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Video:Basic Knitting Stitches: Rib Stitch

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The rib stitch in knitting is created by mixing series of knit stitches and purl stitches. This video will show you the process of creating a rib stitch.See Transcript

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Transcript:Basic Knitting Stitches: Rib Stitch

Hello, my name is Jennifer Hoag and I'm coming to you today from the Northeast Fiber Arts Center in Williston, Vermont. I'm here for About.com and I'd like to show you how to do ribbing. 

Uses of the Rib Stitch

Ribbing is a stitch that's often used in garments were where you want them to fit snugly. So it's often used at the top of socks, because we want our socks to hug our leg and not slouch and slip down. It's a great stitch to use for hats because a hat we want to pull over our head but we want it to fit snugly. And the other really common place for ribbing is around the cuffs of sweaters and around the bottom edge of sweaters.

How Ribbing is Created

Ribbing is created by alternating several knit stitches with several purl stitches in the same row. And there are a lot of variations on ribbing. The most typical is to knit two stitches and purl two stitches, knit two stitches and purl two stitches. That's called a two-by-two rib. But you could also alternate knits and purls by ones, so you can do a knit one, purl one. You can even do a knit two, purl one, or a knit three, purl two. So there are a lot of variations on ribbing.

Knitting the Rib Stitch

I'm going to show you the most standard, which is a knit two, purl two ribbing. So you're simply going to knit your first two stitches and then you're going to purl two stitches. And then knit two stitches and purl two stitches. Because you're alternating between knit stitches and purl stitches, when you knit, of course, the yarn is behind your needles. But when you purl, you need to bring the yarn between the two needles to the front of the fabric before you purl your two stitches. And after purllng you need to bring your yarn to the back between the two needles again in order to do your two knits.  

I finished that row so I'm going to turn my needle around and I'm going to work my next row. Now when you're doing ribbing, whether it's a two by two ribbing or one by one ribbing, whatever variation it is, on your wrong side row you want to do what you see. So for instance, I see two purl bumps here, so I've got to start with my purl. All right, so to purl I'm going to insert my needle from right to left, wrap the yarn around and I'm going to purl two stitches. Now these two stitches are knit stitches so I need to knit them. So it's important to learn how to read your fabric so that you know what stitch you need to do next. 

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