How to work a Ripple Technique

Last Updated on January 21, 2020 by Courtney Flinn

The Ripple Technique is one that every skilled knitter and crocheter should know.  Use a ripple to show off the motion of your stitches.  In this post, you will learn how to work the Ripple Technique, and learn about ripple variations that really show off your creativity and style.  To follow along with this technique overview download the Ripples Galore pattern or purchase the kit from Mary Maxim

Purchase the Ripples Galore Pattern below


Ripples header.jpg

The Ripple Technique

The Ripple Technique is easy to identify by its often sharp peaks and valleys.  The motion in these stitches is created by increasing and decreasing stitches.  This differs from other patterns which use a scallop or shell stitch to create movement in a design.  You can use almost any combination of colors to customize your work.  To really show off your stitches, choose colors that coordinate in a gradient or color family.  Color families are yarns that are died in a gradient or have a similar base color that changes in hue.  Below are some of our favorite color families in Ultra Mellowspun Dk, the yarn used in the Ripples Galore pattern.

Ultra Mellowspun DK

Ultra Mellowspun DK is a light sport weight yarn that has been a part of the Mary Maxim signature brand of yarns for a very long time.  We love this yarn because of how incredibly soft it is but, also because it offers so many colors for your creativity to flourish.  Below are some of our favorite color families or gradient colors.

White yarnRose yarnDark Rose yarn
Ultra Mellowspun DK in White, Rose, and Dark Rose

Pale Blue yarnMedium Blue YarnDark Blue Yarn
Ultra Mellowspun DK in Pale Blue, Medium Blue, and Dark Blue

Pale Green yarnMedium Green YarnDark Green Yarn
Ultra Mellowspun DK in Pale Green, Medium Green, and Dark Green

Cotton YarnTaupe YarnDark Taupe Yarn

Ultra Mellowspun DK in Cotton, Taupe, and Dark Taupe



Patterns using the ripple technique require a lot of stitch counting to create the symmetry that makes these patterns so beautiful.  You cannot estimate where to place your increases and decreases or rely on only visual cues to know where to place your stitches.  Counting your stitches is essential whenever you work a pattern, but it is significantly more important when working a ripple.

To keep your stitches balanced, make sure you increase and decrease at the same rate.  This can also be altered to have different sized peaks and valleys but make sure that if you make this alteration that you keep it consistent throughout the pattern.

Ripple Diagram.jpg

peak and valley.jpg

When working the Ripples Galore pattern, you will add a stitch and subtract a stitch on each side of the peak. This is true for both the knit and the crochet versions.  If you have more stitches on one side than the other, your peaks will begin to list, and the peaks may not align with each other.

Watch how we set up our ripple pattern and
work stitch by stitch in the video below.

Customize your project

The only requirement for a good ripple is that the ripples stay consistent row by row.  If you are a beginner we recommend starting with the Ripples Galore pattern featured in this post.  It has a very easy pattern repeat.  Many patterns have extra design elements and longer repeats such as the Shaded Diamonds Throw pictured below.  There is a lot of room to customize any ripple pattern to express your creativity.

Shaded Diamonds Crochet Throw
Shaded Diamonds Throw Item # 98794

Try different stitch combinations to create new textures like in the Chevron Baby Blanket and the Sparkling Waves of Color Blanket

Crochet Chevron Baby Blanket
Chevron Baby Blanket Item # 97786
Sparkling Waves of Color Knit Blanket
Sparkling Waves of Color Blanket Item # 97483

Work your ripple in only one color and let your stitches show their beauty like in the Vertical Zig Zag Throw or Bands of Lace Ripple Blanket

Bands of Lace Ripple Crochet Blanket
Bands of Lace Ripple Blanket Item # 98013
Knit Vertical Zig Zat Throw
Vertical Zig Zag Throw Item # 98023

Use gradient colors or a color family like in our Ripples Galore family or choose your favorite color combinations.  Both of these blankets are worked using the Ripple Galore Pattern.  The Dark Grey, Light Grey, and White Crochet blanket is worked using a color gradient.  The Lime, White and Melon swatch was knit using watermelon colors for a fun summertime blanket.

Crochet Version PostKnit version post

Stay Tuned!

Stay Tuned for more great tutorials and exclusive previews.  Next week we will be premiering a brand new yarn line from Mary Maxim that we know you’ll love.  In the month of June, we are hosting a Crochet Along and a Make Along.  Make sure to follow us on all of our Social Media profiles!

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Happy Crafting!

1 thought on “How to work a Ripple Technique”

  1. LaVerne A Hoffman

    I have made the Vertical Zig Zag throw, it actually knit up quite fast. Gave it as a gift and they loved it. I prefer to do ripple and waves afghans, they are usually quite easy (I knit) and the color combinations are endless.

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