What's the Difference Between Seed Stitch and Moss Stitch?

Understand How These Common Textured Knitting Stitch Patterns Differ

Seed stitch on recycled silk

Storebukkebruse (CC by 2.0)

Seed stitch and moss stitch are two really common textured knitting stitch patterns, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference or understand how these patterns differ from each other.

Commonalities Between Seed Stitch and Moss Stitch

Both patterns are typically worked on even numbers of stitches (though seed stitch can also be worked on an odd number of stitches, with a slight variation in the pattern), and both involve rows of knit 1, purl 1 across alternated with rows of purl 1, knit 1.


The difference? Seed stitch involves one row of knit 1, purl 1 followed by one row of purl 1, knit 1, while Moss stitch uses two rows of knit 1, purl 1 before two rows of purl 1, knit 1.

So seed stitch ends up with single knits stacked on top of single purls and vice versa, while moss stitch looks like two rows of ribbing that are then shifted one stitch.

It would be great if there was a clever mnemonic to help you remember which is which, but unfortunately, these stitches are easily confused! It's just something you have to try to memorize. Either way, though, you're adding lots of simple texture to your knitting patterns.

Either stitch is great for allover knitting, to use as a border or hem, or anywhere else you might want to use it!