Knitting in the back

when i first learned to knit i wasn’t knitting the proper way. instead of going through the stitch from the front i was going through it from the back. i’ve only been knitting for 8 months or so but i find knitting through the back of the stitch to be so much easier.

is this going to cause a problem later?

i have since learned the proper way to knit but i find that when i am only using garter stitch for an entire project i prefer to knit through the back.


You are essentially twisting every stitch you knit thro the back…
The only prob i can see is that you will come accross patterns that call for twisted stitches…ie: KTBL …which means you would have to knit thro the front loop on those stitches…you would purl the way you did before…other than that, I dont see an issue…
Im sure others will pipe in here, but that is my opinion.

As long as you do it on garter stitch projects I guess it couldn’t hurt. But it will make your stitches tighter and if you do something that you want to match the gauge for, it can be a problem.

This will sound like a dumb question. But is the back leg of the stitch the one that leans closest to the right needle? If so your stitches won’t be twisted.

In combined or eastern knitting, the back leg leans toward the right needle. In other styles, the front leg leans toward the right needle. Or when working on circulars in the round, the front leg leans. As long as you knit into the leaning leg, your stitches won’t be twisted.

Most pattern use a foundation of stockinette. The reason combined leans that way is because the purl stitches are worked with the yarn under the needle. Not over the top. This keeps the stitches in alignment. If you don’t adjust on the purl side, then the stitches will be twisted.

If you knit in garter stitch (where you knit all the rows) the stitches will be twisted. Which doesn’t look as obvious. But makes a much tighter pattern. And makes it hard to get the stitches off the needle.

If you make stockinette, and don’t adjust the purl side, then the stitches will twist. Also a much tighter fabric with the V on the right side crossed.

Abby123-i have no idea what most of that means. :slight_smile:
i’m not sure what you mean by lean. each stitch i guess leans left or right? when i am doing them through the back they are leaning left to right. the top of the stitch is left and the bottom of the stitch is towards the right needle. is that what you mean?

A stitch has two legs - one drapes over the front of the needle, the other is in back. Generally the front leg is also the closest to the tip of the needle, and the back leg is further away. If you wrap the purls so that the back leg is closer to the tips, you would knit into that one so the sts don’t twist. If you knit into the front one which is further from the tip, that will twist the stitch.

I can see why my description might be hard to understand if you haven’t been knitting long. Sorry about that. The easiest way to tell which leg leans is to slide the stitch off the needle. Which part (front or back) is toward the right hand side? That is the leaning edge.

I gather you have already knit a scarf in garter pattern (where you knit all the stitches on all the rows.) Think of the intertwined bumps as mountains. Stretch the work apart & look in the valleys. The knit stitches should look like a V. If they look like a x with a V above it, then your stitches are being worked twisted.

If they are twisted, then yes you will have trouble when you move to more advanced patterns.

Hopefully, that makes more sense.

I am confused, what is this “knitting in the back” look like?

I like Sue’s idea of calling it the leg closest to the needle tip. That is probably the easier way to describe it.

Still mystified…is this an English knitting thang?

Yeah, ‘lean’ doesn’t quite describe it.

It’s not english or continental Noobknitter, but just knitting. Look at your sts - they each have two legs, one of them is closer to the tip than the other. That’s all.

You might look into combined knitting where the purls are wrapped ‘backwards’ on purpose and the knits are done through the back leg to prevent twisting.

I assume, she is knitting into the part of the stitch that sits on the back of the needle. Not the front.

When you work garter stitch, this twist is hidden in the valleys. So it is less noticable. But when you do stockinette, it is much harder to knit twisted stitches. Think of patterns where it says, knit2 together thru back loop. That is a twist decrease. And they are cumbersome to make. So if you have been knitting a while, you realize that the stitches just aren’t coming off the needle easily & naturally correct them.

I looked for a video. But couldn’t find anything.

Here’s a picture of Twisted Stockinette which is the result you get when you twist the knit stitches.

I’m such a n0ob I haven’t followed a pattern yet, but that photo helped. My knitting looks like waves, rather than arrows like in that photo.

I hunted around & found this video on twisted stockinette. It shows knitting into the back. And the finished work.

You only use it if you want twists in your stitches.

Good, then I guess you’re doing fine.

I’m worried I’m doing it wrong, so here’s photos of the mystery project (possible future scarf.)

I don’t totally “get” stockinette etc, I just um, knit:

I know there are mistakes not sure how I made them and they bug me.

looked at different stitch vids, I think I’m doing garter all the time? I knit both sides.

Your result is garter stitch when you knit every row. You can also get garter stitch by purling every row.

There’s a little unevenness in your tension, but that improves with practice. It’s too hard to see your knit sts because the garter pulls up the rows and kind of obscures them. Once you start doing purl rows, then you’ll be able to see the knits more easily.

oh i get it abby123 alright now.

thanks for the explaination suzeeq. made a bit more sense.

the front stitch is the one that leans closest to the right needle. so my stitches are twisted?

i’m slowly relearning to knit through the front so that i don’t run into any problems when it comes time to follow a patter callingfor more the just garter stitch.

Amala, you were not knitting wrong. You were knitting either Combined or Eastern style and neither of those is wrong. If you would like more information, just try looking stuff up on YouTube, it’s all over the place.

All over the net there are sites dedicated to both types of knitting. If you knit from the back loop, inserting the needle from the right hand side, and purl by inserting the needle into the front of the loop from the right hand side, that is combined. If you do this style you must make sure your yarn is wrapped around the needle in the same orientation knitting or purling (I recommend clockwise). If you knit from the back loop, inserting the needle into the back of the loop on the right hand side and purl by inserting the needle into the back of the loop from the left side then that is Eastern. It’s an incredibly efficient way to knit. Actually, it’s combined knitting in a mirror. No right, no wrong, just a different way to knit.

There is no right way or wrong way to knit. There is your way, the way that works for you. If anyone tells you any different, just smile politely and snicker lightly as they walk away.