Broken Rib Stitch Knitting Pattern For Beginners


In this blog post, you will see a broken rib stitch knitting pattern for beginners.

The broken rib stitch knitting pattern is a popular stitch pattern used by many knitters to give texture and depth to their projects. 

This pattern is perfect for creating a sturdy and absorbent dishcloth in the kitchen or bathroom. 

Please scroll down to view the free pattern and grab your free printable PDF.

Broken rib stitch knitting pattern for beginners

What Is Broken Rib Stitch?    

The broken rib stitch is a knitting pattern combining alternating knit and purl stitches to create a textured fabric.

It’s called “broken rib” because, unlike traditional ribbing, where the knit and purl columns run continuously, in broken rib, there are interruptions or breaks in the pattern.

How to knit the broken rib stitch

Below, you will find instructions on how to knit the broken rib stitch flat (knit back and forth with straight needles) and in the round (with circular needles).

Knitting flat (back and forth with straight needles):

Cast On: An even number of stitches.
Row 1 (RS): Knit.
Row 2 (WS): (K1, P1) to the end of the row.
Repeat these two rows.

Knitting in the round (on circular needles or double-pointed needles)

Cast On: An even number of stitches.
Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: (K1, P1) to the end of the round.
Repeat these two rounds.

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Broken rib stitch cotton yarn

Broken Rib Stitch Knitting Pattern For Beginners – Dishcloth Pattern

Skill Level – Basic (Beginners)


You will create a 10 x 10-inch square dishcloth with lots of texture using the broken rib stitch pattern.

This 2-row repeat pattern is easy enough for beginners; all you need to know is how to knit and purl.

Copyright Info

  • Please do not copy, sell, redistribute, or republish this pattern. 
  • If you wish to share this pattern, please provide a link to the pattern page only.
  • You may sell items produced using this pattern.
  • Do NOT use the copyrighted photos for your product listing.
  • For the copyright T&C, please read my Terms of Use.

The supplies you need…


  • 1 x ball of The Pima Cotton yarn from We Are Knitters.
  • This yarn is 3.5 oz/100g/232 yds/212 m.
  • Use my code – MGM4VHHAT – for 10 off on your WAK yarn order.
  • You can make 2 dishcloths with this amount of cotton yarn.
  • Or – 1 x 50g cotton yarn suitable for 4.5 mm (US 7) knitting needles or 5 mm (US 8) needles.
  • Any DK/light worsted/8 ply yarn or Aran/worsted/10 ply yarn.
  • I would recommend using cotton.


5 mm (US 8) Knitting needles


  • Darning needle/yarn needle
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Stitch markers x 2

Size Information

Gauge – 18 sts x 24 rows = 4×4 inches/10×10 cm in the pattern.

Size – 26×26 cm/10×10 inches.

Knitting Abbreviations

  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – Continue
  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • PM – Place a marker
  • SM – Slip marker
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)
  • Rep – Repeat
  • RS – Right side
  • WS – Wrong side
Broken rib stitch dishcloth pattern

Pattern Instructions

Cast on 47 sts.

Set Up Rows (border edge): Knit 6 rows in garter stitch.

Repeat Pattern

  • Row 1 (RS) – K3, PM, K to the last 6 sts, PM, K3
  • Row 2 (WS) – K3, SM, P1, K1 to marker, SM, K3.

Rep rows 1-2 (slipping the markers as you work) until the piece measures 24 cm/9.5 inches from the cast-on edge.

Knit 6 rows in garter stitch.

Cast off.

Weave in all loose ends.

Block your work if necessary – Blocking Knits.

Grab Your Free Printable PDF Dishcloth Pattern Here

What Is The Difference Between Broken Rib Stitch And Rib Stitch?    

Both broken rib stitch and traditional knit ribbing involve a combination of knit and purl stitches.

Still, they differ in the arrangement of these stitches and the overall appearance of the fabric.

