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Garter Stitch – Learn Plain Stitch – Easy For Beginner Knitters!

Beginner knitters welcome to the wonderful hobby of knitting! Garter stitch is one the first knitting stitches you need to learn, and today I’ll be teaching you how to knit garter stitch.

It’s functional but pretty plain. (Because it’s also called plain stitch?) Anyway…

Garter Stitch Feat Img

Table Of Contents

What Is Garter Stitch?

Garter stitch is important for new knitters to learn. You can use it for many purposes, including scarves, hats, sweaters, and blankets. Some people call it plain stitch.

Why Is It Called Garter Stitch?

The name “garter” comes from its resemblance to stockings. A little strap thing called a garter was attached to the leg, and it held the stockings up.

You learn something new every day!

Is Garter Stitch Knit Every Row?

Yes. It’s knit a row, another and another… Oops, I fell asleep, back to business.

Is Garter Stitch The Same As Knit?

Sure is! As I said before, it’s just knit stitches.

What Stitch Is Knit Every Row?

It’s garter stitch!

The Anatomy of a Knit Stitch

A knit stitch has two parts, a front and a back. The front looks like a v shape, and the back is a little bump.

Analogy time! There’s a stitch called stockinette, and on the front, it looks like all knit. On the back, there are all these little bumps.

Stockinette stitch is one row knit, one row purl. So you’re purling on the wrong side of the knit stitch every second row.

So if you knitted instead of purling, you’d get a big chunk of purl, then one row of v shapes. The other side would be a big chunk of v shapes and one row of purl.

To conclude –

  • Right side knit stitch = v shape
  • Wrong side knit stitch = bump

How To Knit Garter Stitch

It’s easy to knit, and it’s reversible and stretchy. The garter stitch knitting pattern is an easy-level project perfect for everybody.

How Do You Do A Garter Stitch For Beginners?

Here are some instructions on how to do garter stitch for beginners.

If you get stuck and need a visual guide, here’s an excellent video tutorial.

Cast On

Alright, time to cast on!

First Row

These instructions are for right-handed people. If you’re left-handed, it’s the same but with the opposite hand to knit the garter stitch.

  • Put your right-hand knitting needle into the first stitch on the left needle.
  • Wrap working yarn around the right needle
  • Slide the right needle under the left
  • Pull through and put the new stitch on the left needle
  • Continue working the next stitches
  • Finish the row.

Turning Your Work

Next, you turn the work by flipping it around.

Second Row

It’s exactly the same as the first row. Knit and keep knitting.

Casting Off

It’s finishing time! Check out my post for how to cast off knitting.

Can You Knit Garter Stitch In The Round?

Yes, but it’s different from knitting flat. I shall explain why in the next section.

Why Is Garter Stitch In The Round Different?

To create garter stitch in the round, you need to do a knit round and then a purl round. The complete opposite of normal garter!

Think of it like this:

  • Garter stitch in the round = flat stockinette
  • Stockinette in the round = flat garter stitch.

When you just knit forever and ever in the round on circular needles, it looks like a stockinette tube. The outside is smooth, and the inside is bumpy. It’s because you never turn.

Reverse Garter Stitch

Reverse garter stitch is made of purl stitches! Yes, that’s right! This works because a purl stitch looks like garter stitch. Garter stitch has bumps on either side, so purling the whole thing makes it look the same.

How To Garter Stitch On Loom

If you’re a loom knitter, it’s your time to shine. Here’s a great tutorial.

Projects To Try

Time to make something! Here are some excellent garter stitch knitting patterns.

Your Questions Answered

What Are Some Benefits Of Garter Stitch?

Garter stitch is all knit, so you don’t have to change stitches. Also, you don’t have to remember complicated pattern changes.

Does Garter Stitch Curl Or Roll On The Edges?

No, it doesn’t, thank goodness!

When Should You Use Garter Stitch In Knitting Projects?

You can use garter stitch in any project you want. For example, it makes excellent borders for dishcloths and such as it doesn’t curl.

Why Does Garter Stitching Make A Good Beginner Project?

Garter stitch is easy for beginners as it only uses the knit stitch.

How Do You Knit Stripes In Garter Stitch?

Here’s how!

Knitting stripes is a little more involved as you are using more than one color.

Anne Berk in the tutorial below teaches you how to carry up the yarn to create a neat edge.

Knitting two rows in the same color, means you don’t have to cut the yarn at each end and swap to the other color.

The good news with that is you don’t have to weave in multiple ends.

How Do I Weave In Ends For Garter Stitch?

Here’s an excellent way of doing it by JenAC Knitwear.

You won’t believe how simple it is to weave ends in garter stitch.

How Do I Count Garter Stitch Rows?

Here’s a great tutorial by Cheryl Brunette showing two different ways of counting garter stitch rows.

I prefer the method of counting the bumps on both sides to get the correct amount of rows.

How Do I Fix A Dropped Stitch?

Here’s how you do it! You will need a crochet hook to follow these steps. It is really nifty how you fix a dropped stitch.

What Is A Row In Garter Stitch?

A row in garter stitch is knit since garter stitch is made of knit stitches.

What Is The Wrong Side In Garter Stitch?

There isn’t a wrong side to garter stitch since they both look the same.

Is Garter Stitch The Same As Plain?

Garter stitch is the same as plain!

Garter Stitch Vs Stockinette

Garter stitch uses only knit stitches. Stockinette uses purl AND knit stitches.

What Does Work In Garter Stitch Mean?

It means keep knitting with only knit stitches.

Is Garter Stitch The Same As Knit Stitch?

Yes! Normal garter stitch is the same as knit stitch.

What Is Garter Stitch Used For?

A lot of things! Blankets, scarves, hats, baby sweaters, vests and home decor.

Does Garter Stitch Use More Wool Than Stocking Stitch?

Yes garter stitch does use more wool than stocking stitch.

Knitting Garter stitch across the same number of stitches with the same size needle, with the same yarn is wider, less elastic, and more dense than stocking/stockinette stitch.

What Is Garter Stitch Rib?

Here’s a great explainer video by Kristen at Studio Knit.

It involves knit stitches and purl stitches. The repeats are easy to follow.

Garter Stitch Vs Moss Stitch

Moss stitch is different from garter stitch. It uses purl and knit stitches.

Garter Stitch Vs Seed Stitch

Garter stitch only uses the knit stitch. Seed stitch uses the purl and knit stitch. Therefore, seed stitch has a very different texture to garter stitch.

Is Garter Stitch Wider Than Stockinette?

Garter stitch is wider than stockinette, as it can stretch pretty far.

Is Garter Stitch The Same As Purl?

Reverse garter stitch is the same as purl, not regular garter stitch.

Does Garter Stitch Use More Yarn?

Garter stitch uses more yarn than stockinette.

Does Garter Stitch Stretch?

Yes, garter stitch does stretch. A lot!

Time to start knitting some garter stitch! Well done, and happy knitting!

Please comment down below if you have any questions or suggestions. I’d love to hear from you!

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Knit Like Granny. (Yes, I’m a real person :) ) Thanks for being here.

I created Knit Like Granny to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

I love knitting and have met so many other fabulous knitters through this site. I enjoy learning and helping others discover the joys of working with yarn.

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