How to knit the Double Stockinette Stitch

A step-by-step tutorial on knitting the reversible double stockinette stitch for beginners

We all love the stockinette stitch. It’s an easy, beautiful, and versatile stitch for beginners. It just has two big flaws: It’s not reversible and it curls in at the edges and it’s a bit difficult to prevent it. That’s why I believe for knitting a scarf, the double stockinette stitch is the perfect alternative.

a swatch knit in the reversible double stockinette stitch

So, in this tutorial, I want to show you everything you need to know about this amazing stitch pattern. The repeat is quite easy to learn and after a couple of rows, you’ll be able to knit it without even thinking or looking.

Double Stockinette stitch creates a fully reversible and luxuriously thick fabric that is very cuddly. The resulting knitting is rather airy and squishy. Because you are essentially knitting every row twice, it is quite the yarn eater and you will have to cast on almost twice as many stitches to get to the same width compared to standard stocking stitch. It is an easy alternative to double knitting.

Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.

a swatch knitted in the non-curling double stockinette stitch

In case you were wondering: I am using the Knit Picks Dreamz knitting needles for this tutorial. They are my favorite DPNS for larger sizes.

Instructions

Cast on an even number of stitches

Repeat this pattern until you’ve reached the desired length.

So, the main trick is to slip the stitches with yarn held in front. Normally, you would keep the yarn in the back as you slip. But, as the stitches you slip will turn into the knit stitches on the wrong side, you don’t want a visible wrap at the base.

Also, be aware that it may take 4-6 rows for the pattern to truly emerge. It might look a bit weird after the second row still.

a double stockinette stitch swatch

If you cast on an odd number of stitches, you will have to change the repeat on the wrong side to:

  • Right side: *K1, sl1 purlwise with wyif*, k1 
  • Wrong side: sl1 wyif, *k1, sl1 purlwise wyif*
double stockinette stitch pattern

Perhaps the easier way to remember this is: In every row, slip all stitches that appear like purls (so with a little bump at the base) and knit all stitches that look like knit stitches (so like a little “V” on your needles).

Or, if that is easier for you, slip all the stitches you’ve knit in the previous row, and knit all stitches you’ve slipped.

How to increase

a swatch in double stockinette stitch increased with KLL

Not every project is straight like a scarf. Maybe you want to work in some increases. While it may sound a lot more complicated than normal, it actually isn’t. Basically, you just need to realize that you will have to increase twice for even results – once on the front and once on the backside.

>> Here’s my full tutorial on how to increase double stockinette stitch

Double Stockinette Stitch in the round

A swatch of double stockinette stitch knit in the round

Naturally, you can also knit this stitch pattern in the round as well. I feel, the main benefits (being reversible and non-curly) are getting lost here, so decide for yourself if plain stocking stitch wouldn’t serve you just as well.

Cast on an even number of stitches

  • Round 1: *K1, sl1 wyif*
  • Round 2: *sl1 wyib, P1*

The main problem is, as you can see, that there is no wrong side you could knit with. So, you will have to adjust for that by slipping with the yarn held in the back every second round. But other than that, the repeat is just as straightforward.

Make sure to use a row counter so you don’t lose track. I would definitely place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round so you don’t miss it either.

Slipped stitch selvage

close-up of double stockinette stitch edge to stop curling

The double stockinette stitch is also a really nice selvage stitch. In this case, reduce the repeat to 3 or 4 stitches on both sides. The repeat would look something like that

  • Row 1: Knit 1 stitch, slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front, knit 1, knit across until only three stitches are left, knit 1, slip 1 purlwise wyif, knit 1 stitch
  • Row 2: slip 1 purlwise wyif, knit 1 stitch, slip 1 purlwise wyif, knit across until only three stitches are left, slip 1 purlwise wyif, knit 1 stitch, slip 1 purlwise wyif

Tip: Here’s a list of the 10 best edge stitches in knitting in case you are looking for alternatives

How to bind off double stockinette stitch

the bind off edge of a swatch in double stockinette stitch

At the end of this article, I quickly want to talk about your bind-off options. You can certainly use the standard bind-off for your project. However, you need to take care that you stay in pattern for this very last row as well.

