Stitchology 4 : Candy Cane Stitch

Happy Holidays!

candy cane stitch 1The time has come to deck the halls and spread good cheer.  What better way can there be for us yarnie enthusiasts than creating a square with rows of candy canes dancing their way across it?  Of course, this stitch will be terrific during all other times of the year as well, as it also resembles fish hooks, or shepherd’s crooks. 🙂

In this monthly column we’re going to be working on some exciting new stitch patterns, as well as a few new techniques thrown in for good measure.  My intention for our yarn play is to provide all the know-how for you to be able to work the new stitch; any charts, photos, or videos you may need; as well as a pattern to create an 8” x 8” square.  As we go along in our looming journey, we should be able to create lovely pieced afghans with our squares, as I like to know that we’re going somewhere while swatching, don’t you?  You can think of it as our Stitch Sample Afghan—a stitch dictionary right at your fingertips, keeping your legs warm, lol. 😉

Candy Cane Square

candy canes up close

Items Needed

Loom: Authentic Knitting Board Adjustable Hat Loom: 2 rounded pieces + 3 peg connectors, with pegs in all holes for a 3/8” gauge.  The Sock Loom 2 or the All-n-One Loom could also be used.

Yarn: approx. 75 yards Worsted Weight (Sample uses Berroco Vintage in Mochi)

Notions: Loom tool, yarn needle, scissors.  (Also helpful: peg markers, row counter)

Pattern Notes:

This versatile stitch pattern would apply itself very nicely to pretty much any type of project.  To work this pattern in the round for a hat, use the Repeating Pattern Rows chart, and make sure to read it from right to left for each row, rather than alternating sides each time.  Also, cast onto your loom in a clockwise direction, using a number of pegs that is divisible by 8—the number of stitches required for each pattern repeat.

For flat pieces of a greater size, begin with the Set Up Rows, then simply increase the number of Repeating Pattern Rows inside the garter stitch border for the length and width required, then complete with the Finishing Rows.

When the pattern uses the term “knit” or “k”, please use the true knit stitch or the u-stitch, not the e-wrap.

*All yarn overs (yo) are completed by laying the working yarn loosely across the front of the peg, not e-wrapping! If you e-wrap, your candy cane stripes will not be visible. 😉

To work a s1, k1, psso (in the case of this pattern, a right leaning eyelet), please see this tutorial by Isela Phelps:

*For ease in reading the pattern’s directions below, this step is placed inside brackets [ ] to let you know that these steps are all accomplished on just two pegs.

To work a ssk (a left leaning eyelet), please see this tutorial by Isela Phelps:

*For ease in reading the pattern’s directions below, this step is placed inside brackets [ ] to let you know that these steps are all accomplished on just two pegs.


Chart Key Candy Cane

Repeating Pattern Rows

Candy Cane Stitch

Here is the entire pattern chart for the 8” x 8” square:

Candy Cane Stitch Square

Everything you need to know about knitting your square is included in the above chart.  Believe it or not, you can actually create your square without looking at another thing!  For help with reading charts, please see the Stitchology I post for a detailed explanation, and you’ll be ready to go!

But, don’t worry…I am also providing you with the step by step instructions below. 😉


Step by Step Instructions:

Cast onto your loom from left to right, using a total of 37 pegs. (Sample uses Chain Cast On)

candy canes angleSet Up Rows

Row 1:  p37

Row 2:  k37

Row 3:  p37

Main Pattern Rows

Row 4:  k37

Row 5:  p2, k2, [s1, k1, psso, yo], k1, [yo, ssk], *k3, [s1, k1, psso, yo], k1, [yo, ssk], repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k2, p2.

Row 6: k37

Rows 7:  p2, k1, *[s1, k1, psso, yo], k3, [yo, ssk], k1, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k1, p2.

Row 8: k37

Row 9:  p2, k4, [s1, k1, psso, yo], *k6, [s1, k1, psso, yo], repeat from * to last 5 stitches, k3, p2.

Row 10:  k37

Row 11:  p2, k3, [s1, k1, psso, yo], *k6, [s1, k1, psso, yo], repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k4, p2.

Row 12:  k37

Row 13:  p2, k2, [s1, k1, psso, yo], *k6, [s1, k1, psso, yo], repeat from * to last 7 stitches, k5, p2.

Row 14:  k37

Row 15:  p2, k1, *[s1, k1, psso, yo], k6, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, p2.

candy canes long uprightRow 16:  k37

Row 17:  p2, k33, p2

Row 18:  k37

Row 19:  work as Row 5

Row 20:  k37

Row 21:  work as Row 7

Row 22:  k37

Row 23:  p2, k3, [yo, ssk], *k6, [yo, ssk], repeat from * to last 6 stitches, k4, p2.

