If you are a beginner knitter, you probably know how to make pieces in garter stitch (knitting every row) and stockinette stitch (where you knit a row, then purl a row). If you want to try something different and you know how to knit and purl, then you can make a textured pattern called single rib, or “knit one purl one”.
To make single rib, on one row you will knit one stitch, then purl the next stitch, and repeat this pattern to the end of the row. If you are a newbie knitter, I have included a little tutorial below on how to knit rib patterns.
Sorry if these instructions are too basic, I wanted to make this easy to follow for newbie knitters, and any comments are welcome.
How to change from a knit to a purl stitch in the middle of a row
To make single rib, you need to alternate from knitting to purling stitches during a row. So how do you do this?
You have probably noticed that when you knit stitches the yarn is always at the back of the work (behind the knitting) and when you purl stitches the yarn is at the front of the work. So…
- every time you change from a knit stitch to a purl stitch, bring the yarn forwards to the front before working the purl stitch.
- Similarly, every time you change from a purl stitch to a knit stitch, take the yarn to the back of the work before working the knit stitch.
Here is how you do this:
After working a knit stitch the yarn is at the back of the work.
To purl the next stitch, bring the yarn to the front between the tips of the two needles.
Now purl the next stitch.
If you have to knit the next stitch, take the yarn to the back of the work between the tips of the two needles.
Recognising knit and purl stitches
When working in rib stitches, sometimes the pattern will tell you to “knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches”. So here is what they look like before you work the row.
- The purl stitches have a horizontal bar (a little bump) under the stitch on the needle. You will purl these stitches.
- The knit stitches don’t have the bar underneath, so you knit these stitches.
Single rib on an even number of stitches
You can make single rib on any number of stitches; it can be odd or even. This is the pattern for an even number of stitches (if you have an odd number the pattern is provided later in the tutorial).
If you want to try a test piece, start by casting on 20 stitches.
When you are working on an even number of stitches, for every row follow this single rib pattern:
*knit one stitch, purl one stitch; repeat from * to the end of the row (so you will end on a purl stitch).
The abbreviated form of this instruction is:
Row 1: *(K1, P1), rep. from * to end of row.
Repeat row 1 until you have reached the desired length or number of rows.
Single rib on an odd number of stitches
If you are working on an odd number of stitches on the row, the pattern alters slightly, as follows:
Row 1: *K1, P1; rep. from * to last stitch, K1
Row 2: P1; *K1, P1; rep. from * to end of row.
Repeat rows 1 and 2.
(Note that row 2 is different for an odd number of stitches, so that you are knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches on every row.)
Double rib pattern is worked on a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 (for example, it can be worked on 14 stitches which equals 4 stitches x 3, plus 2 additional stitches).
To make double rib:
Row 1: *K2, P2, rep. from * to last 2 stitches, K2
Row 2: P2, *K2, P2, rep. from * to end of row
Repeat rows 1 and 2.
Design your own rib pattern
You can combine any number of knit or purl stitches to make your rib pattern (for example knit 3, purl 2). Experiment with any combination, just remember to knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches on each row.