Bow stitch example & Title Slide for

The Bow Stitch


The Bow Stitchis aptly named for generating a raised bow texture on the fabric by knitting together a series of Slip Stitches knitted onto a Stockinette Stitch background.

The stitch works well on items or areas of projects where you wish to add a bit more detail to break up what could potentially be a pretty flat and monotonous project. The stitch works well on items such as jumpers, cardigans and hats

So, what is a Bow Stitch? The bow stitch makes use of slip stitching a series of five on three consecutive wrong side rows. This will create strands of yarn to fall loosely across the face of the fabric, the yarn strands are then caught together at a designated point with a knit stitch to form a bow.

Bow Stitch Banner


Start your project by casting on multiples of 10 + 7 stitches.

Starting on the wrong side alternate by purling every stitch in the first and third rows, and knitting every stitch in the fourth and fifth rows.

On reaching the fifth-row start by purling six stitches, then enter a repeating pattern of slipping six stitches purlwise (with the yarn back) then pull the yarn to the front of the work and purl five; keep repeating this until you reach the last stitch and purl one. On row six, knit all stitches. Alternate for rows seven till nine by alternating between the instructions for rows five and six.

The tenth row starts with the following repeating pattern; begin by knitting eight stitches, then we are going to make a bow stitch. To make a bow stitch slip the right needle under the three strands, knit the next stitch pulling the loop through under the strands. Repeat this pattern until the last eight stitches, and knit eight.

Continuing with row eleven, purl all stitches in the row then knit all stitches in row twelve. Continue alternating between a row of purl stitches and knit stitches until you reach row fifteen. For row fifteen purl one, then enter a repeating pattern of slipping five stitches purlwise (with the yarn back), bring the yarn forward and purl five. Keep repeating this pattern until you have reached the last six stitches and again with the yarn back, slip five stitches purlwise then end with purling one. Repeat row fifteen for rows seventeen and nineteen with a row of knit stitches in rows sixteen and eighteen.

The final row in the repeat, row twenty begins with a repeating pattern of knitting three stitches, make a bow stitch, knitting nine and then making another bow. Once you reach the last three stitches, knit three.

Continue rows 1-20 until you have reached the desired length.

Difficulty Level:

Intermediate Knitting Stitch Difficulty

Cast on:

Cast on in multiples of 10 + 7 stitches for a 20 row pattern repeat

Techniques Used in this Stitch:

make bow

Slip Stitch (Purlwise)
Make a Bow Stitch
With yarn forward
yarn to the back


Traditional Instructions

Start project on the WRONG SIDE.

Rows 1 & 3: p all stitches.
Rows 2, 4, 6, & 8: k all stitches.
Rows 5, 7 & 9: p6 *sl5 wyb, yfwd, p5; repeat from * till last stitch, p1.
Row 10: *k8, make bow knot; repeat from * till last 8 stitches, k8.
Row 11 & 13: p all stitches.
Row 12, 14, 16 & 18: k all stitches.
Row 15, 17 & 19: p1 *sl5 wyb, yfwd, p5; repeat till last 6 stitches, sl5 wyb, yfwd, p1.
Row 20: *k3, make bow knot, k9, make bow knot; repeat until last 3 stitches, k3.

Repeat rows 1-20 till you reach the desired length.

To Make a Bow Knot: Slip right needle under 3 strands, knit next stitch pulling the loop through under the strands.

Bow Stitch Chart

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Bow Stitch Swatch Examples

Example of Bow Stitch - RS

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Example of Bow Stitch - WS

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Knitting projects using the Bow Stitch

We currently don't have any projects to show. If you would like to share your project using the Bow Stitch, then get in touch using the comments box at the bottom of the page or through our contact page.


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Stitches & Instruction by Alison; Article by Brian

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