How To Knit The Linen Stitch (Tutorial + Pattern)


In this post, you will see how to knit the linen stitch with a tutorial and free dishcloth pattern.

Slipped stitches create a woven texture and a very firm knitted fabric that does not curl at the edges.

Scroll down to grab your free printable PDF dishcloth knitting pattern.

How to knit the linen stitch

How Do You Knit The Linen Stitch?

The linen stitch is an easy stitch pattern with a woven effect that uses slipped stitches to create texture.

You can use this fabric stitch pattern for a number of items, where a firm fabric is preferred, from dishcloths, pot holders, table mats, table runners, blankets (a baby blanket), and more.

Below we will look at how to knit this stitch pattern flat (back and forth on straight needles) and in the round on circular needles.

In some pattern abbreviations you may see this:

  • WYIF – With yarn in front
  • WYIB – With yarn in back
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Linen Stitch

Knitting Linen Stitch Flat On Straight Needles

You can cast on either an even number of stitches or an odd number of stitches.

Here are the basic instructions for knitting with an even number of stitches for the cast-on:

  • Row 1 (RS): *Knit 1, slip 1 (purlwise) with yarn in front; Repeat from * to end. Turn.
  • Row 2 (WS): *Purl 1, slip 1 (purlwise) with yarn in back; Repeat from * to end. Turn.
  • You will repeat rows 1 and 2.

For an odd number of stitches, you can work like this:

  • Row 1 (RS) – Slip 1 (purlwise), *K1, bring yarn to the front – Slip 1 (purlwise), bring yarn to the back, rep from * to the end of the row. Turn.
  • Row 2 (WS) – *P1, bring yarn to the back, Slip 1 (purlwise), bring the yarn to the front, rep from * to the last st, P1. Turn.
  • You will repeat rows 1 and 2.

In each row, you knit only half of the stitches.

The other half is slipped with the working yarn carried on the right side (front of the work) of the fabric.

Row 2 has you holding the yarn to the back of the work, but since you are working on the wrong side of the piece, that puts the carried yarn on the right side of the slipped stitch.

These tiny floats give the knitted fabric a woven look on the right side and on the wrong side, it looks like moss stitch or seed stitch.

Knitting Linen Stitch In The Round

When knitting this stitch pattern in the round, the right side of the work is always facing you.

Worked over an even number of stitches.

Round 1: *K1, slip 1 (purlwise) with yarn in front; Repeat from * around.

Round 2: *Slip 1 (purlwise) with yarn in front, K1; Repeat from * around.

Does The Linen Stitch Use More Yarn?

Yes, and this is because this simple pattern includes slipped stitches, it requires more yarn per square inch than other stitch patterns.

When Do You Change Yarn Colors in the Linen Stitch?  

Change yarn colors at the beginning of every odd-number row (wrong-side rows).

This can be knit as a two-color linen stitch or even a three-color linen stitch.

There are great options for you to experiment with color to get a different look with this particular stitch pattern.

Linen stitch close up

Linen Stitch Dishcloth Knitting Pattern

You will create an 8 x 8-inch square dishcloth with lots of texture (a woven appearance and a nice dense fabric) using the linen stitch pattern.

This 2-row repeat stitch pattern is easy enough for new knitters, all you need to know is how to slip stitches.

This dishcloth is knit in a solid color.

Skill level – Basic

Crocheters – View the Linen Stitch Crochet Dishcloth Pattern Here. – How To Crochet The Linen Stitch (Tutorial + Pattern)

Related Post: Diagonal Knit Dishcloth Pattern (Free + Easy For Beginners)

Copyright Info

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

The Supplies You Need


  • 1 x ball of Lilly Sugar’n Cream Cotton yarn.
  • This yarn is 2.5 oz/70.9 g/120 yds/109 m.
  • You can make 2 dishcloths with this amount of cotton yarn.
  • Or – 1 x 50g ball of cotton yarn suitable for needle size = 4.5 mm (US 7) – check the yarn ball band for this info.
  • Any DK weight/light worsted/8 ply yarn or Aran/worsted/10 ply yarn.
  • I would recommend using cotton.



Size Info

Gauge – 17 sts x 30 rows = 4×4 inches/10×10 cm in the pattern.

Size – 20×20 cm/8×8 inches.

Abbreviations / Knitting Abbreviations And Terms (US And UK) List

  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – Continue
  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • SL1 – Slip one stitch
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)
  • Rep – Repeat
  • RS – Right side
  • WS – Wrong side
Linen stitch knitting

Pattern Instructions


  • Cast on an odd number of stitches.
  • When you slip stitches, slip purlwise (with the needle in front of the slip stitch – not behind).

Dishcloth Pattern

Cast on 37 sts.

Now you will start the 2-row repeat pattern:

  • Row 1 (RS) – SL1 (purlwise), *K1, bring yarn to the front – SL1 (purlwise), bring yarn to the back, rep from * to the end of the row. Turn.
  • Row 2 (WS) – *P1, bring yarn to the back, SL1 (purlwise), bring the yarn to the front, rep from * to the last st, P1. Turn.

Rep rows 1-2 until the piece measures 20 cm/8 inches from the cast-on edge.

Cast off.

Weave in all loose ends.

Watch The Video Tutorial On My YouTube Channel Here…

crochet and knit dishcloths
Knit and crochet linen stitch dishcloths

Grab Your Free Knitting Pattern Here…

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  1. Hi! What difference does it make casting on an even or odd amount for the linen stitch? Is there any difference? I find it easier to not mess up when casting an even amount and can’t tell any difference visually.

    1. Hello Lisa,
      Casting on an even number of stitches or an odd number can alter the appearance of the stitch pattern.
      Even Number of Cast-On Stitches: When working the Linen Stitch back and forth in rows with an even number of stitches, you’ll typically start each row with the same sequence (e.g., k1, slip 1 with yarn in front), ending with a knit stitch. This creates a consistent pattern on both sides, making it essentially reversible.
      Odd Number of Cast-On Stitches: With an odd number of stitches, each row starts and ends with a knit stitch, but the sequence within the row alternates between rows. For example, if you start Row 1 with a knit stitch followed by slip 1 with yarn in front, k1, you’ll end with a slipped stitch. On the return row, to maintain the pattern, you’ll start with a knit stitch but then immediately slip the next stitch, creating an alternating pattern. This can make the two sides of the work look slightly different, as the edges may have a more staggered appearance.
      I hope that helps,

        1. Hello Lisa,
          It depends on the pattern…but I prefer casting on an odd number of stitches.
          Happy knitting!