Herringbone stitch is a popular pattern and forms a fairly dense fabric, great for home accessories.
It is a pattern that repeats over two rows. The right side uses a variation on the slip slip knit (ssk) decrease stitch. The wrong side uses a variation on the purl two together (p2tog) decrease. In both cases you do not actually reduce the number of stitches.
k = knit
p = purl
p2tog = purl two stitches together
ssk = slip slip knit
st = stitch
Keep your knitting loose, otherwise the stitches get too tight.
If you knit right-handed, the holding needle is your left needle and the working needle is your right needle.
Right side of herringbone stitch pattern:
Slip first stitch knit-wise, then slip second stitch knit-wise. Put the holding needle through the front of the two stitches you have slipped, wrap the yarn around to knit the two stitches and pull the yarn through. But only drop the first stitch from the holding needle. This means you have kept one stitch from the ssk decrease on your holding needle.
The next time, and to the end of the row, you slip the first stitch (the one you left on the holding needle) through the back of the stitch, and slip the second stitch knit-wise. Put the holding needle through the front of the two stitches, knit together, but drop only the first stitch from your holding needle. And repeat.
Wrong side of herringbone stitch pattern:
Put the working needle through the first two stitches on the holding needle, as if to purl two stitches together. Wrap the yarn around to purl the two stitches, and pull the yarn through. But only drop the first stitch from the holding needle. And repeat.
If you find it tricky to get your head around this, use our step-by-step picture guide to knit herringbone stitch.