Introduction: Second Beginner Knit Project: Stockinette/Purl Stitch Square

While garter stitch is good for many things, a more attractive stitch is called Stockinette. On one side, you knit, as we learned previously, but on the opposite side, we purl, which we will learn now.

In pattern notation this would look like:

Row 1: knit all sts (stitches)

Row 2: purl all sts (stitches)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures desired length.

Now let's go in a little more detail.

Step 1: Materials

Same as the first square, the materials are as follows:


-yarn (worsted-weight)

-knitting needles (size 7, 8, or 9)

-sewing needle

-tape measure/ruler

Step 2: Cast On

I cast on 12 sts for this project, but of course this is totally flexible to whatever width you would like.

(If you don't know how to cast on stitches, check out my first knitted square tutorial)

Then knit one row as I taught you before (the tail will be next to end attached to the ball)

Step 3: How to Purl

Essentially, purling is the opposite direction of knitting. Instead of pulling a new loop from back to front of the old loop, we are now pulling a new loop from the front to the back of the old loop.

The direction we pull the new loop determines how the old loop sits in the fabric and causes a "bump" or a "v". The more you knit and become comfortable with its composition, the more this will make sense.

Make sure the yarn is in the front of the work this time. As shown above, we will now insert the tip of the right needle into the front of the first loop on the left needle.

Now wrap the yarn as shown around the right needle.

Now pull the right needle back out, while holding the yarn tight against it so the new loop is pulled through the old loop. As expected, now pop the old loop off the left needle. One stitch is on the right needle and the rest are on the left.

Step 4: Purl All the Stitches in This Second Row

Once they are all purled, your piece will look like our first square, just a little more bumpy. (first pic)

On the other side, it will look a little more flat and if you look closely you'll see little "v's" forming. (second pic)

If you're having a hard time keeping track of which row is a knit row and which is a purl row, just remember to knit when you see v's and purl when you see bumps.

Step 5: Now How Do You Count Your Rows?

Well let me tell you.

It's easiest on the side with the "v's".

You just pick a column and count how many v's are in it. In the picture, I have worked 5 rows.

Note: Stockinette likes to curl a lot. This can be solved with an iron or sewing it flat to something else.

Step 6: Finishing Up

Again, work until the desired length. Use your tape measure or ruler to make it the same length and width if you want a square. Cast it off the exact same way you did the garter stitch square.

Step 7: Finished Stockinette Stitch Square

Now you've got the two most common knitting stitches under your belt and know the basics: knit and purl. Those are really all you need to knit... anything. Learn a couple of decorative stitches and how to increase/decrease stitches and you'll be all set! Congratulations!