What Do You Mean, No Stitch?! Solving the Mystery of the No Stitch Symbol in Knitting Charts

Crown of the Wendy's Blossoms Hat by Stacey Lewis
These crown decreases: the way they line up is so satisfying!

How Do I work A "No Stitch" in my Knitting?

Have you ever asked yourself, “Well, now what am I supposed to do?” when you come to a no stitch symbol in a knitting chart?  You are not alone!  It happens to most knitters when they encounter this symbol in a knitting chart.

In my Wendy’s Blossoms Hat knitting chart, there are “no stitch” blocks.  What does that mean? 

It means there is nothing to do with your knitting stitches; move past it and continue on to the next knitting instruction in the chart, whatever that is.

Note: You are not ignoring any of your knitting stitches, just moving past that square in the chart. 

But WHY?

Why would someone put a no stitch block in a knitting chart?

Sometimes, stitch counts change from row to row. To show how the stitch elements line up, a placeholder symbol is used to keep track of the missing stitches.  These may be stitches that are not created yet, if the stitch count is increasing, or stitches that have been decreased, if you are ending up with fewer stitches.

An Example to Bring It all Together

Let’s compare a chart with no stitch placeholders with some written instructions for the same stitches.

For this chart, we are working in the round.  CDD is a centered double decrease, a stitch that is worked over 3 stitches and produces one stitch, decreasing 2 stitches every time it is worked.  These decreases are lined up vertically.  As we decrease stitches in the knitting, we increase “no stitch” symbols in the chart.

Round 1: We start out knitting all 12 stitches.

Round 2: We knit 4 stitches, make a CDD using stitches 5, 6 and 7, and knit 5 stitches.  The CDD uses three stitches but leaves us with just one stitch on our needle.  The “no stitch” symbols are added to show that we lost 2 stitches this round.

Round 3: Knit 4 stitches, knit one stitch (the CDD from last round), knit 5 stitches. The chart goes across 12 blocks, but we have 10 stitches.  The no stitch symbols are placeholders for the lost stitches, to keep the chart squared up.

Round 4: Knit 3, CDD, knit 4. (2 stitches decreased)

Round 5: Let’s count the white blocks (our knit stitches) and skip over the grey “no stitch blocks”.  Knit 8.

Round 6: Knit 2, CDD, knit 3. (2 stitches decreased)

Round 7: Knit 6.

Round 8: Knit 1, CDD, knit 2. (2 stitches decreased)

Round 9: Knit 4.

Round 10: CDD, knit 1. (2 stitches decreased)

There you have it!  I hope this takes the mystery out of the no stitch symbol in the Wendy’s Blossoms Hat chart and any other knitting chart that uses it! 

If you have questions about the pattern or any of my other patterns, or if you just need to talk out a knitting problem, I can be reached at info[at]theknittingtutor.net.

Wendy's Blossoms Hat by Stacey Lewis
Wendy's Blossoms Hat is available now on Ravelry and Payhip