Advanced Knitting Techniques

Sure these techniques are impressive, but they're nothing compared to the accomplishments of learning to knit and purl. Don't be intimidated by this section, there are some thrilling knitting techniques in here! If nothing else, please learn how to use a circular knitting needle for large diameter circular knitting, and learn one of the techniques for small Diameter circular knitting. The techniques couldn't be easier, and I promise it will open up a whole new world of knitting.

Large Diameter Circular Knitting

On one circular needle (pictured left). Easy!

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Knitting with a circular needle

Using a circular needle

Small Diameter Circular Knitting

Double Pointed Needles (DPN)

The most common way of knitting small-diameter objects in the round.

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On two circular needles

Another popular method, which many prefer.  Less needles in the way.

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Magic Loop knitting

Magic Loop Knitting uses one large circular needle. Less common, but handy to know, and some folks prefer it. If you find yourself loving Magic Loop knitting, look for circular needles with a thin, flexible cable. Addi Turbo needles are reported to be great, as are KnitPicks' Options needles, with very flexible cables out there for this purpose.

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A couple of notes about knitting in the round...

  • You can't do standard intarsia knitting (a method of knitting with multiple colors) in the round. The common solution is to just work an object flat and seam it if it's an intarsia project.  It is possible to do it in the round, but it takes some clever adaptation. I've seen a few methods, but my favorite is the one Anne Berk demonstrates in her excellent DVD, Inside Intarsia, available in our shop.
  • Your gauge is probably different when working in the round than when working flat, so you will want to make a special circular gauge swatch for circular projects. 
Knitting with double pointed needles

Knitting on double pointed needles

Working the heel of a Sock

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How to turn the heel, pick up gusset stitches, and decrease gusset. Follows pattern of North Country Cotton Baby/Toddler socks (free in patterns page). Also similar to patterns in The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, and many other basic top-down socks. This video ends a little abruptly. The last words are "And now we're at the end of our decreases."

I also have a longer video of making this sock from beginning to end, including casting on, using DPN's, changing colors, dividing for the heel, working the heel (as shown in the video here, but including more of the action), decreasing for the toe, kitchener stitch bind-off, and weaving in the end.

SWorking the heel of a sock

Decorative Stitches

Crossing Cables with a Cable Needle

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Crossing Cables without a cable needle

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Loop Stitch

Just purl the reverse side, unless you want loops on both sides.

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Elongated Stitch

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Creating Basic Bobbles

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To answer an often asked question: The stitch pattern I'm working on in this bobble video is from "The New Knitting Stitch Library," by Leslie Stanfield. Pg. 117.

Knitting Cables with a cable needle

Knitting Cables

How to knit with 2 colors at a time

Stranding, Fair Isle (pictured left).

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Carrying two colors at a time, and alternating them across the row.  A note about tension:  There is a tendency to work too tightly, and the resulting knitting can lose all stretchiness.  Elizabeth Zimmerman says that you can always go back and tighten loose stitches later, but you can't loosen them later, and recommends leaning on the loose side in any stranded project.  This is especially true for socks!  (The knitting needs to stretch to fit over the heel!)


Intarsia (pronounced in-TAR-see-uh, according to Websters), is a method of creating isolated blocks of color, for example a heart against a solid background.  Is it possible to knit Intarsia in the round?  Most people would answer "No," but actually yes it is possible!  I know of three methods, only one of which works in all applications.  Anne Berk demonstrates this exciting method beautifully in her excellent DVD, Inside Intarsia.

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Double Knitting

See video below


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Double Crochet Bind-Off

Double Knitting

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Reversible knitting! Double thick, and looks like stockinette on both sides. Color patterning is reversed on opposite site.

There are a few kinds of double knitting. I demonstrate two-color knitting worked on straight needles. The pattern I'm referring to is this free pattern. Cast on 60 stitches to start, if you do this project.

I also have a video of how to do this project from beginning to end, demonstrating casting-on, following the chart on the reverse side of the work, working the selvage stitches, binding off, and doing the i-cord loop at the end. 

Sloped Bind-Off

One-Row Buttonhole

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If the button you're using is 4 stitches wide, make a 3-stitch buttonhole (as demonstrated). For a 5-stitch-wide button, make a 4-stitch buttonhole, etc.

  • Step 1 -- work to where you want buttonhole to begin. Bring yarn to front; slip 1 purl-wise, bring yarn to back.
  • Step 2 -- Slip 1 purl-wise, pass first slipped stitch over second. (repeat this part 2 more times--passing over 3 stitches total, for a 3-stitch buttonhole) Place last stitch back on left needle. Turn work.
  • Step 3 -- Cast on 4 stitches (for the 3 stitches you bound off, plus 1) using the cable cast-on method.
  • Step 4 -- Turn work (so RS is facing). Bring yarn to back; slip first st of left needle onto right needle and pass last CO st over it. ....You're done! Work to end of the row, or to the next buttonhole!


One-Row Buttonhole

Short Row with Wrap

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This technique is used to insert extra rows invisibly in the middle of the knitting (extra rows are shown in pink in the photo, otherwise they would appear so seamless as to be invisible). The wrapping of end stitches avoids creating holes where you turn the work.

This method can be used by a knitter in many circumstances. It can be used below the neck on the back of the sweater, so the neck doesn't dip down in the back. It can be incorporated to create shaping in the chest of a sweater, great if you are a C-cup or larger, and have difficulty getting sweaters to fit in a shapely way. You can modify existing patterns by inserting rows at the underside of the chest. 

Short Row with Wrap

Kitchener Stitch, I-Cord and more....

See more knitting techniques in the Knitting Tips section.


One-Kitchener Stitch

Kitchener Stitch