Reversible knit stitch patterns for scarves, afghans, towels, washclothes etc

Most knitting stitches look very different from one side to another, and that's fine most of the time. But there are other times, as in scarves, afghans, towels and washcloths etc where both sides will be seen and we want them to more or less match, or at least both both agreable to look at. Esther Bozak pioneered this concept on the net, and has for years made available her really good set of free patterns for reversible scarves. We provide photos for them in another article. But we've come across some other possible candidates, and would like to make them also available. As a aside, we really love Esther's principle that these patterns should be simple to make and easy to remember :-).

Twin rib

This one was pointed out to us by our friend Priscilla Ryder, in the form of this wonderful scarf present. It's is found in the irreplaceable Barbara Walker's "Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns". It's not very different looking from Esther's mistake rib, but the variation will keep you amused.

It goes like this, on a multiple of 6 stitches:

	  row 1 - *k3, p3, repeat from *
	  row 2 - *k1, p1, repeat from *

Here is a sample scarf knit from chartreuse Noro yarn with some silk and cashmere. It would look equally good from our Merino Frappe, a perfect soft and light scarf yarn, or Iceland which is very easy and suitable for beginners and would show up the stitches very well.

Reversible rib

Loopy and luscious

Reversible interpretation The original for this scarf was the 'loopy & luscious scarf' by Natalie Wilson published in the Winter 02 issue of Check out the full write-up for our reversible version, which is mostly garter stitch with a Bohus twist.


Seafoam stitch washcloth This was introduced as a pattern for a chenille towel in Interweave Knits of Summer 2001, but with in our opinion an inadequate photo. Being impatient, we thought we'd make a chenille washcloth instead :-). We only added a 4-st garter stitch broder to the pattern. It's eminently reversible, and has a very cool, lacey sort of texture, which in our opinion would make great scarves, either in chenille or in Merino Frappe. And it's quite amazingly easy to knit, even for the lace-impaired like ourselves: one symmetrical pattern regularly repeated, mostly knit-only rows. The only trick is the multiple yarn-over, where you simply wrap the yarn around the needle the number of times specified, and drop all of them on the next row.

We used size 4 needles in chenille, we'd probably go to a 7 for Merino Frappe.

	  Cast on on a multiple of 10 stitches + 6.

	  row 1 - k6, *yo2, k1, yo3, k1, yo4, k1, yo3, k1, yo2, k6*, repeat from *
	  row 2 - knit across, dropping all the yarn overs as you go.
	  row 3 - knit across

	  row 4 - k1, *yo2, k1, yo3, k1, yo4, k1, yo3, k1, yo2, k6* repeat twice from *,
	  ending in a single k instead.
	  row 5 - knit across, dropping all the yarn overs as you go.
	  row 6 - knit across


Persimmon scarf This stitch is one is recommended by Judith McKenzie for the 'lace impaired', a category into which we fall squarely. It's mostly called 'Turkish stitch', although it has several variations. We think they mostly look the same, and this one is easiest and very reversible. It makes a very stretchy fabric.

We used size 10 needles here, and doubled Kid Merino in persimmon. Cast on 30 stitches for a wide scarf, and use 2 balls. We used a row of knit to start, and an edge stitch on each side for neater edges.

	  Cast on an even number of stitches.

	  row 1 - knit across, purl last stitch
	  row 2 - slip 1, *yo, k2tog*, repeat from *, purl 1
	  repeat row 2 till the end, then one row 1, bind off.

First published: 4 nov 02

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