Knitting Techniques Library

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.

Base stitches

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.

swatch with just knit stitches, also called stockinette stitch

The knit stitch

The easiest and most basic way to form a stitch in knitting.

Read the tutorial

close-up of a swatch in reverse stockinette stitch

The purl stitch

The exact mirror image of the standard knit stitch. A bit harder.

Read the tutorial

a knitted swatch with twisted kit stitches all over

Knit through back loop (KTBL)

A simple twisted stitch.

Read the tutorial

swatch with twisted purl sittches all over in blue yarn

Purl through the back loop (Ptbl)

Creates twisted purl stitches for a denser fabric.

Read the tutorial

a swatch with two decorative holes created by knit one below stitches

Knit one below (k1b)

A super-smart technique used to create stunning knitting patterns or to increase stitches.

Read the tutorial

a swatch with a decorative hole created by purl one below stitches

Purl one below (p1b)

An interesting technique used for the 2-colored fisherman’s rib stitch and some rare lace patterns.

Read the tutorial

Knitting Increases

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.

a close up with a swatch increased with yarn overs

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.

Read the tutorial

a knitted swath increased with m1 - make one

Make one (M1)

The easiest standard increase in knitting. Often overlooked because it creates a very decorative eyelet but is super easy to knit.

Read the tutorial

a knitted swatch increased with m1r and m1l on both sides

Make 1 Left and Make 1 Right (M1L & M1R)

The probably most popular knitting increase. A bit more difficult to knit but quite inconspicuous.

Read the tutorial

close-up of a swatch increased with the backward loop increase

Backward Loop Increase (M1BL)

A very versatile increase that also works on the edges.

Read the tutorial

close up of a kfb stitch - knit front and back - a left leaning increase

Knit front and back (KFB)

An easy-to-knit left-leaning increase that leaves behind a little bar.

Read the tutorial

skl - slip knit lift right leaning bar increase close-up

Slip, knit, lift (SKL)

The right-leaning counterpart to KFB. Rather rare but should be much more popular.

Read the tutorial

a swatch increased with purl front and back

Purl front and back (PFB)

An easy bar increase for the purl side.

Read the tutorial

a swatched increased with knit left loop on the right side

Knit left loop – KLL

The most popular lifted increase – super invisible in stockinette stitch.

Read the tutorial

a swatch increased with knit right loop - krl

Knit right loop (KRL)

The left-leaning counterpart to KLL and almost as neat.

Read the tutorial

a swatch in green yarn increased with make one purl left (m1pL) on the right side

Make one purl left (m1pl)

A simple purl increase for the wrong side.

Read the tutorial

a swatched increased with make one purl right (m1pR) on the left side

Make one purl right (m1pr)

A right-leaning purl increase for the wrong side.

Read the tutorial

a swatch increased with a reverse yarn over on the left side

Reverse yarn over

A simple but uncommon right-leaning increase that creates a much smaller eyelet.

Read the tutorial

a swatch increased with purl left loop

Purl left loop (PPL)

Left-leaning; also known as LLPI – left lifted purl increase.

Read the tutorial

a swatch increased with purl right loop - a lifted increase

Purl Right loop (PRL)

Left-leaning; also known as RLPI – right lifted purl increase.

Read the tutorial

a swatch increased with make two (m2) in the center

Make Two (M2)

The most basic double increase. Tutorial comes with many variations.

Read the tutorial

a swatch increased in the middle with the central double increase

Centered Double Increase (CDI)

A centered increase with a couple of interesting variations.

Read the tutorial

a swatch with various stacked increases

Stacked Increases

A fun advanced technique to increase by an infinite number mid-row. Can also be used for interesting colorwork.

Read the tutorial

a swatch with various brioche increases

Brioche increases

An advanced increase for brioche patterns. Left- and right-slanting techniques.

Read the tutorial

Knitting Decreases

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.

a swatch in green yarn decrease with k2tog - knit two together

Knit two together (K2tog)

The easiest and probably neatest way to create a right-leaning decrease in knitting.

Read the tutorial

a piece of knitting decrease with k2tog tbl - knit two together through back loop - on the right side

Knit two together through back loop(K2tog tbl)

A simple left-leaning decrease that leaves behind a twisted stitch.

Read the tutorial

a knitted piece decreased with ssk - slip slip knit on the right side

Slip, Slip, Knit (SSK)

The most popular left-leaning decrease. Comparatively easy to knit and rather neat. Different versions and tricks available.

Read the tutorial

knitting three together (k3tog) on the left side of a project

Knit three together (K3tog)

The most common double decrease.

Read the tutorial

a swatch in teal yarn decreased with p2tog on the wrong side

Purl two together(p2tog)

A simple left-leaning purl decrease.

Read the tutorial

slip slip purl (ssp) swatch in blue cotton yarn

Slip, Slip, Purl (SSP)

A lovely right-leaning purl decrease. Very neat on the knit side.

