How to knit one below

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.

different patterns created by knitting one below on a wooden table
Different knitting stitch patterns created by knitting one stitch below

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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Instructions: How to knit one below

someone showing how to knit one below with green yarn

Knit one below is a simple variation of the standard knit stitch. It will partially unravel your knitting and will create an area where your fabric is a bit looser.

Active Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute

Instructions

  1. Insert your knitting needle into the loop/eyelet right below the first stitch on your left needle.

    entering the next stitch one row below from the front with yarn held in back
  2. Wrap the yarn around your needle counter-clockwise.

    wrapping the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise
  3. Pull the yarn through towards the front.

    pulling the yarn through to the front
  4. Drop the stitch off the left needle.

    dropping the resulting stitch off the left needle to finish knit one below

Notes

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.

someone doing a knit four below

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.

doing a fancy increase by doing a knit four below multiple times in a row
The repeat to knit this particular increase would be:
  1. Knit 4 below (but into the column below the second stitch)
  2. Knit one
  3. K4b into the same loop
  4. K1
  5. K4b into the same loop one more time
  6. k1
  7. 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.

Fixing a knit one below with a crochet hook

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.

undoing knit one below by knitting one stitch backwards

Step 2: Pass the loop connected to the rows below over the other loop sitting a bit in the back.

after having undone knit one below - fixing it by passing the front loop over the back loop

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.

entering the stitch one row below from behind with yarn in front

Step 2: Wrap the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise.

wrapping the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise (using the middle finger as help)

Step 3: Pull the yarn through.

pulling the yarn through towards the back

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.

Anyway, that’s how to know one below. Comment below in case you have any questions.

how to knit one below - a step-by-step tutorial for beginners

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