Slip-Stitch 2×2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

Ribbing is one of the most popular knitting stitch patterns. We use it to make all kinds of bands, necklines and cuffs. But sometimes we wish that ribbing wasn’t that stretchy, the texture was richer and the stitches were more uniform.

All these wishes come true in a stitch pattern that looks like a more refined version of the Knit 2 Purl 2 ribbing. It is a fully reversible stitch that is moderately stretchy, is formed by neat lines of twisted stitches and has an amazingly rich puffy texture.

There is another benefit – when we work this stitch back and forth, there is no purling. The pattern is formed by knit stitches and yarn overs.

Let’s see how this beautiful alternative to 2×2 ribbing is knitted step by step.

SLIP-STITCH RIBBING WORKED FLAT

We’ll start by working this stitch pattern back and forth. If you prefer to learn from a video tutorial, click here, or, simply scroll to the bottom of this page to watch the embedded version of the video.

Just like the regular 2×2 ribbing, this stitch pattern is worked over 4 stitches. Because the pattern includes slipped stitches at the end of each row, we should add a selvedge stitch at each side of the work to anchor the yarn after a stitch is slipped.

That means that we should cast on a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 stitches for selvedges. For my swatch, I’ll cast on 3 x 4 + 2 = 14 stitches.

This stitch pattern is not supposed to be overly stretchy, so any basic cast on will work fine. I used the long-tail cast on.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

One more note before we move on to the row-for-row instructions – the way we work selvedges is not important. You can work them in stockinette stitch (knit in one row and purl in the next row) or knit them in every row to get a garter stitch edging.

I find that a slip stitch chain edge (described as way #1 in this tutorial) looks very nice with this stitch pattern, so I’ll slip the first and purl the last stitch of every row.

SETUP ROW

Slip the first stitch, [knit 1 through the back loop, make a yarn over, knit 1 through the back loop, purl 2]. Repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

Because we made a yarn over in each pattern repeat, the number of stitches that we have on the needles after this row is different from the number of stitches that we cast on. This is totally fine. This new number of stitches will stay with us as long as we work in this stitch pattern.

We’ll get rid of those extra stitches in the Finishing Row before we switch to a different stitch pattern or bind off stitches.

PATTERN ROW

Slip the first stitch, [knit 1 through the back loop, make a yarn over, knit 1 through the back loop, slip 1 purlwise with the yarn in front of the work, drop the yarn over made in the previous row, slip 1 purlwise with the yarn in front]. Repeat the brackets to the last stitch, purl 1.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

Repeat the pattern row for as long as you need to form the neat lines of twisted stitches and a beautiful puffy texture.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

FINISHING ROW

When it is time to switch to a different stitch pattern or to bind off stitches, knit the knit stitches through the back loop, purl the purl stitches through the back loop, drop all yarn overs and don’t make any new ones. Watch how to do it in this part of the video tutorial.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

SLIP-STITCH RIBBING WORKED IN THE ROUND

Because we won’t have any edges, there is no need to worry about selvedge stitches. Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches using any type of cast on method you like and arrange stitches for working in the round.

To make my swatch, I’ll cast on 16 stitches using the long-tail cast on.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

SETUP ROUND

Setup round is very similar to the setup row that we worked when we made a swatch knitted flat. The only difference is the absence of selvedge stitches.

[Knit 1 through the back loop, make a yarn over, knit 1 through the back loop, purl 2], repeat the brackets to the end of the round.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

Just as it happened when we worked this pattern back and forth, now we have one extra stitch for each pattern repeat. Remember this new number of stitches and make sure it stays the same for as long as you work in this stitch pattern.

When we work in the round, the pattern repeat consists of two rounds (unlike just one pattern row that we repeated when we worked back and forth). And this time, we’ll do a lot of purling. Not just plain purling, but purling through the back loop which is a bit trickier than making usual purl stitches.

If you are new to purling through the back loop, watch this part of the video tutorial.

ROUND 1

[Slip 1 purlwise with the yarn at the back of the work, drop the yarn over, slip 1 purlwise with the yarn at the back, purl 1 through the back loop, make a yarn over, purl 1 through the back loop]. Repeat the brackets to the end of the round.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

ROUND 2

This round is easier than the Round 1. In fact, it is very similar to the Pattern Row that we did when we worked flat. No purling through the back loop and no selvedges to worry about.

[Knit 1 through the back loop, make a yarn over, knit 1 through the back loop, slip 1 purlwise with the yarn in front of the work, drop the yarn over, slip 1 purlwise with the yarn in front]. Repeat the brackets to the end of the round.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

Work rounds 1 and 2 for as long as you need to make a fancy ribbing-like border or an accent panel in your project.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

When you are ready to move to a different stitch pattern or to bind off stitches, follow the instructions for the Finishing Row to get rid of the additional stitches while keeping the pattern consistent.

As you see, it is much easier to work this stitch pattern back and forth than to work it in the round. But if you want to give special treatment to your cuffs, seamless hats or headbands, the lovely puffy texture formed by this stitch pattern is definitely worth the effort. This stitch is a great alternative to the usual Knit 2 Purl 2 ribbing.

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round

If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Neat Side Edges” Book

Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.


Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko - www.10rowsaday.com

Let’s be friends on GoodReads 🙂

Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round
 | 10 rows a day
Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round
 | 10 rows a day
Slip-Stitch 2x2 Ribbing Worked Flat and in the Round
 | 10 rows a day