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Try this ribbing to edge your knitted sweaters

by Charles Voth

Today we continue our exploration of ways to change a stitch pattern. Yesterday we looked at inserting a column of garter st to create a neatly reversible and almost mirror image stitch pattern. Today, we’ll try adding a column of knit stitches between each pattern repeat to create a ribbing effect.

Right side of wisteria ribbing

Right side of wisteria ribbing

Adding a column of knit stitches in between the repeats of the wisteria stitch pattern creates a lovely new ribbed look. The knit stitches jump forward and the petals and lace of the wisteria stitch recede slightly. This would add an interesting texture to a plain knit cardigan or pullover, and would be a lovely edge on a baby sweater, blanket or hat.

One thing I learned while swatching this stitch pattern is that the yarn used really influences the look of the end result. This yarn is Cerro by Classic Elite, and it’s a 50-50 wool-cotton blend. It does help the stitches really have clear definition, but the decreased elasticity from the cotton does mean that you have to work the column of knit stitches with even tension. I didn’t block this swatch, but I would expect the wool content would help make those knit stitches even out a bit. I think it would be worth practicing this modified rib with a non-fuzzy yarn, so that the stitches are even, but so that you don’t lose the crispness of these stitches.

Wrong side of wisteria ribbing

Wrong side of wisteria ribbing

This is the wrong side of the same swatch. As you can see the column of purl stitches recedes and the wisteria motif jumps forward. Why do ribbing the same old way as usual? I’d like to invite you to try to use one this wisteria ribbing in your next project. The diagram and instructions are below.

The other thing you could try is to reverse the knit and purl sts in the in between columns. This will make the RS of the wisteria motif jump forward on the RS of the fabric.

Diagram for ribbed wisteria stitch pattern

Diagram for ribbed wisteria stitch pattern


Cast on desired number of stitches. There should be a multiple of 6 stitches, plus 1 for symmetry, plus 2 (one for each selvedge).

Row 1: S1 wyif, [k1, k2tog, s1 wyif, yo, s1-k1-psso] across to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 2: S1 wyif, p1, k1, [pdblinc, k1, p1, k1] across.
Rows 3-20: Repeat rows 1-2.

k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 stitches together.
p = purl
pdblinc (purl double increase) = [purl, yrn, purl] all in next st together with yarn over
s1 wyif = with the working yarn in front, insert the right needle into the next stitch as if to purl and transfer the stitch from the left needle to the right.
s1-k1-psso = slip one stitch knitwise, then knit next stitch and pass the slipped stitch over.
yo = bring yarn forward and as you knit next stitch, allow to form a new stitch over right needle.
yrn = take yarn from front over right needle and return to front between needles (counter-clockwise)


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