July 31st, 2013

Fancy Stitch Combos – Fisherman’s Rib

Instructions for working Fisherman’s Rib:
Cast-on a multiple of 2 stitches, plus 3
Setup Row (RS): K across all stitches
Row 1 (WS): *P 1, K 1 into stitch below*, repeat between *s to last stitch, P 1
Row 2: K1, *K1, K 1 into stitch below*, repeat between *s to last 2 stitches, K 2
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 to desired length, BO on WS, while working Row 1

Instructions for working this stitch in-the-round:
Cast-on an even number of stitches, and join to begin working in-the-round.
Setup Round: K around all stitches
Round 1: *K1, K 1 into stitch below*, repeat between *s to end
Round 2: *P 1 into stitch below, K1*, repeat between *s to end
Repeat Rounds 1 and 2 to desired length, BO while working Round 1
To purl into stitch below, approach the V below the current stitch from back to front.

This is the photo of the “swatch” I started knitting to test the instructions I wrote for knitting Fisherman’s Rib in-the-round. It was turning out so nice, that I decided to keep going! I think I’ll turn this into a cowl/open-ended cap, since I don’t want to mess up the line of this stitch with decreases.


I cast-on 70 stitches on to 16″ size 8 US (5mm) needles with worsted weight (Aran, 10ply) yarn. The yarn I used is Berroco Vintage.

Information on things you’ll see in this video:
The green sweater on the mannequin is my Learn to Knit a Woman’s sweater, pattern + video tutorial.

The green cotton/acrylic yarn I used in the lacier sample is Knit Picks Comfy worsted, knit on size 10.5 US (6.5mm) needles.

The bright pink yarn I used in the worsted-weight sample is Araucania Merino Worsted.

The gray bulky yarn I used for demonstration is Malabrigo Chunky.

The wood needles I use for demonstration are by Clover, size 10.5 (6.5mm).


  1. I really enjoy your videos. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

    How often should a lifeline be inserted?

    Comment by Erika — July 31, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

  2. Erika – you can string a lifeline as often as you like…many people do it every couple of inches, to be especially safe. You can do it less often if you don’t mind ripping back more stitches, or if you feel pretty confident about the pattern you’re knitting.

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — July 31, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

  3. Beautiful stitch – I would love to knit a scarf using it – thank you, Staci ! I so enjoy your teaching and patterns, and have learned a lot from you over the years. When I want to know something about knitting, you’re my go-to person.

    Comment by Pammie — July 31, 2013 @ 5:49 pm

  4. VERRRY cool. Can this be done in two colors?

    Comment by Cherann — July 31, 2013 @ 6:25 pm

  5. Hi Cherann – anything can be worked with two colors. I haven’t tested it, but I’m sure the k1below stitches would make it cool looking!

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — July 31, 2013 @ 6:47 pm

  6. Hi Staci,
    Would you then not recommend this stitch pattern for a hat?

    Comment by Annie Rego — August 7, 2013 @ 7:15 am

  7. Annie – yes, this is a good stitch for a hat.

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — August 7, 2013 @ 7:38 am

  8. I want to make a hat in the fisherman’s rib in the round and I’m a little confused. Since you are working in the round (always knitting on the “right” side), why must you Purl? I’ve worked other projects in the round, and never needed to purl. Perhaps I’m not understanding something??
    Just love your videos!! Thanks…

    Comment by Kathy — August 7, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

  9. Kathy – that’s a good question. I got to know this stitch pretty well as I was breaking it down to make it work in-the-round, and the purl stitches are important. Purling one into the stitch below give us the herringbone look in what would be the normal “purl” part of the rib.

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — August 7, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

  10. First of all I have to say I love your videos, I’m a big fan!! I’m a new knitter and I’ve learnt a lot with your videos. Now I’ve finished an infinity/circular scarf with the Fisherman’s Rib. However, now it comes when I’d like to seam the beginning with the ending and I don’t know how to start. Is there a way to join the two pieces to make it one continuous piece (seamless looking)? If not, how should I finish my project? Thanks a lot!

