A step-by-step tutorial on knitting into the stitch below – including a slow-motion repeat
Does your pattern require you to knit one below (k1b) and you have no clue what are supposed to do? Then you came to the right place because in this tutorial I will show you everything you need to know about this special knitting stitch – including a video.
Knit one below, or k1b, is a stitch you will often find in lace patterns but also the fisherman’s rib stitch. Sometimes you will also find knit two/three/four below. While the numbers might be higher, the principal way to knit it remains the same.
Let’s dive right into it!
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- Insert your knitting needle into the loop/eyelet right below the first stitch on your left needle.
- Wrap the yarn around your needle counter-clockwise.
- Pull the yarn through towards the front.
- Drop the stitch off the left needle.
Sometimes, a pattern using knit one below will look a bit wonky before blocking. Typically you need to stretch the fabric out a bit so the double stitches can fully unravel and recede into the fabric.
Knit two/three/four below
You can apply the same principle and knit multiple rows below. Instead of going through the loop directly below the first stitch on the left needle, you pick a loop a couple of rows further down. As a result, all rows above will unravel. This will make shorten the fabric in that column while simultaneously adding slack to the stitches next to it.
Some patterns also require you to knit a couple of rows below WITHOUT dropping the stitch off the needle right away. Then this technique can be used as an increase to create interesting patterns in your fabric or beautiful eyelets.
- Knit 4 below (but into the column below the second stitch)
- Knit one
- K4b into the same loop
- K4b into the same loop one more time
- K4b one last time into the same loop
Make sure to stretch out those increases (especially those on the far left and right) so you don’t accidentally pucker the fabric!
How to undo knit one below
If you want to undo a knit one below, you can employ the same method you would to fix a dropped stitch. Simply let the stitch unravel and then pick it up with your crochet hook again.
If you are nimble enough, you can also do it with your knitting needle.
Step 1: Just knit one stitch backward by inserting your left needle into the k1b stitch from left to right and pull on the working yarn. The result will be a double-stitch on your left knitting needle.
Step 2: Pass the loop connected to the rows below over the other loop sitting a bit in the back.
So, it’s quite simple and easy to undo and fix it!
How to purl one below
Using the same general method, you can also purl one below. It is almost as simple:
Step 1: Bring the yarn to the front and enter the loop below the next purl stitch from behind.
Step 2: Wrap the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise.
Step 3: Pull the yarn through.
Step 4: Drop the resulting stitch off the left needle.
It’s really that simple. Again, some patterns require you to keep the stitch on the left needle as a way to increase and form a special pattern. So read carefully. But for things like the 2-colored fisherman’s rib, you typically drop it off the needle.