Welcome to Lesson 5 of BiCrafty Boot Camp: Knitting Lessons for Crocheters. This week, we’re going to expand our skills and learn how to knit 2×2 ribbing. But guess what? You already know what you need to know in order to knit ribbing!
BiCrafty Boot Camp To Date
Before we get into this week’s lesson, let’s catch up on what we’ve done so far in BiCrafty Boot Camp:
- We learned how to cast on and knit stitch
- Then we learned how to knit garter stitch. We also learned to cast off. Furthermore, many of us made a dishcloth.
- After that, we learned how to purl. Furthermore, that meant we could learn stockinette stitch. And we made our first mug rug.
- Last week we learned how to change colors and bury ends. We made our second mug rug, a striped stockinette pattern.
Many people have asked where they can find the Marly Bird live videos for BiCrafty Boot Camp. They’re on the Marly Bird YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe and hit that like button.
You can also find all updated links, including the videos, as they become available by looking at the bottom of the master list in the main post here.
This Week’s Lesson: How to Knit 2×2 Ribbing
This week we’re going to learn how to knit 2×2 ribbing. In order to knit ribbing, you simply alternate knit stitches and purl stitches within the same row. You can make a variety of knit rib stitches. For example, if you knit then purl, knit then purl, all the way across the row then that’s 1×1 knitting. As you can guess then, if you want to learn how to knit 2×2 ribbing, you’ll be doing a knit two, purl two, knit two, purl two across the row. It’s pretty straightforward.
Here are some of the things that you already know how to do as a crocheter that will help you learn how to knit 2×2 ribbing:
- You probably already understand how ribbing affects the fabric that you’re creating. You get more stretch than if you simply work in the same stitch across a whole row over and over again.
- In crochet, you’ve probably alternated stitches within a row. Therefore, you can easily comprehend how to make different knit stitches within the same row. (In fact, you already did it if you made last week’s mug rug pattern. You used stitch markers to mark off the different types of stitches, but you started the concept.)
- Have you ever alternated a front loop and back loop stitch across a row? Or front post / back post stitches (for example, to make basketweave crochet patterns)? Then you get the concept of working one stitch, then working what’s essentially its opposite stitch, and alternating across the row. Since knits and purls are basically opposites of each other, it’s a similar concept.
How to Knit 2×2 Ribbing
As you can guess at this point, knitting 2×2 ribbing simply means you’ll knit two, then purl two, knit two, then purl two. In patterns, you’ll see this as K2, P2. (We’ll learn more about reading knitting patterns soon but there are your first abbreviations to get used to since you know your knits and purls now.)
A pattern will typically have a row repeat of 4. So you might cast on 20 or 24 or 40, for example. Then you would k2, p2 across Row 1 and k2, p2 again across Row 2 and repeat for all of your rows. Obviously, you work 4 stitches (k2, p2) so that’s why you cast on the multiple of 4. Alternatively, you might see a cast on that’s a multiple of 4 + 2. In that case, you’ll end each row with an extra two knit stitches, giving your left and right sides the same look.
Knit 2×2 ribbing is frequently used for hat brims and sweater hems. That should give you a sense of how stretchy the fabric typically is.
Knitter’s Tips for Crocheters
It’s very common when you first learn how to knit 2×2 ribbing for your stitches to be a little bit too loose, particularly on the purl stitches. Here’s an easy fix for that:
BiCrafty Boot Camp Coffee Cup Sleeve Pattern
The great thing about ribbing is that it gives you an elastic stretchy fabric. Therefore, instead of a mug rug, we’re going to make a coffee cup cozy sleeve.
Cast on 36 stitches. We are using long-tail cast on in the video this week (shown below), but use knit cast on if you prefer that.
Knit 2, Purl 2 across each row until you have the sleeve height that you want (~3 inches).
Bind off. In the video, we cover how to bind off in pattern. In a regular bind off, you knit the entire last row. When you bind off in pattern, you continue the pattern (in this case, k2 p2) on the binding off row.
Whipstitch the two short ends together, which you probably know how to do from crochet.
Here’s this week’s live video:
Additional Patterns and Video Tutorials You’re Ready For
At this stage of BiCrafty Boot Camp, you might want to watch these extra videos:
- Learn how to knit ribbed scarf, a video tutorial for a free scarf pattern that uses the k2, p2 ribbing
- How to Fix Common Knitting Mistakes. If you haven’t watched this video yet then now is a good time.
And check out these knitting patterns:
- Rise and Shine Arm Warmers. These do have an increase, which we haven’t covered yet. But for you ambitious now-knitters out there, you might be able to handle it if you do your research. You already know all the stitches – it’s stockinette and the 2×2 you learned here.
- Beginner Knit Hat. Similarly, there’s a bit of decreasing on this hat, which we’ll learn in a few lessons. But if you’re ready to do your research and jump ahead, it’s otherwise just a k2 p2 pattern.