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  • Writer's pictureBecca Norman

How to Knit Ribbing

Knitting ribbing is easy! While there are many variations (k1 p1… k2 p2… k2 p1…) what they all have in common is that they create vertical ridges and have lots of horizontal stretch. Another advantage of ribbing is that is doesn’t roll or have a wrong side. Watch the video below to see me demonstrate a 1 by 1 rib worked in the round.

Now, I hear people a lot obsessing over whether they should cast on an even or odd number of stitches, and if they always start with a knit, or start with a knit on the right side and a purl on the wrong side. Stop overthinking it! If you want a full repeat of your ribbing pattern, cast on a multiple of however many stitches that is. For example, for a k2 p1 rib, cast on a multiple of 3 stitches.

But the thing I want you to remember is that you have to bring the yarn to the front before you purl and to the back before you knit. That might be the hardest thing to remember. As long as you get through the first row without getting off track, you can just read the stitches and let them guide you from there.

close-up of knitting, bringing the yarn from the back to the front.
Bringing the yarn to the front after a knit and before a purl.

What I mean by that is you will knit into the stitches wearing v-necks (right side of a knit/wrong side of a purl) and purl into the stitches wearing turtlenecks (right side of a purl/wrong side of a knit)

a picture of knitting with labels and arrows pointing to knit and purl stitches
Can you see the difference?


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