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How to Knit One Below

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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2012
Last Updated: Sunday, July 29, 2012

Jeanne shows us how to knit one below. This is a knitting technique that when done with two different colors of yarn will create vertical stripes of color and a reversible fabric. We hope you enjoy it!

How to Knit One Below (right-handed, English):

  1. Using either double points or a circular needle depending on the number of stitches you will be working with, cast on Color "A" using the Backwards Loop Cast On. (Jeanne explains the backwards loop really well in the video.) Jeanne is only using five stitches for her demo. When worked flat the pattern is worked over an odd number of stitches and 4 rows. When worked in the round the pattern is worked over an even number of stitch and 4 rows.
  2. Slid your stitches back to the other end of your needle and using color "B" purl across your cast on stitches.
  3. You will see that you now have both working yarns are on the left side and both tails will be on the right side. Turn your work so that the working yarns are on the right and the tails on the left and with the working yarn of color "A" knit the first two stitches, knit into the stitch below the next stitch, slid both stitches off the left needle, knit the next two stitches normally, repeat across row.
  4. Now slide your work back to the other end of the needle pick up the working yarn of color "B" and knit the first stitch normally, knit the second stitch into the stitch below, knit the third stitch normally, knit the fourth stitch into the stitch below and knit the fifth stitch normally. Repeat across the row.
  5. You'll notice that both working yarns and both tails are now on the same side. Turn. With working end of color A purl the first two stitches normally, purl the third stitch in the stitch below, purl the fourth & fifth stitches normally. Repeat across the row
  6. Slid your work back to the other end of the needle and with color "B", purl one stitch, purl into the stitch below, purl the next stitch, then purl into the stitch below, then purl normally. Repeat across row.
  7. Repeating instructions 3-6 form the row repeat. In standard format the rows that create the vertical stripe read as follows:
    • Row 1: With color A k2, k1b, k2
    • Row 2: Slid work back to other end of needle and with color B k1, k1b, k1, k1b, k1. Turn
    • Row 3: With color A p2, p1b, p2
    • Row 4: Slid work back to other end of needle and with color B p1, p1b, p1, p1b, p1

    *Repeat rows 1-4 as many times as is desired for the size of your work. This is the basic use of the technique.


    The abbreviation for knit one below is k1b and to purl one below is p1b.

    Only turn once both working yarns are on the same side. While one working yarn is on one side and the other on the opposite side you slide the stitch back to the other end of the needle to work the stitches with the second yarn.

    This stitch can be worked with one solid color to give a honeycomb effect.

    This is a difficult stitch to repair when you make an error. It is highly recommended that you use lifelines in your projects. Please look for a new video on lifelines, what they are, when and how to use them.

    Posted by Laura of Jimmy Beans Wool

We hope you enjoy this article! This article and the associated photos are only for personal non-commercial use and are not for resale. All rights reserved. Permission granted by Jimmy Beans Wool and to copy and share this article for non-commercial personal use. Users do not have permission to display on any retail or wholesale website other than and without express permission from Jimmy Beans Wool.
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