1. Rib Stitch:

  • In a traditional rib stitch, you usually alternate between knit and purl stitches within the same row.
  • Common rib patterns include 1×1 rib (alternating between knit and purl stitches), 2×2 rib (alternating between two knit stitches and two purl stitches), and so on.
  • The columns of knit and purl stitches in ribbing are continuous and run vertically.
  • Learn how to knit the rib stitch here – How To Knit Rib Stitch Patterns (1×1 and 2×2 ribbing)

2. Broken Rib Stitch:

  • Broken rib stitch also alternates between knit and purl stitches, but it includes interruptions or breaks in the pattern.
  • The knit and purl columns may not be continuous, creating a more textured and irregular appearance compared to traditional ribbing.
  • In a broken rib, you might have sections where there are multiple knit or purl stitches in a row, contributing to the “broken” or interrupted look.

The choice between the two depends on the desired texture and visual effect for your knitting project. 

Broken rib stitch dishcloth

What To Knit With The Broken Rib Pattern?

The broken rib stitch, with its textured and visually intriguing pattern, is ideal for a variety of knitting projects. 

Consider crafting cozy scarves or cowls and pillow covers, where the broken rib adds both warmth and a touch of sophistication. It’s also excellent for blankets, providing a tactile and visually appealing texture for a snuggly finish. 

For wearable items, incorporate the broken rib into sweaters or cardigans, creating stylish panels that stand out. 

Accessories like headbands, boot cuffs, and fingerless gloves showcase the pattern in smaller projects, making them quick and fashionable knits. 

Additionally, pillows with broken rib covers offer an easy way to add a decorative touch to your home. 

The versatility of the broken rib stitch makes it a go-to choice for a range of projects, allowing you to explore different applications while enjoying the rhythmic interplay of knit and purl stitches. 

Check out free knitting patterns here – Free Knitting Patterns

Broken rib stitch

Is The Broken Rib Stitch Reversible? 

Yes, the broken rib stitch is a reversible pattern, meaning it looks the same on both sides of the fabric. 

The pattern consists of alternating knit and purl stitches in a regular and symmetrical sequence, creating a textured design consistent on both the right side (front) and the wrong side (back) of the knitted piece. 

This reversibility makes the broken rib stitch ideal for projects where both sides are visible, such as scarves, blankets, and accessories, as there is no distinct “right” or “wrong” side to hide. 

Knitters appreciate reversible stitches for their versatility and the convenience they offer in achieving a polished appearance from any angle.

Related Post: 30 Reversible Knitting Stitch Patterns You Will Love!

Broken rib stitch easy dishcloth

Rib Stitch Variations 

In the realm of rib stitch variations, several patterns offer unique textures and visual appeal. 

One notable example is the mistake rib stitch, known for its lofty and reversible fabric.  

Another variation is the fisherman’s rib, where stitches are knit into the row below, resulting in a plush and warm fabric. 

This ribbing technique is excellent for garments and cold-weather accessories. 

Additionally, twisted rib stitch involves working through the back loop, producing a tighter and more defined rib texture. 

Each of these variations allows knitters to experiment with different textures, thicknesses, and stretchiness, offering a range of possibilities for creating unique and eye-catching projects.

Knitting Lessons

If you are a new knitter and need help with the knitting basics, check out these posts here and be your own knitting instructor – Knitting Lessons (With Video Tutorials).

There, you will find step-by-step tutorials for all the different knitting techniques a newbie needs to know.

Including how to cast on, how to bind off, how to knit the basic knit stitches, how to knit the knit stitch, the stockinette stitch, the rib stitch, the garter stitch, the mattress stitch, how to know to read a knitting chart, how to measure gauge, how to knit short rows, and a list of knitting abbreviations, and more. 

For easier projects, check out this pattern category; here, you will find a range of knitting patterns- Beginner Knitters

Plus, you can learn everything about yarn weights, including ( worsted weight yarn, bulky weight yarn, and super bulky weight yarn) – Yarn Weight Guide {+ Conversion Chart} 

Learn everything about yarn fibers here – Yarn Types Explained: A Guide To Different Fibers 

And if you need more video tutorials to help you practice your basic knitting skills, check out my YouTube channel here Handy Little Me – YouTube.  

Could You Share Your Work With Us?

I love seeing your finished projects on social media.

If you enjoyed making the broken rib stitch, I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @handylittleme.

If you are on Facebook, stop over to the Handylittleme Facebook Group and share a photo.

You can also check out my Facebook page here.

You can also find us on Pinterest, Ravelry, and Twitter.

I’d love to see your work.

Happy Knitting!

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