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Multiple Ways to Use Garter Stitch

Updated on June 3, 2017

Ruffled Scarf Made in Garter Stitch

Source

You May Be Surprised at What Can Be Done with this Simple Knitting Stitch

The garter stitch is often thought of as plain, and not very pretty. For years I completely ignored it, refused to use it. Recently though, probably because it is so easy I can almost knit it without looking at my work, I began to look for more interesting ways to use this stitch, and came up with multiple ways to use garter stitch. I found more uses for it than I expected. In this photo you see my favorite of all the things I have made using this one stitch. Below I have shared with you some of the items I have knitted using only, or primarily, this stitch. This photo is a ruffled scarf I made for one of our granddaughters who is a college student. This dark blue is one of her school's (Auburn University) colors. She has graduated now, but her younger sister is now a student at Auburn.


Zoomed in on Garter Stitch

Zoomed in on the Stitches of the Afghan Shown Below
Zoomed in on the Stitches of the Afghan Shown Below | Source

What Is Garter Stitch?

This very simple stitch is the pattern that emerges when every row is knitted -- no purls, no yarn overs, only knit stitches. It produces a fabric that looks the same on both sides. Sometimes it's a plus to have a reversible garment. This photo shows a worked garter stitch. The scarf in this photo was knitted on size 10 needles. The ruffle was formed by gradually decreasing the number of stitches used. I cast on about 300 stitches, then decreased on every other row. To make the ruffle at the other end, just reverse the process by gradually increasing the number of stitches.

The winter-white afghan shown below shows the stitches really well. For a closer look at this stitch worked, as well as the directions for the border used on that afghan, please see my lens entitled, "Free Simple Afghan Pattern for Beginning Knitters".

Ivory Garter Stitch Afghan

An Afghan Done in This Versatile Stitch with an Embellished Border
An Afghan Done in This Versatile Stitch with an Embellished Border | Source

Zoomed in on Shaggy Garter Stitch Scarf

Source

Zoomed In On a "Shaggy" Scarf

Here you can see how "shaggy" type yarn works up in garter stitch. It makes a thick and opaque fabric that is especially nice on very cold days. With this type yarn, the stitches cannot be seen at all. This is one of my favorite scarves, but it is really too long for me -- I'm pretty short. So I have passed it on to my daughter who is 4 or 5 inches taller than me.

Pay attention to the growing length when knitting scarves. With this one, I was watching a movie, and kept on knitting until I ran out of yarn. Opps! My finished product was a really, really long scarf. A downside to this type yarn is that it is difficult to take out stitches, so this one remains too long for shorties like me.

Shaggy Garter Stitch Scarf

My Daughter, Modeling Her "New" Shaggy Scarf
My Daughter, Modeling Her "New" Shaggy Scarf | Source

Garter Stitch Border

Close-up of the Afghan Border Replacing Stockinette Stitch with Garter
Close-up of the Afghan Border Replacing Stockinette Stitch with Garter | Source

Variegated Garter Stitch Afghan with Fringe

Either a Varigated Yarn or a Dark Color Will Disguise the Plain Pattern of This Stitch
Either a Varigated Yarn or a Dark Color Will Disguise the Plain Pattern of This Stitch | Source

Ruffled Garter Stitch Scarf

The Scarf Pattern From the Intro Photo, Knitted on Larger (Size 11) Needles, and With A Shorter Ruffle
The Scarf Pattern From the Intro Photo, Knitted on Larger (Size 11) Needles, and With A Shorter Ruffle | Source

A Poll About Knitting Stitches

What is your favorite knitting stitch pattern?

See results

Are you a knitter, or do you do other types of needlework? Please share your thoughts / experiences on various stitches with all of us knitters, cross-stitchers, and needlepointers. And, thank you for visiting.

© 2013 MariaMontgomery

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    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @changrcoacher: That's the main reason I love garter stitch -- it flows so well and so quickly. I never thought about it being a bit like meditation, but I believe you are right. It is like that. Thank you for the squid like, and for such a nice comment.

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      changrcoacher 3 years ago

      Yes..garter stitch! I made 3 Infinity scarves last fall. I love cables but I have to concentrate so it's work, whereas garter flows, Almost like meditation. Beautiful scarves you created, thank you.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
      Author

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @lesliesinclair: Thank you, and thanks, too, for the squidlike. You have some nice lenses, too.

    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 4 years ago

      i can knit and the last time I did so I used garter stitch. It is such fun and easy and something about the way it feels pleases me. Nice ideas here.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
      Author

      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @ScentsWithBling: Yes, it is! Glad you enjoyed this lens. See you around Squidoo.

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      ScentsWithBling 4 years ago

      I love the garter stitch, like you, I hardly have to look at my work when I do it. I craft A LOT for charity so quick is always good!

    • kimberlyschimmel profile image

      Kimberly Schimmel, MLS 4 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      I love garter stitch because it is so easy to design modular items. Elizabeth Zimmerman did amazing things with just garter stitch, too.