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How to Knit Rib Stitch in the Round

Knitting rib stitch in the round correctly can take your knitted garments from sloppy to polished!

How to Knit Rib Stitch in the Round

Whether you're making socks, hats, or even sweaters, you're probably going to need to know how to knit ribbing in the round at some point. While knitting flat ribbing is pretty easy, even for beginners, knitting it in the round is a different story (mostly because there are no wrong sides in knitting in the round).

When knitting certain garments, ribbing is most often used as a way to create the "cuff" of your pattern. This is because ribbing it typically stretchier and a little more snug than other stitches, like stockinette or garter stitch. The ribbing will help your garments stay in the right places and fit better!

In the video below, you'll learn how to knit ribbing in the round, and we've also put together some really great tips for making your ribbing look extra clean and tidy.

How to Knit Ribbing in the Round

2 x 2 Rib Stitch:
CO a multiple of 4 sts
Rnd 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * to end of row
Rnd 2: *K2, p2, repeat from * to end of row

3 x 3 Rib Stitch:
CO a multiple of 6 sts
Rnd 1: *K3, p3, repeat from * to end of row
Rnd 2: *K3, p3, repeat from * to end of row

Tips and Tricks for Knitting Ribbing in the Round

Casting On:
Pay attention to the number of cast on stitches. When knitting ribbing flat, you can cast on any number of stitches as long as it's a multiple of 2 or 3 respectively. When knitting ribbing in the round, however, it's important that you cast on a multiple of 4 or 6 respectively; this ensures that your ribbing is seamless all the way around.

Choosing Your Needles:
Many knitters prefer to knit ribbing with slightly smaller knitting needles. Switching back and forth between knitting and purling often can spread out your gauge, and using smaller needles can correct for this. When using smaller circular needles, however, be sure you're simply using a smaller needle and not a shorter set of needles.

As with most projects knit in the round, the join you choose can greatly affect how the finished project looks. We recommend using an invisible join to prevent any jogs in your ribbing.

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