Linen Stitch

The Linen Stitch is a simple, two-row repeat that makes a dense, flat fabric that looks woven instead of knit.

Want to give it a try? Download the free Ravelry PDF, which includes a link to an instructional video on the Linen Stitch. (The video is also available at the bottom of this post.

For a little variation, here is the stitch knit in two-row stripes. Cool zig-zaggy look!

And here it is knit by holding two strands of yarn together as if they were one –

Maybe you already have ideas for projects using this stitch, but here are some of mine. Placemats, table runners, rugs…yes, all of my ideas seem to revolve around home decor.

Have fun!

82 comments on “Linen Stitch

  1. I worked up my swatch but am having trouble figuring out how to count the stitches per inch because I’m not accustomed to seeing the stitches this way. Any suggestions or is there a video somewhere? I cannot find anything online about this. TIA!!

  2. I would like to knit 6 placemats in the linen stitch using Lion Brand Cotton-Ease yarn (Medium Worsted Weight 3.5 oz/100g skein – 207 yds) Approximately how many skeins of yarn would this require.

  3. Would you possibly be able to explain how to work this pattern/stitch with increases and decreases while maintaining the fluidity of the stutch?
    I have been attempting to do a bow tie and it has been rather frustrating to have to pull out that often and start anew with this type of pattern.

  4. Thank you SO much for explaining this stitch so well, it had eluded me until I found your post! I am making a small rug (bathmat size) for a nursery in this. My question is, I’d like to use this as a border. I’m doing a Celtic braid across the length and want to use this to keep it flat and give it heft. I’ll be using three strands of Lily Sugar’n’Cream cotton worsted. How do you suggest doing this?

  5. Hi Jen – I’m not sure I understand your question, so I’ll kind of give a general answer on how to use this as a border. Cast-on, and do your first several rows in Linen Stitch, for a bottom border. Then work the Celtic Braid pattern, keeping several stitches at each end in Linen Stitch (for left and right borders). After you finish the Braid pattern, work another several rows in Linen Stitch for a top border.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  6. Hi Staci!

    I love this tutorial and I want to use it to make on idea of a purse but you don’t provide how to make increases. I’ve searched on the web for videos and written instructions but I’m not really coming up w/ anything. Could you help plz?

  7. Hi Staci,
    This is a beautiful. I did a swatch with two colours and the effect was stunning. Can this stitch be used to knit a cardigan?

  8. I really like this pattern ! Do you think this would make a good iPad cover/case? It looks quite thick which I guess could be protective. Have you ever designed an iPad cover ? Many Thanks ! Mim (in Wiltshire England)

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  11. I’m attempting a linen stitch scarf in three colors without fringe (it’s for my son). However…The first three or four rows look great, but then I see Vs showing up on the right side. When I have seen this scarf made up, I don’t see any Vs; only the the slipped stitch yarn. I have ripped this out several times (and we’re talking 450 stitches!) Are Vs supposed to show up on the right side? Thanks for your help. Love your site!

  12. Hi Staci,

    I’ve learned so much from your tutorials, so well done, and generous to
    share with folks. Very much appreciated.
    I would like to make a baby blanket using the linen stich, but I noticed in the picture that the right side of work seems to be neater looking than the left side of work. Is there something I can do to make them look the same.
    Also thinking about doing an icord cast on and cast off for the ends, and wondered if you thought that would work well, or should I use another style?
    Thank you for all your help.

  13. I want to do the zig zag pattern. I don’t think I am following you correctly. Color A knit row and pearl row (twice) ? Then repeat with color B? I have the linen stitch down. I am just a newbie and don’t understand the terminology correctly.

    Love it!


  14. Stacey – to work the “zig zag pattern” in two colors, just knit Rows 1 and 2 in the same color (as described in the free download), then switch colors and work Rows 1 and 2 again. Keep switching colors every two rows.

    S t a c i

  15. Very good blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?

    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
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    or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused ..
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  16. Hi,
    I can’t find the pdf for the written instructions with the bind-off instructions. The links provided just take me round and round and do not yield a pdf. Please help!

  17. Question about tension – you say this is a nice dense fabric. Mine feels big and loose. I wonder about the yarn going in front and back of the needle – should I be giving it a bit of a tug to make sure there is no extra slack in the yarn when I move it back and forth, to help keep the fabric dense.

    Love the look of this fabric. I’m excited to do some things with it. Thanks for the great tutorials! Mary

  18. Question: are you actually knitting the knit and purling the purl on the previous row or are you knitting/purling the slipped stitch? Thanks.

  19. Staci, because the linen stitch is compressed, is there a rule of thumb for choosing needle size when you’re doing several rows of say, stockinette, and then doing linen stitch for a while, then switching back to stockinette? Or do you just have to test swatch it? A pattern I was looking at uses US 10 for the stockinette and 13 for the linen. Thanks.

  20. Hello Staci,
    I learned to make socks with your videos. I am trying to make a linen stitch just for the toe to make it more durable but cannot make it neat where I decrease. Making cuff down socks and decreasing toe by 6 stitches every other round, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  21. What yarn would be best for this placemat pattern. New to knitting and still learning the different yarns and what is best used for certain patterns.

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