How to Create Crocheted Ribbing

Crocheted VestOne of the most important parts of a garment, whether crocheted, sewn, or knitted, is fit. But fit can also be one of the most difficult components of a top to get just right. That's why I adore ribbing. The elasticity in crocheted ribbing gives you just the perfect amount of give in just the right places. 

Many projects benefit from ribbing at the hem or cuff. The use of deep crocheted ribbing on the sleeves of the Dusk Sweater (at right; Fall 2008) creates the wonderful full shape that helps to showcase the beautiful lace inset. While other projects such as the Butterscotch Cardigan (below right; Spring 2008) use all over ribbing to transform their rectangular construction, allowing it to follow your own body's curves. 

Crocheted ribbing is and incredibly easy technique. The vertical lines of the ribbing are actually created by the unworked loops in each row, meaning that the ribbing is worked and then turned so that the row-ends lay along the top and bottom edges. Generally worked in single crochet through the back loop only, you can also work ribbing in slip stitch in the back loop only for tighter ribbing. Let's look at a couple of methods of using ribbing. 

Ribbing First

The Malabrigo Top (above left; Spring 2009) uses ribbing for the entire lower bodice. For this type of construction, the 10" of ribbing is worked first. To work the ribbing for this type of construction, chain the required number of stitches, turn and single crochet in each chain across. Then turn and single crochet in the back loop only of each single crochet across. Repeat the last row until your ribbing reaches the required length. The length of your ribbing should be equal to the circumference desired as you will now turn the ribbing 90 degrees and begin working in the row-ends for the upper portion of the garment.

Work one stitch in each row-end across the length of the ribbing. Pay special attention to your gauge. If you want a tighter ribbing, consider going up in hook size for the upper portion of the garment, or try working your ribbing in slip stitch in the back loop only.

Ribbing As an Edging


Most projects, like the Dusk Sweater, use shorter lengths of ribbing as cuffs or at the hem. This ribbing is worked after the remainder of the project has already been finished, joining as you go. Simply join your yarn to the edge of your project and chain the number of stitches required for the length of ribbing desired. Turn and single crochet in the back loop in each chain across. When you reach the edge of the garment again, slip stitch in the next row-end adjacent to your join to attach the ribbing. Slip stitch in the next row-end to begin the next row of the ribbing and single crochet in the back loop only across each stitch of the ribbing. Repeat these last two rows until you have worked the ribbing all the way the edge of the project.

I am in love with the ease of creation, functionality, and appearance of crocheted ribbing. This beautiful technique creates amazing shaping and drape. And you can find all of the garments I have mentioned in the new Interweave Crochet 2008 and 2009 CD Collections. Plus check out all of the other great techniques and how to articles such as linked stitches, join-as-you-go motifs, and lace. Pick up your copy of the Interweave Crochet 2008 and 2009 CD Collections today and find the perfect to garment to start crocheting.


Best wishes,

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Crochet Me Blog
Toni Rexroat

About Toni Rexroat

Toni Rexroat is the Online Editor of Crochet Me. Outfitted with several crochet hooks and surrounded by bins of yarn, she has been the assistant editor for Interweave Crochet magazine as well as PieceWork, Interweave Crochet’s sister magazine. She was born and raised in a little town in Wyoming where she was exposed to wool and other fibers at an early age, and began crocheting in her early teens. Enjoying a wide variety of fibery hobbies from crochet and knitting to sewing, she is determined to learn to spin so she can crochet with her own yarn.

8 thoughts on “How to Create Crocheted Ribbing

  1. There is another crochet ribbing with fabulous elasticity. It is done by doing row after row of slip stitch into the back loop. It looks like smooth stocking stitch knitting when relaxed but stretch it and you can see it really has ridges and valleys. Let go and it really ‘springs’ back. It makes wonderful cuffs and socks. Regs… Megs

  2. Crochet ribbing is easily done, with great results, but your article brings up a pet peeve of mine: photos that hide essential details of a pattern. The neckline of a cardigan is important as part of the overall garment and my choice to make it or not. The Butterscotch cardigan has a lovely model with a charming hairdo…which conceals most of the neckline and collar!
    At the same time, I must commend you for realistic poses and believable models. Some other crochet and knitting magazines show their models in such contorted positions that it is impossible to tell how the garment actually fits.

  3. In which issue may I find the “Dusk Sweater”? I don’t know if I was subscribed through all of 2009 and I know I was not subscribed in 2008, so I may have to buy the DVD/CD to get the pattern. Probably will anyway to get the patterns I don’t have, however, would like to get the Dusk Sweater on my ‘to do’ list and things are a bit in a jumble here as things are being reorganized. Don’t know if it’s in a 2009 that I have already or not. Will buy the CD anyway, but want to know if it’s in ’08 or ’09.



  4. Hi Gabrielle,
    The Dusk Sweater was published in the Fall 2008 issue. Thank you for your question! I’ve added the issues for all of the sweaters above in the blog. This is a beautiful sweater.
    Best wishes,

  5. On January 30, 2012 you sent an email entitled “Use Ribbing to Add Length to Your Hats.” Another way to do this is by using the FPdc and BPdc crochet stitches. I have used this many times. Sometimes to lengthen or to just change the look of the bottom of the hat. Hopefully you have ended up with an even number of stitches. If not, do an increase or decrease to get an even number of stitches. I do at least two rows. Chain 2 from your ending stitch. FPdc in the stitch below on the left. BPdc In the next stitch. Continue around alternating the stitches. The last stitch should end with a BPdc. End row by a slip stitch in the top of the chain two. Repeat again until you get the desired length. This also makes for a more snug fit.