Herringbone: All You Need to Know

A beautiful stitch with incredible versatility, herringbone looks great on just about everything. But this stitch can also cause frustration for new knitters, not because it’s difficult to execute, but because it’s a little unusual. Instead of single loops emerging from single loops in the row below, in herringbone stitch the loops on the needle emerge from the spaces created when the loops in the row below overlap (Figures 1 and 2, below).

On the one hand, the complex structure of interlocking loops means that the stitches are harder to ravel, which is good, but on the other hand, this same structure can also make it harder to see how to fix errors.

The colors are for visually defining the stitches; they do not represent different yarn colors.

In this blog post, we’ve covered the basics, from working this stitch to fixing mistakes, so we can all enjoy it together!

Why is herringbone such a great stitch?

• Looks complicated but is easy to work: use a larger needle size so the stitches are loose and easy to manipulate
• Easy to remember: it’s just a two-row repeat
• It stands out: herringbone stitch makes a unique, soft, and warm fabric
• It’s reliable: you can use this stich for high-wear items like bags and pillows

How to Knit the Herringbone Stitch

How to work it:

CO any number of stitches.

Row 1 (RS) *K2tog through back loop (tbl) and drop first st off left needle; rep from * to last st, k1tbl.

Row 2 (WS) *P2tog and drop first st off left needle; rep from * to last st, p1.

Rep Rows 1 and 2 for patt.

How to Fix Herringbone Stitch Mistakes

We’ve all been there: you get to the end of the row and notice your stitch count is off because you’ve dropped both stitches off the left needle, or you see a hole where two stitches aren’t overlapping. But don’t worry; both of these are easy fixes.

Whether you’re tinking several stitches in herringbone stitch or have simply dropped both loops from the left needle instead of just the first one, you pick up the outside loop on the right needle and place it back on the left needle.

If you’re working a RS row, pick up the loop from back to front (Figure 1, above).

If you’re working a WS row, pick up the loop from front to back (Figure 2, above).

We hope you enjoy working herringbone stitch as much as we do!

Have you tried the herringbone stitch? The Margot Top is a lovely example of what can be done with herringbone!

If you want to practice what you’ve learned, try the Margot Top by Faye Kennington from knitscene Fall 2018! And if you want some more ways to knit herringbone fabric, check out the article Easy Herringbone. Really.

Can’t get enough? Don’t worry, we’ve got more patterns!

One Comment

  1. Anonymous at 7:10 am July 24, 2018


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