Normally, you would probably knit two stitches and then lift the last stitch over the first on your right needle. In this case, knit and cast off every stitch the way they appear. So, you knit those knit stitches, but you slip the purl stitches with the yarn in front and then cast them off like that. Otherwise, your bind-off edge might look a bit wonky.

Neater cast-on end bind-off edge

project in double stockinette stitch started with italian cast-on

Personally, I prefer to start and end my projects with an Italian Cast-on. If you pair it with a tubular bind-off, the result will be a project with super well-rounded and almost invisible edges.

And that’s How to knit double stockinette stitch. Feel free to comment with your questions!

how to knit the double stockinette stitch

50 thoughts on “How to knit the Double Stockinette Stitch”

  1. I’ve done double-knittibg before, but this solidified the process and I’m now much more likely to use it again…for something other than 15ft long Harry Potter scarf for my grandson.
    As a side note, I’m so glad I found you and your newsletter. I read your piece on 25 essential tools awhile ago when it popped up on my Google feed. I already have most of the items you mentioned, but got some new ideas as well.
    I also had recently watched your discussion of the pros and cons of the four brands of circular needles sets. I bought the set of ChiaoGoo needles and love them. I’ve ordered several extra cables as well as the bits that let you convert cables from (S) to (L) and vice versa. The thing I love most about ChiaoGoo needles, fixed and interchangeable, are the cables. They are also the reason I bought a set of interchangeables…I was going broke buying fixed needles and never seemed to have the size and/or length I needed.
    Knit Pick circulars are also part of my fairly large and expansive collection of needles . I like them, but like the ChiaoGoos better.

    Now to make sure I put time aside to read more of your lessons…you write so well, and that makes it a pleasure to read your posts.

    Reply
    • Hi, I am a bit confused by the instructions for adding the selvage edge to the double knitting. I tried to follow the instructions but it’s not working out.😭

      Reply
        • Norman, did you leave out a knit stitch at the beginning of the Row 1 selvage edge instructions, maybe? You wrote:
          “ Row 1: Knit 1 stitch, slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in front, knit across until THREE stitches are left*central pattern*, slip 1 purlwise wyif, knit 1 stitch”, but there are only TWO stitches listed after “central pattern.” Thank you for you wonderful, tutorials!

          Reply
          • well, you are right..or rather we are both right. Yes there is a knit stitch missing but as it says “knit across”, the 3rd knit stitch is there. I’ll adjust the instructions so they are more clear.

  2. I’m creating a swatch for Willow Yarns slip stitch dish towel.
    https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/slip-stitch-dish-towel
    The main pattern of that towel is a honeycomb stitch. The pattern also incorporates a single horizontal stripe of a different pattern near one of the ends of the towel. I’m not in love with the stripe pattern, so I’m planning to try out the double stockinette stitch (for beginners) described here to create a stripe. Thank you for your work to explain it so thoroughly. I like Nimble Needles. It’s really sharp. I keep returning here.

    Reply
    • Hey Cynthia,

      I’m not sure double st st is a good choice for a dishtowel. For pot holder yes, for a scarf definitely!…. but for a towel..? I would really think hard about it and maybe pick seed or linen stitch instead!

      Reply
      • Well, that swatch was very instructive! Now I better understand double stockinette stitch. One needs twice the yarn for a fraction of the width of ordinary stockinette. I was aiming for the thickness of it, the squishiness, but I didn’t understand the true nature of the stitch, which certainly revealed that it does not wish to be a stripe in a dish towel.
        It’s really beautiful once you get into it. I see a double st st scarf in my future.

        Thank you.

        Reply
  3. My edges are looking a little sloppy/ loose using this stitch. I am a newbie, so maybe it is just my tension. Do you have any tips for keeping the edges consistent?

