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Knitting for Men: The Broken Rib Stitch Pattern

Knitting for men can be tricky; we want them to wear our creations, so it's important to get the recipient involved from the beginning. I've found the best way to end up with a finished product that he loves is to take him to the yarn shop and let him choose the yarn color and pattern.

Sometimes, though, your guy will say he "just wants a cardigan or a pullover," and he doesn't want to go to the yarn shop with you to pick out yarn. In this case, it's best to choose a simple pattern and a masculine stitch pattern. I love the broken rib stitch for men—it's just interesting enough, and it's got a nice, manly appearance.

Here's what the stitch pattern looks like:

broken rib knitting stitch pattern

Isn't that nice? Here's how you work the broken rib pattern:

Broken Rib Stitch Pattern

Cast on an odd number of stitches

Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: *Purl 1, knit 1; rep from * to end, purl 1.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

You can work this over an even number of stitches, too. Simply change Row 2 to the following:

Row 2: *Knit 1, purl 1; repeat from * to end.

Note: Broken rib is very stretchy. If you’re making a sweater using this stitch, it’s important to knit a swatch and see how much stretch you’re getting. I’ve knit sweaters with this stitch and had to go down a garment size or needle size.

Broken Rib Knit Scarf

Broken rib is a wonderful stitch pattern for scarves because it's reversible. Here's a pattern for a unisex scarf, based on the swatch pictured above.

Yarn: Worsted-weight, such as Malabrigo Rios, Cascade Eco Duo Alpaca, or Rowan Pure Wool Worsted, 350-400 yards total

Needles: Size 8 or 9

Broken Rib Scarf

Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: Knit 2, *purl 1, knit 1; rep from * to last 3 sts, purl 1, knit 2.
Repeat rows 1 and 2 for pattern.

Knit until you reach 72 inches, bind off in pattern.

The Broken Rib Cardigan

Broken Rib Cardigan knitting pattern for menBroken rib is featured in one of our Perfect Patterns for Men, the Broken Rib Cardigan, at right. We suggest Encore Mega for this, but you could also hold two strands of worsted-weight yarn together and swatch to make sure you're getting 11 stitches and 15 rows to 4 inches.

The pattern calls for US size 15/10 mm needles, but use whatever size allows you to get gauge.

I hope you'll try the broken rib pattern when you're knitting for men.



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