Lessons on Seed Stitch

Seed stitch is a great basic knitting pattern stitch with a lot of texture.
Seed Stitch baby hat, blanket block, Seed Sttich border on a washcloth and Seed Stitch washcloth. © Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Seed stitch is one of the classic, basic knitting stitch patterns. It's so well-known you might even come across patterns that just say to work in seed stitch but don't actually explain what that means because it's considered common knowledge.

Sometimes called British or Irish moss stitch, this pattern produces a bumpy, textured fabric that is pretty fun to knit. It can be worked on any number of stitches, which means it can be used in almost any knitting pattern.

How to Knit Seed Stitch

Most commonly, seed stitch is worked on even numbers of stitches.

Row 1: *K1, p1. Repeat from * across.

Row 2: *P1, k1. Repeat from * across.

Repeat these 2 rows for pattern.

It can also be worked on odd numbers of stitches.

K1, *p1, k1. Repeat from * across.

Repeat this row.

All you really need to know when working seed stitch is that the knits and purls never stack on themselves. So if you can read your knitting and you see a knit stitch on the needle, you know you need to purl that stitch on this row or round.

The only negative when it comes to seed stitch is that you are switching between knitting and purling with every stitch, which some knitters find aggravating and slow. But if you can get into the rhythm, it can be almost meditative.

What Seed Stitch Looks Like

The seed stitch gets its name from the purl bumps in the fabric that look like little seeds in what would otherwise be a lot of stockinette.

It's a simple, bumpy texture that is great for all sorts of knitting projects and it's reversible.

Patterns Using Seed Stitch

Of course, there are tons of free knitting patterns out there that use seed stitch, so here are a few to get you started.

The GAPtastic cowl is a classic. It's a great basic, big cowl worked in chunky yarn in the round. 

Seed stitch baby booties are simple, worked flat warmers for a little one's feet, but the seed stitch makes them a little more interesting and fun to knit.

Here's a Seed Stitch Men's Hat; Compile Yarns uses two-color Seed Stitch for a fun beret.

This is a fun set of Seed Stitch Handwarmers with a twist, featuring easy columns of twisted stitches. Or try the gorgeous luxury of the handwarmer/mitten pattern from the Purl Bee.

The Seed Stitch Jacket is made for plus-sized women and is a great basic to have in your closet.

This Seed Stitch Neck Warmer is super cute, while the Seed Stitch Triangular Shawl is sure to keep you warm.

And then there's the Seed Stitch Bag with Flower, among many others.

The Seed Stitch is very versatile and can be used in just about any kind of project.

Learn More About Seed Stitch

Seed Stitch is similar to another stitch pattern known as moss stitch.

Learn the difference between these two popular stitches.

Take your seed stitching to the next level with more explorations from Creative Knitting magazine editor Kara Gott Warner.