    Reply
    • Hey Stephanie,

      hard to tell you what you are doing wrong…but it could be that you are bringing the yarn around wrong as you turn.

      Reply
  4. Grüße aus Kalifornien. I just knitted up a swatch of the double stockinette stitch and love it. Seeing its non-curling quality and brioche-like squishiness made me wonder why I’d never run into this stitch before. I looked it up in my knitting reference books, including your recommended “Vogue Ultimate Knitting Book,” and could find no mention of it. I looked under ‘double stockinette,’ ‘reversible stockinette,’ and ‘stockinette variations.’ Nada.

    Any idea why this stitch is not being touted for its reversible and non-curling nature? I’d have been using this stitch in scarves for some time if I’d known about it, even though it is a bit of a pain with the yarn flips back and forth. In a similar vein, may I ask what has been the main source of your knowledge of things like your method of making a better-looking left-leaning decrease? I don’t generally find those sorts of tips in books, just the standard instructions. Thank you for your great tips and suggestions!

    Best,
    Deb

    Reply
    • Hey Deborah,
      well, the thing is – it is a kind of double knitting so you might sometimes see it filled under that name. And Vogue Knitting might be a good book, but it’s not a knitting stitch book – so, I find it not very surprising that rather obscure patterns are not included.
      Do know, however, that you will create a sort of pocket between the two layers. You can prevent that by crossing the yarns – tho that will be somewhat visible.

      As for inspiration: truthfully? Myself. As I am always working on my own patterns, I often come across certain problems. And then I start swatching like madly and basically just trying things out. 90% of what I find is rubbish and 10% is gold 😉
      Knitting is math and logic – and I love both.

      Reply
  5. Hi Norman,

    What a great tutorial! I know that this stitch seems best for scarves and other rectangular projects. But is there a way to do increases or decreases to change the shape of a project in double stockinette? Or is it possible to do eyelet lace and yarnovers with this stitch?

    Thanks for all the knitting wisdom you share,
    Lora

    Reply
    • Well, you might look into proper double-knitting then. It is possible to increase and decrease…or do any other stitch in double knitting. But if you do it using this technique, you will need a cable needle.
      So, in essence you knit a KLL or a similar increase into one stitch you knit in the first row. And in the second pass you knit an increase into an adjacent stitch, and then you change the order of the two stitches you increased (with the use of a cable needle) so you can continue with the knit one slip one repeat the normal way.

      Reply
    • Quite honestly, I never tried this. It’s not a bouncy kind of fabric like ribbings are. I have a post on double knitting ribbings here on my blog and this would work for double stockinette stitch as well.
      That being said, I think it would work but not sure if it’s the ideal pattern – except you want to insert a rubber band – then there probably couldn’t be a better pattern.
      Also a lot of hat and sock patterns use the tubular cast on…and that’s essentially just 2 rows of double stockinette stitch… so…that definitely but be something you can look into.

      Reply
  6. Hi, I love this stitch, but the problem is that all my life I’ve been holding the yarn on my right hand. Which means I have to throw the yarn over the needle each time. I’ve never been able to master holding it in my left hand, although I do that for crocheting. With knitting, it seems like the yarn slips off my finger and the needle and I can’t control it. Is there a trick to this? Thanks.
    Beth Andre

    Reply
      • Hi Norman,

        I think Beth was asking for tips on knitting continental. I’m also mainly an english knitter, though I’ve taught myself poor continental knitting for stranded and double knitting. However, when I try to knit solely continental, the yarn will slip off of my needles and the tension is very poor. I’d be interested to see if you have any advice.

        Thanks for reading.

        Reply
  7. OK, I’m trying. It’s slow and awkward, but practice makes perfect, right? Sure does make flipping the yarn back and forth much easier though. My 89 year old fingers don’t want to learn something new, but I’ll get there. Thanks. Do you crochet too? I make thick potholders with cotton yarn using a type of double-sided crochet, similar to this in that each row is crocheted twice. Not as smooth looking, though.
    Beth

    Reply
  8. Hallo Norman!

