Knot Stitch Right and Knot Stitch Left

When we want to liven up a project without altering the pattern too much, it’s good to use simple ways to decorate our knitting – nupps, bobbles or even cross stitch.

Knot stitch is one of those little tweaks that turn a basic project into a one of a kind creation. It is used quite often in the elaborate stitch patterns described in the book 250 Japanese Knitting Stitches” by Hitomi Shida.

There are two main variations of this stitch – a right-slanting knot and a left-slanting knot. Both versions are worked over three stitches and can be incorporated in any project.

Let’s take a look at both of them. 

As usual, there is a video tutorial that shows how to do all the steps explained below. Click here to watch the video.


1. Work to the spot where you’d like to make a knot stitch. Make sure you have at least three stitches on your left needle. 

2. With the working yarn at the back of the work, insert the tip of the right needle from right to left into the third stitch on the left needle, and pass that stitch over the first two stitches and off the left needle. Watch how to do it

This stitch creates a wrap around the other two stitches (or “knot” as it is called in Japanese patterns). It also decreases the number of stitches by one stitch, and we are going to fix it in the next step.

3. Knit the first “knotted” stitch, make a yarn over (we need it to bring the number of stitches back to three) and knit the next stitch. Here’s how to do it.

That’s it. Now we have a lovely knot in the fabric and the same three stitches we started with.

In the wrong side row, purl all stitches. The yarn over that we made in step 3 will create an eyelet. To avoid it, purl the yarn over through the back loop, just as it is shown in this part of the video tutorial.


This variation of the knot stitch looks very similar to the right-slanting variation we’ve just discussed. The only difference is that the wrap has a slight slant to the left. “Knot stitch left” is less common, probably because it takes an extra step to make it.

1. The first step is exactly the same for both variations of the knot stitch – work to the spot where you plan to make a knot and make sure you have at least three stitches on your left needle.

2. Bring the working yarn to the back of the work and slip three stitches purlwise from the left needle to the right needle.

3. Now insert the tip of the left needle from left to right into the third stitch on the right needle (it will be the first stitch in the group of stitches we slipped in the previous step), and pass it over the other two stitches. Watch how to do it.

4. Return the two “knotted” stitches back to the left needle. Then knit 1, make a yarn over and knit 1. Here’s how it looks in the video.

Here we are – just one extra step, and we’ve got a left-slanting knot stitch. Purl all stitches in the wrong side row. Purl the yarn over through the back loop if you want to eliminate the eyelet.

Both variations of the knot stitch are most often used to create three-stitch columns on the background worked in reverse stockinette stitch, but that’s not the only way to use this stitch in your knitting. It looks equally nice in rows or columns created on the plain stockinette stitch.

Or, we can arrange knot stitches in a checkered pattern to create a beautiful stitch pattern like the one shown in the photo below and in this part of the video tutorial.

Here’s how this arrangement of stitches looks in a chart (if you need help with reading knitting charts, take a look at this tutorial):

As you see, knot stitch offers a number of ways to make our knitting more interesting and to create unique projects. The best part is – it is quite easy to do and is a great tool for knitters of all levels of skill.

The full PDF version of this tutorial is a part of the Knitting Collection #2. Once you order your copy of this collection, you will instantly receive a “big PDF” (304 pages!) with this and 41 other tutorials included in the collection.

You will also receive two e-books and three knitting patterns as a special bonus, so go ahead and get it all right now before you forget 😊

If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Matching Cast Ons and Bind Offs” Book

Discover six pairs of cast on and bind off methods that form identical edges on projects worked flat and in the round.

“Neat Side Edges” Book

Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.

Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko -

Knot stitch - step by step | 10 rows a day
How to knit a knot stitch | 10 rows a day
Two variations of a knot stitch | 10 rows a day