Knitting Stitches for Beginners:  Complete Tutorials

Knitting Stitches for Beginners   by Janice Jones   |Updated 12-20-2022

Are you just getting started and think all of these knitting stitches for beginners look too difficult to tackle?  Think again.  I've put together a collection of stitches that use variations of the knit and purl stitches. 

A woman is knitting with yellow yarnKnitting Stitches for Beginners

Each variation creates a different texture and once you master a few of these, then you can create your own patterns for projects personal to you.

Ready to get started?  Here are the two stitches to learn first:  The Knit Stitch and the Purl Stitch.  Then I'll show you how to combine them to make amazing items.

Knitting Stitches for Beginners

The Knit Stitch or Garter Stitch Pattern

The knit stitch, also called the garter stitch can be made in several different ways.  First start with the traditional way to make the garter stitch and then check out the variations.

The garter stitch is made by knitting every row.  

Check out the tutorial for the garter stitch

Here's the tutorial for the garter stitch variations

The Purl Stitch

This is the other basic knit stitch for beginners and if you can do the knit stitch, you can make the purl stitch.

Find out how to make the purl stitch.  Once you've mastered these two stitches, the rest is easy.  The next set of knitting stitches for beginners use variations of these stitches to make a wide range of textured fabrics.

Stockinette Stitch

The Stockinette stitch or stocking stitch (Abbreviated St st) is one of those basic knit stitches that all beginners learn early on. Still, it is also a versatile stitch that is found in a variety of various projects.  

Check out the tutorial for the Stockinette Stitch

Rib Stitches and Rib Patterns

Rib Stitch done in red yarn.Rib Stitch

You'll find the rib stitch pattern on the lower edge of garments such as sweaters with it repeating on the cuffs and neckbands.  Ribs are stretchy so that a the sweater can be pulled over the head but then close again for a snug fit.

Check out the tutorial on the rib stitch

There are more than one rib stitch.  This article covers several of the more common types of rib stitches including the 

For example, you can combine different numbers of knit and purl stitches to create various patterns.

Single Rib (K1, P1)

Double Rib (K2, P2)

4 x 2 Rib (K4, P2) then P4, K2

All tutorials for rib stitches can be found at knitting rib stitches.

Seed Stitch (also known as the Moss Stitch)

At some point the knitting beginner is going to discover that names and terms are not universal.  I know it really confused me when I started to learn all the knit stitches that depending on where I lived in the world, the same stitch had different names.  Learn how to make this very textured fabric. Don't worry, all you need to know is how to knit and purl.

Learn how to make the Seed Stitch

Waffle Stitch

Closeup view of the Waffle stitch

Here another tremendously simple beginner stitch that creates a fabric with bumps that looks like tasty waffles.  What do you think? You might mistake this for a  rib stitch because it involves making a pattern of knit and crochet stitches.

Learn how to make the knitted waffle stitch.

Cable Stitches

Knitted Cable Patterns

Entire books have been written about making cables and the number of different cable patterns boggles the mind.  Here an introduction to help you get started.  While not difficult it can be a little cumbersome getting used to hold needles along with cable needles as you knit along a row  or round.

Cable Stitches


The Basketweave Knit Stitch is a fun beginner stitch that requires you to know how to make the knit and purl stitches.  It does require a little counting and the ability to keep track of rows and stitches. That's all.

I think it is fairly obvious why it is called the basketweave stitch and the nice thing about this stitch is that you can create it in many variations.

Learn how to make the Basketweave knit stitch pattern

Moss Stitch (aka Irish Moss Stitch, Double Moss Stitch)

This is a lovely thick textured stitch that is similar to the seed stitch except it uses a four row repeat rather than the two row repeat of the seed stitch.  You only need to know how to make a knit and purl stitch so it is very beginner friendly.

Learn How to Make the Moss Stitch