A question about moss stitch

Hello all,

I’m knitting a basic cardigan that involves a moss stitch edge.
The instructions (Debbie Bliss) go something like this:

moss stitch row: P1, *K1, P1, repeat from *
a few rows down:
moss stitch 6, K the rest
P to last 6, moss stitch 6

my issue is with the 6 stitches: if I were to follow the exact moss stitch row patter, I’d end up with:

right side : PKPKPK then K the end
wrong side: Pearl then PKPKPK

This actually creates a rib, because the number of stitches in the moss pattern is even, I end up knitting the knits and purling the purls.

My question is, should I just do it “by instinct”, ie when it’s time to do the 6 stitches should I just makes sure I’m knitting the purls and purling the knits? I guess that’s what I should do, but what worries me is am I reading the instructions wrong? cos if you follow them to the word (ie you follow the moss stitch row for the 6 stitches you end up with ribbing).

Am I rambling or do I make sense?


With the moss st, you knit what look like purl sts and purl what look like knits. By the time you get the stockinette part, the 6 edge sts should look like they’re supposed to and you just stay in pattern for them. I think on the WS you would end the same way the whole moss stitch WS row does, which would be KPKPKP

Yes. I stick a piece of contrasting yarn 6 stitches in (each side) as a marker to make it easier to know where to work the border.

I always remember seed stitch like this. It’s a 1x1 rib where you knit the purls and purl the knits. Don’t try to overthink it. And yes, totally go with your instinct.

Yes the WS needs to be KPKPKP

what I don’t understand is how come the pattern doesn’t say that? this is a book for beginners (me!) and it only says that a purl row is PKP etc (starting with P), yet this only works if it’s an odd number of stitches. If it’s even (as in 6) you need to do PKPKPK then KPKPKP

Am I reading the pattern wrong or is it written wrong?

I think the pattern is just jacked.

It’s a 1x1 rib where you knit the purls and purl the knits.

No, it’s not a ‘rib’ except for knitting purls and purling knits. Rib st is the name of the pattern than results when you k1 p1 and knit the knits and purl the purls on the WS. Seed st is k1 p1 but knit the purls and purl the knits.

It’s a little unclear, but as it explains the st pattern the rows would start with P1, K1, but they end with k1 p1, and since on the purl row you’re ending with the moss stitch, you would kpkpkp

I know that its not a rib. What I’m saying is that it makes it easier for me to think of it that way. I’m essentially doing that same thing that I would for a 1x1 rib, but I’m knitting the purls and purling the knits. It’s just a way that makes it easier for me to think of it.

I just wondered; some people knitting all sts ‘doing garter stitch’ and while it’s true that when done flat you [I]get [/I]garter st, that’s the name of the result, rather than what you do to get it.

I could be wrong but I always thought of moss stitch (also called seed stitch) as this.
Row 1: kpkpkp
Row 2: knit the knits and purl the purls
Row 3: pkpkpk
Row 4: knit the knits and purl the purls.

It’s like, the first 2 rows are rib then you just switch them…but I’m not 100% sure if this is what your pattern is looking for.

It may she’s working on the fronts and the moss stitch is only on the front edge, not the seamed edge, so you would only do it on one side.

Gotcha…so it would be like ribbing 1x1 for Row 1 then just reverse for Row 2…Hmm…

Sorta. But thinking of it that way can be confusing. Ribbing is not [U]what you do,[/U] but the [U]result[/U] of knitting the knit sts and purling the purls, while you want to purl the knits and knit the purls.

Well that’s actually how I remember it…lol. I’m doing a sweater that has the seams in moss but they are for both sides. The way I remember it is row 1 1x1 rib, row 2 k the k p the p, row 3 switch, row 4 k the k p the p. It’s confusing but my brain works funny…lol.

I can see why trvvn5 thinks of it as a reverse ribbing. The mechanics are the same k1-p1, rpt.

Over time you begin to see patterns working out in your head. The way the stitches flow & develop. So that you can read a pattern & have the image of the stitches be visible.

For me, the challenge when answering questions, is to figure out what is actually going on with the knitting. For clarity sake, I only call something ribbing when it makes a ribbed pattern. Mostly, so I don’t confuse beginners. Although, it is much easier for me to see the actual work in progress, than to just answer questions.

I guess since this is a Debbie Bliss pattern, she’s using the British moss stitch. I was thinking it was a US moss, or seed stitch. You switch on every row, not every other row.

This is a question to the OP. Are we assuming too much here. Do you understand what we mean when we say to knit the purls and purl the knits. It doesn’t mean to purl the stitches that were knit in the previous row. I don’t want to be rude if you understand this concept, but I’m just making sure because if you don’t understand this then this conversation is going to be very confusing.

I think she’s got it; any confusion may be the difference between UK moss stitch and US moss stitch.