Home Crochet baby clothesKnit stripe pattern | free knitting pattern instructions

Knit stripe pattern | free knitting pattern instructions

Colorful stripes are an easy way to bring knitted pieces to life. In this guide you will learn how to knit horizontal and vertical stripe patterns. We'll also show you a simple exercise project: a bookmark for cozy hours with a good book.

So far, you thought that you had to cut the thread every time you changed color to knit stripes ">


  • Material and preparation
    • Basics
  • Knit striped pattern
    • Instructions | Tricolor stripe pattern
    • Instructions | Knit your own stripe pattern
    • Instructions | Narrow stripes for advanced users
    • Instructions | Vertical stripe pattern
  • Exercise project | Knit bookmarks
    • Material and preparation
    • Instructions | Knit bookmarks

Material and preparation

In principle, you can knit striped patterns with any thread . For your first attempts, you should choose a medium-strength, smooth thread. This makes knitting easy and you can concentrate entirely on the color changes. As soon as you are a little more experienced, you can combine yarns to your heart's content, for example fluffy and smooth wool. This also looks very nice. Make sure that all yarns used have approximately the same length, so that the knitted fabric does not warp. You can find this information on the banderoles. There you will also find out which needle size suits your wool.



The chain edge ensures a clean finish. It is especially important for the horizontal stripe pattern so that the threads carried along on the side disappear on the back. In each row, raise the first stitch on the right needle, that is, do not knit it. Put all the threads behind the work. Always knit the last stitch before the end of a row.


Knit two stitches together (for the bookmark)

Insert two stitches and knit them together so that only one stitch remains.

Horizontal stripe pattern

First cast on any number of stitches in the color of the first stripe.

casting on

Now knit the first strip. Then knot the thread in the second color and knit the next strip. So continue until all colors are incorporated. The threads that you do not need for knitting are hanging down. Whenever you start a new row on the side where the unused threads are, lay them over the current working thread.

This means that you take all the colors upwards piece by piece and can easily change the thread as soon as a stripe is finished. Test this method on our simple three-color stripe pattern. Knit all rows with chain edge on the right.

Knit striped pattern

Instructions | Tricolor stripe pattern

1st row: color A (here: yellow)

Tricolor stripe pattern, stitch stitch

2nd row to 5th row: color B (here: green)

Tricolor stripe pattern, fifth row

6th row to 7th row: color A

Tricolor stripe pattern, seventh row

8th row to 11th row: color C (here: purple)

Tricolor stripe pattern, eleventh row

12th row: color A

Tricolor stripe pattern, twelfth row

Repeat the twelve rows of stripe patterns continuously. Finally, sew all loose threads by weaving about 15 centimeters of thread in the edge stitches.

Tricolor stripe pattern, gradient

On the back, the stitches appear in two colors with every color change .

Tricolor stripe pattern, back

Instructions | Knit your own stripe pattern

Using the method described above, you can knit your own striped pattern with two or more colors and different widths. Note, however, that each strip must have an even number of rows, for example two, four, or six rows. As a result, all unused threads hang on the same side of the work and where you need them again. The two-tone stitches also collect on the back.

Tip: If you knit in rounds, you can change the colors at any interval, since the required thread can never hang on the wrong side, but always remains at the transition between the rounds.

Right side, that is in every row of right stitches, is the easiest pattern to knit stripes. However, you can also knit smoothly, i.e. alternately one row on the right and left.

Other patterns that can be spiced up with stripes:

  • Wave pattern | Knit weather blanket
  • Knit herringbone
  • Knit coffee bean pattern
  • Cross ribs | Knit rib pattern
  • Knit Minecraft pattern
  • Knit mesh pattern
  • Knit star pattern

To ensure that the two-colored stitches all appear on the back of the knitted fabric, you must not knit left stitches in the first row after changing colors. Adjust the width of your stripes to the respective pattern. Other classic designs such as longitudinal ribs You can also knit ribbed or beaded knitting, but in this case the two-tone stitches are spread over both sides.

