How to knit the linen stitch

Using the linen stitch is perfect for knitting homewares such as teatowels, coasters, pot holders and dishcloths.

It is a sturdy knitting stitch that sits flat and works up quite bulky due to the slipped stitch technique used.

The linen stitch can also be used to knit scarves and even jackets. Its use is not purely for homewares.

The stitch works beautifully when paired with cotton or linen yarn. However, you can use the linen stitch with any yarn and on any thickness of knitting needle.

Read on to find out how to knit the linen stitch and to get the links to some awesome free linen stitch knitting patterns.

How to knit the linen stitch

To knit the linen stitch, you need to cast on an even number of stitches.

You then need to work the following two rows. Please note these instructions are for knitting flat and not in the round.

Row 1 (RS): Slip 1 with yarn in front (wyif), *k1, slip 1 wyif, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 2: Slip 1 with yarn in back (wyib), *p1, slip 1 wyib, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

All slipped stitched are slipped purl wise.

Wyif = with yarn in front. Wyib = with yarn in back.

The photo below shows a close up of the the beautifully textured linen stitch.

The sample shown was knit on 6mm knitting needles using a chunky cotton yarn (Yarn and Colours Fabulous). As already written, you can use any thickness of yarn and knitting needle as long as they fit together, and you don’t have to use cotton. Cotton yarn is however ideal for homewares as it is hard wearing and you can simply pop it in the machine to wash. Please do always check your yarn ball band for asking instructions though.

Free knitting patterns using the linen stitch.

I have had a look around for some free knitting patterns using the linen stitch and you can access these by clicking on the following links.

Some of the patterns work the stitch differently to the instructions given above, and some of them will teach you how to work the linen stitch in two different colours. Have to say these look awesome!

Anyway, here is the list of free knitting patterns so that you get practicing your linen stitch technique!

  • Purl Soho has a whole bunch of free linen stitch knitting patterns. You can click here to view them.
  • The Love Crafts website has an interesting free linen stitch beanie hat pattern and some placemats and coasters. You will need to sign up to the Love Crafts website to access their (many!) free knitting patterns.
  • You can find a free knitting pattern with a further tutorial for knitting the linen stitch here on the We Are Knitters blog.
  • There is a similar article with video showing you how to knit the linen stitch here on the Wool and the Gang website.
  • The Deramores website has two lovely free knitting patterns using the linen stitch. This cushion that fashions with buttons is just beautiful, and you may also enjoy this useful draught excluder knitting pattern. As with Love Crafts, you will need to sign up to the Deramores website to access the free knitting patterns there.

Thanks so much for visiting The Knitting Times today and we hope you enjoyed this article about how to knit the linen stitch.

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