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How To Knit 1×1 Ribbing Step By Step For Beginners

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Learn how to knit 1×1 ribbing for a nice stretchy ribbing. The 1 x 1 rib stitch knitting pattern gives is a great choice for the brim of a hat, or sleeve cuffs.

In this step by step tutorial I’ll cover how to knit 1×1 rib flat on straight needles, and how to knit this ribbing in the round. So whatever kind of knitter you are, you can use this tutorial!

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I knitting in the round with my cable needles, and I can also use them to knit flat. I’ll show you how I easily join my knitting in the round too.

This one by one rib is knit by alternating knit stitches, and purl stitches. Then you continue knitting the knits and purling the purls.

Since the rib stitch pattern is so stretchy the stitches tend to look bigger when compared to a stockinette stitch in the same needle size. To combat this, many patterns will recommend starting with smaller needle size for the ribbing, and then switch to larger needles for the stockinette hat body.

Pink ribbing on needles with yarn in bowl.

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The right side and wrong side look the same with ribbing so it’s reversible. When you look at rib stitch patterns you see columns of knit stitches since it’s a stretchy fabric.

It’s recommended to use an even number when knitting the rib pattern, but you can also do it with an odd number. You’ll just have a knit as the first stitch and last stitch. And it becomes a two row repeat.

Pin it

Don’t forget to pin this for later!

Pin image of ribbing on the needles and flat swatch.

Knitting Patterns You Might Like

The Alba Knit Hat pattern is an easy superbulky hat pattern that you can practice your ribbing on!

Stitches/Abbreviations (US Terms)

BO – bind off 

CO – Cast On You might like to cast on with a crochet hook or this short tail cast on.

K – knit stitch

P – purl stitch

rep – repeat  

rnd- round

st (s) – stitch (es)

When you’re ready to level up your knitting, try the alternating cable cast on for ribbing stitches.

Video Tutorial

Watch the step by step video on my YouTube here.


Pink 1x1 ribbing on needles next to flat knit ribbing swatch.

How to Knit 1x1 Rib Stitch

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 36 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: $10

Learn the most popular of basic rib stitches the 1 x 1 ribbing.


  • Any weight yarn works. I'm using a #4 medium worsted weight yarn.


  • Knitting needles to match your yarn. You'll need circular needles on 16" cables to knit ribbing in the round, otherwise you'll need to know how to use DPNs or magic loop.


To Knit 1 x 1 Ribbing Flat

  1. Cast on an even number of stitches. Hands holding on knitting needle positioned for cast on. Here I'm set up for a long tail cast on with the working yarn in the back and the yarn tail in the front (around my thumb). Even number of stitches cast on for ribbing.
  2. Row 1. Needles turned and positioned for row 2.Knit the first stitch, purl the next stitch,A knit and a purl stitch on right hand needle. *(K1, p1) rep from * Several knits and purls for ribbing on needle.to end of the row.First row of 1x1 ribbing.
  3. Now turn your needle with the live stitches on it to get ready for the next row. Place the empty needle in your right hand.Needle with live stitches in right hand.
  4. Row 2. Rep row 1: *{K1, p1} First stitch knit, second stitch purl.rep from * to end. Remember to knit the knits and purl the purls.
  5. Continue the repeat row until your ribbing is as tall as needed.A few rows of 1x1 ribbing knit in pink.

1x1 Ribbing Pattern with an Odd Number

Cast on an odd number of stitches.

Row 1. Knit the first stitch, *{P1, k1} rep from * to end of row.

Row 2. P1, *{k1, p1} rep from * to end.

Repeat row 1 - 2 to the desired height of your ribbing.

*If you wish to seam your ribbing together using the mattress stitch then it's recommended that you use an even number of stitches.

To Knit 1 x 1 Rib in the Round

  1. Cast on an even number of sts.Pink stitches cast on circular knitting needles.
  2. Without twisting, join in the round by knitting the first stitch.Knit first stitch on left needle.
  3. Purl the next stitch, *(K1, P1) rep from * to end of round. When you get to the first stitch, you can use a stitch marker to mark the beginning or the tail like I do here.
  4. Rep this round for length of work. Keep knitting the knits & purling the purls.
  5. Continue the 1 round repeat: k1, p1 until your ribbing is as tall as you like (1.5"-3").Pink ribbing on needles with yarn in bowl.

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