Knit Know-How: Types of Knits for the Perfect Sweater

Types of Knits for Sweaters

When it comes to knitting sweaters, there are various types of knits to choose from, each offering a distinct texture and appearance. The type of knit you select can greatly impact the overall look and feel of your sweater. Here are some common types of knits for sweaters:

1. Stockinette Stitch

The stockinette stitch is one of the most basic and commonly used stitches in knitting. It creates a smooth and flat fabric with a “v” pattern on one side (the right side) and a series of horizontal ridges on the other side (the wrong side). Stockinette stitch is often used for the main body of sweaters, as it provides a clean and classic look.

2. Garter Stitch

The garter stitch is another basic stitch that is simple yet versatile. It is created by knitting every row, resulting in a textured fabric with ridges on both sides. Garter stitch has a bouncy and squishy texture, making it great for cozy and warm sweaters. It is also reversible, so it can be used for patterns where both sides of the fabric are visible.

3. Rib Stitch

The rib stitch is commonly used for cuffs, hems, and neckbands of sweaters. It creates a stretchy and textured fabric by alternating knit and purl stitches in a specific pattern. Ribbing can be done in various combinations, such as 1×1 (alternating knit and purl stitches), 2×2 (two knit stitches followed by two purl stitches), or even more complex combinations like 3×1 or 4×2. Ribbing provides elasticity and helps the sweater retain its shape.

4. Seed Stitch

The seed stitch is a textured stitch pattern that alternates knit and purl stitches within the same row and between rows. It creates a fabric with a raised and bumpy texture, similar to a field of scattered seeds. Seed stitch is often used for borders, cuffs, or smaller sections of sweaters to add visual interest and texture.

5. Cable Stitch

Cable stitches create beautiful and intricate designs that resemble interwoven cables. They are achieved by crossing stitches over each other, typically over a certain number of rows. Cables can range from simple twists to complex braids and can be used as a focal point or decorative element on sweaters. Cable knitting adds texture and depth to the fabric, making it visually appealing.

6. Moss Stitch

The moss stitch, also known as the seed stitch, creates a fabric with a raised texture and a pattern of alternating knit and purl stitches, similar to the seed stitch mentioned earlier. It has a rich and textured appearance, making it suitable for both all-over patterns and smaller sections of sweaters.


These are just a few of the many types of knits that can be used for knitting sweaters. Each stitch pattern offers its own unique texture, appearance, and characteristics. Consider the style and design you want to achieve for your sweater and choose the knit that best suits your vision. Whether you prefer a smooth and classic stockinette stitch, a bouncy garter stitch, or intricate cables, selecting the right knit can help you create a sweater that is both visually appealing and comfortable to wear.