How to read the stitches on your knitting needle

How to Read the Stitches on Your Knitting Needle

One of the most basic skills in learning how to read your knitting is learning how to read the stitches on your knitting needle.

This tutorial was inspired by this question a Knit Along Club member posted in our members-only Facebook group:

“Does anyone know of a good book that has drawings or very clear pictures of what the yarn is supposed to look like on the needle. I get so confused when I have had to take out stitches. Sometimes I wind up with what looks like twisted stitches, and I’m not sure why.”

If you have the same trouble, you are in the right place! 

Stitches that are mounted correctly on your knitting needles are easy to knit and produce consistent stitches. If they are mounted incorrectly, they will be harder to knit and produce twisted stitches.

Twisted stitches are very similar to “regular” stitches. The untrained eye may not even notice that they are different from regular stitches, but they do affect the appearance and the stretchiness of your work.

There are two main reasons that stitches become mounted backwards on your needle:

  1. They twist when you pick up dropped stitches, or
  2. You wrapped your yarn backwards when performing a stitch.

In this video, I’ll show you how to identify stitches that are twisted (aka upside down or backwards) on your needle and how to fix them.

One thing I forgot to mention in the video is that stitches that are mounted backwards (upside down/twisted) are harder to knit into than stitches that are oriented correctly. They will feel much tighter when you insert your working needle into the front of the stitch.

Fixing Other Knitting Mistakes

Now that you’ve learned how to read the stitches on your knitting needle and fix them, do you want to learn how to quickly fix other common knitting mistakes? If so, check out my Fixing Knitting Mistakes playlist on YouTube to hone your skills.

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