To finish a sweater, ribbing is obviously the preferred choice: its fabric does not roll and it gives quite an elastic finishing. Sometimes, however, I find knitting yet another 2×2 rib or variant thereof just so… boring. For giving your project that tiny bit of “je ne se quoi” instead of regular ribbing, try the rick-rack rib.
The nice zig-zag texture that is so characteristic of this stitch is obtained by the knitting the stitches in a different order than they appear on the needle. In this post, I’ll show you how to knit this variation on regular ribbing when knitting it flat. Pointers on how to knit this stitch in the round can be found in this tutorial.
Rick-rack rib worked flat is knitted as a multiple of 3 + 1 stitches. For this example, I have cast on 19 stitches.
In short, the instructions for this stitch worked flat consist of the following 2 rows:
Row 1 (RS): Purl 1, *skip the first stitch, knit in the back loop of the second stitch (do not slip this stitch off the needle), knit into the front loop of the first stitch and now slip both knitted stitches of the needle, purl 1; repeat from * to end of the row.
Row 2 (WS): Knit 1, *skip the first stitch, purl the second stitch (do not slip stitch of the needle), purl the first stitch and now slip both knitted stitches from the needle, knit 1; repeat from * to end of the row.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 to the desired height.
Knitting rick-rack rib flat step by step
1. Purl 1 stitch.
2. Skip the first stitch and knit the second stitch on the needle in the back loop. Do not slip this stitch off the left-hand needle just yet!
3. Knit into the front loop of the first stitch that you skipped in step 2. Then slip both knitted stitches from the needle.
4. Purl 1 stitch.
5. Repeat steps 2 to 5 to the end of the needle.
6. Knit 1 stitch.
7. Skip the first stitch and purl the second stitch on the left-hand needle. Do not slip this stitch off the needle just yet!
8. Purl the first stitch that you skipped in step 7. Then slip both knitted stitches from the needle.
9. Knit 1 stitch.
10. Repeat steps 7 to 9 to the end of the row.
On the right side of the work, it will look something like this:
And this is how it looks on the back:
In case your project ends with rick-rack rib, you can bind-off after row 2 by binding off in purl 1, knit 2 pattern.