The Perfect Rib

I knit socks on four (5 inch) double pointed needles, these days from the cuff down, and I enjoy socks with some amount of ribbing at the cuff.

Seems reasonable. I also tend to have two other restrictions:

  1. Each needle should have the same number of stitches.
  2. In the ribbing, each needle should begin with a knit stitch and end with a purl stitch.

This somewhat constrains the possibilities. Also given a preference for rubbings that are biased towards knit stitches, I tend to veto options that might otherwise be workable. Here's a quick cheat sheet of compliant patterns. Patterns are for one needle, repeat for each

  • 12 stitches (48):
    • Knit 2, purl 2 till end.
    • Knit 3, purl 1 till end.
  • 13 stitches (52): Knit 3, purl 2 twice; then knit 2, purl 1.
  • 14 stitches (56): Knit 3, purl 2 twice; then knit 3, purl 1.
  • 15 stitches (60):
    • Knit 3, purl 2 till end.
    • Knit 2, purl 1 till end.
  • 16 stitches (64):
    • Knit 2, purl 2 till end.
    • Knit 3, purl 1 till end.
  • 17 stitches (68): Knit 2, purl 2 twice; then knit 2, purl 1 three times.
  • 18 stitches (72):
    • Knit 2, purl 1 till end.
    • Knit 3, purl 2 three times; then knit 2, purl 1.
  • 19 stitches (76): Knit 3, purl 2 three times; then knit 3, purl 1.
  • 20 stitches (80):
    • Knit 2, purl 2 till end.
    • Knit 3, purl 1 till end.
    • Knit 2, purl 1 till end.
    • Knit 3, purl 2 three times; then knit 2, purl 1.
  • 21 stitches (84):
    • Knit 2, purl 1 till end.
    • Knit 3, purl 2 three times; then knit 2, purl 2.
  • 22 stitches (88):
    • Knit 2, purl 1 six times, then knit 2, purl 2.
    • Knit 3, purl 3; then, knit 2, purl 2 till end..
  • 23 stitches (92):
    • Knit 2, purl 2 five times; then knit 2, purl 1
    • Knit 3, purl 1 five times; then knit 2, purl 1
    • Knit 3, purl 2 four times; then knit 2, purl 1
  • 24 stitches (96):
    • Knit 2, purl 2 till end.
    • Knit 3, purl 1 till end.
    • Knit 2, purl 1 till end.
    • Knit 3, purl 2 three times; then knit 2, purl 1.
  • 25 stitches (100):
    • Knit 3, purl 2 till end.
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