In my last blog post I noted that the easy man’s scarf was made of a pattern of rib stitches and moss stitches. However, even if you follow the pattern, if you are new to knitting, you may not understand the terms rib stitch and moss stitch.
A rib stitch, often used for ribbing on the bottom of a sweater for example, creates a stretchy piece. Rib stitches are sometimes referred to as “1×1,” “2×2,” etc.
- Let’s first look at a 1×1 (one by one) rib stitch. For our example, we will first cast on 20. For row 1, K1 P1 across. For the second and all rows thereafter, also K1 P1 across.
- For a 2×2 (two by two) rib stitch example (as in the case of the man’s scarf), cast on 20 stitches. K2 P2 across. Repeat row 1 for all rows thereafter.
The way I think of a rib stitch is that after the first row, when the stitch on the side I am facing when knitting looks like a knit stitch, then I will knit into it; if it looks like a purl stitch, I make a purl stitch into it. This may or may not sound sensible to you…just the way I think of it. Check out this video for visual instructions: How to Do a 1×1 Rib Stitch
For a moss stitch, we do the exact opposite in that we knit into what looks like the purl stitches and purl into what looks like knit stitches. For example, again cast on 20.
- For the basic moss stitch, Row 1, K1 P1 across. Row 2, P1 K1 across. Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for the length that you choose. The way I look at this stitch is that if the stitch I am going into looks like a knit stitch, I purl into it; if it looks like a purl stitch, I knit into it.
- The moss stitch used in the men’s scarf pattern is a double moss stitch. For row 1, K2 P2 across. For row 2, P2 K2 across. Repeat rows 1 and 2. Again, if the stitch I am going into looks like a knit stitch, I purl into it; if it looks like a purl stitch, I knit into it.
By the way, in case you are totally new to knitting, click on these links to watch short videos to learn How to Cast On, How to Do the Knit Stitch, and How to Do a Purl Stitch, and How to Bind Off. An excellent DVD on learning to knit is I Can’t Believe I’m Knitting! In Motion that includes not only lessons for teaching yourself to knit but also easy projects for the beginner so that you will have complete projects to complete and tips on how to handle common problems and mistakes. Two great books for beginners are Teach Yourself to Knit and Learn to Knit. With these resources you now have the basics. Relax and enjoy!!!