Knitting Seed Stitch vs Moss Stitch: 3 Clear Differences

Preview Image for Seed Stitch VS Moss Stitch Post

If you’re new to knitting, you may be wondering about the differences between seed stitch vs moss stitch.

Seed and Moss are two easy knitting techniques that can add interest to your projects, and help you advance past a basic stockinette.

In this post, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between the two stitches. You’ll also learn how to knit each stitch, so grab your needles and get ready to practice!

Seed Stitch vs Moss Stitch

Both stitches are combinations of basic knits and purls, and both produce a textured, slightly stretchy fabric. Both are easy to learn and easy to remember.

So what’s the difference between seed stitch vs moss stitch?

Seed stitch involves one row of knit, purl followed by one row of purl, knit.

Moss stitch, on the other hand, uses two rows of knit, purl before switching to two rows of purl, knit.

This is the key difference that you should know when knitting seed stitch vs moss stitch.

Seed Stitch vs Moss Stitch: Similarities

  • Both use only basic knit and purl stitches
  • Both use same cast on and bind off methods
  • Both produced textured, slightly stretchy fabric

Seed Stitch vs Moss Stitch: Key Differences

  • Number of cast on stitches: easiest to use an odd number for seed, even number for moss
  • Number of rows knit before switching from knit purl to purl knit sequence
  • Look of the final fabric is different

Note for UK Knittters: Seed Stitch vs Moss Stitch for UK Patterns

In the UK, patterns often use seed stitch vs moss stitch interchangeably. They are both knitted the way a seed stitch is described in this post (American Moss Stitch).

Always check your pattern carefully to see whether it is refering to a UK Moss Stitch or an American Moss Stitch.

What is Knitting Seed Stitch?

Seed stitch has less texture than moss stitch, but seed stitching is a bit easier to do.

The seed stitch is a sequence of single knits and purls that run horizontally and vertically. So every knit stitch has a purl stitch to the top, bottom, left, and right, and every purl stitch has a knit stitch at the top, bottom, left, and right. The result is a checkerboard-like pattern of knit and purl stitches.

The textured knit fabric resembles scattered seeds, hence the name “seed stitch.”

Sample of Seed Stitch - Seed Stitch vs Moss Stitch
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
Sample Fabric Knitted with Seed Stitch

Seed stitch is a little more complex than garter and stockinette stitches, but it adds an interesting texture to the knitted fabric.

Fabric made from seed stitch lies flat, making it ideal for sweater edges and cuffs. The knitwear looks identical on both sides, making it an attractive choice for scarves and other items with two sides visible.

Knitters can really enjoy seed stitching because it is so flexible and works well with many types of projects including scarves, blankets, sweaters, and more.

How to Knit Seed Stitch

Seed stitch is easy to learn because the stitch pattern is simple and easy to remember. As long as you cast on with an odd number of stitches, you really are just knitting and purling over and over for the whole piece.

Casting On for Seed Stitch

You can begin seed stitching with any odd number of stitches on your needles.

When you’re starting a piece in seed stitch, the 1×1 Ribbing Cast-On (also called Alternating Cable Cast-On) is an excellent choice. The end result is a somewhat flexible edge that blends in with the work well.

If the 1×1 Ribbing Cast-On is too advanced for you, feel free to use any basic cast-on you know how to do. Any old cast-on will work.

Knitting Fabric With Seed Stitch

Work each row in a knit 1, purl 1 pattern until you reach the end. Then turn your fabric over and work another row of knit 1, purl 1 to the end of the row.

The extra stitch from casting on always begins each row. This off-sets the knit and purl stitches and gives seed stitch its “seeds.”

Binding Off for Seed Stitch

When it comes time to bind off your seed-stitched fabric, you have a couple of choices. You can use a standard bind-off, or you can bind off “in-pattern”.

An in-pattern bind-off is easy to do on seed stitch: simply perform the standard bind-off, but instead of knitting each stitch, work each stitch as if you were still doing a row of seed stitch.

Assuming you started with an odd number of stitches on your needles, the bind off will look like this: knit 1, bind off, purl one, bind off. Repeat this sequence until the end of the row.

Simple Knit Seed Stitch Pattern

To knit a simple sample square with a seed stitch, follow this pattern.

You can use any yarn and needles, as this is only for practice.


