Transform Your Knits with the Reverse Stockinette Stitch

Transform Your Knits with the Reverse Stockinette Stitch

Ever wondered how to add more texture and variety to your knitting projects? We’ve been in the same position, puzzled by the intricate beauty of the reverse stockinette stitch. It’s not as daunting as it seems – with concise explanations and step-by-step instructions, we’re here to guide you towards mastering this unique knitting technique.

Let’s unravel its mystery, shall we?

Main Highlights

  • Reverse stockinette stitch is a knitting technique that showcases purl bumps on the right side of the fabric, creating a unique and textured aesthetic.
  • To knit reverse stockinette stitch, alternate between purling one row and knitting the next row.
  • Seaming in reverse stockinette stitch can be challenging due to the texture of the fabric, but with proper preparation and techniques such as tracing existing stitches, successful seams can be achieved.
  • Reverse stockinette stitch has a tendency to curl towards the purl side, but using larger needle sizes, blocking your finished project, and incorporating border or edging techniques can help prevent or reduce curling.

In this guide…

Understanding Reverse Stockinette Stitch

Often viewed as an inversion of its counterpart — the regular stockinette stitch — this fascinating knitting technique places a spotlight on texture.

Using this stitch, we showcase purl bumps, normally hidden in conventional knitwork, to create an entirely new aesthetic.

So how does this amazing twist in stitching come about? Simply put, we’re switching purls and knits around. Unlike standard stockinette where knits dominate one side and purls remain concealed on another, our fearless reverse version celebrates those humble purl stitches by putting them front and center! Knitting becomes a mesmerizing interplay between alternating rows of knit reverse stockinette stitch techniques that keep our patterns lively and exciting.

This conscious shift away from tradition also introduces unique challenges such as “rowing out” due to uneven tension between knit and purl rows which often make visible differences in the fabric’s appearance —a common concern when working with this particular stitch pattern.

But don’t fret just yet; later sections will address these potential hiccups along with suitable solutions so your knitting project can continue without a hitch.

Steps to Knit Reverse Stockinette Stitch

To knit reverse stockinette stitch, start by setting up your needlecraft project. Then, alternate between purling one row and knitting the next row to create the distinct texture of this stitch pattern.

Step 1: Setup

Let’s dive right into the initial setup for reverse stockinette stitch. First, we need to gather all our necessary tools – including knitting needles suitable for your project and a yarn of choice.

The texture of the Reverse Stockinette Stitch emphasizes bold, bulky yarns beautifully. Make sure to start off with an even number of stitches, ideally more than ten so you can truly appreciate this stitch pattern once it starts coming together.

We’ve discovered that working in multiples of two helps create a balanced outcome as it aligns perfectly with the knit one, purl one sequencing associated with this technique. Furthermore, don’t forget to check your tension levels before getting started! Uneven tension could potentially lead to rowing out in reverse stockinette stitch down the line which is something we want to avoid in our crafting adventure.

Step 2: Knitting Technique

In essence, the knitting technique for reverse stockinette stitch involves alternating between purl and knit rows. We start off with a purl row (this will be the right side of your fabric) followed by a knit row on the wrong side.

This simple repetition creates a texture full of beautiful, prominent purl bumps on what becomes the front or “right” side of our work. As we mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to maintain even tension in your stitches as uneven tension could lead to noticeable ‘rowing out.’ If you’re keen on perfecting this style but are having trouble keeping consistency, try working in the round; it’s an effective way to prevent any visible inconsistencies in tension.

Mastering this technique opens up new avenues for creativity in your knitting projects. You can ingeniously combine Reverse Stockinette Stitch with regular Stockinette Stitch patterns and create unique textures that add character to scarves, pillows or whatever else you may dream up!

Knitting the Reverse Stockinette Stitch

Comparing Reverse Stockinette Stitch with Garter Stitch

Let’s delve into the distinctive traits and differences between reverse stockinette stitch and garter stitch.

– Both stitches provide a textured fabric, but their appearance and feel are quite dissimilar. This is largely due to the difference in the stitch pattern and texture they produce.

– Reverse stockinette stitch gives a bumpy texture, like interlocking smiles and frowns, whereas garter stitch is reversible and has more vertical give.

– Garter stitch has a knit stitch between each purl ridge, giving it a unique look. On the other hand, reverse stockinette stitch displays purl ridges that are closer together, offering its distinct appeal.

– One notable distinction is the usage of these stitches. Garter stitch is more common in patterns, while reverse stockinette stitch is less frequently used.

– Despite the infrequent use, reverse stockinette stitch adds interesting texture to projects when combined with regular stockinette stitch. Garter stitch, however, stands out on its own.

– Reverse stockinette stitch and garter stitch are not interchangeable in most knitting patterns due to their unique characteristics. Substituting one for the other can greatly affect the final look and feel of the project.

– The application of these stitches can also differ. For instance, reverse stockinette stitch is often used to create a smooth fabric on the inside of socks, also known as a “princess sole”. Garter stitch, while versatile, doesn’t typically serve this purpose.

– Seaming in reverse stockinette stitch might require a bit of finesse, tracing the path of existing stitches to create a seamless blend with the fabric. Garter stitch, while having its own set of challenges, doesn’t usually require this approach.

