Knit, purl to get Garter Stitch

Dernière mise à jour : 25 avr. 2020

This blog will be published in 3 parts.

The first one will be about working the knit stitch and how to hold your yarn so you have a good and nice tension all along your knit, then we will get to the purl stitch and we will finish with the garter stitch.


The knit stitch is used 80% of the time, we can go up to 98% when working the garter stitch as the cast-on and the bind-off are the other 2%.

Which makes it, along the cast-on (learn how to here) the stitch to master et recognize when knitting.

Hold the yarn

The tension of your yarn is an important foactor when it comes to have a nice project with regular stitches and rows.


This tension as its name suggests is obtained by winding the thread in the hand or around your fingers in order to "stretch the thread" while letting it slide as you knit. It is a balance that we seek to find, between having a tight thread and a sliding thread. If it is not tight enough, the stitches will be irregular and very loose. If it does not slip, the first stitches will be very loose and the following will get more and more tight since the thread will not be available in the same way.


Now, in the video, I show you how I am holding my thread. For sure it is not the only way to hold the yarn and mine might not suits you It's up to you to find out what exists and what you are comfortable with.


The knit stitch

Let's get to the heart of the matter with this video to knit stitches.

As shown there ☝☝, the knit stitch by stitching from front to back and with the thread at the back. These notions are very important because this is how we differentiate the purl stitch (the thread is at the front and we stitch from the back to the front ...). In knitting, there is a mirror effect linked to the fact that the piece you knit has a right side (the pretty side, the one you want to show and which has the prettiest definition of stitches ...) and a wrong side (the side that will be inside, which is a little less pretty and on which the patterns are less visible).


This mirror effect is linked to the stitches.

When we work a knit stitch, a "v" will appear:

The right side of stockinette, showing the “v” shape for the front of a knit stitch.
Right side of a knit stitch

But, if you turn you knitting around, being on the wrong side of the stitch, you will see ripples or "m" looking stitches.

The wrong side of stockinette, showing the « m » shapefor the back of a knit stitch.
Wrong side of a knit stitch

So if you knit your whole piece in knit, you will get garter stitch.

The first row will give the "v" shape but at the end of it, once you turn around your knitting, you will see the "m" shape on the wrong side. Then knit and obtain the "v" shape.

Garter stitch is an alternation of "v" and "m".


The photo below is a sample of garter stitch. I will talk more about this in 2 weeks, but the garter stitch is very textured. Between each row of ripples, there is a row of "v" well hidden ...