The waffle stitch knitting pattern

Step-by-step instructions on how to knit the waffle stitch knitting pattern for beginners – including a video.

The beautifully textured Waffle Stitch knitting pattern is probably one of the most popular stitches for beginners. While it looks fancy, it’s a simple 4-row repeat that only requires knit and purl stitches. In this tutorial, I am going to show you how to knit it.

a swatch with the waffle stitch knitting pattern still on the needles

With its raised columns of knit stitches, it certainly looks a lot like everyone’s favorite Belgian breakfast dish. Yummy! Sadly, it’s not entirely reversible but I do believe the wrong side looks quite nice as well. On top of that, it lies flat, so curling will be no issue and it’s actually quite a bit stretchy!

the wrong side of a swatch knitted in the waffle stitch using purple yarn
Wrong side of the waffle stitch pattern

So, the Waffle Stitch can be a great knitting stitch pattern for a scarf or a baby blanket. Of course, advanced knitters may also knit it in the round and I’m going to include the instructions for that later on as well.

close up shot of the waffle stitch knitting pattern from the front
See how these “waffles” pop when you use the right yarn?

So, let’s dive right into it, eh?

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Instructions: How to knit the waffle stitch knitting pattern

someone showing how to knit the waffle stitch pattern using green cotton yarn

The waffle stitch is an easy 4-row repeat of knit and purl stitches. You can knit it with any yarn and needle size but the pattern will greatly benefit from using a yarn that has a nice stitch definition (cotton, superwash, etc). Using a slightly smaller needle will also help to make the "waffles" pop. Here's the repeat

  • Row 1: *k1, p2*, k1
  • Row 2 : p1, *k2, p1*
  • Row 3: knit
  • Row 4: purl
Active Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Instructions

  1. Cast on multiples of 3 +1 using a longtail cast-on or the cast-on of your choice.

    a longtail cast-on on the needles
  2. Row 1 (Right Side): *knit 1, purl 2*, knit 1.

    a swatch on the needles - having knit one purl two across the first row
  3. Row 2 (Wrong Side): purl 1, *knit 2, purl 1*

    a swatch on the needles - having knitted purl one knit two across the second row
  4. Row 3: knit across all stitches.

    a swatch on the needles - having knitted across the 4th row
  5. Row 4: purl across all stitches.

    a swatch on the needles - purled across the 5th row
  6. Repeat rows 1-4 over and over again to knit the waffle stitch pattern.

    the way the waffle stitch pattern looks like after having knitted 6 rows

Notes

Experienced knitters might summarize the repeat as two rows in a 1x2 rib followed by 2 rows in stockinette stitch.

Once you understand the concept, you can create bigger waffles as well. For example, you could change the repeat to the following.

R1: *k1, p3*, k1
R2: p1, *k3,p1*
R3: *k1, p3*, k1
R4: knit
R5: purl

And the result would be waffles that are 3 stitches wide and not just two. You will have to adjust your cast-on accordingly, though. In this case, you'd have to cast on multiples of 4+1.

Waffle stitch in the round

the waffle stitch knitting pattern in the round on double-pointed needles

Of course, you can also knit the waffle stitch knitting pattern in the round using double-pointed needles or circular needles. Maybe you want to knit a nice hat or a cowl? The repeat will be just as easy but you will have to adjust it slightly:

  1. Cast On: Multiples of 3 (so no additional stitch!)
  2. Row 1: *k1, p2*
  3. Row 2: *k1, p2*
  4. Row 3: Knit across
  5. Row 4: Knit across

The only problem, when knitting this pattern in the round, will be the jog at the beginning/end of every round. Since there will be one continuous column of knit stitches, it won’t be very visible at all.

the little jog when knitting the waffle stitch in the round right at the beginning
If you look closely, then you can see how these purl stitches before and after the start of the round do not align perfectly.

But if it really bothers you, you could check out my tutorial on knitting jogless stripes. At the end of the day, the waffle stitch has quite a lot of structure, so it will not be very noticeable unless someone really scrutinizes your hat under a microscope. Personally speaking, I can totally live with it.

Anway, that’s how to knit the waffle stitch knitting pattern. Comment below in case you have any questions.

how to knit the waffle stitch knitting pattern - step by step tutorial for beginners

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