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How to: work stocking stitch

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How to: work stocking stitch

Lesson • Essential Knitting Know-how • 06:52 • Beginner

Stocking stitch alternates a row of knit stitches with a row of purl stitches. This creates a knitted fabric that is smooth on the right side (with purl stitches forming the bumpy wrong side).

Essential Knitting Know-how

Course Overview



Included with Let’s Knit Together membership



40m 41s







What you need

What you need

A pair of straight, single-pointed knitting needles; one or two balls of yarn, depending on the class

Course Description

You've bought your yarn and you've mastered casting on - what next? Learn the basics to knit, purl, change yarns and cast off, plus rib and moss stitches, all of which are covered in this helpful course. What will you discover?

Meet your instructors

  • How to: work stocking stitch Knitting Video

    Julie Peasgood

    Julie is an actress and presenter just starting out on her knitting journey

  • How to: work stocking stitch Knitting Video

    Neti Love

    Neti is your resident knitting expert who knows the ins and out of all things yarn

Practical Guides

  • The cast on method and pattern will determine the right side, so using the yarn end isn’t always the most reliable way to do this. Attach a stitch marker to the right side to avoid any confusion.

  • Although called a ‘stitch’, this really a pattern as it is created with two repeated rows. It is such a classic that you will soon come across the phrase ‘beg with a k (or p) row, work in st st’ or ‘cont in st st’. This is shorthand for alternating rows of knit and purl to create stocking stitch, with the knit side usually being the right side. You may also be working in stocking stitch with shaping on, say, even-numbered knit rows, while all odd-numbered rows are simply purl to the end. The aim with stocking stitch is for all of your stitches to be very even, as mistakes or differences in tension can be noticeable, unless concealed by a forgiving yarn. Remember that for a knit row the yarn is held at the back, while for a purl row it’s held at the front. Tension squares are often given over stocking stitch, even for an item with patterns or motifs worked in, so keep practising to make this your default ‘knitting’, and everything else will flow from this.

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