How to Knit Sailors Rib, an easy alternative

Whilst browsing through my ancient knitting stitches book to gather inspiration, I instantly made my pick and decided to knit sailors rib.

It is a knitting pattern that I associate with my mother and I'm sure she maybe used it to knit something for my dad back in the day.

Does it happen to you too?

That something like a knitting stitch or jersey or image can evoke so much memories?

However, I must clarify, the sailors rib is definitely suitable to knit for anyone and anything. And ultimately even a ladies knitwear item will look stunning in the Sailors knit stitch.

How to knit Sailors Rib Stitch a knitting stitch pattern. Pattern on  1 How to Knit Sailors Rib, an easy alternative

knit sailors rib - free knitting stitch pattern

materials needed:

  • The sample was knit with Elle Double Knit (DK) yarn / Light worsted yarn
  • Knitting Needles according to the thickness of your yarn (I used 4mm, 6US, 8UK)
  • Pattern

I found the Patons Classic Wool DK Yarn on Amazon that looks similar to what I've used:

Whilst visiting Amazon, check out my Amazon store with more Knitting Ideas.

This post contains affiliate links. I may be compensated (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these links. 

knitting techniques used:

  • Casting on stitches
  • Knit stitch
  • Purl stitch
  • Knitting into the back loop of the stitch
  • Casting off stitches

size / dimensions (approximate):

4.5" wide (11.43cm) x 4" long (approximate 10cm) knit over 28 rows.

skill level:


Don't think because you are a beginner you can not attempt something new.  

If you are new to knitting, it is just a matter of changing your direction! (meaning literally to knit a few stitches through the back loop).


k          - knit

k(1) tbl - knit 1 stitch through the back loop

p          - purl

rep      - repeat

RS       - right side

st         - stitch

sts       - stitches

knitting pattern instructions

stitch PATTERN to knit sailor's rib:

Cast on multiples of 5 sts plus 1.

Knit as follows:-

Rows 1 (RS) - k(1) tbl, *p1, k2, p1, k(1) tbl, rep from * to end

2nd Row     - p1, *k1, p2, k1, p1, rep from* to end

3rd Row     - k(1) tbl, *p4, k(1) tbl, rep from * to end

4th Row     - p1, *k4, p1, rep from * to end

Repeat these four rows until you have enough rows.

Cast off and weave in ends.

different KNITTING RIB stitches


The Sailor's Rib stitch is an easy stitch and can be used in a variety of beginner knitting projects.  

Did you enjoy this post?  And you know someone who might also enjoy learning different knitting stitches, or who wants to expand on her knitting library, PLEASE SHARE!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Happy knitting!

How to knit Sailors Rib Stitch a knitting stitch pattern. Pattern on 1 How to Knit Sailors Rib, an easy alternative

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