    Comment by Marta — December 11, 2013 @ 6:37 am

  11. Marta – thank you for the note. The seam you’ll probably want to use is the mattress stitch. It leaves a ridge on one side, but looks perfect on the other, and is a strong seam:

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — December 11, 2013 @ 7:37 am

  12. Hello!

    Thank you for sharing this pattern. I’m knitting it in the round and my right and wrong side do not look the same. The wrong side definitely looks like the back and does not have a rib appearance at all. I wonder what I’m doing wrong. Any ideas?

    Comment by Cindy — December 24, 2013 @ 12:08 am

  13. Sorry, Cindy – I haven’t heard of other knitters having similar problems to be able to quickly identify what might be going wrong, especially without seeing your work. If you’ve cast on the correct number of stitches and you’re following the pattern row-by-row, it should work out as planned!

    Sorry I can’t be of more help here.
    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — December 24, 2013 @ 8:46 am

  14. Do you know of a video for purling into the stitch below? That’s the only thing I can think of that I’d be doing wrong. Is tgere a way to attach a pic to a comment here? :)

    Merry Christmas!

    Comment by Cindy — December 24, 2013 @ 8:52 am

  15. Sorry – I don’t have a video on purling into the stitch below, at least not yet.

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — December 24, 2013 @ 9:30 am

  16. I really enjoyed your video on fisherman knit on straight needles. I’m a clover needle fan as well. Your video rely helped. But I’m confused by the instructions for in the round. I’m trying to do this for a hat. Normally in the round all rows are RS rows. Purl is not typically switched for k it I. The next row when worki g the round. Can you help me with that? Do you think you’ll do a video for this stitch in the round? Thank you.

    Comment by Elizabeth — January 5, 2014 @ 1:30 am

  17. Let me see if I have this right. For the round- wherever you purl will be creating the portion of the stitch that has the herring bone part of the rib? And the column where you always knit from one below is the stockinette portion that stands out in relief? Is that why you change from knit to purl on every other stitch on alternate rows in the round?

    Comment by Elizabeth — January 5, 2014 @ 2:52 am

  18. Elizabeth – in the ribbing, the “purl” stitch between the obvious columns of knit stitches aren’t really purls. Yes – that is the herringbone part. I promise you can trust the written instructions!

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — January 5, 2014 @ 8:41 am

  19. Hello Elizabeth

    The BO in the written instructions for the Fisherman’s Rib in-the-round is confusing. Do I drop the K1 after I knit into the stitch below?
    BTW..I love all your stuff. You are the best teacher I have found.


    Comment by Deanne Stoll — January 5, 2014 @ 11:51 am

  20. Deanne – work an EXACT Round 1, but every time you have two stitches on the right needle, pull one over the other, as in a normal BO.

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — January 5, 2014 @ 11:58 am

  21. Thank you for your video! I have successfully made several scarfs in the fishermen’s rib pattern, and have finally gotten up the nerve to attempt a hat. I understand the instructions you have here, but how would you recommend that I decrease stitches?

    Comment by Joy — January 18, 2014 @ 8:05 am

  22. As soon as I finish the Downton Abbey KAL, I’m doing a fisherman’s rib knit hat in a good quality wool aran yarn. Thanks. I love the internet; it has helped me renew my love of knitting. i have also learned new things on web sites like yours! Thanks again.

    Comment by Peg Casselberry — January 18, 2014 @ 8:27 am

  23. I went to Youtube to find Fisherman’s Knit instruction and watched a bunch, but I just could NOT get it. (Not to mention that the instructions for my poncho have a video in which the stitch is worked completely differently. Not sure about that part!) Your video is hands down the clearest, most usable video out there. I’m glad I found it and will dig into your archive for more instruction. Thank you so much!

    Comment by Kathleen — January 20, 2014 @ 11:21 am

  24. Hi Staci! Thank you for your many great videos! I always look for yours when I do a search!
    I’m working a sweater in the round in st st, with just once stitch in each side on fisherman’s rib. They say to P first row and K underlying stitch on the second round, and repeat on following rows. Since I’m knitting in the round and all the rest of the stitches are in st st, I’m afraid I’m not doing something right because it’s really not looking good….any ideas on what I should do on just this single stitch situation?
    Thank you so much!

    Comment by Astrid — February 21, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

  25. Sorry, Astrid – I don’t think I understand your question. I suggest contacting the pattern designer directly on Ravelry. They will be much better equipped to answer questions on their own pattern.