Row 24:  k37

Row 25:  p2, k4, [yo, ssk], *k6, [yo, ssk], repeat from * to last 5 stitches, k3, p2.

Row 26:  k37

Row 27:  p2, k5, [yo, ssk], *k6, [yo, ssk], repeat from * to last 4 stitches, k2, p2.

Row 28:  k37

Row 29:  p2, *k6, [yo, ssk], repeat from * to last 3 stitches, k1, p2.

Row 30:  k37

Row 31:  p2, k33, p2

Rows 32-58:  Repeat Rows 4-30.

Finishing Rows

Row 59:  p37

Row 60:  k37

Row 61:  p37

Bind off all stitches loosely. (Sample uses the Basic Bind Off)  Weave in ends and trim close to work.

Block to an 8” x 8” measurement.

Afghan Notes:

blocks on red smIf you are intending this square to be part of an afghan, you may wish to make up to 3 or 4 additional squares.  We will be sharing at least 12 of these patterns for you to use in your blanket.  Use the following general measurements to decide how many of each of the 8″ x 8″ squares you will need, rounding up as necessary:

  • Baby Blanket: 30″ x 36″
  • Children: 42″ x 48″
  • Lapghan: 36″ x 48″
  • Twin Bed Afghan: 60″ x 85″
  • Queen Bed Afghan: 90″ x 95″


15 thoughts on “Stitchology 4 : Candy Cane Stitch

  1. This is a great stitch pattern for a kids table runner ! The candy canes look like they’re line dancing. Thank YOU Bethany I love your work. Always fun – always makes me smile 🙂


  2. Bethany, i was wondering if you could post a picture of the other 12 squares you are going to be sharing with us. by knowing what squares there are we could determine what color yarns to use. you don’t have to give directions for them just pictures of them. i am assuming they are christmas squares because of candy canes. thanks jean

  3. Hi Jean 🙂

    There have been four squares featured to date. They are listed under Stitchology Column. As for photos of the next 8 (at least) squares, I am afraid there are none as yet. These are worked on one month ahead of time, so the development of the future squares has not yet been hashed out. 😉 They are definitely not all holiday stitches, but will include fun and timely patterns that will be applicable to whatever season we are in. As for yarn choices, I would simply choose a favorite color combo in a worsted weight wool, which can be easily blocked to show off whatever stitches we will be making, and to help with keeping the blocks at a constant size. To choose how many colors to employ, refer to the common sizes of afghans listed at the bottom of each Stitchology post to decide how many colors would work best with your chosen blanket size. 🙂

  4. Ooh, I love this site, just now seeing it, want to read more when I can read on my tablet (bigger) glad I found it. 🙂

  5. I am lefthanded and go in the counter clockwise direction on plain socks. Please help will I be able to make this going lefthanded? Do I just reverse the chart? I am at a loss to how the stitches will come out HELP!!!

  6. The chart doesn’t truly have direction, it is the same when cut in half, so you can use the same chart for Left-handed knitting

  7. Patti and I have been chatting privately about her question, so I thought I’d type up some of my answers to her about looming left handed so that other South Paws can benefit. 🙂

    “Hi 🙂 I am also left handed! The thing about this pattern is that it is loomed as a flat panel, so you will be going both directions. 😉 Because of this, you should be able to follow the pattern as written.

    “I have quite a few videos too…all left handed (just so you know) 😉 go to and you will find them on the Twisted Stitches page. Also, my youtube channel button is there.

    “So, let me tell you what I do for reading patterns. If it is a pattern that says to go in a particular direction, I will weigh whether or not it would be best to just loom it as written, or work opposite of the instructions. Read the whole pattern through to make your decision. If it’s not a big deal, then I simply work in the direction I would prefer, following the instructions as if I were looming exactly the way the pattern says. If the instructions say to loom this: Arrow Lace pattern (k1, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k1) I would work as written, simply changing the k2tog and the ssk around, since those are stitches which slant a particular way. Any other pattern, I would just loom it as written, even though I would be looming in the opposite direction. It will end up being a mirror image of the original, but with most patterns that is not an issue at all. With cable patterns, I always work them in the direction it was originally written, since the directions for cable knitting are so specific. “

  8. I would love to make this is there anyway you can do a small video to show us thanks I learn better by seeing some of it thanks

  9. Love this soooo much. I haven’t done these techniques but I am going to give it a try on a small practice swatch. I can totally see this pattern as a lovely Christmas scarf or the table runner is an excellent idea. You are so creative and I appreciate how organized your post are…including Isela’s technique cards is wonderful. Thank you Bethany and Isela

  10. I’m having a great time with this column series, and I think this site is a great resource. Thanks, Bethany & all KB Chat contributors! Can’t wait for future posts. 🙂

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