How to Make the Knit Hurdle Stitch

by Janice Jones 

Reading Time:  4 minutes

The knit hurdle stitch is a simple, beginner-friendly stitch pattern. It consists of two rows of the garter stitch pattern and two rows of one-by-one rib stitch pattern. It is an excellent choice for any project where you need a fabric with a thick texture, even edges, and a flat lay, even without a border.

It is considered a reversible pattern because both sides of your work look identical.

If you are just getting started with knitting, don't feel like you need to limit yourself to the garter or stockinette stitch patterns.  Here's one for you.

The knit hurdle stitch is a beginner friendly knitting stitch that uses only knit and crochet stitches

Here is one that combines both into an interesting and fun texture. If you can make knit and purl stitches, you can master this pattern quickly and create various objects perfect for this stitch. 

As is the case with many knit and crochet stitches, the names are derived from how the pattern appears. In this case, the two rows of knit stitches form the "hurdles," which look a bit like the obstacles or barriers that horses jump over or dogs in an agility course. What do you think?

What Projects Can You Use the Knit Hurdle Stitch?

Since this pattern is reversible, this stitch is useful for many projects:

  • Knit dishcloths or face cloths
  • Blankets
  • Rugs
  • Placemats
  • Pillows
  • Scarves and Cowls

More Stitch Tutorials For You

How is the Knit Hurdle Stitch Pattern Created?

You can use circular needles or flat knitting to make this stitch pattern.

The hurdle knit stitch pattern is worked on an even number of stitches and is a four-row repeat pattern. Think of the first two of the four-row repeat as a simple garter stitch.

Skills Needed

How to Cast On

Knit Stitch

Purl Stitch

Bind off

Weave in Ends

Knit Hurdle Stitch Instructions

Close up shot of the hurdle knit stitch knitted with pink 100% cotton yarn.

For the purposes of this tutorial, I used the following supplies:

You can use any yarn and corresponding needles for this tutorial, but if you follow these instructions, you will eventually create a lovely 100% cotton facecloth or dishcloth.

This pattern and tutorial use US terms.

Knit Hurdle Stitch Tutorial and Free Beginner-friendly Dishcloth pattern

This pattern and tutorial uses US terms.

Here are the abbreviations that I used.

CO = Cast On

K =knit


sts = stitches

BO = Bind Off

RS = Right Side

WS = Wrong Side

*   * Repeat the instructions between the two asterisks for the number of times indicated.

Finished Measurements

The finished dishcloth / facecloth measures  7 inches by 7 inches (17.8 by 17.8 cm).

To make this project larger, add 6 stitches for every inch you want to add.  So for example if you want an 8 inch cloth, CO 44 sts. instead of the 38 inches suggested below.

Directions for Making a 7" Facecloth

CO 38 stitches

Row 1 and 2:  K all sts.

Row 3:  *K 1, P1* across the row

Row 4:  *K 1, P1* across the row

Repeat rows 1 through 4  until you reach your desired length.  To create a dishcloth/facecloth, the finished project size is 7 inches square. BO after row 1 knit all stitches.

Weave in ends.

How to Use a Circular Needle to Make the Hurdle Stitch in the Round

  • For this project, I cast on 40 stitches on #10 (5.5 mm) 
  • Yarn #5
  • Scissors
  • Tapestry Needle for weaving in ends.
  • Stitch Markers: Optional for marking the first stitch of the round.

Instructions for Working in the Round

Row 1: Knit across

Row 2: Purl across

Row 3: *K1, P1, Repeat from * around.

Row 4: *K 1, P1, Repeat from * around.

Repeat these four rows for the pattern. Continue until you reach your destination. Bind off in Pattern. Weave in Ends.

How to Read a Knit Stitch Chart

For basic stitch patterns, written instructions are generally enough, but it is always a good idea to become familiar with knitting charts. This is how the chart would look for the Hurdle Stitch.

Remember, you start reading at the lower right edge where you see the number one. This is the first row and is also the right side. The second row (wrong side) is worked from the left to the right.

The key at the side of the chart tells you how to identify how to read each stitch.

A knitting chart showing how to knit the hurdle stitch

Last Words

The knit Hurdle Stitch is an ideal pattern for beginning knitters because it only requires one to know how to create knit and purl stitches.  Other skills needed are how to cast on and bind off.  Since it lies flat and is reversible, it is perfect for any project needing those attributes including scarves, dishcloths and blankets.  

It looks like a rib stitch and it does have a one by one rib component.  Chose this stitch for your next knitting creation.

Happy Knitting, Smart Knitter


Knit Hurdle Stitch Tutorial:  Pin for Future Reference

The Knit Hurdle Stitch created in a pink, 100% cotton yarn, pin image

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About Janice

Hi, I’m Janice, the voice behind Smart-Knit-Crocheting. I love to knit and crochet and even more, I love teaching others what I know.

Though I learned to knit and crochet as a child, I didn’t get serious about these amazing hobbies until I retired. I’m a certified knit and crochet instructor through the Craft Yarn Council and am working on becoming a Master Hand Knitter through The Knitting Guild Association.

I’m currently living with my husband of over 50 years and our 7 Shih Tzu dogs.

I love hearing from you, so please drop me a line and let me know what you’re working on, whether you love knitting or crocheting more, and if you have any questions. Please visit my about me page for more information.

Happy Crocheting