I’m loving this series and I hope you are too!
Working the simple garter stitch really taught me a lot!
Yarn and Needles
I’m using Valley Yarns Northampton (a worsted weight yarn) and US 8 (5.0mm) needles.
From light to dark (bottom to top), I’m using:
CC1: Raspberry Heather (26)
CC2: Dahlia (21)
CC3: Merlot Heather (27)
CC4: Amethyst (19)
How to Work It
So, this one is simple – just knit every stitch.
The magic happens when you change colors.
This one is easy, but it may trip up a couple people.
Notice how every other row shows purl stitches? Read on to learn why they’re there.
In-The-Round or Flat?
Working garter stitch flat is what most people think of when you say “garter stitch”. Every stitch of every row is knit.
You can also work garter stitch by purling every stitch. Most patterns will NOT do this, so this modification will be left to you. But, if you prefer working a purl stitch instead of working a knit stitch, this modification may be for you.
When working garter stitch in-the-round, you work one round of knits followed by one round of purls.
In many cases, I’ll work those rounds flat with one additional stitch and then sew it up afterwards. I do it this way because I don’t work purls as quickly as I work knits (and I don’t enjoy them as much either). Some others have different gauges for knits versus purls so this is another reason to work it flat.
But it’s up to you and what you prefer. My method does have a seam (but again – no purls!).
The Wrong Side
The back-side of garter can be quite interesting when using it for color blending. Take a look at our swatch:
When switching colors, the bumps show differently on the RS and WS. You can use this to your advantage as long as you know it and plan for it.
And, if you work each color in just one row, the color changes occur on the RS too!
All this is a great lead-in for the next paragraph…
You won’t really know how something looks until you swatch it. And something as simple as garter stitch can really give you a lot of options!
The Weight of Ends
There’s always a balance between the number of ends you have and how the piece looks. You’ll have A LOT of ends when you’re color blending – it’s just the nature of the beast.
You know what I’m going to say – swatch, swatch, swatch. You really won’t be able to tell until you give it a try. And you might tackle things slightly differently once you see how the swatch works up.
Craft Smarter in the New Year
This post is part of our Craft Smarter in the New Year Series. We’re covering both knitting and crochet, and here are the posts we have in mind:
- Purl Stitch (knitting)
- Linen Stitch (crochet)
- Slipped Stitches (knitting)
- Spike Stitch (crochet)
- Garter Stitch (knitting)
- Shell Stitch (crochet)
- Color Introduction (knitting)
- Lemon Peel Stitch (crochet)
- Holding 2 Colors Together (both knitting and crochet)
We also kicked off this series with a post on color choices and included a bunch of different resources for you to get the juices flowing!
And of course, a special thanks to our yarn sponsor, Webs, for donating the yarn for this series. We couldn’t have done it without you – plus their Valley Yarns Line is FABULOUS. I highly recommend them.