Read the tutorial

a center double decrease creating a neat ridge in the middle of a swatch

Centered Double Decrease (CDD)

An ingenious method that creates a super neat central ridge.

Read the tutorial

A small swatch with knit three together left on the right side

Knit three together left (k3tog left)

A complicated and rare left-leaning double decrease.

Read the tutorial

purling two together through back loop (p2tog tbl) - using blue cotton yarn

Purl two together tbl (p2tog tbl)

A twisted right-leaning double purl decrease.

Read the tutorial

a swatch in stockinette stitch decreased with purl three together on the wrong side

Purl three together (p3tog)

A rather neat left-leaning purl double decrease.

Read the tutorial 

centered double decrease purl (CCDP) in the middle of a swatch in stockinette stitch

Centered double decrease purl (CCDP)

A somewhat complicated centered purl double decrease.

Read the tutorial

a knitted project decreased with p3tog tbl - purl three together through back loop

Purl three together through back loop(p3tog tbl)

A rare right-leaning double decrease.

Read the tutorial 

slip knit pass creating a very neat left-leaning decrease line

Slip, knit, pass (SKP)

A neater left-leaning decrease that comes with a simple and even neater variation where you yank one loop.

Read the tutorial 

a super neat left-leaning decrease line created by k2tog left

Knit two together left (k2tog left)

A super neat left-leaning decrease that creates a very nice slanting line.

Read the tutorial

a swatch decreased with sspk - slip, slip purlwise, knit

Slip, slip purl, knit (SSPK)

A popular left-leaning decrease some say is neater than SSK.

Read the tutorial 

a swatch with the rare pseudo decreased k1tog right loop and left-loop

K1tog RL & LL

A very unique pseudo-decrease to shape fabric, close eyelets, and avoid jogs when knitting stripes.

Read the tutorial

a rare right-leaning twisted decrease

Knit two together twisted

The corresponding right-leaning decrease for k2tog tbl.

Read the tutorial

a traveling twisted decrease -right slanting

Traveling twisted decrease to the right

A very rare right-leaning decrease for twisted stitches.

Read the tutorial

Close-up of a centered single decrease

Centered single decrease (CSD)

A rare way to decrease three stitches into two without a slant.

Read the tutorial

a small swatch with various brioche decreases in green yarn

Brioche decrease

Two ways to create a left- and right-slanting decrease for brioche patterns to create stunning designs.

Read the tutorial

a swatch with brioche double decrease in two colors

Brioche centered double decrease

A complicated double decrease worked across 5 stitches.

Read the tutorial

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 single cast-on close-up

Single cast-on

The easiest cast-on. A bit more difficult to knit across.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the longtail cast-on technique

Longtail cast-on

A basic and very versatile cast-on. Moderately stretchy.

Read the tutorial

a swatch started with the knitted cast-on

Knitted cast-on

A very versatile cast-on technique. Also works in the middle of a project.

Read the tutorial

the edge created by the longtail purl cast-on

Longtail purl cast-on

A simple method to create an edge for purl stitches.

Read the tutorial

a knitted swatch with a crochet cast on close up

Crochet cast-on

Creates a moderately stretchy and very decorative edge.

Read the tutorial

someone holding up a two needle cast on with their fingers

Two-needle cast-on

A super stretchy variation of the longtail cast-on.

Read the tutorial

close up of a german twisted cast on on the knitting needles

German twisted cast on

Create a super stretchy edge perfect for sock cuffs and hats. 

Read the tutorial

someone showing the German twisted cast-on purlwise

German twisted purl cast on

A lovely technique if you want to cast-on in pattern and need a stretchy edge.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the provisional cast on with a crochet hook right below it

Provisional cast-on (with crochet hook)

A super useful technique whenever you have to knit in both directions.

Read the tutorial

a wonderful invisible edge created by the italian cast-on for a 1x1 rib swatch

Italian cast-on

A simple 2-directional technique. Serves as a base for other methods.

Read the tutorial

close-up of a knitted swatch started with the turkish cast-on

Turkish cast-on

A super simple way to start socks toe-up. Also works as a provisional cast-on.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the invisible transition created by judys magic cast on shown on toe-up socks

Magic cast-on

Same as the Turkish cast-on but creates the first row in the same breath.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the tubular cast-on knitting technique

Tubular cast-on

A popular & stretchy variation of the Italian cast-on. Perfect for the 1×1 rib.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the cable cast-on edge

Cable cast-on

Creates a sturdy and decorative edge with many applications.

Read the tutorial

the cable cast-on purlwise technique shown on a swatch

Cable cast-on purl 

Creates a sturdy and almost invisible edge for the purlside.

Read the tutorial

a lovely edge created by the picot cast-on technique

Picot cast on

A frilly, highly ornamental edge that is quite easy to knit.

