Thursday, 29 June 2017

Garter Stitch

I have a confession to make: I like Garter Stitch.

I really do, it's a wonderful and extremely under-appreciated stitch. I should probably stop here for a moment and confess that I actually like a lot of things that you're not supposed to like. Minivans for example, I quite like minivans; they get good mileage, have an amazing amount of space to put stuff or people in, and most can come with a tow package so you can take your (small) trailer camping. What's not to like?

But back to Garter Stitch and the reasons to like it. It's simple, you just knit every row so there's no thinking making it wonderful for watching TV or reading while you knit. It's wonderfully stretchy, OK that makes it a questionable choice for a sweater but not all projects are sweaters after all. It lies flat; what's not to like about a stitch that doesn't curl up on you? And because it lies flat it makes a terrific border for other stitches that do curl. Example:

Mitered squares are also cool. Of course, you can do them in Stockinette Stitch too but I like them in Garter Stitch.

Which brings us to another thing: it's square. Or at least it can be if you knit the same number of ridges to the number of stitches you cast on. Frankie Brown takes advantage of this feature with her Ten Stitch Blanket. I will forever stand in awe at the sheer genius of this design. Here's my version:

And, of course its the only stitch you need to know to make a Doctor Who scarf. A project so cool it has it's own website: Or maybe that just says something about how many nerds/geeks knit. Either way I'll take it.

Interestingly a search on Ravelry for "garter stitch" today got me only 2,717 patterns but 260,339 projects. Not at all sure what that says.

In a way its a shame how many new knitters just want to breeze past Garter Stitch. Yes, you should certainly know how to purl but one should not neglect or fail to appreciate the lowly Garter Stitch.

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