Garter Stitch Knitting

How to Knit Garter Stitch and More

When you first learn to knit, the first stitch you learn is the garter stitch, knitting every stitch of every row. It's simple, easy to grasp and makes a good-looking, non-rolling fabric, but that's not the end of the story.

Ever wonder about different ways to knit garter stitch? How to knit garter stitch in the round? Shaping? Seaming? Look no further than this great reference to (possibly) everything you need to know about garter stitch knitting.

  • 01 of 07
    garter stitch
    A Garter Stitch square in progress. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    If you're completely new to knitting, you don't need to learn that much to be able to knit garter stitch. Just learn a quick cast on method, try English or Continental knitting, and you're on your way. (Don't forget to learn how to bind off, too!)

  • 02 of 07
    garter stitch rows
    Garter Stitch stripes. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    The next thing you need to know is how to count rows in garter stitch. It's really quite simple once you realize that each ridge of stitches is actually two knit rows.

  • 03 of 07

    Shaping Garter Stitch

    increasing and decreasing garter stitch
    Illustrating various increases and decreases in Garter Stitch. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    The bumpy texture of garter stitch means that you can use just about any increase or decrease method you like and it will virtually disappear into the surrounding stitches. So use whatever you're comfortable with if a pattern doesn't specify what method to use.

  • 04 of 07

    Seaming Garter Stitch

    seaming garter stitch
    Sewing a Garter Stitch seam. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    Sewing up a seam in garter stitch isn't any more difficult than mattress stitch on stockinette, but you do have to approach it somewhat differently.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07
    garter stitch in the round
    A sample of Garter Stitch worked in the round. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    Knitting garter stitch flat means you can knit every stitch of every row, but things are different when working in the round because you're working the right side of the fabric every round.

    Remembering to knit a round and purl a round in garter stitch in the round can be tricky if you're used to the mindlessness of flat garter knitting, but you'll get the hang of it.

  • 06 of 07
    garter stitch knitting patterns
    Fuzzy Garter Stitch scarf. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    This page collects free garter stitch knitting patterns for your enjoyment. Also, check out the Pinterest board Glorious Garter Stitch for more ideas for using this versatile stitch.

  • 07 of 07
    dropped garter stitch
    Picking up a dropped Garter stitch. © Sarah E. White, licensed to, Inc.

    Picking up a dropped stitch in Garter Stitch can be a little intimidating because you have to pick up stitches that look like knits and purls even though the fabric is made just with knit stitches.

    This method is quick and easy and should take the fear out of fixing a dropped stitch. Just grab your crochet hook and go for it.