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Smocking Stitch

November 8, 2013

The beautiful Gather hat and cowl that Alexa designed for Knit City uses an interesting technique called smocking.  This technique gathers stitches together to create a richly textured fabric.

Smocking is simple to achieve (it’s less fiddly than cabling), and all the steps are described below!

Smock 6: insert RH needle front to back between 6th and 7th stitch on LH needle, draw through a loop, place this loop on LH needle and knit it together with first stitch on the LH needle, k1, p2, k2

(RH = right hand, LH = left hand … find a full list of knitting abbreviations here)

You can break this down into 6 steps:

  1. insert RH needle from front to back between 6th and 7th sts on LH needle
  2. wrap working yarn around RH needle tip (just like when you knit)
  3. draw up a loop (just like when you knit)
  4. place this loop in LH needle
  5. knit the loop together with first stitch (use k2tog)
  6. k1, p2, k2 (work the remaining 5 sts)

Let’s take a close look at the process in photos:

There you have it!  Smocking is a great, simple technique.  Get the Gather pattern now, and try it out!

Having a hard time understanding the photos?   There is a great video that explains various ways of using elongated stitches, including this method of smocking, here.

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Designs featuring texture and cables:


Gather by Tin Can KnitsStovetop by Tin Can KnitsSitka Spruce by Tin Can Knits

10 Comments leave one →
  1. December 24, 2015 6:58 am

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorials. Your pictures and explanations t5make it so easy to learn new techniques.

  2. Fae permalink
    February 14, 2015 4:50 pm

    Thanks for your very clear explanation of this stitch. I could not figure it out until then! Also, there are you-tubes on this but it goes so fast—-the pictures are perfect.

  3. Meta Nisbet permalink
    November 16, 2014 10:21 am

    The cowl pattern appears not to use the Smock 5 stitch, only the Smock 6. Am I reading this correctly?

    • November 21, 2014 12:05 pm

      Nope, you are correct, the cowl only uses smock 6 because there are no decreases.

  4. Jacinta permalink
    November 15, 2014 12:52 am

    Thank you for the tutorial:-)

  5. December 19, 2013 10:44 am

    Reblogged this on The Darkness in the Light.

  6. November 8, 2013 10:37 am

    Love the tutorial as well and greatly lit imagery! X

  7. November 8, 2013 9:38 am

    Thanks for this explanation. I’ve seen another method that looked really risky because it seemed like you somehow wrapped your yarn around and around the stitches (I think with them on a cable needle?), but that would lead to uneven tension and little gathers of different widths unless you were very practiced! This way looks perfect!

  8. November 8, 2013 9:17 am

    J’adore je suis une grande fan de tous vos modèles….Merci pour ces belles créations….

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