Instructions | Narrow stripes for advanced users

Using a circular knitting needle, you can knit stripes that consist of only one row without cutting the thread after each row. Knit your striped pattern, working as usual after each row. However, as soon as you find that the next required color is on the wrong side, instead push the knitted fabric along the circular needle until it has reached the left needle.

The thread is already right. Note, however, that in this case a row from the back is followed by a row from the back (or from the back row by another row from the back) because you have not turned the work . Adjust your pattern accordingly.

Instructions | Vertical stripe pattern

For two or more strips of equal width side by side, cast on a number of stitches that can be divided by the number of strips . For these instructions we worked three strips and cast on 3 x 7 = 21 stitches.

Vertical stripe pattern, stitch stitch

Knit the stitches for the first stripe . You can work curled right, smooth right, or in a pattern of your choice. For a nice finish, use the warp edge or another type of edge stitch.

Vertical stripe pattern, first stripe

Knot the color for the second stripe .

Vertical stripe pattern, second stripe

Loop the two threads around each other before knitting the next section with the new color.

Vertical stripe pattern, entwine threads around each other

This will prevent holes from appearing between the strips.

Vertical stripe pattern, gobble up threads

Knot the third color, entwine the new thread with the one in the old color and knit the last stripe to the end of the row.

Vertical stripe pattern, third stripe

In the next row you start from the other side, so the third color comes first, then the second and the first. Continue knitting this way. Remember to swallow the threads each time you change colors and make sure you always do this on the back of the finished knitted fabric, i.e. alternately behind and before work.

Vertical stripe pattern, finished stripes

You can see the intertwined threads on the back.

Vertical stripe pattern, back

Tip: If you want to knit narrow stripes and repeat the colors several times in a row, it is best to take all the threads on the back of the piece with you. You can find out how this works here: Knitting a Norwegian pattern - Instructions for a simple Norwegian pattern.

Exercise project | Knit bookmarks

Material and preparation

For our bookmark, we knitted three cotton threads with a needle size of three. We needed about ten grams of material for the seven centimeter wide and 19 centimeter long piece. You can use any wool, which makes the bookmark great for recycling leftovers .

However, very thick wool (from needle size six upwards) is not recommended, as the bookmark will otherwise push the book pages too far apart. Make sure that the run lengths of all yarns are almost identical and that you use the appropriate needle size . First, test how many stitches you need to make the bookmark as wide as you want it to be.

We knitted our bookmark in the three-colored stripe pattern described above. However, you can also work with other horizontal or vertical strips. We knitted in garter stitch, which has the advantage that the bookmark does not curl up, as happens, for example, when the piece is knitted in stocking stitch.

What you need for a bookmark:

  • about ten grams of yarn in different colors (number depending on the desired pattern)
  • pair of knitting needles of the appropriate size (or circular knitting needle if you want to knit single-row stripes, see "Narrow stripes for advanced users")
  • Pendant to decorate the top
  • Woolen needle for sewing
Practice project bookmarks, material

Instructions | Knit bookmarks

Cast on as many stitches as you need for a seven centimeter wide piece. We had 21 stitches. Knit in a tri-colored stripe pattern with a warp stitch on the right until the bookmark is 15 centimeters long.

Practice project bookmarks, before the approvals

Now knit the stitches next to the edge stitches on each side for the tip of the bookmark in every second row, i.e. the second with the third and the third last with the penultimate. Continue until there are only a few stitches left (five of us).

Practice project bookmarks, before chaining off

Chain off the remaining stitches in the color of the last stripe.

Practice project bookmarks, after chaining off


Cut all threads after 30 centimeters, thread them one after the other on a wool needle and pull them through the tip, so that they are almost in the middle. Now braid them into a ten centimeter long braid and knot the end.

Practice project bookmark, braided braid

Thread your decorative pendant on the braid and sew the end of the braid to the top of the bookmark. Finally, sew all loose threads.

Tip: Instead of the pendant, you can thread pearls or sew a decorative ribbon instead of the braid. Alternatively, attach a tassel or pompom to the top of the bookmark.

Practice project bookmarks, attach decorative tags

Your bookmark is ready to be used for the first time!

Practice project bookmark, finished knitted stripe pattern bookmark
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