Five Fancy Rib Patterns: Strong & Sturdy Edition

When you find yourself wanting to move on from the knit-purl way of life, it might be time to try on a fancy rib! These five fancy rib knitting patterns are of the strong and sturdy variety. They are sure to spruce up any ol’ pattern. You might even fancy using one as an all-over stitch for a beautifully textured item!

Here’s how to knit five fancy ribs to add a powerful punch to your next knitting project

5 fancy rib patterns
Note: All patterns worked flat. Turn at the end of each row.

Rick rack rib

5 Fancy ribs: rick rack rib
This super textured rib looks like rick rack edging and is accomplished with twisted stitches on both sides of your work. It is a great substitute for regular ribs on the edge of hats or socks.

Multiple of 3 + 1

Row 1: P1, *K into back loop of second stitch without slipping it off, K into first stitch normally and slip off both stitches, P1; Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: K1, *With the yarn in front, P the second stitch without slipping it off, P the first stitch normally and slip off both stitches, K1; Repeat from * to end of row.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

Twisted columns rib

5 Fancy Ribs: twisted columns rib
This rib stitch is worked over six stitches, with four knit stitches then two purls. Each group of four is further split into two pairs that are twisted on the right side rows, one to the left and one to the right. The twists create very attractive braid-like columns.

LT (left twist): Knit into the back of the second stitch on the left needle, do NOT drop. Knit into the front of the first stitch, as usual, drop BOTH stitches.
RT (right twist): Knit into the second stitch on the left needle, do NOT drop. Knit into the first stitch, as usual, drop BOTH stitches.

Multiple of 6 + 2

Row 1 (WS): K2, *P4, K2; Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: P2, *LT, RT, P2; Repeat from * to end of row.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

Diagonal rib

5 Fancy Ribs: diagonal rib
The diagonal rib looks a bit confusing at first glance, but it is essentially an even knit two-purl two rib that gets shifted every other row. It lays flat and looks highly textured despite its simplicity.

Multiple of 4

Row 1 (WS): *K2, P2; Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: repeat Row 1.
Row 3: K1, *P2, K2; Repeat from * to last 3 stitches, P2, K1.
Row 4: P1, *K2, P2; Repeat from * to last 3 stitches, K2, P1.
Row 5: *P2, K2; Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 6: repeat Row 5.
Row 7: repeat Row 4.
Row 8: repeat Row 3.
Repeat Rows 1-8 for pattern.

Fisherman’s rib

5 Fancy Ribs: fisherman's rib
This classic rib pattern produces a thick fabric. It is a great choice for an all-over stitch if you want an extra warm hat or sweater. If worked next to stockinette, the ribbing is much thicker than the rest of the fabric, but it is also squishy and comfortable.

Multiple of 2 + 1

K1b (knit one below): knit into the stitch in the row below, then drop the stitch as usual.

Setup row: K 1, *P 1, K 1; Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 1: P 1, *K1b, P 1; Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: K 1, *P 1, K1b; Repeat from * to end of row.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

Mock Cables Rib

5 Fancy Ribs: mock cables rib
Who has two thumbs and loves cables but not actually knitting cables? That would be me! Fortunately, these mini cables are a cinch! The effect is created by a twisted stitch once every 4 rows. No cable needle needed!

Multiple of 4 + 2

RT (right twist): Knit into the second stitch on the left needle, do NOT drop. Knit into the first stitch, as usual, drop BOTH stitches.

Rows 1 and 3 (WS): K2, *P2, K2; Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 2: P2, *RT, P2; Repeat from * to end of row.
Row 4: P2, *K2, P2; Repeat from * to end of row.
Repeat Rows 1-4 for pattern.

That’s it for today’s edition of “Five Fancy Ribs!” I hope to come back with a lace edition soon. While these patterns fall under the category of “false” ribs, I feel they make good alternatives to your basic, even knit-purl ribs.

Do you like the idea of fancy ribs, or do you feel that ribbing should be understated to let the rest of the pattern shine through? Either way, I hope you can find a stitch you maybe had not utilized in the past, even if you decide to use it as an all-over stitch instead of a rib.

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