A step by step tutorial on knitting the zigzag rib stitch for beginners.
Have you seen a picture with some knitting in an amazing zigzag stitch? And now you are wondering how to knit this pattern? Then you came to the right place.
In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to knit the zigzag stitch step by step. I tried to keep things as easy as possible, but it’s probably a knitting stitch pattern better suitable for intermediate knitters. So, if you are starting out, maybe check out my rib stitch post with plenty of wonderful alternatives for beginners (but nothing speaks against giving it a try anyway).
With this stitch, you can create a very voluminous and moderately stretchy fabric that has a remarkable 3-D effect to it. Sadly, it’s not reversible and the wrong side looks rather plain. It’s also a bit slower to knit and probably not the best pattern for knitting while watching the TV.
You need to know:
Anyway, let’s show you how it’s done, eh?
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Instructions: How to knit the ZigZag rib stitch
The zigzag rib stitch is a 2-row repeat and requires you to cast on multiples of three. You might want to add a couple of more selvage stitches. I feel the standard garter stitch edge actually works remarkably well with the zigzag rib.
Either way, this is the repeat:
- Row 1: P1, *knit the second stitch on the left needle through the back loop without dropping it, knit the first stitch, drop them both, P1*
- Row 2: K1, *purl the second stitch on the left needle without dropping it, purl the first stitch, drop them both, k1*
- Step: Purl the first stitch as normal.
- Step: Now, insert your needle into the back loop of the SECOND stitch on your left needle and knit it through the back loop (ktbl) but leave the stitch on the needle (important).
- Step: Knit the remaining first stitch on the needle.
- Step: Now you can drop both stitches you just knitted.
Repeat steps 2-5 until the end of the row.
- Step: (Start of the return row) Knit one stitch as normal.
- Step: Purl the second stitch on the left needle and leave it on the needle (note: unlike in the first row, you are not knitting this stitch through the back loop).
- Step: Purl the first stitch on the left needle.
- Step: Drop both stitches you just knitted.
- Step: Knit one stitch
Repeat steps 6-9 until the end of the row and starting with Step 1 on the right side
If you want to knit the ZigZag stitch in the round, then you have to adjust the repeat a little bit. Instead of knitting a wrong side, you only repeat the right side stitches. But, every even-numbered round you only knit the second stitch (step 2) through the front loop (so a regular knit stitch).
If you follow this tutorial you will create a little garter stitch selvedge and it works quite well. You can do one, two or three stitches but I don’t feel a more fancy selvage stitch is required. One thing you might, however, consider is a different cast on to go with the flow of this pattern.
I always use the long tail cast on but alternate one knit stitch and 2 purl stitches. Here’s a tutorial in case you don’t know how to cast on purlwise.
In terms of casting off your stitches, you’ll be fine with the standard bind off as well. The fabric is not that stretchy that an Icelandic or a yarnover bind off would be necessary (and it actually would be a bit counterproductive). A picot bind-off might be worth considering to stay with the general theme of the zigzag ribbings, though.
Also, the wrong side of this pattern looks quite unremarkable. So, don’t forget to have a plan for that when you start knitting 🙂
7 thoughts on “How to knit the ZigZag Rib Stitch”
I am LIZ from the beautiful land of INDIA…
Could u please upload so.e reversible patterns for scarves….
i don’t quite understand? you want me to publish a reversible zigzag rib pattern or just any reversible scarf? 😉
I have an old bed jacket that I don’t quite know what the stitches. I believe it may be the stitch but it goes in one direction for three rows and then switches back again. It does not look like the Chevron or the zigzag stitch. How would you adopt us to have three rows going in one direction and three go in the other? The third stitch maybe a directional change.
impossible to help you with that description. This could be any of a million knit-purl combinations or something fancier (like this brioche stitch variations)
How do you do increases with this stitch?
Ideally on the edges with any stitch you like. Do remember that the repeat my “move” a bit after the first increase.
Love learning new knitting patterns. The zig zag was a little bit difficult at first , but great once you get use to it. Made dish rag with pattern.