Read the tutorial

edge of an i-cord cast-on

I-cord cast on

Creates a very ornamental well-rounded edge. Rather tight.

Read the tutorial

Bind-off techniques

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.

a swatch with the standard bind-off

The standard bind-off

Versatile and moderately stretchy. Can’t do any wrong with this technique.

Read the tutorial

the edge the crochet bind-off technique creates

Crochet bind-off

Same edge but different tools. Super easy method for beginners.

Read the tutorial

the seam created by the 3-needle bind off technique

3-needle bind-off

An ingenious way to join two pieces without seaming.

Read the tutorial

a stretchy bind off for a 2x2 rib stitch creating a very flared edge

Stretchy bind-off for 2×2 rib

A surprisingly stretchy bind-off method for double ribbing.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the super stretchy yarn over bind off technique

Yarn over bind-off

A simple variation of the standard bind-off (only 2 more steps) for a much stretchier edge.

Read the tutorial

a swatch with jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off in 1x1 rib stitch

Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind-off

A versatile technique when you need more give.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the icord bind off

I-cord bind-off

Creates a lovely well-rounded edge. Not very stretchy.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the edge the icelandic bind off creates

Icelandic bind-off

Quite easy to knit, quite stretchy, and well rounded.

Read the tutorial

close-up of the spiked edge the picot bind of creates in knitting

Picot bind-off

A highly ornamental method that creates little spikes.

Read the tutorial

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.

two pieces joined with the kitchener stitch technique

Kitchener Stitch

An utterly invisible grafting technique for stockinette stitch.

Read the tutorial

joining knitting with the kitchener stitch on the purl side

Kitchener Stitch purlwise

An invisible way to graft purl stitches.

Read the tutorial

close-up of a basic garter stitch graft

Garter stitch graft

A simple way to join two pieces in garter stitch.

Read the tutorial

someone joining two edges with the mattress stitch technique

Mattress stitch

An invisible way to join stockinette stitch edge to edge.

Read the tutorial

two swatches joined with the mattress stitch for garter stitch

Mattress stitch for garter stitch

Super neat, creates no ridge.

Read the tutorial

two ribbed swatches grafted together with red cotton yarn

2×2 rib graft

A beautiful way to join ribbing without a visible transition.

Read the tutorial

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 finished edge after weaving in the place where the new yarn was joined is invisible

The basic join

A simple technique for beginners using a provisional knot.

Read the tutorial

two balls joined with the spit splice technique

Spit Splice

A fast and easy method for feltable fibers.

Read the tutorial

weave in as you go from the backside

Weave in as you go

An efficient and versatile method for fuzzier yarns.

Read the tutorial

close-up of a russian join in knitting

Russian Join

An ingenious method using a tapestry needle.

Read the tutorial

twist and weave - a neat technique to change colors

Twist and weave

Super versatile. Creates a secure first stitch.

Read the tutorial

weave and twist a secure way to start with a new color

Weave and twist

Super versatile for colorwork like intarsia.

Read the tutorial

close-up of a finished magic knot in knitting

Magic knot

A fast method for super fuzzy yarn and other feltable fibers.

Read the tutorial

changing yarn with the overlap join

Overlap join

Easy method for looser gauges. Requires no weaving in later on.

Read the tutorial

color change using the back join technique

Back join

And advanced techniques for colorwork without weaving in.

Read the tutorial

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:

A swatch knitted using the fair isle technique in multiple colors close-up

Fair Isle

Stranded colorwork can be used to create geometric designs.

Read the tutorial

Intarsia knitting swatch with the letter N

Intarsia

A stunning method to transfer pictures into knitting.

Read the tutorial

a swatch knitted with the double knitting technique with various tools in the background

Double knitting

A great way to create fully reversible colorwork in 2 colors.

Read the tutorial

a close-up shot of the edge the invisible bind-off for double knitting creates

Invisible bind-off for double knitting

An easy way to create an invisible bind-off edge for your double knitting project.

Read the tutorial

the finished cast on for double knitting two at a time on the needles

4 ways to cast on for double knitting

From easy to invisible, four ways to cast on for double knitting.

Read the tutorial

a swatch in double knittin ribbing in white and blue on a wooden board

How to double knit ribbings

A technique for advanced knitters with so many beautiful possibilities.

Read the tutorial

Entrelac

An ingenious method to create a basket-weave pattern.

Read the tutorial

a swatch knitted with intarsia in the round on a tabel

Intarsia in the round

A challenging technique for multicolored tubular projects.

Read the tutorial

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.

knitting backwards the continental way - example with a swatch in stockinette stitch

Backwards knitting

A technique to avoid purling or turning your work.

Read the tutorial

someone purling backwards the continental way

Backwards purling

A challenging technique to create a knit stitch from the wrong side.

Read the tutorial