Home generalRemove stitches - it's that easy!

Remove stitches - it's that easy!

  • Material and preparation
  • Slimming on the outer slope
    • a) Slimming right on the edge
    • b) Remove stitches from the edge
  • Decreases in the knit
    • a) Darts
  • Decreasing
  • Examples
    • a) caps
    • b) Hem design by accepting
    • c) Remove stitches for the neckline

If you want to knit, you should know how to remove stitches. For many garments and accessories, stitches are used to make the knit narrower. In this way caps, arm balls for jackets and pullovers, darts for shaping, socks, baby shoes and many other knitting things arise. Learn how to remove stitches in this guide.

When removing stitches, a distinction is made between binding and knitting stitches. You are always faced with a piece of knitting at the end of a piece of knitting and when it comes to taking several stitches out of the knitting process at the same time. This is necessary, for example, at the point of a sleeve, at which the arm length is reached and the arm ball must be worked. When removing weight can be differentiated between decreases in the outer slope of the knitted fabric and decreases within the knitted piece. Depending on the point of acceptance, characteristic strips of acceptance are produced, which are often used as a visual highlight.

Material and preparation

You need:

  • Wool
  • Knitting needles of the appropriate size (one circular needle or two individual needles)
  • scissors

For the exercise pieces you can use any wool you have in stock. It just should not be too thin or have a very irregular thread pattern. For a test piece, make about twenty stitches and knit several rows. Now you can begin to familiarize yourself with each technique.

Slimming on the outer slope

If you want to work on a piece of knitting that is wide at the bottom and should be narrower at the top, take off at the outside. At the right edge, the stitches are knitted together to knit, at the left edge is done reducing the number of stitches by knitting two stitches together. These two different knitting variants have their reason. If knitted meshes are knitted together, a visually leftward mesh is created. Two stitched stitches on the right visually move to the right. This is followed by the stitches of the inward oblique direction in which the edges run. First let's look at these two knitting techniques.

Knitted two stitches together:

When over-knit, a stitch is lifted as for right-hand knitting. The following stitch is now knitted on the right, then take the lifted stitch and pull it over the knitted stitch.

Knitting two stitches together:

For the right knit, stitch in the second stitch on the left needle. Then also thread the needle through the first stitch of the left needle. You knit two stitches together on the right side. With this knowledge, you can tackle the first slope.

a) Slimming right on the edge

For knitting at the edge only the edge stitch is knitted. Immediately follow the decrease by lifting the second stitch. Now knit the third stitch on the right and then lift the second stitch over the third stitch. The first acceptance is ready.

Work until the end of the series. If there are still three stitches on the left needle, decrease it on this side by knitting the third and second stitches together to the right. Then work the edge stitch and you're done with the first collection.

b) Remove stitches from the edge

For optical reasons or to obtain a picking line without holes, the decreases can also be offset by one or two stitches. In this way, one or two rows of stitches are then visible directly next to the seam, which are not interrupted. On the one hand, this looks very professional, on the other hand, it also has a practical background. If the decreases are knitted directly after the edge stitch, it may happen that this order series has very large stitches. This occurs when the edge stitches give way to the fabric and, by stretching the knitted part, give part of their stitch size into the second stitch. This then stretches a bit longer and thus appears larger and irregular. To avoid this, the rows can be knitted with the second and third or the third and fourth stitches before and after the edge stitch.

Take your knitting piece and lift off the edge stitch. Knit one or two stitches on the right, knit the two following stitches together. To do this, take the first of the two stitches as for right knitting on the right needle, knit the following stitch on the right, pull the lifted stitch over the knitted stitch.

Knit the row until there are five or four stitches left on the needle. Then knit the first two stitches of the left needle together as one stitch.

This form of acceptance is found in the typical raglan slopes. These should never be removed directly after the edge stitch, because the edge stitches of the sleeve slope and the front part and back part slope are connected to seams that are visible on the front and back. Here, several stitches should be removed after the edge stitch to obtain a firm and uniform stitch pattern.

Decreases in the knit

Within a knit the width can be reduced by losing weight. In children's clothing, for example, a large mesh volume is started on the hem of the skirt, which must be reduced in the hip area. For this purpose, several stitches are removed simultaneously within a row. All stitches must be removed in the same way, ie either all covered or all knitted together. This creates a visually uniform mesh image. The more stitches you knit together in a row, the more flaky the knit will be at this transition.

a) Darts

When sewing, darts are used to accommodate more width or length within a cut piece. This is also possible when knitting. It can be divided into horizontal and vertical darts. Both variants arise due to increases and decreases. Vertical darts are used for skirts, for example.

Vertical dart:

Depending on the length and width of the dart, specify the number of rows and the stitches to be taken. Then proceed as with the removal on the bevelled edge. You mark a stitch that is at the point that should form the darts. To the right of this stitch, knit two stitches together, then follow the marked stitch you knit on the right and the two following stitches knit together as a stitch normal right. Now work two more back and forth rows and take the same turn in the following row.

