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

Garter stitch is one of the first knitting stitches you need to learn, and I’ll teach you how to knit garter stitch.

Garter Stitches Feat Img

I reviewed and updated this post on September 2, 2022.

Table Of Contents

What Is Garter Stitch?

Garter stitch is important for new knitters to learn.

Use it for 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 called a garter was attached to the leg, and it held the stockings up.

Is Garter Stitch Knit Every Row?

Yes. It’s knit a row, another and another…

Is Garter Stitch The Same As Knit?

Sure is! 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 bump.

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

If you knitted instead of purling, you’d get a chunk of purl, then one row of v shapes.

The other side is a chunk of v shapes and one row of purl.

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

How To Knit Garter Stitch

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

How Do You Do A Garter Stitch For Beginners?

Here’s how to do garter stitch for beginners.

YouTube video

Cast On

YouTube video

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

Turn the work by flipping it around.

Second Row

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

Casting Off

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.

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!

  • 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! 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

YouTube video

Projects To Try

Here are excellent garter stitch knitting patterns.


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?

Knitting stripes is involved as you use over one color.

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.

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

YouTube video

How Do I Weave In Ends For Garter Stitch?

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

YouTube video

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.

YouTube video

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.

YouTube video

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?

Blankets, scarves, hats, baby sweaters, vests and home decor.

Does Garter Stitch Use More Wool Than Stocking Stitch?

Garter stitch uses 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
  • More dense

What Is Garter Stitch Rib?

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

YouTube video

Garter Stitch Vs Moss Stitch

Moss stitch 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.

Is Garter Stitch Wider Than Stockinette?

Garter stitch is wider than stockinette.

Is Garter Stitch The Same As Purl?

Reverse garter stitch is the same as purl.

Does Garter Stitch Use More Yarn?

Garter stitch uses more yarn than stockinette.

Does Garter Stitch Stretch?


Time to start knitting garter stitch!

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

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About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

Jodie Morgan Profile Pic

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

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