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — February 21, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

  26. Thank you! Will do.

    Comment by Astrid — February 21, 2014 @ 8:51 pm

  27. Lindo e fácil,parece depois de pronto com o brioche stitch, gostei muito <3 Thanks!
    Brasil- Ilha de Itaparica na Bahia.

    Comment by Anamar França — May 2, 2014 @ 3:58 pm

  28. Staci,
    Can you demonstrate on video how to work this stitch in the round? I have looked online, and most of the videos are for the brioche stitch pattern. I’m working on a scarf and it looks great.

    Comment by Eve — June 28, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

  29. Staci,
    Your video is very clear. Thank you for showing that stitch. My question is, I was wondering if it was a good stitch for a pair of hand warmers? I was hoping to use that stitch instead of the regular knit stitch in the round. Do you think it could complicated around the thumb gusset?
    Thank you,

    Comment by Elsa — August 16, 2014 @ 9:38 pm

  30. Elsa – this stitch would work well for hand warmers, since it is stretchy and thick. When you increase for the thumb gusset, you’ll need to incorporate those increases into the rib – shouldn’t be very difficult.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — August 17, 2014 @ 6:51 am

  31. Thank you for the video! What if I would like a slipped edge? Would it look like this:

    Row 1 (WS): Sl 1 knitwise, *P 1, K 1 into stitch below*, repeat between *s to last stitch, P 1, K1
    Row 2: Sl 1 knitwise, K1, *K1, K 1 into stitch below*, repeat between *s to last 2 stitches, K 3


    Comment by Sheri — August 30, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

  32. Hi Staci,

    Thanks so much for all your video tutorials, they are brilliant and so so helpful for a beginner like me! I’ve recently tried fishermans rib and I love it! Such a chunky cosy fabric! I’d really love to make a striped version for a scarf but I’m reeally struggling to work out how to get started, as I can’t seem to find any tutorials for two colour fishermans? I’ve seen two colour Italian cast on for brioche, but would that apply for fishermans too, and how do you then carry the stripes down? If you could point me in the right direction, I’d be ever so grateful!

    Thanks Again,

    Comment by Mel — October 27, 2014 @ 1:37 am

  33. This is great, but I am wondering how to increase and decrease in pattern while in the round. Could you give some pointers please?

    Comment by Cathy — January 2, 2015 @ 9:03 pm

  34. Cathy – you really need a pattern for that. If you google it, there are some written versions available for free. Good luck!

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — January 2, 2015 @ 10:02 pm

  35. Hi Staci. I hate to bother you but a pattern doesn’t answer my question. When it says to M1, and I do, I end up with a hole, I assume because of having to knit 1 below on subsequent rows. What am I missing?

    Comment by Cathy — January 3, 2015 @ 4:50 pm

  36. Cathy – if your Make 1 stitches are leaving holes, it means you aren’t working them correctly. This video should help: http://verypink.com/2010/07/22/make-1-m1/

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — January 3, 2015 @ 5:32 pm

  37. Staci, I wish it was as simple as me not makin a stitch correctly. With any other type of stitch, M1 works just fine, but when working with a fisherman’s rib, there really doesn’t seem to be any way to increase gracefully while maintaining the rib pattern. It does leave a bit of a jog or a hole because of the simple nature of the knitting below in subsequent rows. Have you increased successfully within a fisherman’s rib in the round?

    Comment by Cathy — January 4, 2015 @ 12:23 am

  38. Cathy – no, I have never increased in Fisherman’s Rib pattern, only decreased. You may want to google some written instructions for the best looking way to increase in this stitch..now that you mention it, I don’t think it’s as straightforward as it seems it would be.

    S t a c i

    Comment by s t a c i — January 4, 2015 @ 7:39 am

  39. Thanks Staci. There really isn’t anything simple or straightforward that I can find. It makes sense now why there seem to be so few patterns around with this stitch in a sweater!

    Comment by Cathy — January 5, 2015 @ 9:47 pm

  40. Love your videos and website; they’re both so helpful to a new knitter! Would this be a suitable stitch for making a blanket?

    Comment by J — February 15, 2015 @ 9:52 pm

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