The only two types of stitch techniques used in even the most intricate knitting patterns are knitting and purling. The difference between them is that the left-hand needle is inserted into the cast-on stitches on the right-hand needle either from the bottom (knitting) or from the top (purling).
The most common knitting pattern using both knitting and purling stitches is the stockinette pattern. To knit this pattern, alternate rows are knitted and purled. This results in one smooth side and one back side. The next most common knitting pattern is ribbing. Knitting a ribbed pattern involves a consistent combination of knitting and purling stitches across a row, which is then repeated.