Sample of Seed Stitch Knitted Fabric
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit

Cast on 13 stitches.

Row 1: *K1, P1* Repeat across the row.

Rows 2-20: Repeat Row 1 until you have 20 rows total.

Bind off.


That’s it! Easy right?

You can adjust the number of cast-on stitches (use any odd number) and rows to create any sized square or rectangle of knitted seed stitch with this pattern.

Many knitters are familiar with seed stitch, but have you ever tried knitting moss stitch? There isn’t much difference in difficulty between seed stitch vs moss stitch.

Once you’ve mastered seed stitching, give moss stitch a try!

What is Knitting Moss Stitch?

Moss stitch is a textured knitting technique that looks similar to seed stitching but doubles the number of rows for each knit-purl sequence. You’ll end up with rows that have two knit stitches stacked together, then two purl stitches stacked together.

Sample of Moss Stitch - Seed Stitch vs Moss Stitch
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit
Sample Fabric Knitted with Moss Stitch

The moss stitch creates the appearance of little bars or diamonds across the knitted piece; it can be used to create a thick, dense fabric.

Moss stitch definitely looks like more work than it really is!

How to Knit Moss Stitch

Moss stitch is a more elongated version of seed stitch. Instead of alternating the pattern row after row, as you would with seed stitch, moss stitch involves working 2 rows of the same sequence of knits and purls before changing them.

You’ll need some basic knowledge about how to do knit seed stitch before progressing into learning how to knit moss stitch. Don’t worry though, it’s still an easy stitch to learn and remember.

If you need a refresher on seed stitching, see the “How To Knit Seed Stitch” section above.

Casting On for Moss Stitch

Casting on for moss seed stitch is the same as seed stitching, except you’ll cast on an even number of stitches this time.

Just like with seed stitch, the 1×1 Ribbing Cast-On (aka Alternating Cable Cast-on) is a great choice, as it’s slightly stretchy just like the finished moss stitch sample will be.

Just like seed stitch, though, don’t worry if you don’t know how to do a 1×1 Ribbing Cast-On. Use any basic cast on – they all work!

Knitting Fabric With Moss Stitch

Once you’ve completed your cast on, work one row of knit one, purl one. Then turn your fabric over and start the next row with purl one, knit one. Keep alternating purl and knit stitches to the end of the row.

The first and second row you work when knitting moss stitch will look like this: knit one purl one across the entire row.

The third and fourth rows will look like this: purl one knit one across the entire row.

Binding Off for Moss Stitch

Binding off for moss stitch is easy. You can use the same technique for binding off seed stitch vs moss stitch. You can bind off in a few different ways. To keep it easy, you can use a basic knit bind off all the way across your last row.

If you want the piece to have a bit of stretch, try using an “in pattern” bind off as explained in the binding off seed stitch section.

Simple Knit Moss Stitch Pattern

To knit a simple sample square with a moss stitch, follow this pattern.

You can use any yarn and needles, as this is only for practice.


Sample of Moss Stitch Knitted Fabric
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit

Cast on 14 stitches.

Row 1: *K1, P1* Repeat across the row.

Row 2: *P1, K1* Repeat across the row.

Row 3: *P1, K1* Repeat across the row.

Row 4: *K1, P1* Repeat across the row.

Rows 5-20: Repeat rows 1-4 until you have a total of 20 rows knitted.

Bind off.


Not so hard right?

Experiment with the number of cast-on stitches (use any even number) and rows to create any sized square or rectangle of knitted moss stitch with this pattern.

Conclusion: What is the Difference Between Seed Stitch vs Moss Stitch?

Seed stitch casts on with an odd number of stitches, then uses a knit, purl sequence for every row. This results in a finished fabric with the purl stitches or “seeds” are offset from the knit stitches on every row.

The offset rows create a seed-like texture with horizontal and vertical lines that look like seeds scattered on the fabric surface.

Moss stitch works two rows of knit 1, purl 1 followed by two rows of purl 1, knit 1. The purl stitches are offset every second row.

The seed stitch and moss stitch patterns are very similar. The difference is in how many rows are worked before switching from a knit, purl sequence to a purl, knit sequence.


I hope this answered your questions about seed stitch vs moss stitch!

Love knitting? Check out my knitting section here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This