Stitchology 24: Barber Pole

Barber Pole Front Angle

The stitch we’ll be working up this month is wonderful for its simple symmetry and lines.  The bold repeating pattern makes this a shoe-in stitch for those guys in your life! I can visualize this being used for hats, sweaters, scarves, socks, you name it!

Back side of Barber Pole Stitch~
Back side of Barber Pole Stitch~

The back of this stitch looks completely different, but very pleasingmaking this ideal for possible reversible projects or ones that might be viewed from both sides.

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. 😉 To find all the previous stitches in this column, simply click here.


Barber Pole Square

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 Wool (Sample uses Patons Classic Wool Worsted in Jade Heather)  *Wool is recommended for this square, as blocking is a must.

Notions: Loom tool, yarn needle, scissors.  (Also helpful: peg markers, row counter & blocking pins/pad)

Pattern Notes:

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 sts—the number of stitches required for each pattern repeat.

For flat pieces of a greater size, begin with the Set Up Rows (increasing as necessary), then simply increase the number of Repeating Pattern Rows inside the garter stitch border for the length and width required. Complete by adding the same number of extra Finishing Rows at the end that were added at the beginning.

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

approx: approximately
sts: stitches
rep: repeat
CO: cast on
k:  knit
p: purl
wy: working yarn
BO: bind off

Knitting Chart Key with grey copy

Repeating Pattern Rows

Row 1:  p1, k6, p1.

Row 2:  p1, k5, p2.

Row 3: p3, k4, p1.

Row 4: p1, k3, p2, k1, p1..

Row 5: p1, k2, p2, k2, p1.

Row 6: p1, k1, p2, k3, p1..

Row 7: p1, k4, p3.

Row 8: p2, k5, p1.

Row 9 & 10: p1, k6, p1.

Here is the entire pattern chart for the 8” x 8” 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 38 pegs. (Sample uses Chain Cast On)

Set Up Rows

Row 1:  p38.

Row 2:  k38.

Row 3:  p38.

Row 4:  k38.

Main Pattern Rows

Row 5: p4, *k6, p2, rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Row 6: k3, p1, *k5, p3,  rep from * to last 5 sts, p2, k3.

Row 7: p6, *k4, p4, rep from * to end of row.

Row 8: k3, p1, *k3, p2, k1, p2,  rep from * to last 4 sts, p1, k3.

Row 9: p4, *k2, p2, rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Row 10: k3, p1, *k1, p2, k3, p2,  rep from * to last 4 sts, p1, k3.

Row 11: p4, *k4, p4, rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Row 12: k3, p2, *k5, p3, rep from * to last 4 sts, p1, k3.

Row 13: p4, *k6, p2, rep from * to last 2 sts, p2.

Row 14: k3, p1, *k6, p2,  rep from * to last 4 sts, p1, k3.

Rows 15-54:  rep Rows 5-14.

Rows 55-57: rep Rows 5-7.

Finishing Rows

Row 58:  k38.

Row 59:  p38.

Row 60:  k38.

Row 61: p38.

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:

Stitchology Squares If 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 24 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″

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a note for Bethany Dailey below in the comments! 🙂

4 thoughts on “Stitchology 24: Barber Pole

  1. Oh, glad to help keep your loomy juices flowing, Ginny! 🙂 Some of us took a little vacay time in August, but are back now, so you’ll see more designs coming off the looms soon! 😀

  2. Love this easy pattern. Would the wrong side look nice enough for a mans scarf? Keep the patterns coming. Than you!

  3. Hi Cindy! 🙂 I’m so glad you like it! I think the back side is really neat looking and would be very suitable for a men’s scarf. Of course, everyone has their own preferences, but I, myself, would definitely use it for that purpose! 😉

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