How to Make the Knit Moss Stitch

by Janice Jones     |Published 10-16-2021

The Knit moss stitch is an easy beginner stitch that creates a beautiful textured thick fabric.  There is nothing complicated about the knit moss stitch except the name.  

What?

Yes, the knit moss stitch is a simple four-row repeat, but it has more than one name and this can confuse matters depending on where in the world you live.  I know I was confused at first.  I have heard it called the Double Moss Stitch, the American Moss Stitch,  and also the Irish Moss Stitch. 

If you are in the UK, the (US) seed stitch is called the moss stitch.  So the US American Knit Moss Stitch would be called the Double Moss Stitch.  Have I confused you yet?

The Knit Moss Stitch is similar to the seed stitch, except the lovely texture is created with a more elongated seed stitch version. 

It is always a good idea to check the origins of your pattern as you might think you are making the moss stitch when in reality, you are working the seed stitch and vice versa. 

The size of the finished product might be different.

What is the Difference Between the Seed Stitch and the Moss Stitch

Remember the seed stitch is created with alternating knit and purl stitches in a simple two-row repeat:

Row 1:  K1 P1

Row 2: P1 K1

In other words, you always knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches.  

Seed Stitch Tutorial Page

The Knit moss stitch is made by working two rows of the same pattern

Instead of alternating the pattern every row (as you do for seed stitch), you work 2 rows of the same sequence of knits and purls for moss stitch, and then the third-row alternates.  This creates a beautiful textured but thick fabric that can be used to create a wide assortment of articles.

How to Make the Knit Moss Stitch

Abbreviations

K = Knit

P = Purl

Rep = Repeat

RS = Right side

St(s) = Stitch(es)

WS = Wrong side

The pattern is worked in a four-row repeat

Row 1 (RS): *K1, P1. Rep from * to end of row.

Row 2 (WS): *K1, P1. Rep from * to end of row.

Row 3: *P1, K1. Rep from * to end of row.

Row 4: *P1, K1. Rep from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1-4 until 3 rows before the desired length. Rep Rows 1-3 once more and bind off in pattern as if working a Row 4.

Knitting chart for the American Moss StitchMoss Stitch (American Moss Stitch) British Double Moss Stitch, Irish Moss Stitch

Frequently Asked Questions about the Knit Moss Stitch

Does the knit moss stitch pattern lay flat or tend to curl?

This is a great pattern if you want a fabric that will lay flat.  It is also easy to block.

Is this stitch reversible?

Yes, the right side or public side looks exactly as the wrong side so it is perfect for articles where you’d want both sides to show as in a blanket.

Can you Explain the Difference between the American Moss Stitch and the Irish Moss Stitch?

Though the names are different, both mean the same thing and follow a four row repeat.  The Double Moss Stitch is just one more name that means the same thing.

How does the American Moss Stitch Different from the Moss Stitch in the U.K.

The American Moss Stitch uses a four row repeat where the British Moss Stitch uses a two row repeat which is also identical to the American Seed Stitch.

How will I know which one to use?

Check your pattern.  It should describe exactly how you should knit your article.  If you are knitting without a pattern, it is your choice.  Both the seed and the moss stitch produce a thick textured fabric.

What Can you Make with the Knit Moss Stitch?

Since the knit moss stitch is straightforward and beginner-friendly, it’s a great pattern for practicing those new knitting skills.  It creates a beautiful textured fabric that can be as thick as you like.  

There are so many different possibilities

Washcloths, mats, coasters, and scarves are just a few of the very easy projects to try out this stitch.  Consider a thick cowl or heavy jacket using bulky yarn and big needles.

A chunky warm blanket for those cool winter nights would also make an excellent gift for a special person.

For something super easy, why not try a scarf?

FREE and Easy Knit Moss Stitch Scarf

Here is an easy project that you can make to practice your moss stitch.  It is made in a Number 4 worsted weight yarn but if you prefer you could use a number 5 chunky yarn with a larger needle.

Materials

Red Heart Soft Yarn

Knitting Needles Size US 8/5.0 mm

Tapestry Needle

Scissors

Abbreviations

K = Knit

P = Purl

Rep = Repeat

RS = Right side

St(s) = Stitch(es)

WS = Wrong side

CO = Cast on

BO = Bind Off

*  * = Repeat

Gauge

While technically not necessary to make a gauge swatch for a project such as a scarf, getting into the habit of doing so is not a bad idea. My scarf is approximately 5 1/2 inches wide.  

18 stitches = 4 in/`10 cm with US 8/5.0 mm needles

Directions for Free Scarf Pattern

Follow the pattern instructions or knitting chart above for the knit moss stitch.

CO 26 stitches.

Row 1 (RS): *K1, P1. Rep from * to end of row.

Row 2 (WS): *K1, P1. Rep from * to end of row.

Row 3: *P1, K1. Rep from * to end of row.

Row 4: *P1, K1. Rep from * to end of row.

Repeat Rows 1 - 4 until length of scarf is desired or roughly 60 inches.

Pin for Future Reference

Moss Stitch Pin Image

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