If you want to twist a stitch you will work it through the back loops. This is fairly easy for a knit stitch but the technique is a bit trickier for a purl stitch.
You will need to bring your right needle to the 'knit' side of your work away from you, put the tip into the back of the stitch from the right to the left and purl that stitch.
It is an awkward maneuver but it will allow you to twist a purl stitch.
Read our Knit Basics Purl Stitch Tutorial
To create twisted ribbing in your work you will combine knit and purl stitches in 'columns' and the stockinette stitch columns will all be worked through the back loops (tbl).
This type of ribbing is usually done as 1 by 1 Ribbing. It's most commonly used for the cuff of socks as it creates a firm edge that is less likely to stretch out of shape as much. The twisted stitch columns form an attractive design feature.
1x1 Twisted Ribbing will look a little differently depending on whether it's worked in the round of flat.
Worked flat you will be working the knit stitches on the RS through the back loops but on the WS you will be working the purl stitches through the back loops.
Row 1 (RS): *K1 tbl, p1; rep to end.
Row 2 (WS): *K1, p1 tbl; rep to end.
Worked in the Round
Rnd 1: *K1 tbl, p1; rep to end.
See it in a video here:
Have you ever wanted to try brioche knitting to see if you like it?
Because knitting is our hobby; our happy place, we want to enjoy learning something new but often times we aren’t willing to dive into a whole project.
Today on the blog I wanted to do a round-up of free tutorials and knitting tips for brioche knitting. So that you can try a few stitches with yarn you have at home and if you do enjoy it where to go next.
We also have brioche refresher tutorials for both English and Continental style knitters so that you can have a quick reference guide to come back to when you need it. As always for our long posts you can quickly skip to your section of interest by using these links:
Often we fall in love with complex, two colour brioche projects. They look amazing but if you’re new to brioche the can be very intimidating. If you are new to brioche I’d suggest stepping into it one step at a time.
If you want to try a few brioche stitches with some yarn you have in your stash then why not pop over to our Brioche tutorials here. All you need is a few moments to watch the video and test the technique with yarn you know you already love.
If you just need a quick reference guide or a refresher of working brioche then these videos are for you. Techniques covered here are:
For those looking for a more step-by-step approach and who like to learn new techniques while working on a project then why not enroll in the free Brioche Basics workshop where you tackle the Malandros Scarf.
I’m a big believer in learning new techniques step-by-step. This is the first step in my Brioche knitting lessons and I will start at the very beginning. In this class, you will learn the best cast-on for Brioche and how to work the basic Brioche stitch. Once you’ve mastered this we’ll move on to increases and decreases in brioche and the best way to bind-off in Brioche.
Once you’ve mastered the basics you’ll be ready in future lessons to move on to the next step, working in the round and two colour brioche. However, starting slowing with the first step will give you time to really master Brioche Knitting and learn how to ‘read’ your stitches.
If this sounds like something you want to try, then click this image:
If by now you have truly fallen in love with Brioche then I have a few Workshops that you might like to try. These are again step-by-step workshops and they all have dedicated support threads in our KnitHub. so you can tackle a brioche cardigan, brioche shawl or join us for the upcoming brioche sweater knit-along.
All of our project workshops have their own yarn kits available too so that you can just click and knit as soon as the yarn arrives at your door! Choose from:
This workshop works through a baby/child cardigan in brioche that is worked from the top down with raglan shoulder shaping. Every stage of the cardigan is detailed with videos and tutorials to help you along.
When you are finished you’ll also get a pdf of the adult version of the cardigan that you can knit for yourself!
If you want to nab the yarn for this workshop you can find the junior yarn kit here.
Take your Brioche knitting to the next level with this 2-Colour Brioche shawl; Vines and Vale. This shawl starts with just a few stitches and works from there. This makes it ideal for learning as you have only a few stitches when you begin.
This class works through every section of the shawl in a step-by-step tutorial from the cast-on right through to the blocking. You have the option of working with either chart or written directions. As an added bonus there is a troubleshooting section at the end to help with common problems that are encountered.
You can also find yarn kits for this workshop here.
Our Brutach sweater is this autumn’s knit-along. If you have never joined a knit-along or a KAL before don’t worry we have beginner knitters and lifelong knitters working side by side on the same pattern over a number of weeks.
Each week a new clue or pattern section is released and we all work on that section together. This means that you have all the support you need as well as a group of virtual knitters cheering you on to finish your garment.
To find out more about this KAL and to pick up a yarn kit pop over here.
If after all of this you have decided that brioche just isn’t for you but you’d like to try another project workshop or masterclass then you can see all of the available online classes here.
If you have any questions just pop them in the comments and I’ll do my best to help.
So as all of you know I'm rather fond of circular knitting. If I can find a way to avoid seaming then I’ll happily side-step it!
When you are working a big circumference it’s easy – you just get a circular needle that’s the right size and away you go. However it becomes a bit trickier once you move on to smaller circumferences. There are a huge amount of options out there and everyone has their own favourite.
When I write a pattern I usually give a few different options for working small circumferences but as I haven’t written a tutorial on this before I thought it was possible that you may have not tried out the different types. I’ve done a small video for each and given a few pros and cons that I’ve found of using them. The best advice I can give you is to try a few methods out to see which works the most comfortably for you.
This is probably my favourite method of working in the round. I like that there is only one needle, so if I’ve been working on a garment I’ve already got the correct needle to hand. I find that I can pick up a bit of speed with it with a flexible cord that’s long enough I don’t get any ladders.
Some knitters really dislike the cord loops on each end and find that they get in the way. If this is you you might move on and take a look at some of the other techniques.
