The following library of knitting techniques, styles, and stitches lists all common and uncommon ways to create a stitch in knitting. It’s an almost complete list of all cast-on techniques, bind-offs, increases, decreases, or the more advanced forms of colorwork. Each tutorial includes step-by-step instructions, high-resolution pictures, and typically a slow-motion video. For your convenience, kindly check out my glossary with all common knitting terms and abbreviations if you are unsure what a certain acronym means. You can also find an equally comprehensive library of knitting stitch patterns here on my blog.
At its core, knitted fabric consists of little loops. And there are four distinct ways to form such a little loop, aka a stitch, using a single thread and needles. These form the backbone of all other techniques. For the basics, also check out this tutorial on how to knit for beginners. Advanced knitters will know that there are other positions where you can put your needle through – for stunning effects.
The knit stitch
The easiest and most basic way to form a stitch in knitting.
The purl stitch
The exact mirror image of the standard knit stitch. A bit harder.
Knit through back loop (KTBL)
A simple twisted stitch.
Purl through the back loop (Ptbl)
Creates twisted purl stitches for a denser fabric.
Knit one below (k1b)
A super-smart technique used to create stunning knitting patterns or to increase stitches.
Purl one below (p1b)
An interesting technique used for the 2-colored fisherman’s rib stitch and some rare lace patterns.
A list of all the ways to increase knitting stitches – left-slanting and right-slanting variations. There is more than just M1L & M1R. Find the perfect increase for every occasion. Here is a post with a side-by-side compression of all knitting increases you might want to check out as well.
Yarn over (yo)
The easiest increase of them all. By throwing the yarn over the needle, you can increase your row by one stitch. This will create an eyelet.
Make one (M1)
The easiest standard increase in knitting. Often overlooked because it creates a very decorative eyelet but is super easy to knit.
Make 1 Left and Make 1 Right (M1L & M1R)
The probably most popular knitting increase. A bit more difficult to knit but quite inconspicuous.
Backward Loop Increase (M1BL)
A very versatile increase that also works on the edges.
Knit front and back (KFB)
An easy-to-knit left-leaning increase that leaves behind a little bar.
Slip, knit, lift (SKL)
The right-leaning counterpart to KFB. Rather rare but should be much more popular.
Purl front and back (PFB)
An easy bar increase for the purl side.
Knit left loop – KLL
The most popular lifted increase – super invisible in stockinette stitch.
Knit right loop (KRL)
The left-leaning counterpart to KLL and almost as neat.
Make one purl left (m1pl)
A simple purl increase for the wrong side.
Make one purl right (m1pr)
A right-leaning purl increase for the wrong side.
Reverse yarn over
A simple but uncommon right-leaning increase that creates a much smaller eyelet.
Purl left loop (PPL)
Left-leaning; also known as LLPI – left lifted purl increase.
Purl Right loop (PRL)
Left-leaning; also known as RLPI – right lifted purl increase.
Make Two (M2)
The most basic double increase. Tutorial comes with many variations.
Centered Double Increase (CDI)
A centered increase with a couple of interesting variations.
A fun advanced technique to increase by an infinite number mid-row. Can also be used for interesting colorwork.
An advanced increase for brioche patterns. Left- and right-slanting techniques.
A list of all the ways to decrease knitting stitches – right- and left-slanting variations you should be aware of. Finding the neatest decrease for your project can be hard and this list will help you to find your perfect match. Always remember, however, that there are also purl decreases for the wrong side of your project. These can sometimes look neater when seen from the right side.
Knit two together (K2tog)
The easiest and probably neatest way to create a right-leaning decrease in knitting.
Knit two together through back loop(K2tog tbl)
A simple left-leaning decrease that leaves behind a twisted stitch.
Slip, Slip, Knit (SSK)
The most popular left-leaning decrease. Comparatively easy to knit and rather neat. Different versions and tricks available.
Knit three together (K3tog)
The most common double decrease.
Purl two together(p2tog)
A simple left-leaning purl decrease.
Slip, Slip, Purl (SSP)
A lovely right-leaning purl decrease. Very neat on the knit side.
Centered Double Decrease (CDD)
An ingenious method that creates a super neat central ridge.
Knit three together left (k3tog left)
A complicated and rare left-leaning double decrease.
Purl two together tbl (p2tog tbl)
A twisted right-leaning double purl decrease.
Purl three together (p3tog)
A rather neat left-leaning purl double decrease.
Centered double decrease purl (CCDP)
A somewhat complicated centered purl double decrease.
Purl three together through back loop(p3tog tbl)
A rare right-leaning double decrease.
Slip, knit, pass (SKP)
A neater left-leaning decrease that comes with a simple and even neater variation where you yank one loop.
Knit two together left (k2tog left)
A super neat left-leaning decrease that creates a very nice slanting line.
Slip, slip purl, knit (SSPK)
A popular left-leaning decrease some say is neater than SSK.
K1tog RL & LL
A very unique pseudo-decrease to shape fabric, close eyelets, and avoid jogs when knitting stripes.
Knit two together twisted
The corresponding right-leaning decrease for k2tog tbl.
