Instructions: How to Knit a Garter Stitch

knitting garter stitch

Once you get into a groove knitting the garter stitch, it's very easy to do.

To the uninitiated, knitting may look dizzyingly complex. It’s really not as complicated as it seems, though, because knitting only uses two basic stitches—the knit and the purl.

You’ll find that after you’ve learned how to knit these two basic stitches you will be able to tackle almost any pattern.

On the flip side, don’t let the simplicity of the stitches fool you into thinking that everything you knit will be easy! Advanced knitting can also become fairly challenging with lots of little variations in how to perform these two types of stitching.

For instance, whether you’re knitting or purling, the first stitch in each new row is the Garter stitch.

Follow these instructions to knit a garter stitch:

  1. Hold the needle with your cast on in your left hand, and the other needle in your right hand.
  2. Pass the tip of the right needle through the first loop on the left needle in such a way that the right goes behind the left. Be sure to keep the yarn behind both needles.
  3. With your right hand, pass the yarn around the tip of the right needle counterclockwise, keeping it nice and tight.
  4. Begin bringing the tip of the right needle slowly back through the first loop toward you, bringing the yarn along for the ride.
  5. Gently pull the new loop on your right needle to the tip of the left needle. Let the first loop slide off. It is important to keep the yarn just tight enough that your loops stay close to the needle, but not so tight that you can’t slide the needle between them.
  6. The first stitch is now on the right needle, and you can just repeat steps 2 through 5 until all of the cast on stitches are on the right hand needle – which completes the first row.
  7. Switch the needle with all the stitches to your left hand.

Using this technique row after row is the garter stitch. Once you get into a groove with the garter stitch it is very easy to do row after row. As you become more advanced in your knitting you will also learn the reverse garter stitch in which each stitch is purled instead of knit.

You will typically not use a garter stitch for an edge, as it has a tendency to curl, but it is a great general purpose stitch that is used in many patterns.

Video Tutorials: Knit a Garter Stitch

Instructions to Knit a Garter Stitch in Continental Knitting

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About Knitting Kitty

I'm a crafty kind of blogger that enjoys knitting, sewing and other fiber arts. So far, I've tried my hand at knitting, crocheting, sewing, and weaving on a loom. And, I'm looking forward to many more projects and discovering new ideas. This site is a way to share knitting instructions so that we can learn more from each other. Thanks for reading!

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