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How To Knit The Ripple Stitch (+ A Free Tee Pattern)


In this blog post, you will see how to knit the ripple stitch + a free tee pattern.

The ripple stitch is a beautiful and versatile knitting pattern with great texture that can be used to create a variety of projects, from scarves and blankets to sweaters and cardigans. 

The ripple stitch adds texture and visual interest to any knitting project with its gentle waves and undulating lines.

Plus, this post includes a free knitting pattern for a tee for spring and summer. 

Whether you are a seasoned knitter or just starting, this blog post is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the ripple stitch and how to incorporate it into their knitting projects. 

So grab your knitting needles, and let’s get started!

Scroll down to view the free pattern, or grab your printer-friendly, ad-free PDF here.

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How To Knit The Ripple Stitch (+ A Free Tee Pattern)

Ripple Stitch Knitting Pattern

Skill Level – Easy (Advanced Beginners)


This top is simple enough for advanced beginners and can be knit in cotton yarn to be worn with shorts, linen pants, or skirts in the warmer months.

The tee belongs in the in the Muses collection – 12 Summer Knits (The Muses Collection) 

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.
Ripple stitch knitting pattern

Size Information

Gauge – 16 sts/20 rows in 4 inches/10 cm in stitch pattern.


This top can be made in the following sizes…


Bust Size (inches)

38 (42, 46, 51, 57, 63)

Waist Size (inches)

34 (38, 42, 47, 53, 59)

The pattern is written for all sizes starting with the smallest size – with changes for different sizes listed in all necessary places.

To follow patterns more easily, circle or highlight all numbers pertaining to your size before beginning.

Knitted tee

The supplies you need…


  • The Pima Cotton From We Are Knitters in Natural (This cotton is 100% Pima Cotton) 100g/3.05oz/232 yds/212m.
  • Use my code – MGM4VHHAT – for 10 off on your WAK yarn order.
  • This is an Aran/Worsted/10 Ply yarn.

For the following sizes you will need;

  • Small – 3 – (300g/696yds/636m)
  • Medium – 4 – (400g/928yds/848m)
  • Large – 5 – (500g/1,160yds/1,060m)
  • XL – 5.5 – (550g/1,276yds/1,166m)
  • XXL – 6 – (600g/1,392yds/1,272m)
  • XXXL – 6.5 – (650g/1,508yds/1,378m)



  • Scissors
  • Darning needle/yarn needle
  • Tape measure
  • Stitch holder
Ripple stitch knitted tee


  • Beg – Beginning
  • CO – Cast on
  • Cont – Continue
  • Dec – Decrease (cast off)
  • Garter stitch – knit every row
  • K – Knit
  • K2tog – Knit the next two stitches together (decrease)
  • SM – Slip marker
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)
  • Patt – Pattern (work in stitch pattern)
  • PM – Place marker
  • P – Purl
  • Rem – Remain (ing)
  • Rep – Repeat
  • RS – Right side
  • WS – Wrong side
  • YO – Yarn over


  • Multiple of 18 sts.
  • 4-row stitch repeat.
Ripple Pattern Chart

Calliope Tee Pattern


Worked flat knitting back and forth on two needles:

(This stitch pattern is worked in a multiple of 18 sts)

Cast on 90 (108, 126, 144, 162, 180) sts.

  • Row 1 (RS): Knit.
  • Row 2 (WS): Purl.
  • Row 3: *(K2tog) 3 times, (YO, K1) 6 times, (K2tog) 3 times; Rep from * to the end of the row.
  • Row 4: Knit.

Cont to repeat rows 1 – 4 until your piece measures = 32 (33, 34, 35, 36, 37) cm / 12.5 (13, 13.3, 13.7, 14, 14.5) inches.


Row 1 (RS): Cast on 6 sts at the beg of the row, PM, work in patt to end, PM, cast on 6 sts. 102 (120, 138, 156, 174, 192) sts

Rows 2-4: K6, SM, work in patt, SM, K6.

Cont to work 6 sleeve edge sts in garter stitch, slipping the markers as you work.

When the piece measures 55 (57, 59, 61, 63, 65) cm / 21.6 (22.4, 23.2, cast off the center 28 (28, 32, 32, 32, 32) sts for the neck and finish each shoulder separately.

The total number of sts rem = 74 (92, 106, 124, 142, 160) sts.

