Have a Yarn

Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia


December 2006


An all-time favourite stitch is undoubtedly the old British moss stitch with its neat pebbly surface. There is something so tantalizing and comforting in the fact that (if the opposite of knit is purl) every stitch on the row is opposite to the last one; the next row puts opposite stitches below the ones above; and when you turn your piece over, you see what appears to be the same pattern. All this is mesmerizing, and yet the moss stitch remains one of the simplest stitch designs we have.

The Harmony Guides 450 Knitting Stitches, Volume 2 describes the moss stitch this way:

Multiple of 2 + 1.
1st Row: K1, *P1, K1; repeat from * to end
Repeat this row.

The moss stitch is also known as the seed stitch. This sample is featured with beautiful Lantern Moon Ebony needles, available at the shop.

An endearing feature of the moss stitch is the quality of lying flat. This means you can knit scarves using this stitch alone and the edges won't curl.

The double moss stitch pattern (pictured below) elaborates on the basic moss stitch in one way and makes a beautiful diagonal design. It also lies flat at its edges. This sample was also done in a Briggs and Little yarn. The Harmony Guides 450 Knitting Stitches, Volume 2 expresses the double moss stitch this way:
Multiple of 2 + 1
1st Row: K1, *p1, k1; rep from * to end.
2nd Row: P1, *k1, p1; rep from * to end.
3rd Row: As 2nd row.
4th Row: As 1st row.

Rep this 4 rows.

Double Moss Stitch
Another variation of the moss stitch is sometimes referred to as the basket weave stitch because it can be seen to resemble a basket's woven slats. It is basically a moss stitch, though the repetition of 4 stitches, 4 knit and 4 purl, instead of the usual one knit and one purl.
Here is a sample of a basket weave stitch used in a blanket pattern we sell in our shop - Needful Yarns Kid Collection Pattern No. 500. It is knit from Lana Gatto Baby Soft col. 305.
The simplicity and regularity of the moss stitch and its variations makes it a popular substitution for the plain stocking stitch to dress a pattern up a bit or to replace a more elaborate stitch pattern which may be too complicated to be desirable. The resulting moss stitch is perky, sophisticated, but as easy as 1, 2...!

-Shirlene Greer