    I have just found you and love everything you have to teach us! I am wanting to use Double Stitch for mittens for my grandson. I have having a very hard time finding a pattern that uses the stitch. Have you ever knit mittens with this stitch? Do you know of a pattern?

    bis bald!

    Reply
    • Double knitting mittens will be very difficult (especially for the thumb increases). that’s probably why you won’t find them. But there should be quite some patterns for double layers mittens.

      Reply
  9. Hi! Love your clear videos. I’ve been knitting this stitch, but here in the US it is called Twigg Stitch. There is a nice book with a lot of information and projects. My investigation and practice showed it is structurally the same as brioche stitch with an important difference; it works up much tighter than brioche. That helps in two ways. First is you can “Twigg Stitch” in place of ribbing for cuffs and hat brims at the same gauge you are already knitting. Just continue knitting from the sweater body to the rib and vice versa, same needles and yarns. Secondly it is so much tighter than brioche you can even knit with non-elastic yarns like cotton and they will have a stretchy ribbing. The reason is that in “Twigg Stitch” the yarns have a shorter distance to travel, they cross between the needles instead of all the way around the needle as in brioche.

    I look forward to looking at more of your videos, and wish you well.

    p.s. It is interesting that you named this stitch “Double Stockinette” instead of Twigg Stitch as of late the “German” double stitch or “JoJo” for heel turnings has lost that name too over the 17 years I’ve been exploring knitting.

    Reply
    • Well, both this stitch and brioche are a form of double knitting. So yes, you got that right, it’s structurally very related.
      I might disagree a bit about your explanation of why it might be tighter but I suppose it doesn’t matter.
      Twigg stitch, however, is something slightly different yet. It’s named after the supposed inventor (a trend I find very cringeworthy) but

      Reply
      • You might enjoy this. An Italian woman named Corrada Rametta came up with a way to double knit twice as fast, because she works it (on straight needles) from the purl side out, and that way it is possible to pick up the slips without transferring the working yarn at all. It is great fun. The YouTube video is in Italian, but it is very easy to follow. https://youtu.be/w06Nq96pnek

        Also, the way she does it the ends of the rows stay in pattern. Perfect tubes.

        I made a number of bags using tubular cast on then Corrada Rametta’s “inside out double knitting.” When the stockinette side is turned to the outside, the bag is seamless on three sides. Bags are easy to work inside out. I used it for other tube-like items like sleeves and legs of baby pants for its speed, but it got complicated changing working from the inside to the outside of the garments so I’d turn them before starting the increases/decreases.

        And you are correct, when the double knitting has a hollow center, it is not brioche or Twigg, because the yarns cross in the middle between each stitch of those two working methods.

        Knitting is all fun! Best Wishes!

        Reply
        • There are many forms of double knitting but what she shoes is not double stockinette stitch. This version might be slower but it’s more easy for beginners.

          Reply
  10. Your knitting instructions are the best I have ever seen on the internet. Because of you, from now on I am sure I can complete my projects and feel very satisfied with the results.
    I am going to knit my first scarf ever, and I am going to use the double stockinette stitch. For that purpose, my question is: what should I choose as the cast on method?

    Reply
  11. I don’t know if this has already been asked. I DID skim over the questions already asked here, but didn’t find anything exactly related. I’m curious, is there a way to knit the double-stockinette stitch and not end up with a pouch? Can it just be a thicker piece of fabric that you end up with? I don’t want anything as fancy as brioche, but I really would like just the plain double stockinette stitch look without the two sides being separate from one another.

    Just curious if there IS a way to do it. Thank you!

    Reply
    • hm…well…yes and no. THis is double knitting, so you could double knit with two balls in the same color and cross the yarns. But with one color not sure how you could cross the yarn.

      Reply
      • With the further research I did on it, it sounded like that was the consensus as well. I appreciate you getting back and so quickly, too! Thank you for the excellent tutorials and videos on YouTube. You’ve helped me a lot in my journey to learn knitting.