Traveling twisted decrease to the right
A very rare right-leaning decrease for twisted stitches.
Centered single decrease (CSD)
A rare way to decrease three stitches into two without a slant.
Two ways to create a left- and right-slanting decrease for brioche patterns to create stunning designs.
Brioche centered double decrease
A complicated double decrease worked across 5 stitches.
Cast on techniques
Before you start any project, you have to cast on stitches. Here are some simple and more advanced techniques you should be aware of to achieve neater edges – some are more stretchy, others quite ornamental.
The easiest cast-on. A bit more difficult to knit across.
A basic and very versatile cast-on. Moderately stretchy.
A very versatile cast-on technique. Also works in the middle of a project.
Longtail purl cast-on
A simple method to create an edge for purl stitches.
Creates a moderately stretchy and very decorative edge.
A super stretchy variation of the longtail cast-on.
German twisted cast on
Create a super stretchy edge perfect for sock cuffs and hats.
German twisted purl cast on
A lovely technique if you want to cast-on in pattern and need a stretchy edge.
Provisional cast-on (with crochet hook)
A super useful technique whenever you have to knit in both directions.
A simple 2-directional technique. Serves as a base for other methods.
A super simple way to start socks toe-up. Also works as a provisional cast-on.
Same as the Turkish cast-on but creates the first row in the same breath.
A popular & stretchy variation of the Italian cast-on. Perfect for the 1×1 rib.
Creates a sturdy and decorative edge with many applications.
Cable cast-on purl
Creates a sturdy and almost invisible edge for the purlside.
Picot cast on
A frilly, highly ornamental edge that is quite easy to knit.
I-cord cast on
Creates a very ornamental well-rounded edge. Rather tight.
Stretchy or tight? There are many ways to end your knitted project – not just the simple way you learned as a beginner. Some are very ornamental, while others are super stretchy for projects where you need that extra bit of give.
The standard bind-off
Versatile and moderately stretchy. Can’t do any wrong with this technique.
Same edge but different tools. Super easy method for beginners.
An ingenious way to join two pieces without seaming.
Stretchy bind-off for 2×2 rib
A surprisingly stretchy bind-off method for double ribbing.
Yarn over bind-off
A simple variation of the standard bind-off (only 2 more steps) for a much stretchier edge.
Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off
A versatile technique when you need more give.
Creates a lovely well-rounded edge. Not very stretchy.
Quite easy to knit, quite stretchy, and well rounded.
A highly ornamental method that creates little spikes.
Creates a moderately stretchy and quite neat edge.
A timeless and super stretchy classic using a tapestry needle.
Bind-off in pattern
A simple trick to create a seamless edge when working ribbings, etc.
The stretchiest bind-off I know. Uses a tapestry needle.
A medium stretchy twisted edge without any flare.
Grafting & Seaming
Whenever you need to join two knitted pieces together or you want to close a hole, you are left with two choices: You can either seam them together or graft stitches for an utterly seamless transition. Here is a selection of the most popular methods to do that.
An utterly invisible grafting technique for stockinette stitch.
Kitchener Stitch purlwise
An invisible way to graft purl stitches.
Garter stitch graft
A simple way to join two pieces in garter stitch.
An invisible way to join stockinette stitch edge to edge.
Mattress stitch for garter stitch
Super neat, creates no ridge.
2×2 rib graft
A beautiful way to join ribbing without a visible transition.
Joining & changing yarn
A ball of yarn doesn’t run forever. Knitters frequently need to join in a new ball – especially for colorwork projects. Here are a selection of techniques you may use – depending on your project and the fiber you are using and no matter if you need to join a new color or just add another ball.
The basic join
A simple technique for beginners using a provisional knot.
A fast and easy method for feltable fibers.
Weave in as you go
An efficient and versatile method for fuzzier yarns.
An ingenious method using a tapestry needle.
Twist and weave
Super versatile. Creates a secure first stitch.
Weave and twist
Super versatile for colorwork like intarsia.
A fast method for super fuzzy yarn and other feltable fibers.
Easy method for looser gauges. Requires no weaving in later on.
And advanced techniques for colorwork without weaving in.
Colorwork knitting techniques
A list of special knitting techniques used for colorwork such as intarsia, Fair Isle, or double knitting. Often, special methods are needed to cast on or to increase and this is meant as an overview:
Stranded colorwork can be used to create geometric designs.
A stunning method to transfer pictures into knitting.
A great way to create fully reversible colorwork in 2 colors.
Invisible bind-off for double knitting
An easy way to create an invisible bind-off edge for your double knitting project.
4 ways to cast on for double knitting
From easy to invisible, four ways to cast on for double knitting.
How to double knit ribbings
A technique for advanced knitters with so many beautiful possibilities.
An ingenious method to create a basket-weave pattern.
Intarsia in the round
A challenging technique for multicolored tubular projects.
Advanced knitting techniques
A list of knitting methods and stitches for those who would like to challenge themselves and explore new ways to create stitches.
A technique to avoid purling or turning your work.
A challenging technique to create a knit stitch from the wrong side.