Stockinette Stitch – Guide To Mastering This Basic Knitting Stitch

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

This guide is for learning about stockinette stitch. It only uses two basic knit stitches. I’ll explain how to do it.

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I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 17, 2023.

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. It uses a stitch pattern of alternating rows. It’s one of the most common knitting stitches, and 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 like the garter stitch pattern. It’s easy to work with a pattern of two rows: knit, and purl. The stitch is abbreviated to St st.

How Does Stockinette Stitch Work?

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

What Does Stockinette Stitch Look Like?

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

How To Do Stockinette Stitch Using Knit And Purl Stitches

To knit the stockinette stitch, follow these steps.

  • Gather your materials – Yarn and needles
  • Cast on 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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 into the stitch
  • Pull the stitch off of the left needle
  • Continue alternating between knit rows and purl rows until the knitting measures your desired length

Here’s a 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, look at the right side. You’ll see little Vs. Each vertical V equals one row. Count from the bottom up. If you count 10 Vs at the side going up, there are ten rows.

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 easier than knitting flat! Never turn in the round, so you keep knitting. 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

  • 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

Pin Now to Save for Later

Stockinette Stitch Pin

FAQS About Stockinette Stitch

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
  • Stockinette stitch is bumpy on one side

What Does Stockinette Mean?

Stockinette means 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. Here’s how to fix twisted stitches.

Here’s how to fix uneven stitches.

Does Stockinette Stitch Curl?

Yes, only the side edge. To prevent it, add a knitted border. The tendency to curl is an advantage for cuffs on socks.

Is Stockinette Stitch Reversible?

It’s not reversible.

Does Stockinette Stitch Use More Yarn?

Garter stitch 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?

Yes! It stretches vertically and horizontally.

Does Garter Stitch Use More Yarn Than Stockinette?

Yes, garter stitch uses more yarn than stockinette.

Stockinette Stitch Vs Seed Stitch?

Stockinette and seed stitch use knit and purl. Seed stitch’s pattern is one stitch knit, one stitch purl. 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. The word stockinette was another term for stocking net.

What Is Stockinette Stitch Used For?

Anything: scarves, socks, sweaters, blankets, hats.

Can Blocking Prevent Stockinette Stitch Curling?

Blocking flattens it, but the curl returns. 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 the same.


Congratulations, you’re a stockinette stitch master! Happy knitting! Want to learn another stitch? Read my post on the garter knit stitch, or reverse stockinette stitch.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder) | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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