Knitting Stitches: 6 Ideas for Edgings

Knitting Stitches to Enhance your Projects

knitting stitches

There are so many different knitting stitches, it’s hard to choose one! You can narrow it down by thinking about what you’re knitting and which properties you need from the knitted fabric.

Today I’m going to tell you how to knit stitches that work great for edgings. By edgings, I mean cuffs, collars, button bands, hems, and edges on blankets.

There are six stitch patterns that jumped out at me as being appropriate for any of these edgings, and they all have different characteristics, so you can choose those that will work perfectly for your project.

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Ribbing Stitch Pattern

Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches + 2.

Row 1: Knit 2, *purl 2, knit 2; repeat from * to end.
Row 2: Purl 2, *knit 2, purl 2; repeat from * to end.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

knitting-stitches

Ribbing

Tips

  • Don’t stretch ribbing when you block it, or it’ll lose its ability to snap back into shape. It’s okay to give it a little tug here and there to place it correctly, but make sure not to stretch it all the way out.
  • Knit ribbing on a needle one or two sizes smaller than the body of your work, so it stays snug.
  • Be conscious of moving the yarn from the front to the back as you change from knit to purl stitches. It’s easy to create inadvertent yarn overs when knitting ribbing.
  • Try knitting knit 1, purl 1 ribbing or knit 3, purl 2 ribbing! There are a variety of ribbing knitting stitches, and each has a slightly different look.

Twisted Ribbing Stitch Pattern

Cast on an even number of stitches.

Row 1: *Knit 1 through the back loop, purl 1 through the back loop; repeat from * to end.
Row 2: *Knit 1 through the back loop, purl 1 through back loop; repeat from * to end.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

knitting-stitches

Twisted Rib

Tips

  • Twisted rib is great when you need an extra snug edging, on a waistband, for example. Knitting and purling into the back loops of the stitches twists them, thereby making the ribbing tighter.
  • Purling into the back loop can be difficult at first, but after working a few rows, you’ll get used to it. Using sharp-tipped needles is helpful.

Seed Stitch Pattern

Cast on an even number of stitches.

Row 1: *Knit 1, purl 1; repeat from * to end.
Row 2: *Purl 1, knit 1; repeat from * to end.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

knitting-stitches

Seed Stitch

Tips

  • Once you get started, you’ll be able to “read” your knitting. Simply knit the purls and purl the knits as you come to them!
  • Knit seed stitch on needles one size smaller than the size used on the main body of your project.
  • Seed stitch is one of my favorites. It’s a beautiful texture, it’s easy to knit, and it lays flat, so it’s perfect for cuffs and waistbands.

Broken Rib Stitch Pattern

Cast on an odd number of stitches.

Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: *Purl 1, knit 1; rep from * to end, purl 1.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

You can work this over an even number of stitches, too. Simply change Row 2 to the following:

Row 2: *Knit 1, purl 1; repeat from * to end.

knitting-stitches

Broken Rib

Tips

  • Broken rib is a beautiful stitch pattern that’s very stretchy. If you’re making a sweater using this stitch, it’s important to knit a swatch and see how much stretch you get. I’ve knit sweaters with this stitch and had to go down a size.
  • If you use this stitch in place of regular ribbing, try going down two needle sizes from the size you use on the body of the sweater.
  • Don’t stretch broken rib when you’re blocking knitting; it might not bounce back into shape, and it will end up too loose.

Cable Rib Stitch Pattern

Cast on a multiple of six stitches.

Row 1: Purl 2, knit 4.
Row 2 and all wrong-side (even) rows: Knit 2, purl 4.
Row 3: Purl 2, knit 4.
Row 5: *Purl 2, slip 2 stitches to cable needle and hold to front, knit the next two stitches, knit two from cable needle; rep from * to end.
Repeat Rows 1 through 5 for pattern.

knitting-stitches

Cable Rib

Tips

  • Because of the way stitches cross each other, cables naturally tighten up fabric, so use the same size needle you use on the body of the work. If you want a snug cuff or waistband, though, go down a needle size.
  • Speed up your cable knitting by cabling without a cable needle! Here’s how:

Garter Stitch

Cast on any number of stitches.

Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

knitting-stitches

Garter Stitch

Tips

  • Garter stitch rows are shorter than rows in other stitch patterns, so you might need to knit more rows than you think.
  • It’s easy to count rows in garter stitch—each ridge equals two rows.
  • Garter stitch makes great edgings because it’s stretchy but keeps its shape, and it lays flat.

Use these knitting stitches to personalize your knitting projects; I like to change up patterns and add my own touches, especially on the edgings. Your pattern may call for ribbing on the cuffs, but change that to cable ribbing, and you really have something special.

These knitting stitches can also work for projects all their own; try making a cable rib or broken rib knitted dishtowel pattern, for example, or if you’re learning how to knit socks, use twisted ribbing for the cuff. Knitting stitch patterns can make their way into any project!

I hope you’ll try some of these knitting stitches.

Cheers,

Anchor
Comments
  • For seed stitch, why not just cast on an ODD number of stitches and repeat row 1? So much easier than trying to remember which row you are working on. (Besides, I hate trying to start a row with a purl stitch, unless I’m working in stockinette.)
    Another thing you can do with seed stitch is use it as you go for a vertical edge over just 3 or 5 stitches at the beginning and end of each row. It’s perfect, for example, for the front edge of the hood on a hooded sweater or for the overlapping front edges on a cardigan.

    Reply

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