HELP! Ribbing

I haven’t figured out ribbing. It is called for in this fingerless glove I’m trying to make. It’s just a simple 2K 2P rib but it keeps turning into a mess.

First off lets say I make a row:


Does the second row look like this?


Or does it match? Like this?


I’ve tried it both ways and it still turns into a mess. It says I only need four rows, and I make them, but it doesn’t look anything like a ribbing. What can I be doing wrong? I’ve looked on youtube, on this site, I can’t figuer out what I’ve done wrong. Help would be so much appreciate!! Maybe a video that would show it completely, not just making one row.

Thank you! :cheering:

Are you casting on an odd number of stitches? I believe that in Seed Stitch you K1 P1 with an even number, but if it is even it’s a rib. K2 P2 should most likely be repeated like
K2 P2 K2 P2
K2 P2 K2 P2

(Was that clear?) That’s the way I do it, anyway, though I’m certainly no expert. Keep it up! The rib stitch is lovely for scarves and such.


–is correct.

Are you sure you have an even number of stitches?
K2 P2 Ribbing won’t work with an odd number of stitches.

ETA: sorry Lollilulu. I must have been dawdling on the reply window. Didn’t mean to post the same answer.

---------------- Now playing: The Doobie Brothers - Black Water

Ill copy the directions
-Cast on 28 stiches
-Knit a 2x2 ribbing (K2,P2) for 4 rows.

I tried
K2 P2 K2
K2 P2 K2

again, it still looks odd, is it just practice I need?

Ribbing always looks weird at first. Don’t worry.

K2, P2, K2, P2…

and do the same on the next row.


no, if…

K2 P2 K2 is the 1st row
then the second is
P2 K2 P2

If row 1 is:
K2 P2 K2
Row 2 is:
P2 K2 P2

If you’re knitting in the round, it’s this way:

K2, P2… and do the same on the next row. :slight_smile:


Are you knitting flat or in the round? Either way if you learn what your stitches look like it will make the rest of your knitting life soooo much easier. To rib you knit the knits and purl the purls regardless of whether you’re knitting flat or in the round. If you are knitting flat you just have to remember that each stitch has two sides and one is a knit and the back side is a purl. Therefore if you ended with a k2 you will start on the other side with p2.

Learn what the stitches look like. :slight_smile:

Ok so I uploaded my knitting after doing it for the millionth time, what is wrong???

I’ve looked at countless videos and read directs out to foofy

I’m using medium weight, worsted yarn, 2 straight #6 needles, using knit cast on

If knitting flat it’s:

K2 P2 across then
P2 K2 across

If knitting in the round it’s

K2 P2 around

Ribbing will look odd until it’s done for a few rows/rounds. You’re probably doing it right and just not used to the way it looks.

You’re either doing seed sts (knitting the purl sts, purling the knit sts) or bringing your yarn over the needles instead of between them when you switch from back to front to back.

This is the way it is done. I’m not so sure about knitting in the round, but with a plain “scarf” type project you just follow the same pattern.

Jan In CA said it right…you knit the knits and purl the purls. It is easier then counting it out once you get the first row or two done.

You purl into the bumps and knit into the V’s and don’t forget to move the yarn forward and back with you…(in front of your knitting for purl and behind it for knit)

Congratulation! you are doing double seed (aka double moss) stitch!

here the problem…
[B]Pattern 1:[/B]
K2, P2
P2, K2
–work on a number that can be divided by 4 ([I]28 stitches[/I])(28/4=7)
ROW after row… will give you double seed/moss stitch

[B]Pattern 2[/B]:
K2, P2,(K2)
K2, P2, (K2)
–worked on an number that can divided by 4 (28) +2 (that is cast on 30) will also give you double seed or moss)

[B]Pattern 3[/B]
K2, P2
–worked on [U][I]28 stitches[/I][/U] (notice it looks the same as pattern 2–but there is a 2 stitch difference in cast on-- will give you ribbing (2 X 2 ribbing)

[B]Pattern 4[/B]
K2, P2, (k2)
P2 *K2, P2
–worked on [U][I]30 stitches[/I][/U] (not 28) will also give you ribbing.

the difference in the directions/cast ons numbers are subtle…

and its easy for a new knitter, (one who is not proficient in reading stitches on the needle) to mess up…

(think of how cute it is when first graders make backwards R’s (as in toys r us) or when they confuse B and D (b d) or P and Q (p q).–well you are having the same problem with your knits and purls!

