Ask Patty: Fake It

June 13, 2022

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  • Wow! This is awesome and I will be using your Fake Rib on my next project. Thanks so much. And, I have never been first in comments before.

  • This is brilliant !

  • Thank you, Patty. I’ll try it! — Jo

  • What a great stitch for a non rolling scarf!
    Looks like stockinette on one side, and interesting on the other.

  • Would twisted rib work?

    • Twisted rib will have a different appearance. It pulls in more than this trick, but every knitter’s tension is different, so give it a try and see if you like it.

      • A lot of the modern boxy patterns use half twisted rib. That one works for me and you’re right – it does look different, but less old fashioned. I’d love to see an article about how to make a modern split hem with nice edges.

  • Thank you, Patty. I always enjoy your posts for their insight, their wit, and their relevance. Another winning post!

  • Brilliant!

  • I wonder if this works for hats… [thinking emoji]

  • For years, I have used k1, P2 rib on everything. Its far more forgiving, and both sides look nice.

  • Whoa. Mind blown!

  • LOVE this idea! Hope I can remember it on the next sweater I do!!

  • As always a fantastic solution from you!

  • Splendid!

  • What about twisted ribbing? I’ve noticed that that doesn’t pull in as much…

    • Twisted rib will have a different appearance. It pulls in more than this trick, but every knitter’s tension is different, so give it a try and see if you like it.

  • I am working on a sweater the pattern for which was worked in wool, but I am using Euroflax linen at 8 stitches per inch. The pattern calls for tubular ribbing, which I have done around the bottom (260 or so stitches), but it is being rolled up in the stockinette. I used garter stitch to edge one of the sleeves, but because the pattern features another something else that resembles stockinette but isn’t, i feel that garter is not as good a choice. i will be testing this rib on the other sleeve, and think that i will probably be taking out the other two ribs to match this one. Just in time for me. Thanks, Patty!

  • Thank you for all the great tips.

  • Thank you for another insightful tip. You sometimes (often/nearly always) answer questions I do not even think to ask.

    I also want to thank you for inspiring me to reknit a sweater. It had a lot of “mistakes” which your posts made me realize I could fix. (Mainly it was too big because I did not pay attention to size/gage/ease. But there were other issues, like noticeable holes for a lot of the shaping stiches.) I am in week one of recovery from hip replacement surgery. Reknitting this sweater is my recovery project.

  • That’s a good one, Patty!

  • I love the look but am confused. Does this mean to keep it boxy I should CO 1.5 X the number of sts for the body, k1 p2, and then at the top of the ribbing dec back to 1.0X to keep the width of the piece the same? Or will this rib somehow not draw in from the stockinette gauge at all, so I just k1 p2 on the same number of sts as the body?

    • This rib does not pull in as much, so as the article says:

      “Here our 26 stitches measured 4″ (10 cm). That means if I cast on 114 stitches in this rib, my sweater hem would measure (unstretched) 17 ½” (44.5 cm), while the same 114 stitches in a regular 1 x 1 would measure (unstretched) 15 ¼” (39 cm).”

      So by casting on the same number of stitches that the pattern calls for, your ribbing will not pull in nearly as much. You might have to change the cast on only to make sure you have a multiple of 3 instead of a multiple of 2. Here in my example, 114 st is both a multiple of 2 and 3 so it works for a 1×1 rib or a 1×2 rib.

      • Thanks for the explanation. I should have read more carefully! And now I understand why my favorite fingerless gloves at k3p2 are so much more comfy and look better than ordinary k1p1.

  • Surprising and brilliant!

  • Thank you for what you do! Your articles are ALWAYS the ones I read.

  • Thanks Patty! Very interesting and informative. I saved this article, too.

  • Thank you, this is great! I hate sweaters that pull in at the bottom and the solves that problem..

  • My zoom knitting group discussed this very subject last week. Thanks for the great info! (Already forwarded the link.) Wondering if something similar would work as a substitute for 2×2 rib? Hmmm, I’m seeing some ribbing swatching in my future.

  • I love your columns, but a glitch I find is in truth g to search for them because if I’m looking for this I won’t search for “fake it”. Yes, I bookmark in MDK, but I have a lot bookmarked.

  • I always love your articles! Thank you Patty! This one is saved…a lovely fix that is simple.

  • Brilliant and beautiful!! I can’t wait to try it!

  • Do you still use a smaller needle for the ribbing than for the body?

    • I have this same question!