This is a very useful technique if the circle you are trying to knit is a too big for the magic loop and doesn’t quite fit onto a single circular needle. This allows you to work half of the stitches comfortably on each needle.
This method of working in the round is probably what most knitters are familiar with. If it’s something you’ve worked before then it may be the circular knitting style that you gravitate towards?
I find working so many needle tips tricky, I seem to be constantly stabbing myself in the hand! It does also require the purchase a a different set of needles.
I’ve recently got hold of some of these needles to try out (and added them to my shop here). These are almost a mix between magic loop and dpns. You have 3 very short circular needles, half of the work is held on each side and then the third needle is what you are working with. It does have less tendency to slip around than dpns due to the cord allowing the knitting to sit on it but there are still quite a few needle tip points that you’re working with. If you aren’t happy with either magic loop or dpns then perhaps these might be worth a try for you?
If you ever want to move beyond simple knit and purl you will need to add increases (and decreases) in to your work. The type of increase you use and the place you put it can create very different effects. The more you understand increases the more you can control and modify your knitting.
This is a swatch I did for a class showing different types of increases and decreases. I’ll move through different types to talk about how to work them and where they work well.
This is the most basic of increases, you just loop the yarn backwards and sit that loop on your left needle. Its easy to create but is not the tidiest looking increase. It will frequently leave a visible hole in your work.
Usually yarnovers are used in lace knitting to create a decorative hole. To work you just wrap the yarn around the needle and then work the next stitch. You can however close this hole by knitting into the back loop of the yarnover on the next row which will twist it closed. This does a surprisingly good job and creates an attractive increase. This is the increase used on the first section of the swatch above. One advantage of this increase type is that it adds extra yarn so it helps to prevent puckering of the fabric.
This is another simple increase that is fast to learn. To work it you just need to work into the front and back of the same stitch. This creates a visible ‘bar’ between the stitches which you can use as a decorative feature in places where you have increases stacked such as at raglan seams. This increase is the third sample from the bottom in the above sample.
This is probably the increase type I use most often. It creates fairly invisible increases that have very gentle leaning to the left and the right. It is worked by picking up the bar between the stitches and knitting it. The direction you pick up and knit is dictated by the direction the increase will lean in. To lean to the right you pick up from the back and knit into the front. To lean to the left you pick up from the front and knit into the back of the stitch. You can see a complete tutorial here.
With this increase you have the potential to get some puckering when you have several increases stacked on top of each other as you are pulling up the yarn from the row below. Sometimes this increase is just listed as M1 and in that case you can pick which one you use L or R just be consistent! This is the second sample from the bottom of the swatch shown above.
This increase pulls the side of the stitch from the row below and knits into it. For the right leaning side you pull up the right side of the next stitch and for the left leaning version you pick up the left side of the stitch just worked (one row below so it matches). This is the top increase shown in the swatch above. This increase has the the same issue as M1R/L in that it is prone to puckering due to pulling up yarn from the row below. Usually with good blocking however the effect is reduced. You can find a full tutorial for this increase here.
All of the increases I’ve discussed so far have been single increases. However several can be worked as double by just adding an extra step to the increase.
Kfbf knits into the front, back and then front again of the same stitch.
M2 knits into the front and back of the lifted bar.
Once you know what all the increases are the next step is to know where to use them! Remember that frequently you can swap in your own favourite increases in a pattern if you want to change the look. Do be aware that they may behave differently and change the way the knit will look so swatch it out before you apply it to the final piece. Any time you want to increase the width of your work you’ll work an increase, below you’ll see a few examples in garments where I use increases.
(M1R & M1L)
If you’re working top down you’ll initially work decreases towards the waist and then do increases as you move towards the hips. Working from the bottom up this order is reversed.
When you are working in lace it can make it much faster to work and most importantly to catch mistakes if you can 'read' your work. All this means is that you are able to compare your knitted lace work and the chart (or written directions) and see how the stitches match up. This means that if you've slipped up you can very quickly see where the problem is!
So how does this work?
As you are knitting your lace take the time to watch the stitches on the previous row. With this example you will see that there are a pair of yarnovers separated by a knit stitch:
Now when you're 'reading' your knitting you want to make sure that those 2 yarnovers are positioned correctly when you work the next row/round.
Lets take a look at this section from the chart:
From this chart you can see those 2 yarnovers from a few rows down in the knitting. As you are working this new row you should always double check that your centered double decrease is centred in the stitch between the double yarnovers. If you reach one that is off center just count back to see if you miscounted your stitches or if you made a mistake. If you can catch a mistake as you work like this you will never need to rip out or correct more than a few stitches at a time. Much less ripping of rows!
Our Teachable courses use a combination of patterns, written directions, and video content to take you all the way from casting on a new project to binding off the very last stitch.
From beginner to expert knitter there is something here to help you create handknits you'll love in whatever stolen moments you can find.
Helping Hand or Knit-curious?
Do you need a helping hand with a new technique? Are you curious about other techniques or are you ready to get a little spicy with your knitting? Come check out our extensive free tutorial collection here!
We have easy step by step guides/video tutorials on everything from casting on, bind off, short rows, cables and more. As is Carol's style, everything is ready for you in bite sized videos of ten minutes or less so that you can make the most of the time you have available. So what are you waiting for? Let's dive in now:
Abbreviations got you stumped?
Starting your knitting adventure can be a little daunting especially when it comes to knitting terms and abbreviations. Don't worry, we've got your back. Check out our list of common abbreviations here so that you can take your next knitting steps with ease and confidence.
Finally we come to putting it all together!
On this page you'll find a collection of patterns that will be suitable for a newer knitter. Here you'll find garments and accessories that help you take your knitting skills to the next level.