Learn How to Knit the Bamboo Stitch

A close-up of a bamboo stitch

Sarah White

The bamboo stitch is an easy, masculine-looking stitch that is perfect for a men's scarf or household goods like decorative washcloths. It's also very nice for a baby blanket. The pattern is easier for most knitters because it consists of two simple rows. The woven look reminds knitters of bamboo shoots, so that is how its name is derived. While some beginners have trouble with the passing over stitch at first, it's easy to master with practice and a good knitting skill to know. 

This is a relatively easy pattern to learn, which makes it a perfect project to bring to any knitting circle or to keep your hands busy while binging on TV shows. The bamboo stitch is useful in other ways. You'll find it also makes for a great border on bigger knit or crocheted projects or in place of a garter stitch. 

Tip

When using this pattern, keep the yarn over loose. This will help you maintain control of the pass over. Watch out though. A stitch that's too loose will result in holes in your garment. Finding the right balance between loose and tight stitches will add tension and structure to the pattern. 

Using the Right Yarn

This pattern works best with a sturdier yarn. Try something like worsted cotton. Bulky yarn tends to lose its definition, which is really what makes the stitch stand out. You can use it, but you won't notice the detail of the stitch. This simple stitch lends itself well to using circular needles for those who prefer to knit in the round. The bamboo stitch is not reversible, but the wrong side still has an interesting texture that doesn't need to be hidden. Both sides will look very nice on any completed project.

How to Knit the Bamboo Stitch

The bamboo stitch works on multiples of two stitches. Follow this pattern:

  • Row 1: *Yarn over, knit two. Pass the yarn over both knit stitches. Repeat from * across.
  • Row 2: Purl.

Repeat these two rows for the entire pattern and into whatever shape you are knitting. Making a yarn over at the beginning of the row can be a little tricky. Just drape the yarn over the empty needle and make sure you've wrapped the yarn around the needle before working the first knit stitch.

How to Get Knitting Help

If you are a beginning knitter, there are a lot of resources to help you learn new stitches or new techniques. It can be tricky to learn stitches just by reading about them. This is especially true for visual learners. There are tons of knitting videos online that can be very useful. Another option is to seek out an experienced knitter or visit a local knitting store. Both can be helpful resources for knitting help, yarn, and you'll often find a community of crafters.