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How to Knit the Knit Stitch

As if its name weren't a dead giveaway, the knit stitch is the most basic of knitting stitches, and a must-know for all aspiring knitters.


  • Step 1: Position work Hold the needle with all the cast-on stitches in your left hand, and the empty needle in your right. Position your work so the cast on-stitches are at the bottom of the needle, and the yarn trails away to your right.
  • Step 2: Slip needle through loop Slip the point of the empty needle through the topmost loop on your left needle. The tops of the needles will now be forming an "X".
  • TIP: Keep your stitches toward the top of the needles, but don't let them slip onto the point.
  • Step 3: Wrap yarn Hold the crossed needles in your left hand and, with your right hand, wrap the yarn under and around the bottom needle in a counterclockwise direction. It should now be positioned between the two needles and trailing to the right side again.
  • TIP: Be careful not to wrap the yarn around the left needle.
  • Step 4: Catch yarn Taking the right-hand needle back in your right hand, push its tip down with your left index finger and carefully bring it forward, catching the yarn sitting between the two needles as you do so. The right needle should now be on the top of the X with the yarn looped around it.
  • Step 5: Slip off loop Move the left needle down, so that the loop now at the top of it slips off--but don't let the new loop on your right needle fall off while you're doing this. You have just knitted a knit stitch.
  • TIP: Keep your needles close together as you work--If you pull them apart, you'll end up with a long messy string between the two needles.
  • Step 6: Complete first row Hold both needles with the fingers of your left hand again, repeating the steps to knit as many stitches as you cast on. When all your stitches have moved from the needle in your left hand to the needle in your right hand, you've completed your first row.
  • Step 7: Continue knitting Swap the needles so the one with the stitches is back in your left hand and the empty one is back in your right hand. Continue knitting the stitches from one needle to the other as your pattern requires.
  • FACT: Knitting became a full-time profession in 14th century Europe--and was an occupation dominated by men.

You Will Need

  • Your knitting project
  • with the appropriate number of "cast on" stitches

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