Free Video: How to Knit Backward
It’s a bit easier to do this trick Continental-style than American/English style, but in this tutorial I show you both ways to knit backward.
How to Knit Backward American- or Continental-Style
Free Video: How to Knit Backward
Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Knit Backward
1. When your pattern says to turn your work, don’t. The stitches to be worked will be on your right-hand needle.
2. Tension the yarn in your left hand for Continental-style.
3. Insert the left-hand needle from back to front through the leading leg of the first stitch on the right-hand needle, as shown. The working yarn should be in front of (between you and) the left needle.
4. With your left index finger, bring the working yarn across to the needle tip.
5. Use your right thumb to bring the yarn under the needle-tip.
6. Let the working yarn cross under and across the back of the needle-tip.
7. With the needle-tip, push the working yarn through the middle of the stitch.
8. Push the yarn through the stitch. The left needle-tip goes under the right needle.
9. Remove the stitch from the right-hand needle; stitch is now on left-hand needle.
10. Push the left needle fully through the stitch.
11. To knit again, insert the left needle-tip from back to front through the next stitch on the right-hand needle.
12. Use your right thumb to guide the working yarn across the needle-tip.
13. Release the working yarn so that it dips under the left needle-tip.
14. Push the working yarn through the stitch and bring the new stitch off the right-hand needle and onto the left-hand needle.
15. The second completed knit stitch.
How to Knit Backwards American-Style
1. Tension the yarn in your right hand.
2. Insert the needle from back to front through the leading leg of the next stitch on the right-hand needle. Yarn is between you and the needles.
3. Bring the working yarn across to the inserted needle-tip, underneath the loop.
4. Bring the working yarn up under the left needle-tip.
5. Use your left hand to hold the working yarn tightly behind the needle-tip.
6. Push the working yarn through the stitch.
7. The left needle-tip goes under the right-hand needle.
8. The finished knit stitch.
How to Check That You Are Doing it Right (Both Styles)
1. Turn your work.
2. Examine the stitches you’ve created on the right-hand needle. They should look like the photo here.
3. Knit the next stitch so you can be sure you know what a correct knit stitch looks like.
4. Compare the stitch you just knit normally with the ones you created backward. They should look the same.
5. The correct orientation for completed knit stitches. The leading leg (the leg closest the needle-tip) is in back. The stitch is not twisted in any way.
…and there you have it! Now you can knit backward without turning your work if you ever don’t feel like it. This works great for Garter stitch. For other applications where you want to knit on the front and purl on the back without turning, see purl backwards.
KnitFreedom readers are so lovely in that they ask about what’s going on in my personal life, so here are a few photos.
Also a few notes about upcoming KnitFreedom classes and tutorials:
I’ve just put the finishing touches on our new Dog Sweater class which I will be officially launching soon, but is actually available now.
I’ve also just knit one of my fun 5-petal moebius bowls in preparation for a new video class, Felted Moebius Bowl! This is a very quick knit with tons of great techniques that I’m excited to teach.
Personally, I’ve been working on making my house a home with an amazing Feng Shui consultant to help me know what changes are most impactful to make. I might show some before-and-after photos one of these days!
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Have any questions? Are you excited to try knitting backward? Leave a comment and let me know!