Each shoulder = 37 (46, 53, 62, 71, 80) sts.

Cont in pattern as before and cast off 1st for the neck at the beg of the next two rows from neck – 35 (44, 51, 60, 69, 78) sts.

Loosely cast off on the RS.

Repeat on the other shoulder.

Simple ripple stitch knitted top


Worked flat knitting back and forth on two needles:

Cast on and work as on the back piece until the piece measures 44 (46, 48, 50, 52, 54) cm/17.3 (18.1, 18.8, 19.6, 20.4, 21.2) inches.

Next, place the center 16 (16, 20, 20, 20, 20) sts onto a stitch holder and finish each shoulder separately.

The total number of sts rem = 86 (104, 118, 136, 154, 172) sts.

Each shoulder = 43 (52, 59, 68, 77, 86) sts.

Cont in the pattern as before and cast off for neck at beg of every row from the neck as follows…

Cast off 2 sts, 2 times, and 1st 4 times = 35 (44, 51, 60, 69, 78) sts rem on the shoulder.

Work until the piece measures 54 (56, 58, 60, 62, 64) cm/21.2 (22, 22.8, 23.6, 24.4, 25.1) inches and loosely cast off on the RS.

Making Up

Sew the shoulder seams inside the cast-off edge, then sew the underarm and side seams together using the mattress stitch or any seaming method of your choice.

If you wish, you can leave a 10 cm cm/4-inch vent on either side of the seam near the bottom.

Weave in any loose ends.

Neck Edge

Pick up and knit from RS around 94 – 114 sts around the neck (including the sts on the stitch holder) on 24″ circular needles (size 5.5 mm/US 9).

Join in the round and work as follows…

  • Round 1 – Purl
  • Round 2 – Knit
  • Round 3 – Purl
  • Round 4 – Loosely cast off.

Finishing and Blocking

You may wish to block your tee; you can do that as follows:

Ripple stitch pattern knitted top

What Is The Knit Ripple Stitch? 

The knit ripple stitch is a textured knitting pattern that creates a wave-like or ripple effect across the fabric. 

It typically involves a combination of increases and decreases worked over a set number of rows to create the undulating pattern. 

By strategically manipulating the stitches, alternating between knit and purl stitches in a specific sequence, the fabric takes on a dynamic, wave-like appearance. 

This stitch pattern is often used in various knitting projects such as blankets, scarves, and even garments to add visual interest and texture. 

It can be adapted in terms of scale and complexity to suit different design preferences and skill levels of knitters.

What is the best yarn to knit the ripple stitch with?

The best yarn for knitting the ripple stitch depends on the desired outcome of the project and personal preferences. 

Generally, a yarn with good stitch definition and drape works well for showcasing the texture of the ripple stitch. 

Worsted weight or DK (double knitting) weight yarns are popular choices as they strike a balance between being not too bulky and not too fine, allowing the stitch pattern to stand out effectively. 

Wool or wool blends can provide warmth and resilience to the fabric, while cotton or cotton blends offer a lighter, breathable option suitable for warmer climates or lightweight garments. 

It’s recommended to swatch with different yarns to see how they interact with the ripple stitch pattern and choose the one that best achieves the desired look and feel.

What are the best knitting needles for the ripple stitch? 

The best knitting needles for the ripple stitch are typically ones with a smooth surface and a slightly pointed tip, providing ease of movement through the stitches. 

Circular knitting needles are often preferred for larger projects like blankets or shawls due to their ability to accommodate a large number of stitches and distribute weight evenly. 

For smaller projects or those worked in the round, double-pointed needles can be suitable, allowing for precise manipulation of stitches. Needle material, whether wood, metal, or plastic, is largely a matter of personal preference, with some knitters finding certain materials more comfortable to work with than others. 

Ultimately, the best needles for the ripple stitch are those that feel comfortable in the hands and facilitate smooth, even stitching to showcase the textured pattern effectively.

Knitted top

Ripple Stitch Variations 

There are several variations of the knit ripple stitch, each offering unique textures and visual effects. 

One stitch variation involves altering the frequency or size of the increases and decreases within the pattern to create larger or smaller waves. 

Another variation incorporates different stitch combinations, such as adding yarn overs or slipped stitches, to further enhance the ripple effect or introduce additional texture. 

Some knitters experiment with yarn color changes, either by using self-striping yarns or incorporating stranded colorwork techniques, to create striking visual contrasts within the ripple pattern. 

