Knit, purl to get Garter Stitch

Mis à jour : avr. 25

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:

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.

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 ...


Garter stitch sample

The Purl Stitch


I just published the video to learn how to purl stitches:


*Because it will too easy to have everything working out the first time, the english version had some issues again... Please allow a couple of hours and the video will be ready for you... Love Sidney


A purl stitch is worked with the thread being at the front of the working and inserting the right needle from back to front.

By purling 1 or 2 stitches, I realize that what I get (in front of me) are "wavelets":

Right Side of a purl stitch

But, if I return my work I see the little "v":


Wrong Side of a purl stitch

Do you see / understand the mirror effect of the stitches? The right side of a knit stitch (the "v") matches to the wrong side of a purl stitch. And the right side of a purl stitch (the wavelet) matches the wrong side of a knit stitch. If I knit all of my rows wth the purl stitch, I will, each time see the "ripples" while the "v" will be on the other side.

I will, as well as if I were knitting all the stitches, get garter stitch which is a succession of ripples and hollows. With each new row, you will have in front of you the wavelets (the crest) while on the other side there will be the hollow.


Could it be the same sample used both times ???

There is not much else to say about the purl stitches ...


Next week we will finally see how to identify the right to the wrong side of a work in garter stitch and learn how to count the rows ! See you next week ! Sidney