        Reply
  12. Hey Norman,
    I think I discovered, a technique to cast off and make a swatch of double stockinette stitch but as if it was knit in the round.
    So you knit a swatch with double stockinette stitch and when you come to the cast-off edge, knit the stitches that you would normally knit on a regular row, and the stitches that you would normally slip purlwise with yarn in front, slip them purlwise to a cable needle behind the regular needle and cast off as usual with the front needle and when you get to the end the cable needle will become the left needle and continue casting off as you did with the first half except for the slip stitches.
    So if you follow those steps you’ll get a regular stockinette stitch bag, basically. I don’t really think that I was the first person to figure this out but I wasn’t sure whether or not it was something that could be useful for knitting in the round(with a seam on the cast on edge of course) with flat needles.

    Reply
  13. Hi Norman,

    I want to do a soft and squishy blanket with “interesting” yarn so double stockinette would be perfect. However I’m worried that the two halves of the knitting will separate and the blanket will appear like a big bag. Do you have any advice about how to join the two sides of the knitting together? Thanks. Jane

    Reply
  14. Hi Norman, happy 🌞day !

    I just found your blog by chance and am confident I find lots of new to me information like this double stockinette stitch. It comes handy as I’m about to cast on stitches for a scarf as a Christmas gift.

    What triggered this comment (which won’t be about the stitch) is the word “yarn eater”.

    Would you happen to know if there’s a source for how “yarn-consuming” a specific knitting stitch pattern is, and if so, would be nice enough to share? Or would this be an idea for a blog post? 😄

    Ofc that would not and could not be an exact science – too many variables (and knitting stitch patterns).
    But I’d find it helpful if there is rule of thumb or general wisdom about “yarn-eating” properties of knitting stitches, e.g. some sort of relative order. Many rib stitches need more yarn for the same dimensions compared to the standard stockinett (unless you fully stretch the ribs). Stitches like the daisy stitch too. But what about knitting stitches more “frugal” than standard stockinette?

    The reason for this question is that I have at 4-5 different yarns in my stash that I don’t have an abundance of, aren’t available any longer but I’d love to make a cardigan from. Even a quite fitted, cropped cardi could be a challenge in standard stockinette so a less yarn eating knitting stitch pattern would be ideal.

    Many thanks in advance for any insights and happy knitting&purling! 😄

    Reply
  15. Hi Norman!

    I’m still a fairly new knitter and found your page about a year ago. I just used this double stockinette tutorial to make a belt for a sweater. I love the way it turned out and just wanted to say thank you! Any time I have any knitting questions I always go to your page first and have always found the answer I was looking for. Thank you again!

    Reply
  16. Are there any knit sweater patterns available that use this double stockinette stitch? I absolutely love it but want to do more with it than just a scarf. TIA!

    Reply
  17. Fair warning: I am a retired engineer dipping my needles into this pool of yarn that is the world of knitting for the first time. My opinion is nothing more than one opinion.

    EVEN # of stitches
    Right side: *Knit 1, slip 1 purlwise with yarn in front*
    Wrong side: *Knit 1, sl1 purlwise wyif*
    ODD # of stitches
    Right side: *K1, sl1 purlwise with wyif*, k1
    Wrong side: sl1 wyif, *k1, sl1 purlwise wyif*

    The trouble with the traditional syntax (above) for knitting instructions is that
    1) information reads in an order that differs from the chronological order of the actual work flow being asked of the student, and
    2) the number/quantity (1 in the example here) does not reinforce in the learning student’s mind just what is the next object that must be worked on. Is it a slipped loop from the previous direction/pass? … or is it a stitch from the previous direction/pass that now looks like a purl from this side of the project?

