How to do a knit stitch

The basic knit stitch is the foundation of all your knitting and the first one you'll learn when you're starting out. Here we'll show you how it's done.

How to do a knit stitch 1

The knit stitch is the most important stitch you’ll learn. It forms the basis of every other stitch, there are plenty of patterns that use nothing else, and the good news is that it’s really easy!

Once you’ve learned how to make a slipknot and how to cast on stitches, you can practise knitting them. If you know a knitter, ask them to cast on for you so you can try doing the knit stitch first – you may find it easier this way round!

To learn how to do a knit stitch, you’ll need to have cast on some stitches onto your left-hand needle (if you’re right-handed), or your right-hand needle if you want to knit left-handedly.

We recommend you use double knitting (DK) yarn and a pair of 4mm needles. About 22 stitches is a good number to cast on and practise with. When you knit to the end of the first row, all your stitches will now be on the right-hand needle (if you’re right-handed). Swap the needles over and you’ll be ready to knit the second row.

Are you ready? Here’s how it’s done…

How to do a knit stitch

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You Will Need

  • Yarn
  • Knitting needles

Step 1

Insert right needle into first stitch

How to do a knit stitch 1

Hold the needle with the stitches on it in your left hand. Keeping the yarn in your right hand and at the back of your work, insert the point of the right needle into the front loop of the first stitch, bottom to top.

Step 2

Wrap the yarn around

How to do a knit stitch 2

Wind the yarn anti-clockwise around the point of the right-hand needle using your index finger. It’s important to keep the yarn in your right hand relatively taut to maintain an even tension as you go.

Step 3

Bring the needle through the loop

How to do a knit stitch 3

Bring the right-hand needle through the loop, towards the front of your work, being sure to catch the yarn you wound around the needle. This creates the stitch. Don’t pull the free yarn too tightly, let out some slack.

Step 4

Take the loop off the left needle

How to do a knit stitch 4

Push the right needle further through the new stitch, then move the right needle to your right, taking the original loop off the left needle. You’ve created one knit stitch. Repeat steps 1-4 across the row.

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That’s all there is to it! Keep going in garter stitch (knitting every row) in this way until you feel comfortable with the technique. 28 rows is a good number and should form a square.

When you’re ready to stop, take a look at our tutorial on how to cast off knitting to find out how to get your stitches off the needles.

Don’t worry if your knitting looks uneven or a bit holey – this is totally normal for a first try (and a second, and third…). Practice makes perfect, so cast on some more stitches and have another go!

Ready to learn more? Check out our complete guide to knitting for beginners for more essential tips and advice.

Beginner knitting patterns

Ready to start following a pattern? Take your skills to the next level with our easy knits for beginners.

garter stitch scarf