5 Not-To-Be-Missed Knitting Stitches

In my previous post,  “3 Most Popular Knitting Stitches”   we started at the beginning. With knit and purl. There is that third popular knitting stitch which I’ve asked all of YOU to tell me. In this post, I want to tell you all about the 5 not-to-be-missed knitting stitches. You will find these in just about every pattern you pick up! Not all together, or every time, but chances are, one or more of them will be there! I guarantee!

Knitting encompasses hundreds of knit stitches. Did I say hundreds?? There are countless books and websites devoted to listing knitting stitches from A to Z. As you learn to knit, you’ll see how these fundamental stitches form the basis for all other stitches. Once you have a good foundation, whether it be for your new house or your knitting knowledge, you can’t lose! Isn’t that exciting?!

Master the 5 not-to-be-missed knitting stitches and you can put them in your knitting repertoire for all of your future projects. Combine them with others and before you know it you will be creating your own knitting patterns! It’s just a matter of practice!

Here are those 5-Not-To-Be-Missed Knitting Stitches:

K2TOG   This term means “knit two together.” You will see this all the time in knitting patterns. All you do is slip your right needle under the next TWO stitches on your left needle and “knit them together.” That’s it! This will decrease the stitches on your needles. Where once you had two stitches, now you’ll have one stitch.

Knitting 2 stitches together



You can do the “K2tog” on a knit row or a purl row. For a purl row, in your instructions, it would tell you to “purl 2 together.” That is done just like the knit row. Decreasing your stitches helps to shape your knitting. In fact, K2tog or P2tog, will shape your knitting to the right.


SSK  This term means “slip one, slip one, knit two together.” All you do is slip two stitches from your left needle onto your right needle, ONE AT A TIME, then insert the left needle from left to right through these two stitches and knit them together. This will decrease your stitches from two to one. Your knitting will be shaped to the left. Many times you will use both the K2tog and the SSK in your rows, simultaneously, because you are shaping your knitting at that particular juncture.

A variation of the SSK is the SKPO. Here you “slip one, knit one, pass the slipped stitch over.” Again, this is shaping to the left.

SSK stitch




Yarnover  The “YO” is one of the most popular knitting stitches ever! It’s used all the time in lace knitting or what is sometimes referred to as “openwork” knitting. It adds a “stitch” to your row. I put that in quotations because when you come back to knit this “stitch” on the next row,  it almost looks like you should just let it slide away off your needle. It’s not anchored on the needle and beginning knitters often don’t realize that this little yarnover really is a stitch! I know, because I was one of them and would let this yarn just float away! There went my stitch! “Hey, get back here,” like my little grand daughter Julia says to her kitty, Boeing!


So, when you come to your  “yarnovers”, be sure to knit or purl them as instructed. What yarnovers do is to create openings in your knitting, to give you that lacy, open look that is so pretty! Yarnovers will increase the number of stitches on your row. But, not for long! Yarnovers are usually followed by a decrease stitch, such as a k2tog to create that lacy look.

Don’t let them fly away. Be sure to knit them into place!

Yarnover Stitch


Can you spot the yarnovers in the picture below?  Good for you!

Yarnover row


Seed Stitch This little stitch is another very basic stitch. There are numerous variations that have come of just this one seed stitch. To knit the seed stitch, just do this:  Row 1:  K1, P1, across to the end, Row 2:  P1, K1, across to the end. Repeat rows 1 and 2. Easy!

Seed St.

Seed Stitch

Just keep track of which row you are on to maintain your pattern. In fact, I will be posting a new blog piece very soon, all about these little knitting tips like “what to do I’ve lost my way!” Stay tuned!

Ribbing   No, I’m not making fun of your knitting! The rib stitch is another basic stitch that is used all the time in knit patterns. Again, there are numerous variations but this ribbing is called “2 x 2 ” because you are knitting two and purling two stitches all across the row. Then, you begin the next row the same way.

There is one little catch. Be sure to use a multiple of 4 stitches when casting on. That makes sense, doesn’t it?

Ribbing is used to give your knitting some play, some elasticity. Notice the sleeve ends of sweaters; that’s ribbing! No kidding!


Ribbing Stitch

2×2 Ribbing

These basic knitting stitches will become some of your favorites, to be sure! Look for them in your next knitting pattern, they’ll be there!

As always, take your knitting to heart!



P.S.  If you’re looking for some super yarn to start your next knitting project with, just click here!





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