The seed stitch is one of my favorite knit stitches because it adds a texture to the knit that looks really complicated, even though it’s actually simple. If you know how to knit and purl, you’re ready to try seed stitch.
You might notice that British knitters refer to the seed stitch as moss stitch, which is even more confusing since American knitters have an entirely different stitch called the moss stitch. For our purposes, we’ll call it a seed stitch. If you happen to see a pattern by a British knitter that claims to be moss stitch and looks like seed stitch, it’s probably seed stitch.
This is the seed stitch as you’d find it written in a pattern:
Row 1 (RS) K1, *p1, k1; rep from * to end.
Rep row 1.
The trick to the seed stitch is knowing when to knit and when to purl — you know, just in case you lose your place while knitting.
Once you’ve completed the first row, you’re going to be doing the exact same p1, k1 across the second row, except this time you’re going to knit the purls and purl the knits.
Say your house catches fire and you need to stop knitting. (You’ll run out of the flaming home with your knitting in tow, of course.) How can you tell what stitch you’re on? I always like using Debbie Stoller’s illustration from Stitch ‘N #####: The Knitter’s Handbook as an example. Debbie says that purl stitches –which have the rounded bump — look like they have a little noose around their necks, while knit stitches — which have the little V — look like they’re wearing a scarf.
Take a look at the difference. Notice that the first stitch on the needle all the way to the right has the little noose around its neck. That’s a purl stitch.
The stitch beside it is wearing the scarf, or the V around its neck. That’s a knit stitch. Notice how the knit and purl stitches alternate across the needle in seed stitch.
Knit the Purls
Let’s say your knitting was interrupted. You picked up the work again, and the next stitch on the needle is a purl stitch. (We know it’s a purl because of the noose around its neck, right?)
Remember that we knit the purls. So we’ll knit into that purl stitch.
Purl the Knits
Now let’s say you pick the knitting back up and see a knit stitch is next. (We know it’s a knit stitch because it has a little scarf or V around its neck.)
We purl into the knit stitches, so when you see a knit stitch, purl.
Seed Stitch Patterns
Once you’ve mastered the seed stitch, go crazy and try out some of these patterns. And remember that Craftsy has knitters from all around the world, so some of the designers hailing from Europe and Australia refer to seed stitch as the British moss stitch. Don’t worry; it’s the same stitch! (We’ll take a look at American moss stitch, which differs slightly, later this week.)
This intermediate-level pattern combines seed stitch with decreases, increases, and ribs to make a beautiful hat.
The creator of this pattern hails from London, thus the moss stitch name. Make this headband to match your favorite outfit, or knit it in a neutral color and wear it with everything!
Seed stitch is versatile enough for women and men, and this Moss Stitch Cowl is evidence of that. Pair it with some buttons and knit up a couple as gifts.
I can see myself making one of these in a couple of different colors for spring and fall so that they match all my coats. Is that an insane idea?
Combine seed stitch with cables and buttons for a neckwarmer that’s both functional and gorgeous.
Knitting Stitches You Need to Know
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