Knitting in the round... ribbing stitch

I just started knitting about a month ago. I made plenty of practice swatches, and a scarf.

I wanted to make a beanie hat. I found a very simple pattern that basically said cast on 82 stitches and knit in the round (ribbing: knit 1, purl 1) for some amount of inches.

So I cast on 82 stitches, and on about the 4th row I noticed it wasn’t ribbing at all, it was like a checkerboard pattern. I figured since you were knitting in the round, you’d need an odd number of stitches instead of the even you need for straight needles. So I unraveled it, cast on 83, and tried again. It was ribbing until the 3rd row, then it started getting to be a checkerboard pattern again! :frowning:

I just wanted to ask. What should I do? Even number of stitches or odd number?? Is there any rule?

I guess I should add, I can rib on straight needles (of the same size and yarn) no problem at all.

You want an even number of stitches for ribbing.

If it’s looking like a checkerboard, it sounds like you’re getting off on the pattern somehow. Have you knit in the round before? It’s not like knitting flat, where you have to swap your K and P stitches on the backside…in the round, stockinette would be K every row. For ribbing, that means if you started with K1, you’ll use K1 to start every round. I don’t know if that helps–sorry if that was something you already knew! :wink:

Haven’t knitted in the round before. I can try again… So I cast on an even number of stitches, Knit a stitch, then bring the yarn to the front and Purl the next stitch… then bring the yarn to the back and Knit. Is this right?

Yes, I know that in knitting in the round that stockinette is K all, and garter is K 1 row, P 1 row.

Hullo StacyLynn! Here’s a tip - cast on an even number and K1, P1 for one round.

Then, before you work the next stitch, LOOK at the stitch below. If it’s in front, then purl. If it is at the back, then knit.

I’ve seen instructions describing this as “work each stitch as it appears”. My explanation: To Knit means to pull up a new stitch through the front of the old stitch (old stitch is placed at the back of your work).

To Purl means to pull up a new stitch through the back of the old stitch (old stitch is then placed at the front)

Yep–totally right! Sounds like you’ll get it just fine with some more practice. :thumbsup:

Sorry to give you the really basic explanation–some who are new to knitting in the round need help with that. :slight_smile:

Arg. :frowning: I don’t know why I can’t get this. I tried again, and I still got the same checkerboard.

I’m going to stick with stockinette for now, I guess.


I’m assuming that you know what knit and purl stitches look like, right?

Just copy them on each round. If the stitch where you’re getting ready to knit into is a knit, then knit that stitch. If it’s a purl, then purl it. After a few rounds, it gets easier to see it.


Weee! On about try #5 I finally got it. My issues before were with casting on the wrong number of stitches. I finally got it though, and looking at the stitches does help.