Chinese Waves Knitting Stitch

Beginner-friendly knitting stitch

Chinese waves is a super easy stitch pattern to knit. It’s also fun and has a nice wavy texture to it.

If you have mastered knitting back and forth (garter stitch) and feel it’s time to try something new this is a good next step!

Chinese waves is a variation on garter stitch and all you need to learn is to slip stitches without knitting them.

I’ll show you in a video below, and you’ll also find a written pattern for Chinese waves under the video.

More to read:
––> Knitting with slipped stitches
––> Knit and purl stitch patterns

Slipping purl or knit wise

For this pattern, the yarn is held at the back of the work when slipping the stitches. 

In the video, I slip the stitches purl wise. That means that I insert the needle tip into the stitch as if I were to purl it. But instead of wrapping the yarn and pulling through I let the stitch slip over to the right needle.

If you want to you can also slip the stitch knit-wise, inserting the needle tip as if you were making a knit stitch.

The difference it makes is that the stitches slipped knit wise will be twisted when you knit them on the next row resulting in a slightly denser fabric. 

Knitting video tutorial: Chinese waves

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Pattern: Chinese waves

Cast on an odd number of stitches (3, 5, 7…)


k = knit
sl1 = slip 1 stitch
wyib = with yarn in back

The knit rows are made from the right side and the pattern rows (with the slipped stitches) are made from the wrong side. 

Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: k1, * sl1 wyib, k1*, repeat *–* to the end of the row
Row 3: Knit att stitches
Row 4: *k2, *sl1 wyib, k1*, repeat *–* to the last stitch, k1

Your next read:
––> Is your circular needle too long?
––> Prevent stockinette stitch from curling
––> Knitting with slipped stitches