THE GARTER STITCH IN KNITTING
As you become more adept at working your knits and purls, you’ll learn that there are other names for stitches (and their combinations), which you will come across in knitting patterns.
Today we’re going to tackle the garter stitch: one of the easiest, but also one that can give beginner knitters a little headache sometimes. If you can do the knit stitch, then you can can create garter stitch.
Let’s look at what it is, and how you do it.
HOW TO DO THE GARTER STITCH IN KNITTING
The garter stitch is the name given to the pattern created by your stitches when you just knit every stitch in every row.
We talked about the knit stitch looking like a little ‘v’ shape, and this is where garter stitch might confuse us beginners. When you knit every stitch on every row you find that all the stitches (on both sides) now look like the little bumps of the purl stitch. You haven't done anything wrong - the 'v's' of your knit stitch are still there, but because you're doing knit stitch every row, the bumpier purl covers them up a bit. If you pull two of the rows that look like purl apart, you'll see your knit row in between them.
This photo shows you how both sides of garter stitch look the same.
Because you're knitting every row, the main issue you might have with both sides looking the same is keeping track of your right side from your wrong side. If you have a pattern that means you need to make changes on Row x - you need to keep track of where you are - which is why, for a beginner, it’s really important that you mark your rows that you’ve done using a tally chart.
A tally chart.
That way you can always know which row you’re on and then if it’s right or wrong!
- Don’t stress it when everything starts to resemble purl stitches, that’s just what happens when you knit stitch after stitch, row after row! It isn't really all purl - your knit rows are visible in between alternate rows.
- Garter stitch makes a lovely slightly ‘chubby’ and stretchy knit. It's great for beginners, as you don’t need to remember how to do your purl stitches! Just knit everything.
- Remember to try and keep your tension nice and even. Don’t pull your stitches too tightly or you’ll have problems trying to knit them!
- Remember to keep a tally chart of which row you’re on, that way you’ll know if you’re on the right side row or a wrong side row (in case it makes reference to them in the pattern)
SOME OF OUR KITS THAT USE GARTER STITCH
The India Baby Blanket - gorgeous, lush and perfect for babies!
The Svenske Shawl - ideal for all seasons and a contemporary classic - you'll also learn how to make lace holes in your knitting too!
The Scafell Scarf - cosy, stripy and done all in garter stitch. Perfect for cold winter walks!
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