Stocking Stitch And Reverse Stocking Stitch – What’s The Difference?

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch in knitting? I have because they both look the same to me.

So I knitted two squares. The first was done in stocking stitch and the second reverse stocking stitch just to photograph and see what the difference actually was.

Stocking Stitch

As most of us know, stocking stitch is done as follows:

Row 1: knit

Row 2: Purl

Repeat these two rows.

stocking stitch

Reverse Stocking Stitch

When doing reverse stocking stitch, the pattern reads as follows:

Row 1: Purl

Row 2: knit

Repeat the above two rows.

reverse stocking stitch

Okay so apart from the different order that you knit the rows in, I seriously see no other difference in these two knitting stitches.

This is the other side of the knitting and both of them look exactly the same.

reverse stocking stitch

This would normally be the wrong side of the knitting in most patterns.

The only difference I could discern by doing some further research is that when knitting in reverse stocking stitch, the photo above would normally be the right side of the garment, and when knitting in stocking stitch then the right side of the garment would be the one shown in the top picture.

There are not as many patterns that call for reverse stocking stitch. Yet, a lot of things that are worked in stockinette could be used with the “wrong” side out to make them reverse stockinette if you’d like to show off the extra texture.

Here is a quick video to watch that explains stocking stitch and reverse stocking stitch. Some know these to knitting stitches better as stockinette stitch.

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