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Seed Stitch Knitting Pattern for Beginners

The seed stitch is one of the most simple knitting stitch patterns and involves alternating knit and purl stitches on the same row. It creates a lovely reversible fabric that doesn’t ruffle. If you can knit and purl, you can knit the seed stitch pattern.

The seed stitch is one of my favorite elements to use when designing knit patterns. I use it on the edges of my blankets and washcloths. Because the seed stitch lies flat, it will help all knit patterns lie flat when used on the edge. Even when I plan to add a crochet border to a blanket, like this Cloverleaf Baby Blanket, I like to add a knit seed stitch border first. It serves to blend the knit blanket body and the crochet edge. I also use it for knitters who don’t like to crochet so that the blanket already has a lovely seed stitch border.

Cloverleaf eyelet baby blanket.

I also like the texture that the little bumps of seed stitch add and the fact that it is a reversible knit pattern.

A reversible knit pattern looks the same on the front and the back. Stocking stitch (or stockinette), for example, is not reversible. There is clearly the knit side and the purl side. With the seed stitch, since you work knit stitches and purl stitches in the same pattern on both sides of the fabric, the resulting fabric looks the same.

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before you begin knitting the seed stitch

  • You can use the seed stitch with an even or an odd number of stitches
    • If you have an odd number of stitches, you can always start with a knit stitch and end with a knit stitch.
    • If you have an even number of stitches, you will alternate starting with a knit stitch or a purl stitch.
    • Always remember: KNIT THE PURLS AND PURL THE KNITS!

I am using Rico Design Essentials Big yarn in Color 001 (Cream) and size US7 (4.5mm) needles in this post.

how to knit the seed stitch for beginners

cast on stitches on a knitting needle.

To practice the seed stitch, cast on an odd number of stitches. I have cast on thirteen stitches in this image.

Stitches on knitting needles.

Knit the first stitch.

Stitches on knitting needles.

Purl the second stitch

Stitches on knitting needles.

Knit the third stitch

Stitches on knitting needle with letter K and P showing Knit and Purls.

Continue alternating knit and purl stitches. If you have an odd number of stitches and start with a knit, your last stitch will also be a knit one.

Stitches on knitting needles.

When you turn your work to begin your second row, your first stitch will be a knit stitch (assuming you have an odd number of stitches and started with a knit).

Seed Stitch on knitting needles.

Repeat alternating knit and purl stitches, making sure you knit on top of a purl and purl on top of a knit.

how to stay on track

It is easy to stay on track with the seed stitch; check the stitch below the stitch you need to work on, and your stitch will be the opposite. In this case, a purl shows as the stitch below, so we know we must work a knit stitch.

Seed stitch on knitting needles.

to bind off in seed stitch

You can bind off in the seed stitch pattern if you choose or if your knitting pattern suggests it.

To do so, stay in your seed stitch pattern and cast off the knit and purl stitches.

So in the image below, you would knit the first stitch, purl the second stitch and then pull the first stitch over the second stitch. Then you will knit the third stitch and pull the previous stitch over the just knit stitch.

Check out this post for a refresher on binding off knitting stitches.

Seed stitch on knitting needles.

If you want to learn how to knit or are looking to brush up on your knitting skills and knowledge, pop over to the How to Knit page, which houses all of the posts that teach knitting skills. Or, you could go ahead and visit each one by clicking the links below.

All About Knitting

Bookmark this page or pin the following image to return to this post on how to knit the seed stitch in the future.

Seed stitch on knitting needles.
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  1. I have been using your pattern for Grandma’s Dishcloth to make gifts for friends and relatives. I like the idea of a seed stitch border to help them lay flat. Is that possible to do on this pattern since it already has a pretty edge on it? Thanks, Dee

    1. Hi Dianne,

      That’s a good question! I ‘think’ you could, but haven’t tried it! Let me give it a whirl and I’ll get back to you.

  2. This might be a silly question with an obvious answer, but using your example above with an odd number of stitches, why would I start my second row with a knit? Wouldn’t it be a purl since I ended my first row with a stitch?

    1. Hi MJ,

      When you end a row with a knit, when you turn it, it shows as a purl. For the seed stitch, you want to knit the opposite of what is showing on the row below. Does that help?

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