“The scales” knitting stitch

SKILLS LEVEL: intermediate (3/5)

This stitch is spectacular but does not involve any major difficulty. It is based on a combination of yarn overs and decreases, progressively shifted on each right side of the 12 rows of the pattern. The columns created by the yarn overs make it easy to visualise the pattern’s repetitions.


This stitch gives a supple, undulating result and is particularly interesting when combined with yarns that have a lot of drape, such as linen or yarns containing silk. On the other hand, it has a natural tendency to bias and the effect will be reinforced on large surfaces or when knitted in the round.

It can therefore be used for shawls, stoles and scarves or as small decorative touches on a more structured piece.


Our sample was knitted in Antigone “cobalt” with 3.5 mm needles on 34 stitches and 48 rows, i.e. 4 repeats of the pattern in width + 2 selvedges knitted in stockinette and 4 repeats in height.

This corresponds to a sample of 22 m x 30 rows for a 10 cm x 10 cm square knitted with the same tension and a weight of approximately 0.5 g/cm2.



k2tog = knit two stitches together

skp = slip 1 stitch as if to knit, knit 1, pass slipped stitch over knit stitch.

yo = yarn over

RS, WS = Right side, Wrong side.

st, sts = stitch, stitches

On a multiple of 7 sts + 4:

Row 1 (RS): k2, * yo, skp, k5, repeat from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2tog.

Row 2 and all even rows (WS): purl.

Row 3: k2, * yo, k1, skp, k4, repeat from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2tog.

Row 5: k2, * yo, k2, skp, k3, repeat from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2tog

Row 7: k2, * yo, k3, skp, k2, repeat from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2tog.

Row 9: k2, * yo, k4, skp, k1, repeat from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2tog.

Row 11: k2, * yo, k5, skp, repeat from * to last 2 sts, yo, k2tog.

Row 12: purl.

Repeat these 12 rows.


If you use this stitch, don’t hesitate to share it with us by using #tutoDRN on Instagram or by sending us photos of your creations. Happy knitting!

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