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Stockinette Stitch – Guide To Mastering This Basic Knitting Stitch

Guess what’s in STOCK for you today? Do you get it? STOCK-inette! Alright, that was bad.

This guide is for learning about stockinette stitch. It’s pretty standard and only uses two basic knitting stitches. I’ll explain how to do it.

So, stock up with a cup of tea and start reading! (Is this joke getting old yet?)

Stockinette Stitch Feat Img

Table Of Contents

What Is Stockinette Stitch In Knitting?

Stockinette stitch produces a smooth fabric on the front and a bumpy fabric on the back using a stitch pattern of alternating rows.

It’s one of the most common knitting stitches, and one of the simplest knitting techniques. It’s great for beginners!

The front is little ‘Vs’ or knit stitches. The back is purl stitches, which make horizontal ridges that look a bit like the garter stitch pattern.

It’s easy to work and only uses a pattern of two rows, using two stitches; knit and purl stitches.

The stitch is abbreviated to St st.

How Does Stockinette Stitch Work?

Stockinette stitch uses one row knit stitch, one row purl. So you do the knit row on the right side and the purl row on the wrong side. It keeps the right side smooth and the reverse side bumpy.

What Does Stockinette Stitch Look Like?

The stockinette stitch fabric on the front is knit stitches that look like little V-shapes. It’s smooth on the front and bumpy on the back.

How To Do Stockinette Stitch Using Knit And Purl Stitches

To knit the stockinette stitch on two knitting needles, follow these steps.

  • Gather your materials – Yarn and needles
  • Cast on any number of stitches onto one knitting needle, if you’re right handed, cast onto the left needle
  • Row 1 (right side or knit side): Knit all stitches
  • To do this, put your right needle in your right hand into the first stitch on the left knitting needle
  • Wrap the working yarn around the needle clockwise. Make sure it doesn’t get caught on anything!
  • Bring the right knitting needle forward, through the loop of yarn, and slip it off the left needle.
  • You’ve knitted your first stitch!
  • Continue for the rest of the row
  • Row 2 (wrong side or purl side): Purling all the stitches. To do a purl stitch follow the instructions below.
  • Ensure working yarn is in front of the right needle
  • With working yarn in front, insert right needle into stitch from top to bottom
  • Wrap working yarn around right needle from front to back
  • Wrap all the way around the right needle creating a loop
  • Pull the loop under and through the stitch on left needle
  • Push right needle through the loop
  • Push the needle all the way into the stitch
  • Pull the stitch off of the left needle
  • That’s your first purl stitch complete
  • Continue alternating between knit rows and purl rows until the knitting measures your desired length

Here’s a wonderful beginner’s tutorial by Davina at Sheep & Stitch

How To Seam Stockinette Stitch

How to seam stockinette stitch horizontally by Purl Soho.

How to seam stockinette stitch vertically by Lion Brand Yarn.

How To Count Stockinette Stitch Rows

To count rows on stockinette stitch knitting, you need to look at the right side. 

You’ll see all the little Vs. Each vertical V equals one row.

Count from the bottom up. If you count 10 Vs at the side going up, that means there are ten rows. You could do top-down if you prefer. 

Stockinette Stitch In The Round

Here is how to create stocking stitch in the round.

How Do You Knit Stockinette Stitch On Circular Needles?

Stockinette stitch in the round is even easier than knitting flat! That’s because you don’t need to purl. You never turn in the round, so you keep knitting.

You don’t need to do one row knit, one row purl; it’s all knit.

How Do You Do Stockinette Stitch On Double Pointed Needles?

This video tutorial shows how you do stockinette on dpns.

Reverse Stockinette Stitch

Here’s a great tutorial on reverse stockinette stitches.

Double Stockinette Stitch

An excellent tutorial from Studio Knit.

How Do You Do Stockinette Stitch On Both Sides?

Double-sided stockinette = double stockinette stitch.

How Do You Fix A Double Stockinette?

How Do You Cast Off A Double Stockinette Stitch?

To cast off double stockinette stitch, you do it the usual way.

  • Knit 2 stitches
  • Pass the last stitch over and off
  • Knit another stitch
  • Pass over the other stitch
  • Repeat until the end
  • Pull the yarn through the last stitch
  • Weave in the ends

Stockinette Stitch Knitting Patterns

Here are some incredible paid and free patterns to try. Perhaps your project could be some mittens, or a garment?

Your Questions Answered

What Is The Difference Between Garter Stitch And Stockinette Stitch?

Garter stitch is rows of knit stitches. Stockinette stitch is one row knit, one row purl. Garter stitch is bumpy on both sides, whereas stockinette stitch is bumpy on only one side.

What Does Stockinette Mean?

Stockinette can mean the knitting stitch or a loose stretch fabric used to make underwear and bandages.

Why Does My Stockinette Stitch Look Wrong?

Common stockinette stitch mistakes include the stitches appearing twisted and stitches not lining up evenly.

Here’s how to fix twisted stitches.

Here’s how to fix uneven stitches.

Does Stockinette Stitch Curl?

Yes. You could say that curling is part of its DNA! Only the side edges do though To prevent it from curling and make it lie flat, knitters often add a knitted border that surrounds the fabric.

You can use a ribbed border.

The tendency to curl can be an advantage for some projects, like cuffs on socks.

Is Stockinette Stitch Reversible?

It’s not reversible.

Does Stockinette Stitch Use More Yarn?

Garter stitch actually uses more yarn than stockinette stitch.

Is Stockinette Stitch The Same As Purl?

No, stockinette stitch isn’t the same as a purl stitch. Stockinette uses purl stitches, but it also uses knit stitches. 

Is Stockinette Stitch Stretchy?

Stockinette is super stretchy! It stretches both vertically and horizontally.

Does Garter Stitch Use More Yarn Than Stockinette?

Yeah, garter stitch does use more yarn than stockinette.

Stockinette Stitch Vs Seed Stitch?

Stockinette and seed stitch both use the same two stitches; knit and purl.

Seed stitch’s pattern is one stitch knit, one stitch purl, and continues like that across the row. Stockinette stitch uses one row knit, one row purl.

Is Garter Stitch Wider Than Stockinette?

Yes, garter stitch is wider than stockinette.

Where Did Stockinette Stitch Originate?

The stockinette stitch is one of the oldest knitting stitches. The first use of the word stockinette was in the 18th century.

Perhaps the word stockinette was another term for stocking net.

What Is Stockinette Stitch Used For?

Anything: scarves, socks, sweaters, blankets, hats, you name it.

Can Blocking Prevent Stockinette Stitch Curling?

Blocking may temporarily flatten it out, but the curl comes back with time and use. The best way to make stockinette stitch lay flat is with a border, like a garter stitch border.

Is Stocking Stitch The Same As Stockinette Stitch

Stockinette stitch and “stocking stitch” are two terms for the same technique.

Congratulations, you’re now a stockinette stitch MASTER!

Now you’re ready to go STOCK up on some yarn and needles and start knitting! Is this joke getting too old now?

Happy knitting!

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

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