Tutorials included on this page:

  • Joining Stitches in the Round on a Circular Needle
  • k-tbl - knit through back loop - this creates a twisted stitch
  • Sl1 wyif - Slip 1 stitch with the yarn in the front for a neat, professional finish
  • Mirror / Backwards knitting - a useful technique where you knit back across a stockinette row, rather than turning and purling
  • I-cord - how to knit an i-cord - useful for creating straps, handles or ties
  • Adding a Buttonhole - how to work a buttonhole over 2 rows by binding off and casting on stitches
  • Chain Reaction Loops - joining loops in the Chain Reaction shawl 

Joining Stitches in the Round on a Circular Needle

Once you have cast your stitches onto the circular needle, just double check that they are not twisted around the cable, and that the chained joins are sitting at the bottom.

Push both sets of end stitches to the needle tips and place a marker to indicate the beginning of the round.

With the working yarn on the right, knit into the first stitch on the left hand needle. This stitch will join the cast-on stitches together.

From here you can carry on knitting all the way around. When you get back to the marker at the end of the round, just slip it and carry on knitting.

K-tbl - Knit through the back loop

By knitting into the back loop, you will be twisting the knit stitch. It's an easy stitch to learn and can look quite pretty in a pattern.

1. Insert the right hand needle into the back of the next stitch, from right to left

2. Wrap the yarn around and pull through a new stitch




Sl1 wyif - Slip 1 with yarn in front

When a slip stitch is worked as the first stitch of every row, it forms a column of elongated stitches down the edge of the fabric which gives a neat and attractive finish.

The trick is to keep these stitches fairly loose as if pulled too tight they can distort the edging. I find that pinching the stitch at the bottom when taking the yarn to the back can help with this.

1. At the start of the row, hold the working yarn at the front of the work

2. Insert the right hand needle, from right to left, into the front of the first stitch

3. Slip this stitch to the right hand needle

4. Being careful not to pull the yarn too tightly, move the yarn to the back of the work and continue as per pattern

Backwards or 'Mirror' Knitting

This is a really handy technique to learn. If you are working stockinette, when you get to the end of the right side row, rather than turn and purl you can simply backwards knit back across the row. Once you get the hang of it you may never want to purl again!

So, when you get to the end of your right side row, do not turn the work. Instead:

1. Insert the left hand needle from left to right into the back of the stitch last worked on the right hand needle.

2. Bring the yarn around from the back and over the left hand needle.

3. Pull the working yarn through the stitch with the left hand needle and slide the stitch off the right hand needle.

Repeat steps 1 - 3 until you reach the end of the row. 

Knitting an I-Cord

An i-cord is a narrow tube of knitting that can be used for straps, handles, ties or decorative purposes. It can be made using 2, 3, 4 or 5 sts, depending on how thick you want it to be. You will need 2 x double pointed needles (dpn's) to make an i-cord.

1. Cast on the required amount of sts onto one of the dpn's

2. Slide the stitches to the other end of the needle.

3. Pick up the working yarn from the back of the last knit stitch and knit across the sts with the other dpn.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you are happy with the length of your i-cord.

Adding a Buttonhole

This video shows you how to make a buttonhole by casting off stitches mid-row on a right side row, and then casting on stitches on a wrong side row to create a hole. Buttonholes can be made to size by binding off / casting on from 1 stitch to as many as you need for your button to fit. The video casts off 3 sts for a 1" button (using a chunky yarn and 4mm needles)

1. Work to where you want to place the buttonhole on a RS row.

2. Bind off 3 sts using a knitted cast off. Continue to work the rest of the row.

3. Work the next WS row to the point where you cast off the sts on the RS row. 

4. Turn the work and use a knitted cast on to cast on 3 sts.

Continue to work the rest of the WS row as per pattern.

Joining the loops of the Chain Reaction Shawl

1. Transfer the live stitches from the right hand needle onto a small stitch holder (or piece of scrap yarn)

2. Take the strip of stitches and feed this along with the remaining yarn, from back to front, through the previous loop

3. Place the live stitches back on the right hand needle before working the 3 needle bind off