English rib – an overview

English rib (sometimes referred to as Brioche) is a knitting technique where you occasionally use double stitches to achieve a clear and visible striped pattern in your work – similar to a rib edge. The technique gives a fuller, thicker result that is great for working scarves, blankets and jumpers.

There are numerous variations of English rib – ranging from which/how many stitches you work between the stripes (how close they are) to the specific technique used. Some variations give a striped pattern on one side only, while other variations give the same striped pattern on both sides of the work. English rib can also be worked with 2 colours – which adds a nice effect, where the right and wrong side have opposite colour schemes.

However, what all English rib variations have in common is that you work with double stitches (either by making yarn overs, or working in the stitch from the previous row/round) – thus it requires more yarn than regular rib edge.

The 4 most common English rib techniques are:

English rib and Fisherman’s rib gives almost identical results – the Fisherman’s rib can however be slightly tighter than English rib, as it is worked in the stitch below. They both give you the same pattern on the right and wrong side.

False English rib uses the same technique as English rib, but you only work the pattern on every other row/round.

Similarly, False Fisherman’s rib uses the same technique as Fisherman’s rib, but you only work the pattern on every other row/round.

Both False English rib and False Fisherman’s rib give a result with different patterns on the right side and the wrong side – they are therefore less yarn consuming techniques than English rib and Fisherman’s rib.


How to work the 4 English rib techniques

These techniques can be worked both back and forth on the needle, or on the round. They can also be worked over an even and an odd number of stitches. The explanations below are worked back and forth on the needle, over an uneven number of stitches.

The picture to the left shows the work from the right side and the picture to the right shows the work from the wrong side.

English rib

This is the most common technique for working English Rib and it gives a result which is identical on right and wrong sides.

Work as follows (with 1 edge stitch in garter in each side):

Row 1: 1 garter stitch *Knit 1, 1 yarn over, slip 1 stitch purlwise*, repeat from *-* until 2 stiches remain, knit 1, 1 garter stitch.

Row 2: 1 garter stitch *1 yarn over, slip 1 stitch purlwise, knit yarn over and the slipped stitch together*, repeat from *-* until 2 stitches remain, 1 yarn over, slip 1 stitch purlwise, 1 garter stitch.

Row 3: 1 garter stitch *knit yarn over and the slipped stitch together, 1 yarn over, slip 1 stitch purlwise* repeat from *-* until 3 stitch remain. Knit yarn over and the slipped stitch together, 1 garter stitch.

Repeat row 2 and 3.

See DROPS video: How to knit English Rib

Fisherman's rib

This technique gives a result that is identical on the right and wrong side.

Work as follows (with 1 edge stitch in garter in each side):

Row 1 (Wrong side): knit all stitches.

Row 2 (Right side): Knit 1, *Purl 1, knit 1 in the stitch directly below next stitch* repeat from *-* until the end of the row.

Repeat row 2.

See DROPS video: How to work fisherman's rib back and forth on the needle

False English rib

False English rib uses the same technique as English rib, but you only make yarn overs every other row/round – there will be a striped pattern on the right side only.

Work as follows (with 1 edge stitch in garter in each side):

Row 1: 1 garter stitch, *knit 1, 1 yarn over, slip 1 stitch purlwise*, repeat from *-*until 2 stitches remain, knit 1, 1 garter stitch.

Row 2: 1 garter stitch, * knit 1, purl yarn over and slipped stitch together*, repeat from *-* until 2 stitches remain, knit 1, 1 garter.

Repeat row 1 and 2.

See DROPS video: How to knit False English Rib (1)

False Fisherman's rib

False Fisherman’s rib uses the same technique as Fisherman’s rib, but you only work in the stitch below every other row/round – there will be a striped pattern on the right side only.

Work as follows (with 1 edge stitch in garter in each side):

Row 1 (Wrong side): knit all stitches.

Row 2 (Right side): knit 1, *purl 1, knit 1 in the stitch directly below next stitch* repeat from *-* until the end of the row. (When the stitch count is uneven finish row with purl 1).

Repeat row 1 and 2.

See DROPS video: How to knit Shaker Rib

Comments (1)

Sahar Taha 25.03.2019 - 18:38:

You are very great to collect these stitches and help us to know the difference between them

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