ahhhhh stitches.  what would knitting be without our stitches and our friends of course :)  i know, i know we've got the basics knit and purl.  the good ol standby's but what do you use to add some pizazz to those two lovely loops?  how do you decrease and increase?  how do you add some textures?  well...they come from stitches.  we all have our faves and we all have our hates.  let's go over some of the common ones.

i'll be referring as i go throughout this post to one of my fave knitting sites for help - for good diagrams and videos for more info you can get to teach and learn stitches.  but you can also find lots of great help online on,, and many, many others.

M1L and M1R - make 1 left and make 1 right, the cleanest of the increases but also, to some folks, the most annoying.  me especially.  i have a love/hate relationship with M1L.  i just can't seem to ever remember it when i have to do both and i mix them up horribly.  so under the guidance of my knitting group i decided to just do all the increases in my pattern i'm making as M1R.  it may not be as 100% perfect looking but it's close enough and it's way more relaxing for me to just knit now.  i'm not constantly looking down at my notes to make sure i'm doing the right one.  this increase is done by knitting the bar between the two stitches to make a new stitch.  the difference between the two is from which direction you insert your needle and from which side of your work you knit on. 

KFB -  knit through front and back. this sneaky little increase can also be called a bar increase or can be abbreviated as K1F&B.  a simple increase that is used often.  you simply knit a stitch and then instead of slipping it off the needle you knit another stitch into the back loop of it.  not too hard right?

YO - yarn over...ahhh, the good ol' standby.  this is the easiest, simplest and most basic of the increases but it also will leave you with a little hole saying hello!  so don't use this increase if you want your increases to be as unnoticeable as possible.  this is a great increase if you are using the holes as a pretty detail and it's very commonly used in lace knitting!  love!  yarn over is simply what it says it yarn over.  instead of placing your needle into the next stitch to knit you simply wrap your yarn over the working needle knit wise and then continue knitting as normal.  that's it!

M1 -  there are a few versions of this but i find elizabeth zimmerman's my fave and the simplest.  it simply involves making a backwards loop on your right hand needle and when you get to that "fake stitch" on the next row  just treat it as any normal stitch.  oh, elizabeth how i love thee :)

there are other increases that can be used as well.  you can see some of them and their videos here.  i chose the ones above as they are my faves and the ones i most commonly use.

K2tog & K2togtbl - knit two together (right slanting) and knit two together through back loop (left slanting) are 2 of the most popular decreases.  their ease of use is one of the reasons they are so very popular.  this stitch simply involves inserting your needle into 2 stitches instead of 1 and knitting them together thus decreasing 1 stitch.  easy right?  the k2togbl is the same basic idea of k2tog but instead of inserting your needle as you normally would to knit you insert your needle through the back loops and then knit. (these can both also be done purl wise)

SSK - slip, slip, knit slipped stitches together is another popular left slanting way to decrease.  this one happens to be my fave.  not sure why i just like it.  there's something a bit fun about slipping stitches to the next needle that makes me feel a bit daring..haha. this decrease is a bit self explanatory but just in case i'll send you here to learn how.

SK2P -  slip one knit two together pass slipped stitch over is one of my fave double decreases and i find it lots of fun to do.  again, it's one of those stitches that's very daring in a weird way.  i have a thing for anything out of the ordinary when it comes to knitting.  i like to break up the flow of just straight knitting sometimes :) 

again there other ways of decreasing and to see some more common ones and their videos click here.


stockinette stitch (aka stocking stitch) - knit one row, purl the next.  a little mix of this and a little mix of that :)

garter stitch - knit every row.  can't get easier than this!

seed stitch (aka moss stitch) - Row 1: knit 1, purl 1.  Row 2: purl 1, knit 1.  then you just repeat those 2 rows.  i like it :)

ribbing - a commonly used technique that draws the fabric in and gives a fun texture and definition.  this is used a ton on cuffs and edges of garments.  it's most commonly done by doing the following: Row 1: knit 2, purl 2. Row 2: purl 2, knit 2.  again repeating these 2 rows.  the number of the stitches can be used in any denomination you would like to achieve the look you want.  so for instance you could do a combo of k3 p2 or k3, p3. 


cable knitting - this is my absolute fave! i love it!  i get a kick out of cable knitting.  it's like a fun surprise just waiting to happen when you're knitting.  there is something so exciting about doing the cable knit row that i just can't wait for the next one.  cable knitting is simply crossing one group of stitches over another in a particular direction or denomination.  you use a nifty little notion called a cable needle you slip a few stitches on it and either hold them to the front or back of your knitting while you keep going along to the next stitches and then the fun part is you bring the stitches on your cable needle back out and let them join the party by knitting from your cable needle.  this allows your stitches to be twisted (cabled) and raised above the rest of your knitting.  it sounds way more complicated than it is and it's very addictive for those of you looking for a bit more of a challenge then a basic knit / purl sweater.  here's a great explanation of cable knitting that will give you a better idea of what i'm rambling on

you can find some more decorative stitches like bobbles and such at the bottom of this link. feeling inspired?  did you learn a new stitch?  do you have a fave that you love?  which stitch do you love to hate?  how's your KAL going?  let's talk knitting ladies!

*all conversations about the KAL can be found in our luvinthemommyhood ravelry group thread here.  you can find all the previous KAL posts here.  it's never too late to join in!  you can also friend me on under luvinthemommyhood.

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