How to Do a Herringbone Stitch in Knitting

Learn how to do a herringbone stitch in this knitting tutorial from Howcast.

Now I’m going to show you how to do the herringbone stitch in knitting. This is one of knitting’s most complicated fabrics to make, but it is one of the most rewarding also. As you can see it looks almost intricately woven. It’s a very, very thick and squishy fabric. I’ll be showing you on a size 13 with bulky yarn. This is normally a much bigger needle size than I would use to make fabric with this yarn. I would normally use a size 10 and this is herringbone on a size 10 with the same yarn. It’s just way too packed in and way too dense.

So when you’re working herringbone, go up a few needle sizes. A few things to know about herringbone before we get started is that it’s definitely a two row pattern, so you need to work the front and work the back in order to see what its going to look like. And you have to knit in for a couple inches before you can actually see a result. So here’s what we’re going to do. To begin you have to slip two stitches as if to knit.

You’re going to slip as if to knit and slip as if to knit, then you’re going to insert the tip of your left hand needle into the front of both stitches and watch carefully first. You’re going to wrap the yarn around and bring up a loop and then you’re only going to drop off that first stitch. Leave the second one there. Then you’re going to slip as if to purl and slip as if to knit, and then do the same thing. Insert the tip of the left needle into the front of both stitches and pull up a new loop.

From them on out it’s exactly the same thing. Drop one off, slip as if to knit, slip as if to purl, knit into the front of both stitches and only drop off the first loop. So don’t forget that when you start a row, you have to slip as if to knit, slip as if to knit, but from then on out, slip as if to purl, slip as if to knit. This is not TV knitting, at least not at first. This is definitely something you have to pay attention to and keep your eyes on. Slip as if to purl, slip as if to knit, knit into the front of these stitches, and only take the first loop off.

So here I am nearing the end of my row, I’m going to slip as if to purl, slip as if to knit. Knit two through the front, drop one off. Slip as if to purl, slip as if to knit, knit through the front with the left hand needle, drop the first one off, and there’s one stitch left. You’re going to knit it through the back loop. Then when you’re on the back, you’re going to purl two together, but only drop the first loop off. You might need your fingertips for that. Then repeat across the row. Purl two together, drop only the first loop off. Purl two together, drop only the first loop off.

Continue going across the row that way and when you get to the very end, you’ll have only one stitch left, and you will purl it. And that is how you get the beautiful herringbone stitch. Good luck and pay attention to it at first.