Simple Steps for Learning the Seed Stitch

To create unique designs when knitting, different types of stitches are used.

Although a beginner would generally stick with just a few of the easier methods, with time and experience many additional stitches would become available.

Most knitters, regardless of skill level, have a good understanding of the different stitches used. However, there is one in particular that people often want to know more about.

For that reason, we wanted to take the opportunity to provide information about the seed stitch.

Stitch Introduction

Before going over details of how this stitch is completed, we felt a brief introduction would be helpful. Although most often this stitch is called “seed”, it is known by two other names to include the Irish Moss stitch and the British Moss Stitch.

In addition, knitters often use this stitch as a decorative border for the Stockinette stitch washcloth.

In simple terms, the concept is based on multiples of two stitches. In other words, one row would consist of knit 1, purl 1, which would then be repeated going crosswise and a second row comprised of purl 1, knit 1, again repeating this crosswise. To complete a pattern, the two rows would be repeated.

There are actually a few variations of this stitch and while some of the characteristics are the same, each is unique. Below, we provided instructions for two of the more popular options to include the Diagonal Seed Stitch and the Seed Check Stitch. Although a little more advanced than beginner stitches, most beginners and mid-level knitters have no trouble mastering one or both with a little patience and time.

Creating with the Diagonal Seed Stitch

To knit using this variation the following instructions would be followed:

  • Row One – Knit 5, purl 1 – Repeat from knit 5 across
  • Row Two – Purl 1, knit 1, purl 5 – Repeat from knit 1 to the last five stitches, knit 1, purl 4
  • Row Three – Knit 3, purl 1, knit 5 – Repeat from purl 1 to the last three stitches, purl 1, knit 2
  • Row Four – Purl 3, knit 1, purl 5 – Repeat from knit 1 to the last three stitches, knit 1, purl 2
  • Row Five – Knit 1, purl 1, knit 5 – Repeat from purl 1 to the last five stitches, purl 1, knit 4
  • Row Six – Purl 5, knit 1 – Repeat from purl 5 across
  • For patterns, these rows would need to be repeated.

Knitting with Seed Stitch Checks

While the first option is something that a person with little knitting experience could master without too much trouble, this version of the stitch is more complex in that it works on multiples of 10 stitches plus 5.

  • Row One – Knit 5, (purl 1, knit 1) twice, purl 1, knit 5 – Repeat from knit 1/purl 1 twice across
  • Row Two – Purl 6, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 7 – Repeat from knit 1 to the last nine stitches, knit 1, purl 1, knit 1, purl 6
  • Row Three – Row one would be repeated
  • Row Four – Row two would be repeated
  • Row Five – Row one would be repeated
  • Row Six – (knit 1, purl 1) twice, knit 1, purl 5 – Repeat from knit 1/purl1 twice to the last five stitches, (knit 1, purl 1) twice, knit 1
  • Row Seven – (knit 1, purl 1) twice, knit 7, purl 1, knit 1, purl 1 – Repeat from knit 7 to the last stitch, knit 1
  • Row Eight – Row six would be repeated
  • Row Nine – Row seven would be repeated
  • Row Ten – Row six would be repeated
  • Same as before, when working on patterns, these rows are repeated.


Because this knitting stitch consists of two rows, it makes a great choice for someone with little experience although the second variation mentioned is somewhat more advanced. However, stitching can be done using an odd number of stitches if wanted. As imagined, making this change would add a new diminish to what the original stitch would produce. Of course, this would be an even more advanced version and something that would take time to learn. The biggest challenge is maintaining the integrity of the pattern being worked.

This method of knitting is easy, which is why it is ideal for someone just learning how to knit. Typically, a person will create just one or two knitted projects using the seed stitch and then be ready to try more challenging stitches and projects.

In addition to being easy, this stitch produces items that have a slight amount of texture. For this reason, knitters often consider this stitch when making hats, mittens, and scarves. However, fore someone more adventurous, this stitch is also perfect for making throws for the couch and wraps worn to fight off evening chill.

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