Striped Stockinette Snake
A dear friend of mine, Natalie, and I both recently became aunties, and like me, she wants to shower the new baby in her life with handsome hand-made treasures. It’s been quite some time since Nat picked up her needles, and so she turned to me for some tech support and basic hand holding. Together we each knit up a Striped Stockinette Snake. For Natalie, it proved a very helpful reintroduction, and for both of us, it became the perfect present for our new family members!
Along the way, we conquered the I-cord, learned how to increase and decrease both to the left and the right, and explored the characteristics of stockinette stitch. As seasoned knitters know, fabrics made out of stockinette stitch curl along the edges. Often stockinette is paired with another stitch pattern to keep the piece laying flat, but for our purposes here, the naturally curled edges are just what we needed! We were able to knit flat (rather than in the round) and still create a tubular, snake-like object. Pretty nifty!
To add to some more snakiness I incorporated single-row striping, using two beautiful self-ombreing yarns, Cascade’s alpaca-merino Eco Duo. With rows and rows of easy stripes, boredom never strikes as the two yarns fade in and out from darks to lights. It’s nearly hypnotizing.
Whether it gets lovingly dragged around or slyly stacked on a shelf, this super simple Striped Stockinette Snake will slither its way into your dear little one’s heart! -Zia (Aunt) Laura
Share your progress and connect with the community by tagging your pics with #PurlSoho, #PurlSohoBusyHands, and #PurlSohoStripedStockinetteSnake. We can’t wait to see what you make!
- Color A: 1 skein of Cascade’s Eco Duo. Each skein is 197 yards/ 100 grams; approximately 197 yards required. I used the color Chicory.
- Color B: 1 skein of Cascade’s Eco Duo. Approximately 197 yards required. I used the color Zebra.
- US 8 (5 mm), 8-inch, 12-inch, or 16-inch circular needles or long double pointed needes
- 1 pack of Buttons. I used Small Buttons (⅜-inch, 2-hole, size 15) in color Black.
5 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette stitch
68 inches long
During the stripped portion of this pattern, each row in this pattern starts with the instructions to either “Turn” or “Slide” the work:
“Turning the work” means to do what you would normally do when knitting rows with a circular needle. That is to say, put the needle in your left hand into your right and the needle in your right hand into your left, and flip the work around so the opposite side is facing you.
“Sliding the work” means to keep the same side of the work facing you, and to push all the stitches to the right end of the circular needle. Without turning the work, start the new row as you normally would.
You will know that you’re doing this right if the yarn you need to complete the next row is magically there waiting for you!
With color A, cast on 4 stitches. We used a basic Long Tail Cast On.
Work in an I-cord for 1 inch.
Continuing with color A, you will now begin working in rows of stockinette stitch.
Row 1: Purl.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 three more times.
Next Row: Purl.
Add the Stripe
Row 1: Turn work, knit with A.
Row 2: Slide work, knit with B.
Row 3: Turn work, purl with A.
Row 4: Slide work, purl with B.
Repeat Rows 1-4 one more time.
**Increase Row: Turn work, with A, K1, make 1 right (m1R), knit to last stitch, make 1 left (m1L), k1. (2 stitches increased)
Repeat Rows 2-4.
Repeat Rows 1-4 four more times.
Repeat from ** 11 more times. (28 stitches)
Repeat Rows 1-4 until piece measures approximately 65 inches. End the last repeat with Row 2.
Shaping the Head
Row 1: Turn work, purl with A.
Continuing with A, you will now be working back and forth in stockinette stitch.
Increase Row: K8, m1R, k1, m1R, knit to last 9 stitches, m1L, k1, m1L, knit to end. (4 stitches increased)
Next Row: Purl.
Repeat last two rows 6 more times. (56 stitches)
Next Row: Knit.
Next Row: Purl.
Decrease Row: K8, ssk, k1, ssk, k1, ssk, knit to last 16 stitches, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1, k2tog, knit to end. (6 stitches decreased)
Next Row: Purl.
Repeat last two rows 4 more times. (26 stitches)
Decrease Row: K8, ssk, knit to last 10 stitches, k2tog, knit to end. (2 stitches decreased)
Next Row: Purl.
Repeat last Decrease Row. (22 stitches)
Cut yarn, leaving an 8 inch tail. Thread tail with a tapestry needle. With the right (knit) side of the fabric facing you and your tail on the left, thread the tail through all 22 stitches, starting with the far right stitch. You’ll be creating a circle of stitches like the top of a hat. Pull the tail taut and weave in the end to secure.
Using thread to match, sew on two buttons for eyes. I placed mine low towards the mouth and fairly wide apart. Different placement will give your snake a different attitude!
Weave in any remaining ends and you’re finished!
98 comments on “Striped Stockinette Snake”
This is such a great pattern. I’m making it for my grandson, but would like to just use one color of variegated yarn (i’m rather a new knitter). I thought I could figure out when to add the m1R and m1L throughout the pattern, but I’m finding that I’m getting lost. Also, I’m assuming that I don’t have to slide the work if I’m only using one kind of yarn, yes? Thank you so much!