Additionally, modifying the stitch count or incorporating additional pattern repeats can result in more intricate or exaggerated ripple motifs. 

These variations allow knitters to customize the ripple stitch to suit their preferences and adapt it to a wide range of projects, from simple accessories to complex garments and afghans.

What Can You Make With The Ripple Stitch? 

With its captivating, graceful texture and lacy design, the popular ripple stitch lends itself to a myriad of knitting projects.

From cozy blankets and throws that add warmth and style to any living space to fashionable scarves, cowls, and shawls that provide a touch of elegance to outfits, the ripple stitch offers endless creative possibilities. 

Pillows and cushion covers featuring the ripple stitch can instantly elevate the decor of a room, while bags and totes become sturdy and stylish accessories perfect for everyday use. 

Garments such as sweaters, cardigans, skirts, and vests take on a unique charm when knit with the ripple stitch, offering both comfort and sophistication. 

For baby items, the ripple stitch adds a soft and cuddly texture to blankets, hats, booties, and sweaters, making them ideal gifts for little ones. 

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced knitter, the ripple stitch allows you to craft beautiful and functional pieces that are sure to be cherished for years to come.

Should You Block Knit Ripple Stitch Patterns? 

Blocking is often recommended for knit ripple stitch patterns, especially for projects where achieving a uniform shape and enhancing the stitch definition are desired. 

Wet Blocking involves wetting the finished knitted piece, gently shaping it to the desired dimensions, and allowing it to dry flat.

For ripple stitch patterns, blocking can help even out the stitches, define the waves or ripples more clearly, and improve the overall appearance of the fabric. 

It can also help to relax the stitches and reduce any tension inconsistencies that may have occurred during the knitting process.

However, whether to block a ripple stitch project ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific characteristics of the yarn and stitch pattern used. 

Some knitters may prefer the slightly textured and organic look of an unblocked ripple stitch, while others may opt for a more polished and structured finish achieved through blocking.

If you decide to block your ripple stitch project, it’s essential to follow the blocking instructions provided for the yarn used and to handle the piece gently to avoid stretching or distorting the stitch pattern. 

Blocking can be particularly beneficial for larger projects like blankets or shawls, where achieving an even drape and shape is essential.

Is The Ripple Stitch The Same As Old Shale?

The terms “ripple stitch” and “old shale” are often used interchangeably in the knitting community, but they can refer to different patterns depending on the context and the specific technique used.

Old Shale

Old Shale is a traditional Shetland lace pattern often used in shawls and other delicate projects.

It creates a wavy effect by combining multiple increases and decreases within the same row.

The traditional Old Shale pattern involves a sequence that typically includes yarn overs and multiple stitches knitted together, resulting in a feathered or scalloped edge.

This gives the fabric a soft, wavy look, ideal for the edges of blankets or the borders of garments.

Ripple Stitch

Ripple stitch in knitting generally refers to any stitch pattern that creates a rippled or wavy effect in the fabric.

This can be achieved through various increases and decreases similar to Old Shale, but the specific pattern might not necessarily be the traditional Old Shale.

Ripple stitches can vary greatly in their appearance and texture based on how the increases and decreases are arranged.


While both stitches create a wavy texture, the main difference lies in the specific stitch patterns and the resulting fabric appearance:

  • Old Shale is a specific lace pattern with a well-defined sequence of yarn overs and decreases that creates a characteristic scalloped edge.
  • Ripple Stitch could refer to any similar wavy pattern and may not necessarily have the scalloped edges typical of Old Shale. It might also be worked with different techniques or stitch counts.

In summary, while Old Shale can be considered a type of ripple stitch because it creates a rippled effect, not all ripple stitches are Old Shale.

When following a pattern or purchasing a pattern book, it’s helpful to look at the stitch definitions or pattern details to understand which specific technique is being referred to.

Womens top knitting pattern

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, how to knit the purl stitch, the stockinette stitch, the rib stitch, the garter stitch, the mattress stitch, short rows, how to yarn over, how to measure gauge, how to fix knitting mistakes, and a list of knitting abbreviations (UK + US terms), and more. 

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

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. 

If you love winter garments, check out knitting patterns here – Winter

Could you share your work with us?

I love seeing your finished projects on social media.

If you enjoyed learning how to knit the ripple stitch, I’d love to see your work 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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