Ribbing: The Ordinary Knitter – episode 49

The Ordinary Knitter Podcast
Ribbing: The Ordinary Knitter - episode 49
I think this jumper looks great, even on the fuller figure 🙂


Welcome to episode 49 of The Ordinary Knitter, the knitting podcast that’s (mostly) about the projects. My name is Heather and I’m @theordknitter on Twitter, @theordinaryknitter on Instagram and @ordinaryknitting on Ravelry. This week: ribbing and more ribbing – I review Of the Sea by DROPS, look at my progress on March Basic by Berroco and plans for next summer’s knitting (let’s gloss over the big event in December that screws up everyone’s knitting plans). Apologies if today’s pod is a little disjointed. It’s still the school holidays and I was interrupted more than once for real life and death situations. Or possibly not.

Ft knitting patterns:

Ft knitting videos:


Ribbing either side of the cable on a tablet case

Ribbing is a simple pattern of alternating knit and purl stitches that form columns up a piece of knitting. In theory ribbing can be as wide as you like but the biggest rib I’ve ever knitted is 10×10 (ie 10 knit stitches then 10 purl stitches then 10 knit stitches etc). An entire item can be knit in rib or it may just have rib sections, such as is usual either side of a cable. Many items have a section of ribbing at the cuff and hem and this tends to be a small gauge, as small as 1×1 up to 3×3 is common. Rib gives an item stretch side to side that returns to a smaller size so that you can stretch a neck or cuff over a head or hand without leaving it permanently baggy.

Twisted rib section on Ivy

Rib is not always pretty. I had decided to knit a Thomas B Ramsden wrap top pattern but changed my mind when I noticed the deep and fairly ugly rib section on the welt and cuffs, so I went looking for something else. My search turned up Ivy, a wrap top with a decorative twisted rib welt and cuffs. It was intricate and long-winded to knit as a wrap top is a large item anyway (you knit more than you would for a cardigan or top or jumper as you have to create the crossover area too) and the rib was inches deep all the way round the welt and cuffs, but it was so worth it. The finished result is pretty and decorative, but it doesn’t have the spring back of a standard rib so I do find the cuffs hang a bit. I put it all down to experience.

Just a teensy bit of ribbing

Although useful, ribbing can be slow going as you continually have to move the yarn from back to front. That was why I modified my entire knitting technique (which was ham-fisted), so that now I can simply flip between knit and purl without having to adjust anything manually. Rib serves a purpose but you can have too much of a good thing. I’m delighted that my current project, March Basic by Berroco Design Team, has just an inch of rib, albeit 1×1, at the welt (and no doubt the cuffs too but I’m not there yet and am in denial about it).

Music credit:

“Carpe Diem” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

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