The linen stitch (sometimes called the fabric stitch), is one of those clever stitch patterns that transforms with a simple color change. But color isn’t everything here: slipped stitches create a woven texture and a firm fabric that does not curl. I repeat: this fabric does NOT curl. What’s not to love?!
Linen Stitch Tutorial
Linen stitch pattern: worked over an even number of stitches. Slip stitches purlwise.
What You Need
Pro Tip: If you want to stick with the simplicity of one color, try experimenting with variegated and self-striping yarns. The pattern is simple enough not to distract, and the texture makes those color changes pop.
Worked over an even number of stitches. Slip stitches purlwise.
Row 1: *Knit 1, slip 1 with yarn in front; Repeat from * to end. Turn.
Row 2: *Purl 1, slip 1 with yarn in back; Repeat from * to end. Turn.
Two-Color Linen Stitch
This is the exact same stitch, just worked with two colors: magic!
How to do it: Work with color A for two rows and color B for two rows. Continue to alternate colors every two rows.
Pro Tip: For a perfect pattern when working in two colors, change things up for your first couple of rows: Cast on with color A and begin with Row 2 instead of Row 1. Then switch to color B for the next two rows, and carry on. The swatch pictured above didn’t use this trick… see the big chunk of gray at the bottom near the cast-on?
Three-Color Linen Stitch
Adding a third color gives you an allover speckled effect. You’re still working the same two rows, just in a different color pattern.
How to do it: Cast on with color A and go right to Row 2 with color B.
Row 1: Color A
Row 2: Color B
Row 1: Color C
Row 2: Color A
Row 1: Color B
Row 2: Color C
At the end of the 6-row repeat, you have worked every row in each color, just not one right after the other.
Working In the Round
When working in the round, the right side of the fabric is always facing you, which means you need to change things up a bit to keep the same pattern.
Worked over an even number of stitches.
Round 1: *K 1, slip 1 with yarn in front; Repeat from * around.
Round 2: *Slip 1 with yarn in front, K 1; Repeat from * around.