Linen Stitch – Guide For Knitters – Master This Textured Stitch!

I’ll show you how to master the linen stitch. You’ll learn what the linen stitch is, how to do it, and tips.

Linen Stitches Feat Img

I reviewed and updated this post on November 24, 2022.

Table Of Contents

What Is Linen Stitch?

Linen stitch is a two-row repeat pattern. It creates a beautifully textured fabric like the fiber linen! Hence the name. The knitted fabric is very dense so it’s great for mittens, cowls, scarves, bags, purses and jackets.

What Does Linen Stitch Look Like?

The linen stitch looks like woven fabric on the front. On the back, it looks like seed stitch, so it’s not a reversible pattern. I like the look of the right and wrong sides, so would happy to have either facing the front.

How Do You Knit A Linen Stitch?

Here is how you do the linen stitch knitting pattern.


  • Yarn
  • Needles to match the size of your yarn
  • Yarn needle (for weaving in ends)
  • Scissors


Linen stitch is a two-row repeat, using knit, purl and slipped stitch pattern. Slipping stitches is fiddly. If you have a practice, soon you’ll have no trouble when slipping stitches!

I find this stitch quite slow going, perhaps with practice I would get quicker. So if you are a beginner, remember to be kind to yourself and have patience. The result is worth it.

Cast on multiples of 2. In my swatch above, I cast on 18 stitches

  • Row 1: Purl 1. Put the yarn in back and slip one stitch PURLWISE. Keep repeating until the end
  • Row 2: Knit 1. Put yarn in front and slip one stitch purl wise. Keep repeating until the end.

And you’re done! Just keep repeating until you reach the desired length.

In doing the stitches as above, you will end each row with a slipped stitch. You might be thinking, but how will the yarn in the back or yarn in the front wrap around the slipped stitch? It works by continuing to the next row. The first stitch will be either a knit or a purl and the yarn will wrap the last stitch on the previous row. This creates a very neat edge.

I’ve seen other knitters add a garter edge border which is good for a dishcloth project.

Very Pink Knits shows you how to knit the linen stitch.

YouTube video

How Do You Cast On Linen Stitch?

You’ll need to use the long tail cast on for linen stitch. Make sure you cast on an even number of stitches!  Cast on multiples of 2.

How Do You Increase Linen Stitch?

  • Make a new stitch
  • Knit next stitch through the back
  • Bring the yarn forward
  • Slip the stitch you just knitted onto the other needle
  • Bring the yarn back.
  • Knit one

How To Knit Linen Stitch Scarf

Here’s a charming pattern from Mimi Codd. I love the tassels, just beautiful!

How Do You Knit A Half Linen Stitch?

  • Cast on an odd number of stitches
  • Purl 1 row

From here on, repeat four rows until you reach your desired length.

  • Row 1: *knit 1, bring yarn to front, slip one stitch purlwise, bring yarn to back, repeat from * till the last stitch, knit 1.
  • Row 2: Purl.
  • Row 3: *knit 2, bring yarn to front, slip one stitch, bring yarn to back, knit 1, repeat from * till the last stitch, knit 1.
  • Row 4: Purl.
  • Repeat rows 1 – 4.

Half Linen Stitch In The Round

  • Cast on an even amount of stitches
  • Knit 1 round

Pattern repeat:

  • Row 1: *knit 1, bring yarn to front, slip one stitch, bring yarn to back, repeat from * till the end of round.
  • Row 2. Knit.
  • Row 3: *bring yarn to front, slip one stitch, bring yarn to back, knit 1, repeat from * till the end of round.
  • Row 4: Knit.
  • Repeat rows 1 – 4.

How To Linen Stitch In The Round

Have an odd number of stitches when working linen stitch in the round.

Learn how to do linen stitch in the round following the clear instructions from Elizabeth Smith Knits.

YouTube video

Her Linen Stitch cowl would be super warm!

Can Linen Stitch Be Done In The Round?

Yes! You can do linen stitch in the round.

Linen Stitch Variations

There’s only one variation of linen stitch, and that’s the half linen stitch.

Linen Stitch On Loom

The only two stitches you’ll need are the knit stitch and slip a stitch with the yarn in front.

YouTube video

Linen Stitch With Two Colors

Linen stitch with two colors looks pretty! Here are a couple of ways to do this.

  • Use two strands of yarn as one
  • Do one row with one color and the next row with the other color

Linen Stitch With Variegated Yarn

Linen stitch with variegated yarn is so pretty! Use the above pattern to create something multicolored.

Linen Stitch Patterns

Here are free patterns to try!


What Is The Linen Stitch Good For?

Linen stitch is warm and doesn’t stretch much. So it’s great for blankets, shawls, hats, you name it!

Is The Moss Stitch The Same As The Linen Stitch?

No. Linen stitch’s wrong side looks like moss/seed stitch, but the right side is linen stitch.

Moss stitch is a different knitting technique.

Is Linen Stitch Reversible?

Yes, and no. It’s not the same on both sides. One has linen stitch, and the other has moss/seed stitch.

Does Linen Stitch Curl?

Linen stitch doesn’t curl! You don’t have to block it. If your linen stitch is curling, it means your needle size is too small.

Is Linen Stitch Stretchy?

It stretches if you pull it sideways, but not vertically.

Does The Half Linen Stitch Curl?

Yes. Half linen stitch curls.

Linen Stitch Vs Half Linen Stitch

Linen stitch is a two-row repeat, while half linen stitch is a four-row repeat.

Linen Stitch Vs Seed Stitch

The linen stitch looks like seed stitch on the back, but you don’t work it the same way as seed stitch.

Seed stitch is knit one, purl one for every row. Linen stitch is a two-row repeat.

The linen stitch is an easy, textured knitting technique creating a beautiful fabric.

It’s reversible and doesn’t curl or stretch much. I hope you try linen stitch in one of your projects.

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About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan - (Author and Founder)
Lives In: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Please say hello, or see what she's making on Ravelry.


  1. Hi,
    If using this stitch for washcloths or towels on cotton, would it need to be a loose knit in order not to warp when laundered the same as other washcloths and towels?

    • Hi there. I would recommend doing a small swatch knitting with your normal tension and then launder it to see how it turns out. The linen stitch creates a dense fabric.


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