So pleased I found this. Went straight in to town to try and find yarn. I am in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) so wasn’t sure what I would find. Using a plain black and a variagated that switches between black/grey and grey/ecru. Eight inches in so far. Thank you!
I LOVE this scarf and am going to make 3 of them WOW
Could you tell me the instructions for just knitting with the eco duo in Chicory. I am not understanding even after all these post.
I am ordering the yarn tonight. I just don’t understand the part of adding the stripe, the rest I get. Thank you!
Thanks for writing us! If you’d like to knit the snake without the stripe, then you can just use one color. There are no further directions for knitting the snake one color. I hope you like this pattern. It’s pretty fun!
Wonderful creation! I am just a little bit confused where the pattern calls for you to “repeat from ** 11 times.” Does this mean to repeat the increase row, then 2-4 , and then 1-4 FOUR more times 11 times? Thank you:)
Thanks for writing in and sorry for the confusion! You will repeat the increase row, rows 2-4 and then rows 1-4 eleven times. In other words, that whole sequence is repeated eleven times. I hope this helps! Best of luck and happy knitting!
I’ve rechecked the pattern and see no info about stitching up the snake? I can see how the body of my snake would be ok but the head definitely needs something….your suggestions? Thank you.
I think that wet blocking would really flatten out the edges of the body and head. The pattern doesn’t require that you stitch the snake closed and the edges are supposed to curl in on themselves. When you wet block I would let the body lie flat but I would pin the head flat so it maintains that shape better. Best of luck!
I cannot knit, sew or crochet to save my life!! But I LOVE this snake! Could someone please make one for me?? Thank you.
Shaping head. Row 1 knit row 2 purl. Do you increase on both rows? Decrease row. Do you also do that on both rows and do you continue in the knit and purl while doing this? When I add color B, do I add it to the same side of the color A or do I add it after I slide. Hope I’m not confusing you. I don’t know exactly which side I add color B when I start the project.
Can I just do this using magic loop?
Thanks for reaching out! Yes, if you are familiar with the magic loop method, you could certainly use it for this snake!
Hi…love this pattern. I just have to add the eyes. However…do we sew up the seam ? I actually thought it would be slightly stuffed as well. Did I miss Something? Thank you.
If I want to use a different yarn, what thickness would I choose.? 4 ply, DK, ARAN, WORSTED, CHUNKY. One that the label says “use #8 needles”?
Thanks for reaching out! This pattern was written for a worsted weight yarn, which does often call for a US 8 needle. It sounds like your yarn might work out, but I would recommend knitting a gauge swatch to make sure it will knit up to 5 stitches per inch!
It sounds very sexist to say a snake should be made for boys. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to and hope it is not a confusing as all the questions make it sound. I’m planning to make several for both boys and girls.
I love this pattern so much! It was a bit of a challenge for me since I haven’t been knitting for long. (The i-cord was completely new for me!)
But it was easy to understand and the results are so cute!
I’ve made this snake twice and I love it! But…I’ve slept since then and I can’t remember how to slide it!! HELP!!
Thanks for writing in! When you see this instruction in the pattern, instead of turning your work as usual, you will slide all the stitches to the opposite end of the needle – just make sure you are using circular or double pointed needles for this snake!
I hope that clears things up!
Hello, I am trying to make your knit snakes for my boys for Christmas. I noticed that the tail and the body are both turning in seperate directions . I feel like I follow the pattern but I’m not sure how that happened. It had to be after I increased the knots after making the tip of the tail.
Hope you are able to reply.
Thanks for writing in! I’m afraid I don’t understand what you mean by the two parts are turning in different directions. If you’d like, you can send us a picture of your snake at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to try to trouble shoot this for you!
How many total yards do you need to make this snake? Can you make it with one skein of eco duo?
Thank you for such a wonderful pattern! What an ingenious way to make use of the way that stockinette stitch curls into itself. I love that it’s not seamed and stuffed. The end results are beautiful, charming and infinitely versatile. I am grateful to have come across this pattern during a difficult time when my mind is in need of distraction. Thank you!
FYI I searched “snake” to find this pattern and got no results though, obviously, the pattern is here. I’m a librarian so proper indexing is important to me. I had to scroll through pages and pages before I finally found the pattern. And why I needed to find it was to find the washing instructions for the Eco Duo yarn ( my grandson was dragging his snake around the neighborhood trying to scare people. He’s 3). And then I couldn’t find the yarn. Any help from you on washing the yarn? Probably would be safe to squeeze it in Euclan then set it out to dry but I wanted to check and be ready when my daughter asks me. Thanks.
I love this snake! Is it possible to knit the entire body in I-cord?
I am confused with the m1r and m1l. Is this done on every row. I’m using two colors and I’m getting lost because the color I need is on the other side but it for purl.
Fantastic pattern….I just finished it…very easy and cute.
Thank you so much.