A wide variety of techniques add colorful dimensions to the process of knitting. Good quality knitting supplies combined with creativity, imagination and skills help produce a perfect finished product. Techniques to knit the yarn in a variety of ways help in creating a variety of patterns and designs on cloth.
Knit stitches and purl stitches form the basics of knitting. Alternate use of knit and purl stitches helps form interesting designs on a fabric. The knit stitch is formed by making loops that interweave each other. It resembles ‘V’ patterns when viewed from the knit side of the pattern. The purl stitch resembles a ‘brick face’. Knitting techniques make use of a large variety of knitting stitches which include Fair Isle, tuck stitch, slip stitch, Stockinette stitch, striped stock stitch, stock stitch etc.
The stocking stitch, a simple form of knitting stitch is used widely in the process of knitting. It is used for making stable fabrics that curl up when the fabric is stitched completely. This type of stitch is used widely in pullovers, sweaters and other such garments.
A variant of the stocking stitch, a striped stocking stitch is a very easy fabric to produce. In this type of stitch, a new color can be incorporated in every row. But a color should be used in an even number of rows before moving on to the next row.
The tuck stitch is a knitting technique of producing a textured pattern of cloth. This type of stitch can be created only by using a knitting machine. Depending on the knitter’s preferences, either side of the cloth can be used as the right side. Two or more colors can be included a tuck stitch pattern. The slip stitch is less textured than the tuck stitch and uses one or more colors in the fabric pattern.
A Fair Isle stitch is a stitch whereby two colors can be included in a single row. This stitch pattern can be produced on machines using patterning devices or on olden style machines by hand selection of needles. A simple Stockinette stitch is composed of alternate rows of knit stitches and purl stitches.
Knit-weaving is a knitting technique of producing a thicker fabric by knitting the purl side of the fabric. But this technique makes use of a weaving yarn, which is quite thick as compared to the knitting yarn. Plating is a technique whereby two strands of yarn are held in a way that one appears to be in front of the other. Striking effects can be created on a ribbed fabric through plating.
Another interesting knitting technique is that of producing a double jacquard fabric. This fabric can be produced using a knitting machine with a patterning device. The double jacquard has two reverse colors across the fabric.
Those planning to start with a piece of knit work could follow a few techniques as an aid to produce a fine finished product. These pertain to the size of the needle, the type of yarn and type of patterns and designs.