The Double Moss Stitch knitting pattern

How to do the double moss stitch for beginners. Everything you need to know about knitting this lovely pattern.

Are you planning to knit a hat, a scarf, or a washcloth? Then the Double Moss Stitch Pattern might be just the right thing for you. It’s an easy 4-row repeat knit stitch with a nice texture and lots of grip. The best part? It’s reversible and lays flat. So, no curling or wondering which will be your right or your wrong side.

It’s really a great and incredibly simple pattern for knitting beginners and perfect for knitting a little wash or dishcloth (click for my free dishcloth pattern).

ⓘ The Double Moss Stitch is sometimes also called Double Seed, Two Stitch Check, Box Stitch or Double Irish Moss – they all mean the same thing.

A close up of a swatch in dible moss stitch

Double moss stitch – step-by-step instruction

The double moss stitch is an easy four-row repeat where you alternate purl and knit stitches:

Cast on multiples of 4
  • Row 1: *Knit 2, Purl 2*
  • Row 2: *K2, P2*
  • Row 3: *P2,K2*
  • Row 4: *P2,K2*

You’ll create a sort of checkerboard pattern this way. The only row you really have to pay attention to is row #3. Then you have to switch and purl all knit stitches and vice versa. Check your work frequently in case you accidentally knitted a repeat three times instead of two times.

a swatch knitted in double moss stitch with two knitting needles

A good way to remember it is: If the tail of your cast on is on your right, then you have to change the repeat. If it’s on your left, you can knit all stitches the way they appear.

If you want to have an extra neat and symmetrical edge, then you’ll have to add a little selvedge of 2 stitches and change the repeat to *K2,P2*, K2 then P2,*K2,P2* and *P2,K2*, P2 and so on. That way, you’ll end up with a purl / knit ridge on both sides. The wider your project, the less noticeable it will be though.

Two patterns in Double Moss stitch knitted with different needle sizes
Left: knitted with 4.00 mm needles | Right: Knitted with 5.00 mm

And here is one more important tip:

Consider knitting the double moss stitch with the smaller needles than usual. So, if the label of your yarn says needles size 6-8 (4 – 5mm), then take the smallest recommended size to make the pattern really pop. It will also make the fabric a bit more rigid, so it might not be the best idea for a scarf, though.

Double Moss Stitch vs Moss Stitch

two swatches showing the differences between the double moss stitch and the regular moss stitchss stitch
Green = Double Moss Stitch; Teal = Moss Stitch

You might wonder about the difference between a regular Moss Stitch and the Double Moss Stitch. They look slightly different, obviously, but the Double Moss Stitch is also a tiny bit stretchier.

In the above example, I cast on 24 stitches for both swatches and needles size 8. I ended up with a width of 6.4 inches stitches for the Double Moss Stitch and 5.7 inches for the regular Moss Stitch. The gauge differs not all that much but it’s still something you should be aware of. Other than that, they are both beautiful and easy to knit!

Cast on and bind off recommendations

A long tail cast on with purl and knit stitches for the Double Moss Stitch
The cast on edge where I alternatded knit and purl stitches

The Double Moss Stitch is only moderately stretchy. So, you can definitely use the standard bind off. Just make sure of two things:

  • Bind off after you finished a two-row repeat and bind off all stitches the way they appear (so don’t knit them all!)
  • Consider alternating between 2 knit and 2 purl stitches for the cast on (long tail is perfect for that), so you get an edge that is already in the pattern (see above)

How to increase and decrease the Double Moss Stitch

You are making up your own pattern and now you don’t know how to decrease the Double Moss Stitch? The knit two together (k2tog) is perfect for that. But keep another three things in mind:

  1. Try to start the decrease in an odd number row (so a row where you purl every knit stitch, and vice versa) with k2tog/p2tog
  2. In the return row, decrease the remaining purl or purl) stitch with p2tog (if you k2tog in the first row) and k2tog (if you p2tog before)
  3. You have to decrease from the edge – if you decrease in the middle the little “squares” won’t match anymore and you’ll end up with 4 purl or knit stitches in a row. If you are knitting in the round. K2tog two adjacent knit stitches and the p2tog the following two purl stitches.

The same applies to the increase. Try to widen your fabric from the side starting in an odd-numbered row. The best way to do so is knitting the first and/or the last stitch in that row through front and back. Or more precisely. Purl and knit through the same stitch twice. So, “knit front, purl pack”.

How to knit the double moss stitch in the round

You can easily knit a moss stitch in the round as well. The repeat looks like this:

Cast on multiples of 4

  • Round 1: *K2, P2*
  • Round 2: *K2, P2*
  • Round 3: *P2,K2*
  • Round 4: *P2,K2*

Be aware that as you end round 2 and begin with round three, you will be purling 4 stitches in a row. This will probably feel a bit unnatural, but that’s why you have to pay extra attention and maybe use a little stitch marker so you know you didn’t accidentally knit in a mistake.

So, That’s it. That’s how you knit the double moss stitch. Let me know if my tutorial was helpful and feel free to ask your questions in the comments below

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