IT’S also normal for new knitters to have trouble with ribbing/moss stitch.

they are VERY similar–
K1, P1 can be either 1 X 1 ribbing or seed/moss stitch
and K2 P2 can be 2 X 2 ribbing or double seed/moss stitch


You at least can see that you are not getting ribbing…
(this is step 1–recognizing what ribbing/seed stitch looks like!)

Now, cast on 28, and work each row, K2, P2

then cast on 30 and do the same (start each row with K2)

then cast on 28 and work
R1: K2, P2
R2: P2, K2

and then cast on 30 and work
R1: K2, P2
R2: P2, K2

Think of this exercise as a first grader would when they are required to make pages and pages of B’s and D’s… and more pages of P’s and Q’s (confusing enough that we have the expression “mind your P’s and Q’s” (this is for printers, who had to look at all the letters backwards!)

with time and practice, you’ll be able to read your knitting better, (and ribbing will help with this!) and 'see" right away what you are doing… (wrong or right!)

If you just work k2, p2 across all rows over 28 sts you will get ribbing whether working flat or in the round. If you end with p2, you start the next row with k2. As long as the sts are divisible by 4 (24, 28, 32, etc) you knit every row the same.

maybe this will help

I asked a similar question about seed stitch and some people here confused me. I think you’ve gotten lots of good, correct answers, but I am going to try to explain it differently (because I think that would have helped me in the past).

You are knitting on straight needles, so you are knitting flat. For now, you should probably ignore whatever people have said about knitting on circulars/in the round because it could confuse you more. (It did for me, anyway.)

Jan’s post #8 has a GREAT picture. See the arrows pointing to the two different stitches? If you haven’t learned to tell the two apart already, you should try. Someone cleverly explained it to me as the knit stitches looking like a “v” and the purl stitches
looking like a “-”.

Now for your ribbing question. You said the directions are like this:
-Cast on 28 stitches
-Knit a 2x2 ribbing (K2,P2) for 4 rows.

So, you would:

  1. Cast on 28 stitches

  2. K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2 (which accounts for all 28 stitches). Let’s call this the Right Side or Front, just for the sake of argument.

  • When you switch to start the next row, the finished piece inevitably gets flipped over so that you are now looking at the Wrong Side or Back of the work (you probably know this, too, so sorry if I’m being redundant).

  • Even though you finished on the Front with P2, from the Back it should look like the old row starts with K2. This is because knit stitches look like purls when they are flipped over and purl stitches look like knits when they are flipped over.

  • To get any kind of ribbing, you want the stitches to match all along the length of the finished object, so that no matter which side you are looking at, all of the knit stitches are stacked on top of one another and all of the purls are stacked on top of one another, like this (on the Front):
    or this (from the back):

  1. So, for your piece, after you switch your needles around and are getting ready to begin the second row, you should P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2, P2, K2.

DO keep going. Ribbing does look odd at first, but after about 5 or 6 rows, you should see the raised ribs on the side you are working on start to pop up and the grooves (which are the ribs on the opposite side) start to receed. Ribbing usually also starts to “shrink”/bunch together because it likes to pull in on itself. Don’t worry about this, though, because if you are following the pattern, it will turn out okay.

I hope this helps! :slight_smile:

This bit from an article on about problems with patterns helped me out a lot:

  1. Pattern uses a stitch pattern without ever spelling it out. Additional complications happen when the way the pattern abbreviates the stitch pattern conflicts with the stitch count.

Example: Pattern reads: “Cast on 82 sts. Work k2,p2 rib for 2 in.” There is no row-by-row description of k2,p2 rib in the techniques and abbreviation section of the pattern.

Assumption: Knitter knows that k2,p2 rib over a stitch count that is NOT a multiple of 4 sts will end k2 on the first row, and begin p2 on the second row.

Problem: Knitter casts on 82 sts. Knitter repeats the following row: *k2, p2, rep from * to end, row after row. Knitter gets something other than ribbing, since 82 is not a multiple of 4.

Disconnect: Not every knitter knows how to work a stitch pattern over a non-multiple.

A] Pattern reads: “Cast on 82 sts. Row 1: *k2, p2, rep from * to end of row, ending k2. Row 2: *p2, k2, rep from * to end of row. Rep these 2 rows until fabric measures 2 inches.” Rowan brand patterns sets up its stitch patterns in this fashion, in the pattern itself as opposed to in a glossary.

B] Pattern includes stitch patts in the ‘techniques and abbreviations’ section so that knitter has the row-by-row direction available.