Seed vs. Moss...
This got me thinking about seed stitch vs. moss stitch—I have always thought them interchangeable, but are they really? High time to find out, so I did a little research.
|a black-and-white shot so you can really see texture|
“Seed stitch” is universally recognized as knits on top of purls and purls on top of knits, alternating every row, giving us the flexible but bumpy texture we see here. It’s also identical on both right and wrong sides.
“Moss stitch" is close or identical—depending upon the American or British versions. American moss stitch is different; it goes in two-row alternations. You stack knits-on-knits and purls-on-purls for two rows, then switch for the next two rows. The effect is that your “bumps” are two rows high rather than one.
Brits are simpler: British moss stitch is identical to seed stitch. So, when a pattern calls for moss or seed, you ought to take a minute and consider the source material’s country of origin so you know what’s expected. That being said, the difference is slight enough that I can’t imagine lives would be at stake should you misinterpret.
In either case, these stitches have some admirable virtues.
- they can add density and durability—especially useful for sock heels!
- they are reversible
- as we learned in the Celtic Princess scarf, they are very useful as a non-curling border
Here, though, they create a lovely contrast to both stockinette and more complicated stitch patterns.