If you love the idea of nothing but knits and purls, Seed stitch is the solution. This stitch pattern is made by working 1 knit stitch and 1 purl stitch across a row, and then they are alternated every other row by knitting the purl stitches and purling the knit stitches. The very texture of the fabric is how Seed stitch got its name. Little purl bumps are created across the fabric which resemble scattered seeds in a field.
(Over an even number of stitches)
• Row 1: *K1, p1; rep from * across.
• Row 2: *P1, k1; rep from * across.
• Rep Rows 1 and 2 for pattern.
Seed stitch and British Moss stitch are the same—you knit 1, then purl 1 across your row, and then reverse this on the opposite side by knitting the purls and purling the knits. As discussed in the above video, American Moss stitch is slightly different from Seed stitch, as you’ll soon discover. In the United States, the confusion lies in the fact that we do not specify British Moss or American Moss. We simply say “Moss” stitch. As a result the names are misunderstood and misused.
This 2-color variation of Seed stitch is made with Wooly Worsted by Ewe & Ewe. My example was created by working 3 rows in green and then 2 rows in fuchsia to create this dimensional stripe pattern. What I find most appealing about this swatch is the transitional row where you can see the purl bump of the new color with the color of the previous row still “peeking” through.
Here’s where I got a little adventurous—in this example, I worked with De Aire, a super-bulky yarn by Plymouth. I casted on to a size 17 U.S. needle and worked for 3 inches. I then jumped down to a size 7 U.S. needle and worked for 2 inches to create this undulating pattern. The beauty of this example is that no stitches were increased or decreased. If you feel daring enough with your needles, try a sock-weight yarn to achieve a dramatic open-work look.
My final example, made with Haciendo by Plymouth Yarn Co., illustrates the basic Seed stitch used with a thick/thin yarn. This creates a very organic, pebbly look which creates large and small seed bumps. This is a great example of how one stitch pattern can produce a dramatically different look when you change the characteristics of the yarn.
American Moss stitch creates a more elongated stitch. Unlike Seed stitch, you work 2 rows the same way, and then you alternate your knits and purls on rows 3 and 4 as you can see in the photo below. This creates a slightly more graphic stitch pattern, producing some much unexpected results.
American Moss Stitch
(Over an uneven number of stitches)
• Rows 1 and 4: K1, *p1, k1; rep from * across.
• Rows 2 and 3: P1, *k1, p1; rep from * across.
• Repeat Rows 1–4 for pattern.
American Moss stitch creates a very attractive 2-color stripe pattern as you can see illustrated in the photo below. In my example, Rows 1 and 2 are worked in teal and Rows 3 and 4 are worked in plum. This swatch looks quite different than the one above, but we did nothing other than work a 2-color stripe pattern.
I’d like to close with a few good reasons to give Seed and American Moss stitch a try:
- There is no wrong side—these stitch patterns are completely reversible, making them easily adaptable to circular knitting patterns.
- These patterns create very dense and durable stitches. Seed and Moss stitches produce a thick, springy fabric which is great for winter accessories such as hats and scarves. I also think that with the right super-bulky weight yarn, you could make a pretty amazing rug for the kitchen or bathroom.
- They’re so easy to learn! If you can knit and purl than you can master these stitches with no problem.
- Your stitches will always look neat because of the texture and variety that these stitches produce.
This should give you a pretty good idea about the benefits of spending some time experimenting with your knits and purls. I hope that you’ve found this article enlightening and that it just might inspire you to start doing a little exploration of your own and to play, play, play!
So tell me, why do YOU love the American Moss and/or Seed stitch and how do you plan on using it in your knitting projects?