Flat knitting uses two straight needles to make generally two-dimensional (flat) pieces. Flat knitting is usually used to knit flat pieces like scarves, blankets, afghans, and the backs, fronts and arms of sweaters (pullovers).
In flat knitting, generally stockinette stitch, the hand-knitter knits from right-to-left on one side of the fabric, turns the work (over), and then purls right-to-left back to the starting position. Usually the smooth side of the fabric is considered the right side, the one facing outwards for viewing; and the side that faces inwards, towards the body, the ridged side, is known as the wrong side. Thus, flat knitting involves knitting each row on the right side, then purling each row on the wrong side, etc. If each row is knit (no purls) this creates garter stitch, which has the same appearance on both sides and creates horizontal ridges offset by valleys, rather than a knit and purl side. Patterned stitching, such as cables, can be accomplished with either flat knitting, or in the round, however the technique must follow the desired pattern.
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