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12 Simple Knitting Stitches For Beginners

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In this post, you will see 12 simple knitting stitches for beginners, that include garter stitch, stockinette stitch, and ribbing.

Nearly all of the stitches in this collection will be used for any beginner patterns as they are all made up of knit and purl stitches.

A great way to practice your knitting lessons is to swatch up these easy stitch patterns to get started.

You can see all of the stitch patterns below or grab the inexpensive Ebook with all 12 stitch patterns here.

broken rib knit stitch on the needle lying on wood

Easy Knitting Stitches

From a newbie knitter to the more advanced, having the knowledge of how to knit these 12 stitch patterns is important.

Mastering these stitches will allow you to explore various knitting patterns and give you the ability to add texture to your projects.

From scarves, hats, and blankets many of these stitches are used time and time again.

white cotton yarns next to knitting stitches

Learning To Knit

Learning how to knit can sometimes seem a little overwhelming and often people give up in frustration.

But if you practice with small swatches until you are ready to tackle your first pattern, then you will find the process much easier.

Knowing these easy knitting stitches will after some practice have you knitting like a pro in a few weeks!

different coloured cotton yarns

How To Start Knitting

If you are new to knitting and are still learning how to knit, you would benefit from the following posts and video tutorials;

Simple knitting stitches for beginners

What Is Easy To Knit For Beginners?

Many beginner knitters like to start off with fairly easy patterns like garter stitch scarves or stockinette stitch blankets.

You can take a look at these free knitting patterns for beginners and choose your first project!

knitting stitches in white cotton on a knitting needle

What Are The Different Knitting Stitches?

Here are 12 simple knitting stitches that you will need to know.

From garter stitch, purl, and stockinette stitch  – which are commonly used in most patterns to variations of other knit and purl stitch patterns.

You can also try out the moss stitch, ribbing, and basketweave stitch.

cotton patchwork baby blanket knit in cotton

Get the baby blanket pattern here.

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What Is Symmetry?

  • Each row will involve the set of stitches (the multiple) but the stitches may be worked a little differently in order to create the pattern.
  • This just means that extra stitches are needed to keep everything balanced (symmetrical) but the extra stitches are not part of the actual stitch pattern.
  • Most times the extra stitches are done at the beginning and/or the end of the row and lots of times they help form the selvedge (the edge).
  • For example, the moss stitch pattern requires you – For symmetry, work on a multiple of 2 + 1 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.
  • 1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *K1, P1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, K1, then K1 (edge).
  • So you could cast on 15 sts – K1 edge, work K1, P1 for 12 sts, then K1, then k1 for the edge.
  • Or 27 sts – K1 edge, work K1, P1 for 24 sts, then K1, then k1 for the edge.
woman with knitting needles casting on knitting stitches

Abbreviations

  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • Rep – repeat
  • St – Stitch
  • Sts – Stitches

Please note…

Where it says to work each stitch in the manner it presents – this means to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.

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Resources and Tutorials That May Help You

Supplies

Please note – that you can practice these stitch patterns with any yarn weight and needle size.

Yarn types including acrylic and wool

1. Garter Stitch

This pattern can be worked on any number of stitches.

On two needles: Knit or purl all stitches.

The wrong side of the work looks the same as the right side.

Note – Take care when counting the rows.

On either side, you need to count the rows that seem to be ‘inside’ as well as the alternate rows that seem to stand out.

View the free garter stitch dishcloth pattern here.

Watch a video tutorial here.

garter stitch example in white cotton on a knitting needle

2. Stocking Stitch

This pattern can be worked on any number of stitches.

On two needles: 1st row (right side of work): Knit all stitches.

2nd row: Purl all stitches.

These last two rows form the pattern.

On four needles or in the round – Knit all stitches.

View the free stocking stitch dishcloth pattern here.

Watch a video tutorial here.

Stocking stitch swatch example

3. Reverse Stocking Stitch (Purl)

This pattern can be worked on any number of stitches.

On two needles: 1st row (right side of work): Purl all stitches.

2nd row: Knit all stitches.

These last 2 rows form the pattern.

On four needles or in the round – Purl all stitches, or simply use the wrong side of the stocking stitch fabric.

Watch a video tutorial here.

Reverse stocking stitch swatch example

4. Moss Stitch

For symmetry, work on a multiple of 2 + 1 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *K1, P1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, K1, then K1 (edge).

2nd row: As for the 1st row.

