No-purl rib: How to knit ribbing without a single purl stitch!

What?! Can you knit ribbing without purling? Is it true? Eureka! That’s kinda what happened in my head when I realized that there’s a way to knit no-purl rib … If you’ve been hanging around on the site for a bit it’s likely that you have come across my struggle for a purl free knitting experience. 

If not I think you just got it anyways! I don’t like the purls, no matter how much I work on my purling I never seem to get used to it. My purling looks quite nice and tidy nowadays, but I feel awkward doing them any way. So I’m constantly on the search for ways to get around purling!

And, that’s why this makes me so happy!

Characteristics of the no-purl rib stitch

  • it’s reversible, just as regular ribbing both sides look alike
  • it looks nice and tidy
  • it’s elastic, but not as elastic as the basic rib stitches

Knit ribbing without purl stitches

I like this no-purl rib technique as it produces a pretty and reversible fabric that’s similar to ribbing. Another benefit is that it’s easy and fun to knit. But I wouldn’t use ot for an item that need a lot of elasticity because it’s not as elastic as regular ribbing.


K – knit

sl1 wyif – slip one stitch with yarn in front. This means to hold your yarn in front of the work as for purling, insert the needle tip in the stitch the same way as when doing a purl stitch and let the stitch slip over to the tonight needle without knitting it. 

No-purl rib stitch pattern – aka cartridge belt stitch pattern

This is a one row repeat pattern, so it’s easy to remember.

Cast on in multiples of four + one stitches (my swatch is knit over 21 stitches.)

Row: *K3, sl1 wyif* repeat *–* across the row, K1

More of a visual learner?

If you want to see how to knit this stitch you can watch me knit no purl rib stitch in the video below!

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This is like a knitting superpower! If you learn to knit backward you can knit stockinette stitch flat without purling, amazing! And it’s pretty easy to learn too 🙂
Knitting garter stitch in the round with out purling? There are a couple of ways to do this, in this post I try them out!
Not tired of knitting rib yet? Read this one too, it’s all about how to knit your neatest ribbings!