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2 Ways to Knit Rickrack Ribbing

Learn how to knit two different types of rickrack to add an interesting zigzag stitch to traditional ribbing. This alternative ribbing is easy to learn with these step-by-step directions.
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I love these two versions of rickrack ribbing, otherwise known as zigzag ribbing. Not only is it fun to say (c'mon, try saying it 10 times... "rickrack ribbing, rickrack ribbing... "), this stitch pattern is also fun to look at. Rickrack ribbing is a great alternative to spice up regular old K2xP2 ribbing. This stitch is accomplished with twisted stitches like those used in mock cable ribbing. For the rickrack ribbing, however, you twist your stitches on both sides of the work, giving this cool zigzag effect.

ric-rac-rib-0915-2201-4.jpg (skyword:189193)

I included two different versions here. The one on the top is the more traditional version, but I like the more spaced out version the best -- it feels like those darling stitches have room to stand out and breathe. I have a pattern for both below, but I've also supplied detailed photos below so you don't get hung up on the terminology.

ric-rac-rib-0915-2217.jpg (skyword:189195)

Rickrack Ribbing

Multiple of three stitches + one more stitch

Row 1: P1, *K1 through back loop of second stitch, then K1 through first stitch normally and slip both stitches off, P1; repeat from * to end.

Row 2: K1, *with the yarn in front, P1 through the second stitch , then P1 through the first stitch normally and slip both stitches off, K1; repeat from * to end.

Repeat Row 1 and 2 for pattern until desired length.

 

See step-by-step tutorial and photos below for details on how to execute above pattern.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9691.jpg (skyword:189196)

To "Knit 1 through back loop of second stitch," insert your right-hand needle through the back loop (tbl) of the second stitch on your left-hand needle.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9704.jpg (skyword:189197)

Leaving the first stitch on the left-hand needle, knit this second stitch.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9714.jpg (skyword:189199)

See how the second stitch is knit and the first stitch is not, yet they are BOTH still on the left-hand needle.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9728.jpg (skyword:189202)

Next, knit the first stitch on your left-hand needle as you normally would.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9746.jpg (skyword:189205)

As you finish knitting this stitch, pull both stitches off your left needle. Now, your new twisted stitches are both on your right-hand needle. Next is a regular purl stitch (for stitches if you're doing the 2x2 rick rack below). Continue this pattern for the rest of the row.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9754.jpg (skyword:189206)

For the purl side, you basically do the same sort of twist. Insert your right-hand needle to purl the second stitch on the left-hand needle.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9760.jpg (skyword:189207)

Purl that stitch while leaving the first stitch still on the left-hand needle.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9771.jpg (skyword:189209)

Then stick your needle into the first stitch and purl that stitch, too.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9789.jpg (skyword:189211)

It will look like this after both stitches are purled before you pull the old stitches off your left-hand needle.

ric-rac-rib-0915-9804.jpg (skyword:189213)

Next pull both of the old stitches off your left hand needle. Next is a regular knit stitch (or stitches if you're doing the 2x2 rickrack below). Repeat this process until the end of the row.

 

The most important thing to remember is that you have to twist stitches on both sides of the work to create this pattern. Below is the written pattern for the more spaced out 2x2 rickrack ribbing.

ric-rac-rib-0915-2205.jpg (skyword:189214)

2x2 Rickrack Ribbing

Multiple of four stitches + two stitches selvage

Row 1: P2, *K1 through back loop of second stitch, then K1 through first stitch normally and slip both stitches off, P2; repeat from * to end.

Row 2: K2, *with the yarn in front, P1 through the second stitch , then P1 through the first stitch normally and slip both stitches off, K2; repeat from * to end.

Repeat Row 1 and 2 for pattern until desired length.

 

This pattern is the same as the one shown above, except it has two stitches of space between each rick rack section, instead of one. The rickrack portion is done in the same way as the tutorial shown above.

 

For more knitting tutorials and other fun DIY projects, check out Anne Weil's profile.

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About the Author

Anne Weil

Anne Weil is the creative voice behind Flax & Twine. A lover of beautiful things, she designs charming knit and crochet patterns and simple DIY crafts for the modern maker. Her signature style is bright and clean, with gorgeous photography and step-by-step instructions that can be followed with ease. Find Anne's book, "Knitting Without Needles," a Potter Craft title, to immerse...

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