, work number of sts to the buttonhole opening. Join new yarn (shown shaded here in cream), work to end of row, turn. Work to the buttonhole opening, cross the 2 yarn ends (as you would in Fair Isle or intarsia to prevent a hole), work to end of row with original working yarn. Work to the buttonhole opening, cross the 2 yarn ends, work to end of row with new yarn, turn. Work to the buttonhole opening, drop new yarn, pick up other yarn (without crossing yarn ends), work to end of row. Cont in rib working the appropriate number of rows for the buttons you've chosen. Work 2 more rows in rib, crossing yarns at buttonhole opening and ending with a right side row. Cut new yarn. With wrong side facing, work to end of row with main yarn and continue to 2 rows before the bottom of next buttonhole, ending on a right side row. Repeat from * for each buttonhole.

Download Working With Two Yarns.


W&T (Wrap and Turn)
See: Short Row


Weaving In Ends as You Knit

    

This is a nifty way to work in ends as you knit striped projects, or when you join a new ball of yarn.

Insert the needle tip into the next stitch on the left-hand needle, place the old color over the right needle (Figure 1; old color is dark), knit the stitch with the new color as usual, then lower the old color (Figure 2) and knit the following stitch as usual. Continue in this manner, repeating steps 1 and 2 and then knitting one stitch normally, for about and inch and a half to two inches. Cut the old color, leaving an inch or so of tail. After blocking, you can trim the tails to a half-inch.

Note: This method works best on small-gauge yarns. It tends to elongate the stitches a bit in stockinette, so it's best used with fingering- through DK-weight yarn.


Whipstitch

With right side of work facing and working one stitch in from the edge, bring threaded needle out from back to front along edge of knitted piece.

Whipstitch fig 1


Woven Web

Make a foundation by working five straight stitches of equal length radiating out from the same point on the knitted background. Weave the needle over and under the straight stitches until they are half covered.
Woven WebWoven Web


Wrapping Stitches
See: Short Row.


Wraps Per Inch
If you substitute or spin a yarn for a project, you can compare the weight of the yarn to the project yarn by comparing wraps per inch. To do this, wrap your yarn around a ruler for on inch and count the number of wraps. If you have more wraps per inch, your yarn is too thin; fewer wraps per inch, your yarn is too thick.
Wraps Per Inch


Yarn Over Increase
Wrap the yarn around the needle from front to back.
Yarn Over Increase