Commonly Asked Questions about Knitting Stitches

Reference GuideWhen learning how to knit a person has tons of questions and few answers. Although some things are learned by doing, most questions can be answered in a way that would be beneficial. Of course, the types of questions are varied but some of those asked most often have to do with knitting stitches. This makes sense in that most people are eager to learn about the step of knitting actually responsible for creating incredible things.

Rather than simply go over the various types of stitches used in knitting, we felt it would help knitters of all skill levels to provide more of a Q and A on various related topics. As such, the following questions are among those asked most often, coupled with answers to allow a person to become a proficient knitter.

What is the most efficient method of undoing stitches?

Most knitters often wish there was simply an “undo” button that could be pressed but unfortunately, this is not the case. However, there is no reason to stress because undoing stitches is actually easier than imagined. For this there are two choices. First, each stitch could be undone individually and second, the needles could be pulled out to unravel the unwanted stitches.

If using Lionbrand Homespun yarn, what stitch is deemed best?

Although there are different opinions among knitters, most agree a simple stitch such as the stockinette or garter would suffice. The primary reason is that fancier stitches do not offer the same aesthetics as simpler stitches on textured yarn. When using Lionbrand Homespun yarn, the goal is to allow the beauty of the yarn outshine the stitches.

Is there an easy way to drop a stich?

For this, an individual would first need to determine where in the row the stitch is located. As an example, if the stitch is in the middle of a row, dropping it would be relatively easy. However, if on a row’s edge, a better solution would be in ripping back to the place where knitting would be restarted. Keep in mind that when a stitch is dropped, it can make the edge loopy. Therefore, trying to knit it together would result in a noticeable lump on the fabric’s edge. For the best results, we strongly recommend using crochet hook to pick up a dropped stitch.

What are knitting stitch markers?

In simple terms, markers are small plastic or metal items that after being slipped onto a knitting needle help mark a particular place within a row. Usually, they mark the end of a row in connection with circulation knitting since identifying where the circle starts and ends is not as easy as with other methods of knitting.

What does “Purl” mean in knitting?

Purl is one of the two most commonly used knitting stitches with the other being “knitting.” In both cases, the action involves interlocking loops of yarn. With knitting, the needles could be inserted through the bottom of the loop, pulling a new loop downward, and then going up through the first loop whereas for purl, the needles would be inserted at the top of the loop, a new loop pulled upwards and then back through the first stitch made.

What is the process of casting on?

As a beginner, one of the first things a person would learn is how to cast on, which is simply a method of getting stitches onto the needle in preparation for knitting. A great option starts by making a slip knot, which is made by holding the tail of the ball, allowing it to hang down in front of the person’s hand. Yarn is then wrapped between the first two fingers, keeping it loose and going in a clockwise direction.

Yarn attached to the ball is slipped back under the loop behind the fingers and then allowed to slide off. Next, it would be pulled somewhat tight and slipped over the needle. Once done, the needle in the right hand would slide into the loop of the other needle going front to back. For a knitted cast on, yarn attached to the ball would be lopped over the needle point in the right hand in a counterclockwise direction.

What does the reference of “tension” mean in the world of knitting?

In the United States, the term “gauge” is used pertaining to the number of stitches per inches of knitting but in many other countries, the term used is “tension. However, this term can also be a reference to the amount of force placed on yarn while creating a knitted item.

Is it true that knitting is only for right-handed people?

Not only is this untrue but this misconception has discouraged many left-handed people from even trying to knit. In truth, it takes both hands to create knitted items. Therefore, just as a right-handed person would learn to work a left hand needle, a left-handed person would learn to handle a right hand needle. There is no reason that someone who is left-hand dominant cannot learn the English method of knitting but some find the Continental method to be somewhat easier.

What is the trick to choosing the best knitting needles?

Today, knitting needles come in a variety of materials, types, sizes, and styles. Having such a broad range of options is exciting but it can also create confusion when trying to buy the right needles, especially for a beginner. Examples include different materials such as glass, plastic, metal, woods, bamboo, and others, as well as both circular and straight needle designs.

To buy the “best” needles, an individual should consider skill level and the type and complexity of the project. In addition, we recommend actually holding different types of knitting needles while shopping to get an idea of how they feel in the hand. The goal is to purchase needles that coordinate with skill and project but also needles that would be easy and comfortable to use.

If position on a pattern is lost is there a way to determine the type of stitch needed for the next row?

When using a pattern to knit, it is relatively common for a person to lose track of position. Not only is this frustrating but it could quickly lead to disaster. Finding location can be accomplished by looking at the last row knitted to determine if it consists of knit or purl stitches, which look different. The appearance of ridges and knots would indicate purl so the next row would be knit whereas a flat appearance would indicate knit, meaning the next row would be purl. The only exception would be for advanced patterns in which individual knitting stitches would need to be carefully examined.


  1. Darren says:

    I leanred to knit when I had my car accident and was recovering. My wife taught me and we didn’t have much money, so we couldnt buy markers. We used the colored bread bag clips. There a little clumsy, but we managed.

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