How to Do a Garter Stitch in Knitting

Learn how to do a garter stitch in this knitting tutorial from Howcast.

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So here's how to work garter stitch. It's real easy. You're going to just knit across the front row, just knitting across, and when you get to the back you're going to knit across that row too. Garter stitch has wonderful properties. It's a really good yarn eater. It will really help you get rid of large balls of yarn really quickly, and it renders a really squishy, nice, stretchy fabric. So that was knitting across the front and knitting across the back. That's when you're knitting flat. If you're knitting in the round, in order to get garter stitch, you would need to knit one round and purl one round. Here's an example of garter stitch knit in worsted weight, and you can see that when you stretch garter stitch apart, there's a ridge and divot, a ridge and a divot. And here's an example of garter stitch with two colors worked in. Now one property of garter stitch is that it does make a bumpy edge on the side. So I'm going to show you a little trick to get rid of the bumpy edges in garter stitch. You'll knit across, just doing the basic knit stitch, and then you're going to finish your row as normal, just knitting every single stitch. However, when you get to the other side, it's going to be work a slip stitch edging, which makes this beautiful chain stitch here. So you'll notice that, because the last stitch was a knit, the yarn is in the back, so when you turn it around the yarn is in the front. In order to slip this stitch, you're going to need to move the yarn to the back. So I slip the stitch straight over as if to purl and then I just tuck that yarn behind and continue knitting on and that makes a beautiful chained edging. So here's the slip stitch edge and here is the non-slip stitch edge in garter stitch. Enjoy.

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  • Jessica Kaufman

    Jessica's handwork skills include knitting and designing knitting patterns, felting, spinning and dyeing, flame working, stained glass, blacksmithing, woodturning, silversmithing, batik and tie dye, candle making, block printing and papermaking, soap making, sewing, quilting, macramé, cloisonné and enameling, ceramics, and polymer clay-- and she wants to teach you how to do all of it!