Ten Unique Ways to Use Stitches in Your Knitting

There are so many different stitches that it can be hard to choose which ones to use in your projects. With so many options, you might think it would be difficult to find any that haven’t been used in other projects, but there are plenty of ways to use stitches that haven’t been tried before.

These ten unique stitches in knitting ideas will provide you with all the inspiration you need to create something new and exciting.

Girl is doing knitting
Girl is doing knitting


A simple chain stitch doesn’t use a needle, making it a popular beginning stitch for knitters. Chaining is also a great way to work loosely and quickly when you’re looking for open work or making lace. You can do it by hand, on circular needles (which lets you easily move your stitches onto another set of needles), or on double-pointed needles (which makes an interesting lacy edging).

If you’re chaining across multiple rows, make sure you have a good place to anchor your beginning and end so they don’t slip out of place as you work across. For example, if you’re working on two circulars and there are no more stitches left on one needle, then simply put your end through a couple of loops of yarn at that point rather than having it stick out.

This will help keep things tidy! Loop: The loop stitch looks very much like a knitting version of crochet’s single crochet—except that instead of using a hook to pull each new loop through, you’re using two knitting needles.

Loop has some similarities with other knitting techniques such as bobble or puff stitches but it differs from them because loops are not created from existing stitches but are worked into an area where there are no existing stitches. The result is very loose fabric which gives plenty of space for air circulation around your skin – perfect for warm climates!


One of my favorite things about knitting is that it is a form of art. So if you really want to make a statement with your knitting, try using slip stitches. As opposed to most knit and purl stitches, slip stitch patterns create an effect that looks more like a painting than a knitted garment.

The way these techniques are constructed (and they are quite complex) requires intricate counting. Because it can be hard to keep track while you’re doing them, they’re sometimes best used for small patterns and accessories like bracelets or shawls rather than sweaters or other larger garments. Although there are thousands upon thousands of different ways that you can use slip stitches


Knitted colorful pieces
Knitted colorful pieces

This stitch is created by knitting into a stitch that was just purled. Purl stitches may be visible on both sides of a project, but if you’re using double-pointed needles or knitting in the round, only one side will have them. There are lots of things you can do with these knit/purl combinations!

They make gorgeous textures and designs—and they’re great for helping you practice both techniques. Not sure where to start? Here are five ideas

  1. Try your hand at lace: You can use a combination of knit and purl stitches to create beautiful openwork patterns like lace.
  2. Make reversible fabric: If you want two different designs on either side of your fabric, try working two colors together with knits and purls instead of stockinette and reverse stockinette.
  3. Add interest to simple projects: If you’re making something basic like garter stitch mittens, try mixing up your pattern by alternating rows of garter stitch with rows worked in knits and purls.
  4. Create texture: In addition to creating interesting visual effects, textured fabrics also feel nice against our skin. 
  5. Practice new skills: If you’re learning how to cable or work short rows, practicing those skills with knits and purls is an easy way to get comfortable before trying them out on more complicated patterns.

Alternate Cable Crosses

Cast on a multiple of 12 stitches, plus 1. Row 1 (RS): P1, *(k3, p3), k3; repeat from * to last stitch, p1. Row 2 and all even-numbered rows: Purl. Row 3: K2tog tbl (the last stitch you purled together with its wrap), p4, *(p3, k3), p4; repeat from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1-4 for the pattern. Work until the desired length. Bind off knitwise. Note that when knitting flat, you’ll need to work a selvedge stitch at each edge of every other row to prevent your knitting from curling up along one side.

If you’re working in stockinette, work two selvedge stitches every other row–one right side and one wrong side. If your piece is worked in reverse stockinette or garter stitch, it’s not necessary to work selvedge stitches at each edge because they won’t curl up as much as stockinette or garter will when worked flat.

This can save you time if you don’t have extra yarn available. The same goes for pieces worked in ribbing, but since ribbing naturally curls slightly inward, it doesn’t require selvedges either. Selvedges are most useful when working pieces that are intended to lie flat, like blankets or scarves.

Colored Double Decreases: Using two colors held together throughout your project can add visual interest and texture to a simple stockinette-stitch rectangle. You can use double decreases to create an interesting color pattern while also decreasing evenly across your fabric so there aren’t any holes left behind by single decreases—and making sure there’s no hole where both colors meet isn’t difficult once you learn how colored double decreases are created!

Fair Isle

Knitted shawl
Knitted shawl

Even if you’ve never knitted Fair Isle, you’ve likely seen it. Often used on sweaters and home décor, Fair Isle (also known as stranded knitting) uses two colors of yarn and two needles to create intricate patterns. This style can be intimidating at first, but once you get a handle on things it can easily become one of your favorite techniques.

Once you’re comfortable with these basics, branch out into more complex designs that require more colors or different stitches.


The simplest way to use Fair Isle is for hats. You can keep them simple by using just two colors or make them more interesting by mixing up your color choices and trying different stitch patterns.


A shawl is another great way to practice Fair Isle without investing too much time or money in a single project. Plus, shawls are easy to wear so you can show off your new skills whenever you like!


Mittens are also easy projects that will allow you to practice while keeping your hands warm during colder months. These larger blankets are perfect for snuggling up under while watching TV or reading a book. They’re also great for covering couches and chairs to add some warmth to otherwise cold spaces.

Lace Scarf

One of my personal favorites, lace scarves are not only beautiful but also incredibly versatile. Wear them around your neck during chilly weather or wrap them around your wrist as an accessory; either way, they’ll add some classiness to any outfit.


One of my favorite knitting tricks is wraps, which are stitches that create beautiful texture and effects. For example, wrapping a stitch means you wrap your yarn around it in between knits or purls. There are several different kinds of wraps; some have a similar look and effect as cables but can be done with any stitch pattern.

Some stitches naturally lend themselves to wrapping—for instance, paired decreases like k2tog tbl (through back loop) or SSK (slip slip slip knit) make for gorgeous textured edgings or inserts. Wrapping is also used in lace patterns where it can create openwork or holes. Wrapping techniques include: 1

Wrap & Turn

This technique creates a neat edge on either garter stitch or stockinette, making it ideal for borders and edges of garments. It’s also an easy way to work short rows if you don’t know how to do them in the round. To wrap & turn, simply bring your working yarn from front to back then over the top of the needle before working the next stitch. This turns your work so that when you return to knitting on right-side rows, what was once the wrong side will now become the right side again.

Twisted German Cast On

This cast-on looks exactly like a long-tail cast except it twists every other stitch. You start by casting onto two needles held together, then twist each stitch by bringing both strands of yarn behind your thumb before knitting into them. If you’re looking for something new to try out, I recommend giving the twisted German cast a go!

M1L/M1R Increase

The M1L and M1R increases are very useful because they’re invisible from both sides of the fabric. They’re great for adding stitches at underarm seams or anywhere else you want to hide extra stitches.

Yarn Over Increase

The YO increase adds height without changing the width, perfect for adding texture without altering the gauge!

Fish Lips Kisses

This stitch is worked over 4 rows, with a double yarn-over on each end of each row. To work it, work four rows as you would for a basic Garter Stitch, but at each edge (beginning and ending), yo twice. On Row 5, you’ll need to begin by knitting into the back of that first yo on your left needle—before you turn your work.

This will twist your stitches so that when you come back from Row 5, you’ll be able to purl as if nothing happened. This stitch is great for garter st projects because every other row is knit and every other row is purl, making it easy to see what’s happening on each side while working or finishing up a project.

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