How to Rib Knit
Learning how to rib knit is a simple process. It involves using a combination of knit and purl stitches and makes a lovely textured knit pattern that you can use in a variety of ways.
Ribbing stitches are an easy stitch technique to learn. Rib knits can be made in a variety of ways, but we are going to start with the basics.
In order to know how to make a rib knit stitch pattern, you will first need to know how to make basic knit stitches and basic purl stitches. Often the first stitch you learn when you begin to knit is a plain knit stitch. Once you have mastered that, then another great stitch to learn is the purl stitch. If you don’t know how to purl stitch, let me teach you how!
Simple Combination of Knits
Essentially the basic rib stitch is made up of columns of knit stitches and purl stitches. Because it uses two basic knitting stitches, it is a great choice if you are a beginner knitter.
It is important that I point out, that there are of course several different variations to the basic rib patterns. Some of these rib patterns are really narrow, and others are wider. You might even find more complicated rib patterns like the twisted rib stitch, or the half-twisted rib stitch. These are both based on the basic rib stitches, but with additional steps to make them.
Knitted Rib Patterns
When you make a knitted rib pattern, there are so many great uses for this stretchy fabric. Not only does this knit pattern make a beautiful texture, but it also is reversible. Because it is so stretchy, it is great for several different types of knitting projects.
A few ideas of knitted projects that the rib knit stitch is great for include the brims of hats, sleeve cuffs, cuffs of sweaters, and cuffs of socks.
Basic Rib Stitches
Basic rib stitches are made using a varying number of knits and purl stitches. Today I am going to walk you through the step-by-step instructions to make a basic single rib stitch and a double rib stitch. Once you get the hang of those, you will have the general idea behind the rib stitch and can apply it to your specific project.
Rib Stitch Patterns
To make this ribbed pattern you will need to know how to cast on, how to knit stitch, and how to purl stitch. Let’s jump into the single rib stitch pattern!
A Single Rib Stitch Pattern
Row 1: The Set Up. Cast on your desired number of stitches. Hold the cast-on stitches on your left needle, the right needle is the one you will work with, and the working yarn will be in the center, moving it from the front to the back depending on what stitch you are making.
Working the Stitches
Row 2: The single rib stitch is made by knitting the first stitch, then the next stitch is purled. Next, knit 1, purl 1. Repeat this alternating pattern of knitting one stitch and purling the next stitch across the row until you reach the end of the row.
Row 3: Whether you start the next row with a knit or purl stitch will depend on your total stitch count. If you have an even number of stitches, the pattern of knit 1, purl 1, will be the same on this next row. However, if you have an odd number of stitches, it will be the opposite of purl 1, knit 1.
The best way is to look at your stitches when you change the needles in your hands. If the first stitch on your left needle is a knit stitch, then make a knit stitch in the first stitch. If you see the purl bump in the first stitch, then make a purl stitch in the first stitch.
After the first row of stitches is complete, you will want to make knit stitches on top of knit stitches, and purl stitches on top of purl stitches, so that they alternate. Your single rib stitch pattern should look like this:
Even Number of Stitches
Row 1: Cast on 80 sts, turn
Row 2: k1, p1, repeat across, turn
Row 3: k1, p1, repeat across turn
Repeat row 3 until the project is your desired length.
Odd Number of Stitches
Row 1: Cast on 87 sts, turn
Row 2: k1, p1, repeat across, turn
Row 3: p1, k1, repeat across turn
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until the project is your desired length.
A Double Rib Stitch Pattern
A double rib stitch knitting pattern is very similar to that of a single rib stitch. In this case, you will have two knit stitches, then two purl stitches. Let’s look at an example pattern.
Row 1: Cast on stitches
Row 2: Knit 2, purl 2, repeat this pattern across, turn
Row 3: Knit into the knit stitches from the previous row and purl into the purl stitches from the previous round. You can tell if they are purl or knit stitches because the places where you should make purl stitches will have a bump on the side facing you.
Remember: The number of knit stitches will determine the pattern for the second row. If you have an even number of stitches, you will keep the same knit 2, purl 2 pattern. However, if you have an odd number of stitches, in the second row you will purl 2, and knit 2 alternating across the row.
Watch this Video Tutorial
For an easy-to-follow video tutorial, check out this easy rib knit stitch tutorial video.
Making Wider Rib Knit Stitches
As you may have already guessed, you can expand the number of knit and purl stitches that are together to make larger rib knitting if desired. Simply add more of the same stitches into the group in order to make the rib wider or more pronounced.
Is stockinette stitch the same as rib knitting?
No, not quite. Although the stockinette or stocking stitch also uses a combination of knit and purl stitches, it is not the same. The stockinette stitch is made by whole rows being either the knit or purl stitch, as opposed to rib knitting which is made by alternating the knit and purl stitches in the same row.
The Rib Knit Stitch
Making a rib knit stitch is an easy combination of simple knit stitch and purl stitch. The pattern in which these are made can depend on how wide you want the ribs to be. Once you get the hang of making the combination of knit and purl stitches, you have mastered the rib stitch and are ready to make a project out of it!
Thank you so much for stopping in to learn how to rib knit. I hope that now that I have shown you how to make an easy rib knit stitch, you are ready to start your rib knitting project. I hope you have fun and enjoy your knitting time!