These last 2 rows form the pattern.

Alternate the sts on each row; that is knit the purl sts as they appear, and purl the knit sts.

How to knit on an even or odd number of stitches…

If you are working on an even or an odd number of stitches you can *knit one stitch, purl one stitch – *Repeating to the end of the row.

On the second row, you will create a *knit stitch on top of a purl stitch, and a purl stitch on top of a knit stitch – *Repeating until the end of the row.

This will create the small bumps you see in the stitch pattern.

View the free moss stitch dishcloth pattern here.

Watch a video tutorial here.

Moss stitch knitted swatch example

5. Double Moss Stitch

For symmetry, work on a multiple of 2 + 1 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *K1, P1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, K1, then K1 (edge).

2nd and 4th rows: Work each st in the manner that it presents.

3rd row: K1 (edge), *P1, K1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, P1, then K1 (edge).

These last 4 rows form the pattern.

Alternate the sts every 2 rows.

How to knit on an even or odd number of stitches…

If you are working on an even or an odd number of stitches you can *knit one stitch, purl one stitch – *Repeating to the end of the row.

The second row – Repeat that first row again.

Then on the third row – you will create a *knit stitch on top of a purl stitch, and a purl stitch on top of a knit stitch – *Repeating until the end of the row.

Fourth row – Repeat row 3 again.

Make a dishcloth to practice this stitch pattern here – Irish moss stitch dishcloth knitting pattern.

You can also see the Irish moss stitch hat pattern here.

Double moss stitch knitted swatch example

6. 1/1 Rib

This stitch pattern is worked on an even number of stitches.

For symmetry, work on a multiple of 2 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *K1, P1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, K1, then K1 (edge).

2nd and following rows: Work each stitch in the manner it presents.

1 x 1 rib stitch knitted swatch example

7. 2/2 Rib

This stitch pattern is worked on an even number of stitches.

For symmetry, work on a multiple of 4 sts, you can add 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *K2, P2*; repeat from * to * to the last 3 sts, K2, then K1 (edge).

2nd and following rows: Work each stitch in the manner it presents.

Watch a video tutorial here.

2 x 2 rib stitch knitted swatch example

8. 2/2 Garter Stitch Rib

This stitch pattern is worked on an even number of stitches (in multiples of 6).

For symmetry, work on a multiple of 4 + 2 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work): Knit all sts.

2nd row: K1 (edge), P2, *K2, P2*; repeat from * to * to last st, K1 (edge).

These last 2 rows form the pattern.

Garter stitch rib knitted swatch example

9. Broken Rib

This stitch pattern is worked on an even number of stitches.

For symmetry, work on a multiple of 2 + 1 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work): Knit all sts.

2nd row: *K1, P1*; repeat from * to * to last st.

These last 2 rows form the pattern.

Broken rib stitch knitted swatch example

10. Little Granite Stitch

This stitch pattern is worked on an even number of stitches.

For symmetry, work on a multiple of 4 + 3 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *P3, K1*; repeat from * to * to last 4 sts, P3, then K1 (edge).

2nd and 4th rows: Work each st in the manner it presents.

3rd row: K1 (edge), *P1, K1, P2*; repeat from * to * to last 4 sts, P1, K1, P1, then K1 (edge).

These last 4 rows form the pattern.

Little granite stitch knitted swatch example

11. Basket Weave Stitch

This stitch pattern can be worked on an even number of stitches, working in multiples of 6, then adding 1 edge st at each end.

For symmetry, cast multiples of 6 + 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work) and 7th rows: Knit all sts

2nd and 8th rows: Purl all sts.

3rd and 5th rows: K1 (edge), *K2, P4* rep from * to * to last 3 sts, K2, then K1 (edge).

4th, 6th, 10th, and 12th rows: Work each st in the manner it presents.

9th and 11th rows: K1 (edge), *P3, K2, P1*; rep from * to * to last 3 sts, P2, then K1 (edge).

These last 12 rows form the pattern.

Basket weave stitch knitted swatch example

12. Andalusian Stitch

For symmetry, cast on a multiple of 2 + 1 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.

1st row (right side of work) and 3rd rows: Knit all sts.

2nd row: Purl all sts.

4th row: K1 (edge), P1, *K1, P1*; rep from * to * to last st, K1 (edge).

These last 4 rows form the pattern.

Andalusian stitch knitted swatch example

Grab your ebook here.

I hope this has helped you to learn the basic knitting stitches.

