How to Knit the Basketweave Stitch

Basketweave is a fun collection of stitch patterns that give your knitting a woven look.
Sarah E. White

The basketweave stitch is actually more of a method than an actual pattern, or at least there are a lot of different ways to knit it.

Basic Basketweave

The most basic forms of basketweave are almost like moss stitch but on a bigger scale, where sections of knit and purl alternate every few rows.

The stitch is called basketweave because the combination of knit and purl stitches looks like the woven exterior of a basket, with the purl stitches "weaving" in and out of the stockinette background.

Variation That Works on Multiples of Four

A simple variation, for example, might be to work k4, p4 across for four rows, then work p4, k4 across for four rows and repeat. This makes simple blocks of texture that are easy to read in your knitting, and it makes a fabric that is reversible, non-rolling and really easy to knit.

Using that basic formula you could make the same kind of design with different numbers of stitches. But there are many variations on the theme, some of which give a more woven look than the basic example.

Variation That Works on Multiples of Eight Plus Three Stitches

  1. Row 1: K.
  2. Row 2 K4, P3, *K5, P3; repeat from * across, end K4.
  3. Row 3: P4, K3, *P5, K3; repeat from * across, end P4.
  4. Row 4: Repeat row 2.
  5. Row 5: K.
  6. Row 6: P3, *K5, P3; repeat from * across.
  7. Row 7: K3, *P5, K3; repeat from * across.
  8. Row 8: Repeat row 6.
  9. Repeat these 8 rows for pattern.

Variation That Works on Multiples of Eight Stitches

An example of this is shown in the pictured red swatch.

  1. Row 1: *P6, K2, repeat from * across.
  2. Row 2: *P2, K6, repeat from * across.
  3. Row 3: Repeat row 1.
  4. Row 4: Repeat row 2.
  5. Row 5: P2, *K2, P6, repeat from * across, ending with P4.
  6. Row 6: K4, *P2, K6, repeat from * across, ending with K2.
  7. Row 7: Repeat row 5.
  8. Row 8: Repeat row 6.
  9. Repeat these 8 rows for pattern.

Patterns Using Basketweave

Many different projects can be made using different variations of the basketweave stitch.

  • The basketweave scarf is consistently a popular pattern because it works up super fast in super bulky yarn.
  • The 4x4 red woven scarf uses exactly the same pattern, even the same number of stitches, showing that the weight of the yarn and size of the needles can make a big difference in how a project looks.
  • The man thing hat by Justyna Lorkowska uses easy blocks to make a cozy hat.
  • Very Pink's Mobius basketweave cowl is whipped up in just 20 rows of knitting.
  • Mona NicLeoid has a great cowl, too, called winter wine, which is worked flat and held together with buttons.
  • The man scarf by Erin Douglas is a great stitch pattern for guys.
  • The four-ball garter weave baby blanket by Heidi Sunday could be the solution to all your last-minute baby gift-knitting problems. Pair it with one of Jana Greenhalgh's basketweave washcloths or Carole Barenys' basketweave baby hats for a generous and thoughtful gift.
  • Meredith Sexton's basketweaver dishcloths are pretty great, too, with cute little eyelet edging, for a bridal shower or for anyone setting up housekeeping (make sure to keep some for yourself).