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Knitting for novices: Simple knit stitches

Oct 9, 2014

by Jenny Gresham handmade and vintage goods

In honour of UK Wool Week this week, PR Co-Ordinator Jenny, one of our resident knitters here at Etsy’s London HQ, shares her favourite knitting stitches…

The first thing I ever attempted to knit, a few years back, was a little teddy bear, which I never finished and still have stashed away somewhere, albeit in bits. I then knitted (and finished) a little patchwork blanket for my friend’s baby – plus booties to match. After that, I well and truly had the knitting bug – I find it so therapeutic!

Over time I have done various projects from snoods to small animals but my latest venture is to learn new stitches. When I started I had no idea there are so many sorts of stitches and then I found this amazing retro book from 1983, The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches.

It’s pretty much become my knitting bible; it has every type of stitch you could possibly imagine and steps on how to do them. I ‘borrowed’ the book from my mum until she managed to track down a copy for me in a charity shop. Thanks mum! (There’s actually one for sale on Etsy, here, if you’re interested…)

So, to learn all these new stitches I’ve started knitting a patchwork blanket, to practise my stitchin’ skills. Each patch is a new stitch and eventually they will all piece together. Yay!

Here are a couple of my favourite knitting stitches from the book I wanted to share, if you’re a knit-wit like me…

Garter Slip Stitch III

Guide to knitting stitches: Garter Stitch

Stitches – Multiple of 2+1

Beginning 1st rows worked in colour C throughout. Row, 2 rows worked in colour A, 2 rows worked in colour B and 2

1st Row (right side): Knit
2nd Row: Knit
3rd Row: K1, *sl 1 purlwise, k1; rep from * to end.
4th Row: K1, *yf, sl 1 purlwise, yb, k1; rep from * to end.
Repeat these 4 rows.

Bramble Stitch I

Guide to knitting stitches: Bramble Stitch

Multiple of 4 + 2

1st Row (right side): Purl .
2nd Row: K1, *(k1, p1, k1) into next st, p3tog; repeat from * to last st, k1.
3rd Row: Purl.
4th Row: K1, *p3tog, (k1, p1, k1) into next st; rep from * to last st, k1.
Repeat these 4 rows.


Guide to knitting stitches: Square Stitch

Multiple of 10 +2

1st Row (right side): Knit.
2nd Row: Purl.
3rd Row: K2, *p8, k2; rep from * to end.
4th Row: P2, *k8, p2; rep from * to end.
5th Row: K2, *p2, k4, p2, k2; rep from * to end.
6th Row: P2, *k2, p4, k2, p2; rep from * to end.
Rep the last 2 rows twice more.
11th Row: As 3rd
12th Row: as 4th
Repeat these 12 rows.

K= Knit
P= Purl
St = Stitch
Rep = Repeat
Tog= Together, usually used as method of decreasing.
sl= Slip This means that you slip the next stitch on to the right hand needle
without knitting it, then you knit the next stitch.
yf= Yarn forward

If you love knitting, stitching or creative crafts in general, then I recommend you try and get to The Knitting and Stitch show taking place in London, Harrogate and Dublin this year. Specialist supplies, unrivalled galleries from major textile artists and a huge workshop programme – all under one roof. For more info visit

What’s your favourite knitting stitch? Comment below or tweet us @EtsyUK!

Related woolly reading…

Etsy UK seller story: Me and My Nan
5 ways to make knitwear more fashionable this autumn
Quit your day job: DyeForYarn


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