Oliver tutorial no. 1 – Reading your knitting

As promised, here is the first in a series of tutorials to help you knit my Oliver pattern – each designed to make it easier and faster to knit this jumper up. (The women’s version of this design, Olivia, will be coming soon too.) To make sure you don’t miss one, you can follow my blog (on the Home Page) and sign up for the newsletter.

Tutorial no. 1 – Reading your Knitting

So, let’s get started.

Does anyone know what reading your knitting is? Hands up!

I know we’re not in a classroom, but let’s treat this blog as your very own personalised knitting tutorial. Feel free to post questions in the Comments section below and I’ll pick up on them in the next post.

Reading your Knitting is being able to visually identify what your stitches are doing on your needles, with an aim to helping you figure out what to do next.

If you’ve ever been to one of my workshops, you’ll know that I think this is a really important skill. Reading your knitting is to knitting what learning your scales is to playing a musical instrument. Understanding the building blocks of your knitting (your stitches) is what helps you move to the next level where you are less reliant on your pattern and can figure out where you are in your knitting more easily.

Reading your knitting is very useful for patterns comprised of knit and purl, like the Double Moss Stitch which is featured on the Oliver and Olivia jumpers.

First, we need to be able to identify what our knit and purl stitches look like.

Your knit stitches look like a ‘V’, made up of the left and right legs of your stitches. Your purl stitches look like a bump.


How can we use this little fact?

If you’re working in ribbing, where you want your columns of knit and purl to stack up, when you see a ‘V’ (our knit hint), you will knit, and when you see a bump (our purl hint), you will purl.

If, instead, you were working moss stitch, where the pattern off-sets on each row (i.e., purls on top of knits and knits on top of purls) you could work as follows: when you see a ‘V’ (our knit st), you would purl, and when you see a bump (our purl st), you would knit.

Double Moss Stitch Pattern

Here is a visual of the Double Moss Stitch and the written out pattern from my Oliver jumper. You can see the double moss stitch filler stitches next to the cables on the shoulder. It adds a lovely texture which doesn’t seem at all like knit or purl sts.



Double Moss Stitch Pattern (Knit in the round on an even number of sts)

Round 1 and 2: *P1, k1, rep from * to COR.

Round 3 and 4: *K1, p1, rep from * to COR.

Double Moss Stitch pattern – how to tell which row you’re on!

Photo A - Double Moss Stitch

Photo A – Double Moss Stitch – Round 1 completed. Work one more round the same.

Photo B - Double Moss Stitch

Photo B – Double Moss Stitch – Round 2 completed. Time to off-set!


If your knitting looks like Photo A, you will work one more round in pattern as set – knit your knits and purl your purls. (All your knit sts looks like a V, and your purls look like a bump.)

If your knitting looks like the photo B, with your knits (or purls) stacked two-high on top of each other, you will now off-set the pattern, knitting your purls and purling your knits.

Voila! No more needing to read each row of the pattern and puzzle how that fits in with charts and decrease rounds.

Top Tip: Many people find either moss stitch or double moss stitch slower to work as you’re constantly switching between knit and purl, which means you have to flip your wool front or back after each stitch. To speed this process up, why not try knitting continental style?

Here’s a handy tutorial to help you give it a try.


2 thoughts on “Oliver tutorial no. 1 – Reading your knitting

  1. Pingback: Oliver Tutorial no. 2 – Reading Your Knitting – Cables | Petitchoufleur Knits

  2. Pingback: Oliver Tutorial no. 3 – Steeked Pockets | Petitchoufleur Knits

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