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How to Knit the Herringbone Stitch

This stitch might seem complicated, but once you knit a few rows of herringbone stitch, it's really a breeze!

How to Knit the Herringbone Stitch

Stunning and dense, the herringbone stitch has a reputation among knitters for being overly complicated. While this stitch is definitely not for beginners, it is still pretty repetitive, and once you've done a few rows of it, you will find that it's just as relaxing and garter stitch or stockinette.

This stitch will give you a fabric that looks similar to the fabric used to make suit jackets. The stitch two-row stitch pattern is worked over a multiple of only two stitches, so it's easy to fit into any pattern imaginable. Once you know how to knit the herringbone stitch, you will be able to add wonderful texture and depth to your projects.

Plus: Check out our answers to some common herringbone stitch questions

Watch and Learn


  1. Yarn
  2. Corresponding knitting needle sizes


Cast on a multiple of 2 sts

Row 1: *Ssk, dropping only the first stitch off your needle,* rep from * to last st, k.

Row 2: *P2tog, dropping only the first stitch off your needle,* rep from * to last st, p.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until you have reached your desired width.

Note: This pattern will not reveal itself until two rows have been completed.


Q&As: Knitting Herringbone Stitch

Does herringbone stitch curl?
No! Unlike stockinette stitch, herringbone does not curl. The reason for this has to do with the way the individual stitches push and pull each other. Herringbone's unique structure and density allows for equal push and pull of stitches throughout the fabric, resulting in little to no curl.

What are some similar stitches to herringbone?
There are a handful of stitches that are similar to herringbone but none that are exactly the same. Our stitch library has some great options, but here are the particular stitch tutorials that the AllFreeKnitting staff has picked out: 

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I love the look of herringbone, but it has always intimidated me. I'll have to try this as a scarf or something the next time I want to try something new!

Oh man, where was this tutorial when I made a herringbone stitch dishcloth recently! I struggled with that pattern, and this would have made my life so much easier!


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