Cartridge Belt Rib Stitch: Instructions and Projects

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The cartridge belt rib stitch: how to knit it Continental and English styles, and list of projects using it.

cartridge belt rib stitch scarf

The cartridge belt rib stitch is also called the purl-less stitch. A fake 3×1 rib stitch. A No-Purl Rib stitch.

What it is is a simple slip stitch pattern with elongated knit stitches. Did I mention that it is a two-row repeat?

The first mention of this stitch pattern is in Barbara G Walker’s A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

Written Instructions

Cartridge-belt rib (multiple of 4 stitches plus 3)

Row 1: K3, *byif, slip 1, byb, k3, rep from * 
Row 2: K1, *byif, slip 1, byb, k3; rep from *, end byif, slip 1, k1. 
Repeat rows 1 and 2. 
  • byif is short for “bring yarn in front”
  • byb is short for “bring yarn back”

After knit 3, bring the yarn to the front of the work as if the next stitch is to be purled. Slip the next stitch purlwise, bring the yarn across the front of the slipped stitch and then to the back of the work ready to knit 3.

Charted Instructions

Knit Cartridge Belt Stitch in Continental Style 

Knit Cartridge Belt Stitch in English Style

How to do decreases in Cartridge Belt Rib Stitch

This stitch is most frequently used in scarfs where there is no need to increase or decrease. But what if you do want to do some shaping? How do you decrease stitches neatly?

https://knitandcrochetpatterns.wordpress.com/ made an attempt to offer some decreasing instructions. Head over to https://knitandcrochetpatterns.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/cartridge-belt-rib-stitch-decrease/ to see how it is done.

List of Free Patterns Using Cartridge Belt Rib Stitch

No Purl Ribbed Scarf by Purl Soho

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This is currently the most popular cartridge belt rib stitch scarf on the Internet. Everyone mentions this. It is not surprising because it is really beautiful and so easy to knit up.

The stitch pattern looks intricate but it is actually an easy knit. Maximum impact with minimum effort.

There is only one thing to take note when using Purl Soho’s written instructions. Their first row goes like this:

Row 1: K3, *slip 1 wyif (with yarn in front), k3, repeat from * to end of row

I think this is confusing for new knitters. It is very likely that they will slip the stitch first before bringing the yarn in front which is in line with the sequence given. This is wrong. It will not create the fake purl stitch.

The yarn should be brought forward first before slipping the stitch. So, do remember to:

Row 1: K3, *byif, slip 1, byb, k3, rep from * to end of row

The free pattern is available at https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2014/09/12/no-purl-ribbed-scarf/

2 Row Reversible Scarf

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This pattern is basically the same as No-Purl Ribbed Scarf. The yarn used is thicker and the scarf is narrower.

The drape is also different because of the gauge.

I personally think this rib stitch looks nicer when knitted loosely.

Find the free pattern at http://sageyarn.blogspot.com/2008/11/2-row-reversible-scarf.html

No-Purl Rib Hand Towel

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Did I mention that the No-Purl Ribbed Scarf is very popular? The designer went on to design a blanket and a hand towel.

I featured the towel here because I was interested in the method that the designer added the loop for hanging. It is really well-made.

The free pattern is available at https://www.purlsoho.com/create/2020/09/13/no-purl-rib-hand-towel/

Cartridge Rib Fingerless Gloves

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It is unusual to use a fake rib for fingerless gloves. It seems to work for this designer. She opted for a tight gauge in order to achieve a good tight fit.

The glove pattern is unusual for another reason: purling for the body of the gloves. Most knitters choose cartridge belt rib stitch because they dislike purling. This designer has no issue with it. 🙂

This free pattern is available at https://www.justcraftyenough.com/2013/04/cartridge-rib-fingerless-gloves/

Opul infinity scarf

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To knit the Opul infinity scarf, you will need to know or is prepared to learn provisional cast-on and Kitchener grafting. The rest of the instructions is similar to Purl Soho’s No-Purl Ribbed Scarf.

The free pattern is available at https://tricksyknitter.com/blogs/free-knitting-patterns/opul-infinity-scarf-free-knitting-pattern

Bright River Sweater

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The designer Andrea provided some knitting details. It is knitted from the bottom up in the round. The sweater has raglan sleeves and a cowl created by using larger needles.

The pattern does not seem to be sold separately, which is a shame. I hope Andrea considers selling her Rugged Knits patterns individually.

See more details for the pattern at https://www.andrearangel.com/andrearangelblog/2016/12/rugged-knits-pattern-highlight-bright.html

Morchella Cardigan

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The designer of this handsome over-sized cardigan is Whitney Hayward. I suspect all the different parts of knitted as rectangles or squares and then seamed up.

Buy the pattern at https://harrisville.com/products/morchella-cardigan