Let me know which stitch you are going to swatch in the comments below!

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14 Comments

    1. Hello Jeanette,
      You should definitely start again – it’s such a wonderful way to relax and learn new skills.
      I hope these stitch patterns can help you to pick up the needles again!
      Louise 🙂

    1. Hello Beth, when you see ‘work each stitch in the manner it presents’ – this means that it’s telling you to knit the knits and purl the purls.
      So when you work that row, you knit all of the knit stitches you see and purl the purl stitches.
      I hope that helps,
      Louise 🙂

      1. Hi Beth, thank you for this question. I don’t understand either. And thanks for starting to clarify it, Louise. I’m not sure what you mean by “knit all of the knit stitches you see and purl the purl stitches”…? What is. the pattern of row 2 and row 3? Please let me know. Thanks in advance!

        1. Hello Michelle,
          To “knit all of the knit stitches you see and purl the purl stitches” – When you turn your work and are ready to start the next row look at the stitch you are about to work. If it is a V, then it is a knit stitch so you knit it. If it is a bump, then it is a purl and you purl it.
          I hope that helps!
          Louise

  1. Hi Louise,

    What does “For symmetry, work on a multiple of 2 + 1 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.” mean?

    Thank you!

    Molly

    1. Hello Molly,
      Each row will involve the set of stitches (the multiple) but the stitches may be worked a little differently in order to create the pattern.
      This just means that extra stitches are needed to keep everything balanced (symmetrical) but the extra stitches are not part of the actual stitch pattern.
      Most times the extra stitches are done at the beginning and/or the end of the row and lots of times they help form the selvedge (the edge).
      For example, the moss stitch pattern requires you – For symmetry, work on a multiple of 2 + 1 sts, + 1 edge st on each side.
      1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *K1, P1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, K1, then K1 (edge).
      So you could cast on 15 sts – K1 edge, work K1, P1 for 12 sts, then K1, then k1 for the edge.
      Or 27 sts – K1 edge, work K1, P1 for 24 sts, then K1, then k1 for the edge.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  2. I absolutely loved this article on knitting Louise. I love the art of knitting and it is wonderful that you share your precious wisdom with us. Thank you so much for the insightful article 🙂

  3. Hi Louise. Thank you for posting all of this. It’s been helpful to get me back into knitting. I’m very confused about the 2/2 Rib pattern. Could you clarify?

    “1st row (right side of work): K1 (edge), *K2, P2*; repeat from * to * to last 3 sts, K2, then K1 (edge).” Here’s how I’m reading this based on the instructions you provide on ‘How to Read Knitting Patterns’…

    row 1: K (edge) K, K, P, P (repeating pattern) K, K (edge) K

    I don’t think this is accurate, but I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. If you say to repeat from * to *, then I am reading it that you repeat KKPP. Please clarify.

    Additionally, would row 2 and so on be the same as row 1? Thank you!

    1. Hello Michelle,
      The 2/2 ribbing is normally like this-
      Knit on straight needles – flat:
      Cast On: Multiples of 4
      Row 1 (Right Side): * K2, P2 *
      Row 2 (Wrong Side): * K2, P2 *
      or
      Knit in the round on circular needles:
      Cast On: Multiples of 4
      Row 1 (Right Side): * K2, P2 *
      Row 2: * K2, P2 *
      However, you can add additional stitches for the edges if you want the edges to lie flat – for example, if you were making a scarf flat with straight needles.
      If you had a purl stitch instead of the second K stitch for one of the edge stitches this would curl slightly.
      The K – edge stitch at the end of the row helps the knitted edge to lay flat instead.
      I hope that helps!
      Louise

  4. Hello!
    This has been a very useful post for a beginner like me! Thank you!

    However, I am wondering if there maybe a typing mistake in the double miss stitch pattern. I believe the 3rd row should say : K1 (edge), *P1, K1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, “P1”, then K1 (edge).

    Currently it says 3rd row: K1 (edge), *P1, K1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, K1, then K1 (edge).

    Could you please correct me? I am seeing an unusual edge on one side of my scarf because of the knit stitches at the end of the 3rd row.

    Thank you!

    1. Hello Nupur,
      Yes, that was a typo – sorry about that – it should be P1.
      So for row 3, you should – K1 (edge), *P1, K1*; repeat from * to * to last 2 sts, P1, then K1 (edge).
      Thanks for letting me know,
      Louise