    By contrast the following syntax (for want of a better word) is what I find myself mumbling as I follow your instructions for the double-stockinette:

    EVEN # of stitches
    Right side: *wyib knit 1 Floater, wyif purlwise slip 1 Stitch*
    Wrong side: *wyib kn1 Floater, wyif pw sl1 Stitch*
    ODD # of stitches
    Right side: *wyib kn1 Floater, wyif pw sl1 Stitch*, wyib kn1 Floater
    Wrong side: wyif pw sl1 Stitch, *wyib kn1 Floater, wyif pw sl1 Stitch*

    There is nothing special about the word “Floater”, it just reminds me that it should look like a plain old loop that was slipped (from one needle to the other) during the previous (reverse side) pass. Same with “Stitch”, in fact your subsequent description of it looking like a purl stitch (from this side) was very helpful to me**. I just recognise it as something that I stitched on the immediately prior (reverse side) pass.

    In the actual work flow the very first consideration is where the yarn should be.. so in the instructions that piece of information ought to come first … wyib OR wyif

    The subsequent action is to either knit something or slip something and in the latter case the slip can be a purlwise slip or a stitchwise slip (or even a from the back stitchwise slip as I read about at one of your referenced pages). Since that adverb prescribes how the right hand needle approaches the object (loop or stitch) to be slipped then that adverb ought to (imho) come before the action word “slip”.

    I’m not suggesting that traditional knitting instructions should be ridiculed or overturned but I am suggesting that _for the purpose of teaching_ the instructions should be delivered in a sequence that very closely resembles the flow of work to be performed by the student.

    ** Building upon your mention of a stitch from the prior pass looking like a purl now that the project is flipped around, might I suggest that you mention that the effect of the double-stockinette is a hollow stocking with all the purl bumps on the (hidden) inside while the outside shows the characteristic V’s interlocked .. a bit like overlapping fish scales.

    None of the above is intended as a criticism but rather as feedback on how one student of knitting finds the traditional knitting gobble-de-gook better explained as gookle-de-gobb !!

    Thank you for a very helpful web resource.

    Reply
    • I cannot change the syntax here. Because, if I did and you, later on, tried to knit your first pattern, you wouldn’t understand a thing.
      A good analogy would be teaching you English with a phonetically correct writing system. Would make any students life so much easier but the second they open a book they’d be screwed.
      But since I know there are quite a bit of problems with the knitting grammar, I provide pictures and videos here on my blog to be on the safe side.

      Reply
  18. Hi Norman, thank you for the amazing tutorial!

    I’m currently making a coaster using the double stockinette stitch, and want to “embroider” a pattern onto one side of the coaster using duplicate knits. Ideally, I’d want to only duplicate stitch on one of the two “layers” of the work, including weaving in the ends of the duplicate stitch, so that both sides of the coaster look completely neat (one is just without the pattern).

    I thought of opening up the two layers of the work once it is done by transferring alternating stitches onto different stitch holders, duplicating the pattern onto one layer, and then transferring the stitches back to close the work and then bind off. This seemed to work okay during testing with small swatches, but I am worried about dropping a lot of stitches, or getting them crossed up and tangled by doing it on a larger work.

    My question is, do you have any tips to make this process manageable, or a way to work with my tapestry needle between the two layers without opening the work up?

    Many thanks,
    Madhav

    Reply
    • no tips for you there. I never really use duplicate stitch. I’d do intarsia or fair isle instead.
      if you get one of the round tapestry needles, it might be easier for you.

      Reply
  19. Great post an very detailed i love your videos as well but I’m just starting to learn the double stockinette stitch an I would like to use this in a project that calls for 3 Edge garter and yo increase then stockinette stitch ending with same on other end back side is purl but it curls I wondered if I can use double stockinette but how would I do a yarn over increase on knit side keeping hole but just knit the purl on the back with no increase but double stockinette has no purl side or back so to speak do I still increase every other row or every row how do I match the stich on other side

    Reply
  20. I noticed that if you slip the double stockinette off the needles and unravel a row, you end up with a cute little reversible pouch with stockinette on the outside and garter stitch on the inside. Does that mean this can also be knitted with the garter stitch on the outside?

    Reply

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