Tips for Successful Seaming in Reverse Stockinette Stitch

Seaming in reverse stockinette stitch can be a bit challenging due to the texture of the fabric. Here are some tips to help you achieve successful and seamless seams:

  1. Prepare your edges: Before you start seaming, make sure that the edges of your reverse stockinette pieces are even and tidy. This will ensure a neater and more professional-looking seam.
  2. Use a contrasting yarn: When seaming in reverse stockinette, it can be difficult to see the individual stitches. Using a contrasting color yarn for seaming will make it easier to distinguish the stitches and ensure a more accurate seam.
  3. Trace the path of existing stitches: To create an invisible seam, trace the path of the existing stitches on both pieces of fabric. Insert your needle under both legs of each purl bump, making sure to pick up only one strand from each side.
  4. Take your time: Seaming in reverse stockinette requires patience and attention to detail. Take your time to align the edges properly and sew each stitch with care. Rushing through the process may result in uneven or sloppy seams.
  5. Secure your ends: Once you have finished seaming, don’t forget to secure your ends by weaving them into the fabric using a tapestry needle. This will prevent any unraveling or loosening of the seam over time.
  6. Block your finished project: After seaming, blocking your finished project is essential for achieving a polished look. Wet blocking can help smooth out any irregularities in tension and give your garment or accessory its final shape.

Why Knitting May Curl in Reverse Stockinette Stitch

One challenge knitters often face when working with reverse stockinette stitch is the issue of curling. Unlike regular stockinette stitch, where the smooth knit side lies flat, reverse stockinette tends to curl towards the purl side.

This can be frustrating and create an undesirable effect in your knitting projects.

The reason for this curling phenomenon lies in the nature of the stitches themselves. In reverse stockinette, the bumps created by purl stitches on the right side of the fabric tend to pull at each other, causing a natural inward curvature.

Additionally, because purl stitches are generally looser than knit stitches, they have less inherent structural integrity to keep them from curling.

To prevent or minimize this curling effect in your reverse stockinette projects, there are a few strategies you can employ. Firstly, consider using a yarn that has good drape and weight to it.

Bulky yarns or those with some natural elasticity will help weigh down and stabilize your fabric.

Another technique is blocking. After finishing your project, wet block it by washing it gently and then stretching it out on a flat surface until dry. Blocking helps set the fibers in place and encourage them to lay flat.

If you’re still struggling with excessive curling even after blocking, incorporating border or edging techniques can be helpful as well. Adding ribbing or garter stitch borders around your reverse stockinette sections can provide extra structure and stability.

Finally, maintaining consistent tension throughout your work is crucial for preventing excessive curling. Uneven tension between rows can exacerbate any existing tendencies towards curling.

Take care to ensure that both your knit and purl rows are worked evenly and consistently.

By understanding why knitting may curl in reverse stockinette stitch and implementing these techniques for prevention or adjustment, you’ll be able to create beautiful projects without frustration over unwanted curls.

Knitting the Reverse Stockinette Stitch

How to Prevent Curling in Reverse Stockinette Stitch

Reverse stockinette stitch has a tendency to curl, which can be frustrating when you want your knitting project to lay flat. Here are some tips to help prevent curling in reverse stockinette stitch:

  1. Use a larger needle size: Using a larger needle size than what is recommended for your yarn can help relax the tension in the stitches and reduce curling.
  2. Block your finished project: Blocking is an essential step in knitting that involves wetting and reshaping your knitted piece to even out the tension. Blocking can help flatten out any curling edges in reverse stockinette stitch.
  3. Add a border or edging: Adding a border or edging in a different stitch pattern, such as garter stitch or ribbing, can help stabilize the edges of your reverse stockinette fabric and prevent curling.
  4. Use a different cast-on technique: Certain cast-on techniques like the long-tail cast-on can create a firmer edge, which may help reduce curling.
  5. Incorporate ribbing or seed stitch: Knitting ribbing or seed stitch at the beginning and end of your reverse stockinette rows can provide stability and prevent curling.
  6. Knit with a different fiber blend: Some fibers have more natural drape and are less prone to curling. Consider using yarns with silk or bamboo blends for smoother results.
  7. Experiment with blocking methods: Different blocking techniques, such as steam-blocking or spray-blocking, may yield better results for preventing curling in reverse stockinette stitch.
  8. Test your tension: Uneven tension between knit and purl rows can contribute to curling in reverse stockinette stitch. Pay attention to maintaining consistent tension throughout your knitting to minimize curling issues.

Before you go…

Reverse stockinette stitch is a versatile and textured knitting technique that adds depth and interest to your projects. While it involves purling one row and knitting the next, mastering this stitch can open up a world of creative possibilities.

Whether you’re looking for an alternative to regular stockinette or want to incorporate texture into your designs, reverse stockinette stitch is definitely worth exploring. So grab your needles and start experimenting with this fun and unique stitch pattern!


1. What is reverse stockinette stitch?

Reverse stockinette stitch is a knitting technique where the purl side of the fabric faces outward, creating a textured appearance with rows of knit stitches on the backside.

2. How do you create reverse stockinette stitch?

To create reverse stockinette stitch, you simply alternate between knitting and purling each row. Instead of knitting on the right side and purling on the wrong side like in regular stockinette stitch, you knit on the wrong side and purl on the right side for reverse stockinette.

3. When should I use reverse stockinette stitch?

Reverse stockinette stitch can be used to add interesting texture to your knitting projects. It is commonly used for cuffs, collars, and borders to contrast with regular stockinette or other patterns.

4. Are there any tips for working with reverse stockinette stitch?

When working with reverse stockinette, it’s important to keep track of which row you are currently on as it can be easy to lose track due to its alternating pattern. Additionally, be aware that this type of fabric tends to curl more than regular Stockinette Stitch so consider using blocking or adding a border if desired look doesn’t call for curled edges.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.