Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Love it or Loathe it - Knitting Ribbing

Although I often like to knit interesting and complex projects that include elaborate stitches, color changes or charts, I also enjoy a simple project that is easy to take on the road or knit in the company of others. My garter stitch-based Sothia shawl is one such pattern, and my current on-the-go project from my recent trip is another easy project, worked in simple ribbing. 

The first photo at the top of the post shows some swatches from my current project, and I've added a favorite quote from the book Knitting Without Tears, by Elizabeth Zimmerman. 

Autumn has finally begun to put on a color show around here, and the yarn colors choices for my project were inspired by our seasonal leaves. 

The swatches were worked in a worsted weight yarn and cast on with the German Twisted Cast On method (aka Old Norwegian method), which makes for a very elastic edge. This is the same edge I used in my Greyhaven Hat. The swatches were bound off using Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off.

While some knitters profess to loathe the boring nature of ribbing, I find the mindless rhythm of swinging the yarn from front to back meditative and soothing. Perhaps because I usually choose to knit in the Continental style ('picking' with yarn held in my left hand) rather than English style ('throwing' with yarn held in my right hand), I greatly enjoy knitting rib stitch combinations like k1p1, and k2p2.

How about you - do you love or loathe knitting ribbing or fall somewhere in between? Do you have any special tips or tricks you like to use when you knit ribbing?


  1. I don't mind ribbing but knit continental with Norwegian purl. So yarn at the back all the time.

  2. I confess to being a "thrower" so ribbing or seed stitch seems to be a bit cumbersome and slows me down. ;) blessings ~ tanna

  3. Robin, so long no see!
    I have to confese very long time I didn't do Ribs but now looks like they become interesting again. With all thae new yarns and colours it makes a very easy but beautiful knitting.

  4. My favorite cowl is all ribbing. I was ready to pull my hair out with boredom, but I so love the outcome.