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Free Video: How to Knit Backward

If you just need to knit a few stitches and don’t feel like turning your work, you can always knit backward. This will create purl stitches on the side of the work facing you.

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.
Knit Backwards Step 03
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How to Knit Backward American- or Continental-Style

Knitting backward is for if your pattern says, ..”turn. Knit…” For instance, if you are doing Garter stitch. Purling backward is different; you can learn to purl backward here.

Free Video: How to Knit Backward

Step-by-Step Instructions: How to Knit Backward

First: Continental-Style

Knit Backwards Step 01

1. When your pattern says to turn your work, don’t. The stitches to be worked will be on your right-hand needle.

Knit Backwards Step 02

2. Tension the yarn in your left hand for Continental-style.

Knit Backwards Step 03

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.

Knit Backwards Step 04

4. With your left index finger, bring the working yarn across to the needle tip.

Knit Backwards Step 05

5. Use your right thumb to bring the yarn under the needle-tip.

Knit Backwards Step 06

6. Let the working yarn cross under and across the back of the needle-tip.

Knit Backwards Step 07

7. With the needle-tip, push the working yarn through the middle of the stitch.

 

Knit Backwards Step 08

8. Push the yarn through the stitch. The left needle-tip goes under the right needle.

 

Knit Backwards Step 09

9. Remove the stitch from the right-hand needle; stitch is now on left-hand needle.

Knit Backwards Step 10

10. Push the left needle fully through the stitch.

Knit Backwards Step 11

11. To knit again, insert the left needle-tip from back to front through the next stitch on the right-hand needle.

Knit Backwards Step 12

12. Use your right thumb to guide the working yarn across the needle-tip.

Knit Backwards Step 13

13. Release the working yarn so that it dips under the left needle-tip.

Knit Backwards Step 14

14. Push the working yarn through the stitch and bring the new stitch off the right-hand needle and onto the left-hand needle.

Knit Backwards Step 15

15. The second completed knit stitch.

How to Knit Backwards American-Style

Knit Backwards Step 16

1. Tension the yarn in your right hand.

Knit Backwards Step 17

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.

Knit Backwards Step 18

3. Bring the working yarn across to the inserted needle-tip, underneath the loop.

Knit Backwards Step 19

4. Bring the working yarn up under the left needle-tip.

Knit Backwards Step 20

5. Use your left hand to hold the working yarn tightly behind the needle-tip.

Knit Backwards Step 21

6. Push the working yarn through the stitch.

Knit Backwards Step 22

7. The left needle-tip goes under the right-hand needle.

Knit Backwards Step 23

8. The finished knit stitch.

How to Check That You Are Doing it Right (Both Styles)

Knit Backwards Step 24

1. Turn your work.

Knit Backwards Step 25

2. Examine the stitches you’ve created on the right-hand needle. They should look like the photo here.

Knit Backwards Step 26

3. Knit the next stitch so you can be sure you know what a correct knit stitch looks like.

Knit Backwards Step 27

4. Compare the stitch you just knit normally with the ones you created backward. They should look the same.

Knit Backwards Step 28

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.

Family Photos/News

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:

Dog Sweater Ebook Cover 31022I’ve just put the finishing touches on our new Dog Sweater class which I will be officially launching soon, but is actually available now.

Double moebius bowlI’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!

Hugs,
Liat

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Have any questions? Are you excited to try knitting backward? Leave a comment and let me know!

8 thoughts on “How to Knit Backwards”

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  1. Liat – I love the pics, thanks! I had never seen a banana stalk in development. Milo is so adorable. Jackfruit is rather popular of late here but I haven’t tried it. I’ll have to now and discover what Milo loves about it ;-))

    1. Hi Marla! There is unripe jackfruit that is available in cans there that people use as a meat substitute – I think that’s so interesting and have never been able to try it. Here they sell the ripe fruit (opened up and separated into edible pieces – the entire fruit weighs easily 5-10 pounds) which has a very “fruity” smell that some people can’t get past. We add it to our smoothies in the morning.

  2. What a little cutie — he reminds me of my 3 year-old grandnephew. I’m so envious — you have fresh tropical fruit available! I’ll never forget my first trip to Mexico & eating a fruit salad. Bananas and papayas ripened on the tree taste completely different from the picked-green, artificially-ripened fruit we get in the stores here. Enjoy!

    1. It’s so true! We have an absolute glut of papayas, mangos (during the season), yaca, pineapple, and guava that are as ripe as can be. Did you know that the best varieties of mangos don’t even get exported? The skin is too delicate. Only the burly “bola” mangos make it across the border. Here we enjoy Ataulfo, Perico, and other varieties that ripen at different times during the season. I may take some photos next time we go to Carlos’ family’s ranch and share here on the blog. Hugs!!

Top Ten 10 Mistakes All Self Taught Knitters Make Book Cover

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8 thoughts on “How to Knit Backwards”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 6 MB. You can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

  1. Liat – I love the pics, thanks! I had never seen a banana stalk in development. Milo is so adorable. Jackfruit is rather popular of late here but I haven’t tried it. I’ll have to now and discover what Milo loves about it ;-))

    1. Hi Marla! There is unripe jackfruit that is available in cans there that people use as a meat substitute – I think that’s so interesting and have never been able to try it. Here they sell the ripe fruit (opened up and separated into edible pieces – the entire fruit weighs easily 5-10 pounds) which has a very “fruity” smell that some people can’t get past. We add it to our smoothies in the morning.

  2. What a little cutie — he reminds me of my 3 year-old grandnephew. I’m so envious — you have fresh tropical fruit available! I’ll never forget my first trip to Mexico & eating a fruit salad. Bananas and papayas ripened on the tree taste completely different from the picked-green, artificially-ripened fruit we get in the stores here. Enjoy!

    1. It’s so true! We have an absolute glut of papayas, mangos (during the season), yaca, pineapple, and guava that are as ripe as can be. Did you know that the best varieties of mangos don’t even get exported? The skin is too delicate. Only the burly “bola” mangos make it across the border. Here we enjoy Ataulfo, Perico, and other varieties that ripen at different times during the season. I may take some photos next time we go to Carlos’ family’s ranch and share here on the blog. Hugs!!

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