How to Knit Rib Stitch


Ribbing is a very common knitting technique that involves creating raised columns of knit stitches ('ridges') and sunken columns of purl stitches ('valleys').


You can vary the width of these ridges/valleys to produce a narrower or wider ribbing pattern.

For instance, 1x1 ribbing ('single rib stitch') is made up of ridges/valleys that are 1 stitch wide, 2x2 ribbing ('double rib stitch') is made up of ridges/valleys that are 2 stitches wide etc.


Ribbing is stretchy and is ideal for collars, waistbands, sock or jumper cuffs and the edges of hats - basically anywhere you need the knitting to be more fitted.


The video below is aimed at teaching beginners the most popular rib stitches i.e. single and double rib stitch, as well as how to design your own ribbing by deciding how wide you want the knit stitch ridges and the purl stitch valleys to be.


I also run through how to recognise knit and purl stitches, because it will help you in all of your knitting, but especially in ribbing since it is all about "knitting the knits and purling the purls"!


The following patterns assume that you are flat knitting (rather than circular knitting):



Pattern for Single (1 x 1) Ribbing:


Cast on an odd number of stitches

(in order to create a symmetrical ribbing pattern)


Row 1 (RS): *k1, p1

Repeat from * until you have one stitch left, then k1

Row 2: *p1, k1

Repeat from * until you have one stitch left, then p1


(Where RS = right side, k = knit stitches and p = purl stitches)



Note that you may see a 1 row pattern for single ribbing elsewhere, that reads:

All rows: *k1, p1

Repeat from * until the end of the row

And for this pattern, you would cast on an even number of stitches instead.

The resulting ribbing looks the same but won't be symmetrical.


Either of the patterns shown above work perfectly well so please don't be confused :)

The pattern just differs depending on if you want a symmetrical pattern or not. Often it's not important which one you choose.




Pattern for Double (2 x 2) Ribbing:


Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches, plus 2

(in order to create a symmetrical flat ribbing pattern)


Row 1 (RS): *k2, p2

Repeat from * until you have two stitches left, then k2

Row 2: *p2, k2

Repeat from * until you have two stitches left, then p2


(Where RS = right side, k = knit stitches and p = purl stitches)



Note that you may see a 1 row pattern for double ribbing elsewhere, that reads:

All rows: *k2, p2

Repeat from * until the end of the row

And for this pattern, you would just cast on a multiple of 4 stitches instead.

The resulting ribbing looks the same but won't be symmetrical.



Happy knitting!


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