"Wider" darting results when you mark not only one stitch as a darning mesh, but three or four stitches, depending on the wool thickness. On the right and on the left of these marked stitches you remove in the described way and receive a darts, which not only fulfills its technical purpose, but can also be used as a decorative element.

Horizontal dart:

For horizontal darting knit with the so-called shortened rows. This means that you do not knit the respective row to the end, but stop in the middle and turn the work. Knit back to the beginning and in the next row stop several stitches before the turn of the previous row and turn again. They knit each row shorter than in the previous row.

When the appropriate height of the dart is reached, stitches are added to each row in the knitting process, which is referred to as extended-length knitting. This will close the darts. The principle is the same as in sock knitting, where in the heel area is also worked with shortened and extended rows. This knitting technique creates a perfectly shaped darts that looks visually perfect even on the back of the knit.


When knitting the arm ball you need both knitting techniques of losing weight. When the desired sleeve length is reached, the rounding of the arm ball must be worked. Right at the beginning it takes the decrease of several stitches, which is made possible by the decapping. You knit as follows:

First, five stitches are chained off. You lift off the edge stitch, knit the second stitch, and then pull the lifted stitch over the stitched stitch. A stitch remains on the right needle.

Now knit the first stitch of the left needle on the right and pull the stitch of the right needle over this knitted stitch. Again a stitch remains on the right needle.

In this way, continue to knit until five stitches are taken out of the knitting process. This is done at the beginning of a row.

They started at the beginning of the outward row. In the back row five stitches are also chained at the beginning of the row.

In the second row, chain three stitches, knit the rest of the row, and do the work. At the beginning of this second back row, also tie off three stitches and finish the row with left stitches. Turn the work over.

By decapping any number of stitches in a row can be removed. For the further course of the arm ball a slower mesh decrease is necessary. That's why the stitches are now taken individually and at the edge of the knitted fabric. Depending on the height of the arm ball, two stitches are now knitted together in every fourth or second row at the beginning of the row, or knitted together at the end of the row. The edge stitch is worked normally.

Once the desired height of the arm ball has been reached, once on both sides three stitches are chained off. At the end of the series, you do the work, because you can only tie off at the beginning of a row.

In the back row, knit the remaining stitches as they appear. In the next row you tie off two stitches, knit the row, turn and take two stitches from the knitting process.

In the last row of knitting, finish the piece of knitting by removing all remaining stitches. To do this, lift off the first stitch as if to the right, knit the second stitch on the right and pull the first stitch over it. Knit one stitch again, you now have two stitches on the right needle and pull the first over the second stitch. Finally, a stitch remains on the right needle. Cut the thread and pull it through the last stitch - the knitted part is done.


a) caps

Caps are a classic example where weight loss is used. The lower part of the cap must correspond to the head circumference of the wearer, up the cap must be narrower. For this purpose, after the cap band and a straight knitted piece of stitches are removed. Within a row regularly distributed about ten to fifteen stitches are knitted together with the neighboring mesh on the right. The number of stitches depends on the wool thickness and the cap width. Then knit a few rows without removing until the end of the cap is almost reached. Always knit two consecutive stitches together in the next row. This halves the existing number of stitches. Now knit another row smoothly to the right and then either knit each stitch together with your neighboring stitch or, if the number of stitches is small, the thread is cut off immediately and pulled through all the remaining stitches. Done is the cap.

b) Hem design by accepting

Especially on knitted baby blankets, there is the so-called "Mäuszähnchenrand", which also results from weakening. This hem variant has the same stitched look on the front and back as a double edge is knitted. Make several stitches and knit a few rows until the seam reaches the desired height. Now a break row is worked, in which the "teeth" arise. Lift off the edge stitch and then knit an envelope (the thread is placed once around the needle). Now the following two stitches are knitted together on the right side. Now knit an envelope again and then two stitches right together. In this way, knitting is done until the end of the row. Then you work the edge stitch and finished the break row by knitting stitches (slimming).

In the back row, knit all the stitches on the left, the envelopes are also knitted as left stitches.

For the back of the hem, knit up as many rows as you worked on the front to break.

Subsequently, a new stitch is taken with a second needle from each stitch of the stop row. Both needles are placed on top of each other and the opposing stitches are knitted together in pairs on the right side.

c) Remove stitches for the neckline

With round necklines is also removed. They arise when a certain number of middle stitches are chained off after reaching the front or back part height.

Subsequently, both sides are finished separately by further stitches are chained at the inner rounding end at each row start. You can orient yourself on the 5-4-3-2-1 principle. This means that after the middle stitches have been chained off, continue knitting until the end of the row.

You do the work and knit left until you get to the neckline and the last stitch on this side. Then work and bind off five stitches.

Now all other stitches are knit right. Afterwards, do the work and knit again until the end. Now turn the whole thing and finally bind off four stitches.

In each additional row, three, two and one stitch are chained off - in this way you get a perfect curve for the classic neckline.

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