Moss vs. Ribbing~

I thought a recent question and answer session I just took part in might be useful for all of you learning loomers out there as well. Ever wondered about the difference between Ribbing and Moss Stitches?  Read on!  🙂


“I am just starting to loom knit, and I was looking for patterns, I have found many that I would like to try to make, but one problem I keep running into is Moss stitching and Rib stitching, I am not sure what either one of them are, so have no idea how to make any of the designs. I have found your tutorials very helpful, and was hoping you would be able to explain the difference in moss and rib stitching. Thank you so much!”


Hello there! 🙂

I would be happy to explain the difference between moss and rib stitches.

Ribbing is simply when you’re creating a knitting pattern where knits sit on top of knits for each row and purls sit on top of purls for each row.

So, for example:

  • Row 1: k, p, k, p…to the end of the row.
  • Row 2: k, p, k, p….so that knits are always worked on pegs that were knits before and purls are worked only on pegs where purls were worked before.

This creates vertical lines in your knitting that are very stretchable, as in wristbands, waistbands, necklines, etc.

Combinations could also be: k, k, p, p, k, k, p, p…
or:  k, k, p, k, k, p, k, k, p,… as long as the following rows are identical.

Moss (or Seed) stitch is more of a decorative stitch rather than a stretchable stitch.  It uses the same combinations of knits and purls, but they are used opposite each other in rows, rather than kept the same.

Examples would be:

  • Rows 1 and 2: k, k, p, p,….
  • Rows 3 and 4: p, p, k, k,….


  • Row 1: k, p, k, p,…
  • Row 2: p, k, p, k….  See what I mean?

Here are some links to help you understand the difference in the resulting knitted fabric:

Hope that helps!

About gettinitpegged

Whipping up whimsy with looms & string! :)
This entry was posted in Loom Knitting, Tutorials. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Moss vs. Ribbing~

  1. Karen Aicken says:

    Great tips – thanks so much!
    Cheers, Karen

  2. Lynn Markman says:

    Bethany~ This is terRific! Thanks, for sharing, and….it gives me a loomin’ idea!! Lol! I learn so much from you. You’ve spent alot of time researching, too. I had no idea that Wikipedia had knitting info~lol!

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