How to Knit the Broken Rib Knit Stitch

Hi, this is Jessica from Mama In A Stitch blog and today I’d like to show you how to knit the “broken rib” stitch. This is a super easy pattern that you can try once you’ve got knit and purl mastered.  If you’re a beginner wanting to stretch your skills just a bit, this is for you! The stitch is similar to the rib stitch, but it creates a fabric that has less elasticity and a really cool texture.  You could make so many different projects with this pattern. Imagine scarves, washcloths and more!

Feel free to follow along below as I show you how to knit this simple yet lovely stitch.rib1


For this pattern I used Lion Brand Heartland Thick & Quick, and US Size 10 Knitting Needles

Cast on 9 stitches

Row 1 Knit across row

Row 2 *P1, k1* – repeat from * to * across row – end with a purl stitch

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for as long as you’d like


Picture Tutorial:

Cast on 9 stitches. Knit across row.


I knit continental style, so this is what it looks like as I knit the row


Purling the first stitch of row 2


Doesn’t it make a really lovely texture?


This is what the reverse side looks like. It is quite nice too!


Here’s a small swatch that I did with worsted weight yarn.  Feel free to try this out with a variety of yarn and needle sizes!rib7

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning this new, super easy stitch with me today.

Have you tried this stitch before? What would you like to make with this pattern?


Subscribe to I Like Knitting

  • Laurel

    I like this pattern for stocking style hats. Try to do this with just a single strand of yarn and you have a hat that is reversible and two different textures. I also use it for dishcloths since it has a rough side and a smoother side.

  • Will try this we knit here for the homeless and shriners hospital in Montreal Canada married 55 yrs and love to knit. thanks

  • Adorable. Funny, though. I had to read it several times to FINALLY realize it was knit one row, then P1,K1 row. LOL. Makes a lovely pattern.

  • Is it necessary to cast on an uneven number? Or does it make any difference?

    • Laurel

      If you are knitting this stitch for something in the round, an even number of stitches is best. For something flat, such as a dishcloth, using an odd number of stitches is easiest. The pattern works equally well if you *K1, P1, repeat from * across. That way your first stitch is always a knit and it keeps your edge stitches consistent.

  • Broken Rib means just that — the usual rib pattern is “broken” — that is, those ribs are disrupted by one column being in garter stitch — each row in that column is opposite what it was the row before.
    So you CAN either knit or purl every second row (same thing really) and you will produce that ‘break’ in the usual pattern, and it will look exactly the same (the ‘front’ becomes the ‘back’). We normally find knits easier to do than the purls, so this pattern suggests knitting every plain row. However, if you knit Portuguese style, this works great for purling!
    Note that this will be a little wider than regular rib, and won’t have quite as much elasticity, but still a fair amount.

  • What do you do after purl first stitch in row 2? I don’t understand the concept of broken rib BUT it has caught my interest. Thanks for this.

  • Shirley k.

    I did this stitch many times but instead of knit l pulled try it. It comes out lovely.

  • Love this pattern. Have you tried it with two yarn colors? Want to try for the first time a pattern with two colors. We definitely use this pattern, even if it’s with just one color. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enter Your Login Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.