The Many Faces of Seed Stitch    
Notre Dame de Grace by Véronik Avery from Best of 2010: Top Ten Patterns for Knitted Pullovers

Interweave has had so many incredible pullover sweater patterns over the years. We decided to gather the bestsellers of 2010 into one, convenient PDF download: Best of 2010—Top Ten Patterns for Knitted Pullovers!

I was looking through the top ten and I discovered one that I hadn't seen before, Notre Dame de Grace by Véronik Avery. How could I have missed it?!? I just love the casual style of this pullover; it's the perfect weekend sweater, great with jeans or cords. And it's a good layering piece, too.

What first caught my eye about this sweater was the collar-shoulder-button combo. At first I thought that the sweater had saddle shoulders, which I've never knit before. When I looked closer, however, I saw that the stitch pattern changed at the shoulders, sort of mimicking a saddle shoulder. The collar is a really nice combo of the shoulder rib pattern and some short-row work, which is what gives it it's stand-up shape.

When I started looking at this sweater, I thought the main pattern stitch was moss stitch, but it turns out it's double seed stitch. This got me thinking about seed stitch and its many "offspring" (or should I say "cousins"?).

The original seed stitch, which I found labeled "dot stitch."

I started Googling seed stitch, and I came up with pretty much what I expected, that here in the U.S. what we call "seed stitch" Europeans call "moss stitch." Véronik Avery lives in Montreal, so I think Canadians subscribe to the same seed stitch conventions as the Europeans do. (I think seed stitch is kind of like the metric system!)

Once I opened this Pandora's box, I really fell into it! I started looking up seed stitch/moss stitch in all of my stitch dictionaries, and what I found really muddied the waters.

I learned that the original English version of seed stitch is a sort of decorative use of purls to dot a background of stockinette stitch; sort of a scattering of "seeds." US moss stitch is usually called "double moss stitch" across the pond and in Canada. And I found Véronik's double moss stitch under the name of "box stitch."

See what I mean? Muddy. To unmuddy just a bit, I knit up a swatch and labeled it with the names most commonly used for the seed and moss stitch family  in the US.

All in the family: Double seed stitch, moss stitch, and seed stitch

It's so fun to do this sort of research! I came across tons of beautiful stitch patterns, too. Try it, I think you'll have a fun evening!

And get our 2010 best-selling pulloversBest of 2010: Top Ten Patterns for Knitted Pullovers—you'll find a favorite to wear in 2011!


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

12 thoughts on “The Many Faces of Seed Stitch

  1. Now you understand why it is so dificult for us Europeans to understand the USA patterns when they didn’t give us the explanation of the patterns! So: please specify all your patterns with a good explanation!

  2. Hi, I am also from Europe and many patterns are very easy for me. This one seed stich is very easy for me, I knitted my first pullover with this pattern. I know all this variation and the presented Notre Dame de Grace looks like my first one But I must agree with Marjolein the explanation is not very good, in Europe we also use the schema of pattern (using symbols on squared paper). I think this explanation is very helpful each symbol has explanation. This type of explanation is often used in Germany, France and other European countries. It is very easy to buy some magazine in one country and use it.

  3. Sorry to muddy the waters further, but actually in the UK, seed stitch usually refers to a pattern where every 2nd row is a knit row. This gives a very useful pattern which can be used with either side as the right side – depending on whether you want the purl stitch to produce an accent or you want a less tight rib effect.

    Alternatively, the 2nd row can be purl!

    What we call Moss stitch is done by knitting k1 p1 on every row, but offset by one stitch as you show in the sample as Seed stitch.

  4. There is another name in Europe. The name for the seed stitch is: “gerstekorrel ” in the Dutch language. Translated it is :Barley stitch, named after: the grain Hordeum vulgare
    The grain that is Barley. It is a grain not a seed, or if you call a grain a seed then it is the same!!!

  5. I have always understood the difference in the terms of seed stitch, double seed stitch and moss stitch. I have done much research on these terms. Depending on the country you are from, it is called different things.
    The seed stitch is a K1P1 repetition worked over two rows and then repeated.
    The double seed stitch is also known as the moss stitch and it is a K1P1 worked over four rows and then repeated.
    Every pattern that calls for a seed stitch, double seed stitch, or a moss stitch, the explanation of the stitch sequence is always given at the beginning of the pattern.
    Maybe others have found differently, but then I live in Canada.

  6. I really like this pullover, and would love to buy the Top 10 Knitted pullovers, BUT, how do you know what sizes the sweaters are in. . . You would probably sell more copies if one could look at the patterns for sizes. I won’t buy anything that I cannot look at the sizes, since I need a larger size. . . there is no sense in buying a book that stops at 40 or 42 inches when I need a larger size


  7. I almost bought a sweater (that was too small for me) so I could study the stitch pattern… It is that stitch pattern that you are calling “dot stitch”, I think… I would love to see a larger photo (I naturally clicked on that photo, but no alternate was available), to make sure. SO I Googled “dot stitch” and came up with a bunch of variations, but not this one you are showing on the blue sample on this post. Could you let us know where you found it, or alternatively post a larger photo or the actual pattern, so I can reproduce it and see if that’s what I’m after?? Thanks!

  8. The “dot” stitch, is simply a variation of the seed stitch. It was explained by Kathleen in the article. I will write it out for you. It does make an interesting pattern.
    Row 1. K1, P1 to the end of the row.
    Row 2. Knit all stitches to the end of the row. Knit all even numbered rows. (or Purl them. If you purl them, you must purl all even numbered rows.)
    Row 3. K2. *P1, K1* to the end of the row.
    Row 4. Knit all stitches. (or purl all stitches).
    Repeat Rows 1 to 4.

  9. Annabella: I found the ‘dot’ stitch online called the ‘simple seed stitch’. I also found it when i googled ‘dot stitch seed stitch’. Here’s a bigger picture:

    Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches
    row 1: K3, *P1, K3 to end
    row 2: Purl
    row 3: Knit
    row 4: Purl
    row 5: K1, *P1, K3 to end

    then just repeat. You can do a multiple of 5 stitches and do k4 p1 or whatever if you want.