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 perfect for a men's scarf or household goods like decorative washcloths. The pattern consists of two simple rows. The woven look reminds viewers of bamboo shoots from which its name is derived. While some beginners have trouble with the passing over stitch at first, it's easy to master with practice. 

It's 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 also makes for a great border on projects or in place of a garter stitch. 

Tips for Working with the Bamboo Stitch

One thing to remember about this pattern is to keep the yarn over loose. This will help you maintain control of the pass over. However, having 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. 

This pattern works best with a sturdier yarn like worsted cotton. Bulky yarn tends to lose its definition, which is really what makes the stitch stand out. This simple stitch lends it'self 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. 

How to Knit the Bamboo Stitch

The bamboo stitch works on multiples of two stitches.

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

Row 2: Purl.

Repeat these two rows for pattern.

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.