Everything you need to know to knit perfect Stockinette stitch every time. How to work Stockinette stitch flat and in the round, count your rows and more.
Common Questions about Stockinette Stitch
Yes!! It seems that the term Stockinette is used more in the United States and the term Stocking is used more in the UK.
The abbreviation is a simple St st. You will often see this in knitting patterns and it always stands for Stockinette Stitch.
When you see the term “work even” it simply means to work the stitch pattern over the same number of stitches. So if you were working a flat piece and it said “work even in St st for 3″ you would knit one row, purl one row, and repeat until the piece is 3” from the start of instructions. When working in the round you would knit every round without adding or subtracting any sts.
Oh, this is a hard one! The very nature of St st causes it to curl, so the only way to get it to lie flat is to work a border around it. Garter stitch (knit every row on flat knitting) is very often used, as is a ribbing pattern of alternating knits and purls. If you are going to seam your Stockinette stitch piece, then the curling will be taken care of after it’s sewn.
Anatomy of Stockinette Stitch Knitting
Stockinette stitch pushes all of the loops to the back of the fabric, resulting in a smooth right side. If you look at a piece of knitting made in Stockinette, you will see that one side looks like “V’s” and the other side is very bumpy.
The smooth “V” side is always the right side, unless you are working reverse Stockinette, in which the bumpy side is showing.
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How to Knit Stockinette Stitch
If you know the basic knit and purl stitches, it is super easy to knit this stitch. These are instructions for working flat.
This stitch pattern can be worked over any number of stitches.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: Purl
Repeat rows 1-2 as desired.
Stockinette Stitch in the Round
Working this stitch in the round is even easier!! What?? How can that be?
Well, you just knit every row! Talk about easy!
How do you count the rows in Stockinette knitting?
With this stitch it’s fairly easy to count rows. You will look for the “V” of a stitch and count the number of V’s in a column.
Remember to always count the stitches that are active on the needle.
Also, something that I didn’t know starting out was when to knit or purl a row once I put it down and came back to it.
If the V’s are facing you as you work, you will knit. If you are looking at the bumpy side, you’re ready to purl.
Stockinette Stitch Video Tutorial
The Most Common Problem with Stockinette Stitch
It curls on the edges. This is part of the nature of Stockinette. It curls, and no amount of blocking is going to help it lie flat for long.
If you are going to seam it, then it is fine to leave it as is. When you seam Stockinette, the edges will be hidden in the seam and it will stop curling.
But what if you’re making something that needs to lie flat, such as a blanket or a scarf?
The only option you have in this case is to knit a border in a pattern that doesn’t curl. The most common option is Garter Stitch, but you could also use a rib pattern.