Beginner knitter that can't figure out ribbing!

So I learned to knit a couple years ago and just decided to get back into it. Here’s the problem…I’ve only ever knit simple skull caps on round needles, which as you know means just knitting the whole way around.

I want to move on to hats…or anything else for that matter…that have ribbing on them. Unfortunately I can’t get past the second row of knit, purl, knit, purl. I get the first row done and then I’m lost…I don’t know which loops to knit, I have stuff criss-crossing, the stitches are too tight to work with, I have loops that come from nowhere. I need to see how to do this or have it explained to me to figure out what I’m doing, but I can’t find any videos on something as seemingly basic as this. Please help!

Do you understand how to “read” your knitting? I don’t have a link of a picture offhand, but I’m sure someone will post one.

In the meantime when you look at your work, imagine that the stitch going over the needle is a head. If you see the stitch below going around the “neck” like a noose, that is a purl stitch. If it looks like it going around the back of the “neck” like a scarf, that is a knit stitch (as you’re looking at it.)

In ribbing, you knit the knits and purl the purls, as you see them.

Hope that helps while you’re waiting for a photo. In the meantime, you might browse the videos on this site to see if you can see clearly the differences in the stitches.

The criss crosses come from moving your yarn over the needle instead of between the tips. There is a video on the Tips page under Basic stitches. You need an even number of sts for 1x1 ribbing, or a number that’s divisible by 4 for 2x2 ribbing. When you come to the second round, knit what looks like knit sts, and purl what looks like purl sts.

And yep, there’s pictures and a video in the Sticky Thread at the top of this forum - Knit the Knits and Purl the Purls.

You might try knitting a few stitches, and then turn your work to see what the stitches look like on the other side…then do the same with purling and see what they look like.

You need to learn to read your knitting. Each stitch has two sides, one is a purl the other is a knit. Ribbing is knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches regardless of whether you are knitting flat or in the round. Here’s a stitch sample that shows you what they look like. Practice a bit before you work on your project. :thumbsup:

You may well be able to get the knits over the knits and the purls over the purls, but as Sue said the main problem is how you move the yarn between them. You need to make sure you have the yarn in back for each knit stitch and in front for each purl stitch and to move it back and forth be sure to move the yarn between the needle tips. That will get rid of those nightmarish crisscrosses.

easy way to remember:

purls look like little bumps, like pearls.

knit looks like a V