6 Reversible Stitch Patterns: Beautiful on Both Sides

With these reversible stitch patterns, there is no “right” or “wrong” side – there’s only beauty!

reversible stitch patterns

Most projects have a “right” or “wrong” side, but for many of them it doesn’t really matter.

For instance, no one cares what the “wrong” side of hats, mittens, or sweaters look like… because no one ever sees them!

But in projects where you can see both sides, like cloths, afghans, and scarves, this is more of a concern. You may feel frustrated after placing a lot of time and energy into a beautiful stitch pattern that looks good only on one side!

Fortunately, there is a solution: reversible stitch patterns.

Believe it or not, you’ll find many stitch patterns that look identical no matter which side you’re looking at. And better still, these stitches are not at all difficult! If you can knit and purl, you can achieve any of these stitch patterns.

(Perhaps the most difficult stitch you’ll be asked to perform is to knit into a stitch in the row below. But once you try it, you’ll see it’s not at all difficult. )

The following reversible stitch patterns are arranged from easiest to most difficult. So get ready to launch!

Want to know how to incorporate these stitch patterns into a knitting project? Take a look at this article!

1. Seed Stitch

Seed stitch - the easiest of the reversible stitch patterns
Seed Stitch

Seed stitch is the easiest way to create a project that looks great regardless of which side you’re looking at. This is one of my favorite stitch patterns.

“Seed stitch” is so named because the end result looks like little seeds embedded into your fabric. It’s simple and pretty.

You can cast on any number of stitches to produce seed stitch, but the directions are a little different depending on whether you’ve cast on an even or odd number of stitches.

For an odd number of stitches: *K1, P1, repeat from * to end. Do this on every row.

For an even number of stitches:

Row 1: *K1, P1, repeat from * to end.

Row 2: *P1, K1, repeat from * to end.

Repeat these 2 rows until the piece is as long as you wish.

2. Moss Stitch

Moss Stitch
Moss Stitch

This is the second-easiest type of reversible stitch pattern. It’s sort of an extended form of seed stitch.

Like seed stitch, you can cast on any number of stitches to create this look. The instructions are only slightly different depending on whether you’ve cast on an even or an odd number.

For an even number of stitches:

Row 1: *K1, P1, repeat from * to end.

Row 2: Repeat Row 1.

Row 3: *P1, K1, repeat from * to end.

Row 4: Repeat Row 3.

For an odd number of stitches:

Row 1: *K1, P1, repeat from * to last stitch, K1.

Row 2: Repeat Row 1.

Row 3: *P1, K1, repeat from * to last stitch, P1.

Row 4: Repeat Row 3.

3. Box Stitch

Box Stitch
Box Stitch

The box stitch is a great place to start if you’re a beginning knitter looking to graduate to something slightly more complex without getting very complicated.

I personally think the little “boxes” look kind of like tiny cat’s faces. But that might just be me…

To begin, cast on stitches in any multiple of 4 plus 2. For example: 26 (6 x 4= 24, + 2 = 26), 30 (7 x 4= 28, +2 = 30), 34 (8 x 4= 32, + 2 = 34)

The pattern repeat is worked over four rows as follows:

Row 1: k2, *p2, k2; rep from *.

Row 2: p2, *k2, p2; rep from *.

Row 3: Rep Row 2

Row 4: Rep Row 1

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4. Shaker Rib (or Fisherman’s Rib)

Fisherman's Rib
Shaker/Fisherman’s Rib

This looks very much like the classic ribbed stitch, only the “ribs” wind up being far deeper and the fabric thicker. It’s a beautiful look, especially suitable for a scarf.

Cast on any even number of stitches and purl one row.

After this, every row is identical: *P1, knit into the next stitch in the row below, repeat from * to the last two stitches, P2.

Finish with a purl row and bind off. 

5. Pyramid Stitch

Pyramids
Pyramids

This is only slightly more complicated than the preceding 4 stitch patterns. It’s still easy, but it’s not as easy to memorize. You’ll want to track the pattern carefully to ensure you don’t get lost.

This is an especially fun design for afghan squares or scarves. You’ll love the adorable little triangles this pattern produces.

Cast on any multiple of 6 plus 5. For example: 29 (4 x 6= 24, + 5= 29), 35 (5 x 6= 30, + 5= 35), 41 (6 x 6= 36, +5 = 41). 

Row 1: k5, *p1, k5; rep from * to end.

Row 2: k1, *p3, k3; rep from * to 4 stitches from end, p3, k1.

Row 3: p2, *k1, p5; rep from * to 3 stitches from end, k1, p2.

Row 4: Rep Row 3.

Row 5: Rep Row 2.

Row 6: Rep Row 1.

6. Parallelograms

Parallelograms - a reversible stitch pattern that's a challenge
Parallelograms

All right, I admit it: this is one of my favorite knitting stitches simply because it’s so much fun to say. Try it three times fast, I dare you!

The parallelograms stitch pattern produces rectangles that look like they’re leaning to one side. It’s a fun pattern that looks way more complex than it really is.

Like with the pyramids pattern, you’ll want to follow along carefully to ensure you don’t get lost. It’s not at all difficult, but you’ll want your concentration handy!

The pattern repeat is worked over ten rows.

Cast on any multiple of 10: 20, 30, 40, et cetera.

Row 1: *P5, K5, repeat from * to end. 

Row 2: *K1, P4, K4, P1, repeat from * to end. 

Row 3: *K2, P3, K3, P2, repeat from * to end. 

Row 4: *K3, P2, K2, P3, repeat from * to end. 

Row 5: *K4, P1, K1, P4, repeat from * to end. 

Row 6: *K5, P5, repeat from * to end. 

Row 7: *P1, K4, P4, K1, repeat from * to end. 

Row 8: *P2, K3, P3, K2, repeat from * to end. 

Row 9: *P3, K2, P2, K3, repeat from * to end. 

Row 10: *P4, K1, P1, K4, repeat from * to end. 

With these fabulous reversible stitch patterns, you’ll be able to turn out washcloths, dishcloths, scarves, and afghans that look beautiful no matter what side you’re looking at!

Want to keep these reversible stitch patterns handy without ads? Purchase this collection of stitch patterns in a beautiful PDF format at the Knitting for Charity Mosaic Bookshop!

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6 Comments

  1. I have just finished two prayer shawls, allegedly the original pattern from the prayer shawl Ministry, I used chunky yarn and cast on 57 stitches, it is just K3 P3 to the end every row and somehow [magically] forms itself into vertical stripes, I loved it, as well as being prayer shawls the way they came together made me so happy.

    1. Thank you Gail! Believe it or not, that’s just plain ol’ garter stitch! Two rows of knit stitch. I usually use seed stitch borders, but I was surprised at how nice the garter stitch borders looked.

  2. Thanks so much. Do a lot of charity knitting and these patterns are ‘PRICELESS’. Printed out an extra copy for a knitting friend. Appreciate you.