The Garter Stitch: How-to and Free Patterns

The Garter Stitch: How-to and Free Patterns

Want to Learn a New Stitch?!

The garter stitch is a simple, repetitive pattern that can be used to create a wide variety of shapes. It is also extremely quick and easy to work. The garter stitch is a simple yet sophisticated pattern that is perfect for sweaters, scarves, and other accessories. This guide will teach you how to do it and show you some free patterns so you can start creating your own!

The garter stitch is one of those patterns that looks so easy at first glance but actually requires some careful planning before you get started. The stitch can be tricky to work with if you don't know what you're doing—but don't fear! We will walk you through every step of this pattern in detail, from its construction to its finished look.

Before you get started make sure to head over to the Knitpal storefront to grab some yarn and needles! This will be perfect to practice your new skill on. Once you feel confident with the new stitch you can also pick out some yarn and needles to create a new project with one of the Free Patterns listed at the end!

How Do You Do the Garter Stitch?

First off, let's talk about how to get started with the garter stitch. The garter stitch is made by alternating rows of knit and purl stitches. 

When you are knitting a knit stitch you will also be creating a purl stitch on the flip side of the project. Therefore, the distinctive knit stitch's two faces are what give garter stitch its flat knitting's alternating knit/purl pattern.

To start the stitch cast on any number of stitches that you prefer. 

First Row: Will be all knit stitches until you have reached your desired length 

Knit Stitch

  • Step 1: Hold work with yarn in the back. Start by inserting the right needle in the front of the first stitch. Inserting on the left of the stitch and going through. The right needle will now be under the left needle.
  • Step 2: Wrap yarn from the back to the front around the needle. Yarn will now be resting between the two needles. 
  • Step 3: Bring the point of the right needle forward and through the stitch by sliding the needle down, bringing the yarn with it. 
  • Step 4: Remove the previous stitch from the left needle.

Repeating these steps until the end of the row. 


Second Row: Will be all purl stitches

 Purl Stitch 

  • Step 1: Make sure the working yarn is on the front side of the right needle. 
  • Step 2: Insert the right needle from top to bottom on the stitch on the left needle. 
  • Step 3: From front to back wrap the working yarn around the right needle.
  • Step 4: Create a loop by wrapping yarn all the way around the needle.  
  • Step 5: Pull the loop through the stitch on the left needle and underneath it.
  • Step 6: Insert the right needle through the loop and push all the way through. 
  • Step 7: Remove the stitch from the left needle. 

Repeating these steps until the end of the row 

Continue alternating between the first and second rows until the end of the project or the desired length is reached. 

Still confused on how to do the garter stitch? Check out this detailed video by B. Hooked Crochet. LINK

Abbreviations/ Glossary 

G-stitch – garter stitch  

p – purl stitch

K – knit stitch


Free Garter Stitch Patterns 

Here are some fantastic garter stitch patterns to get you started! Find one you like and get knitting.

How to Garter Stitch | Knitting | Garter Stitch Free Patterns

Garter Stitch Scarf Pattern is a perfect basic scarf that will keep you warm and cozy during the cold season. Pattern by Knitting Naturally. Uses a size 6.0 mm single pointed knitting needles. The finished size is approximately 80 inches long and 8.5 inches wide. Garter Stitch Scarf Pattern 



How to Garter Stitch | Knitting | Garter Stitch Knit Blanket Free Patterns

Garter Stitch Knit Blanket is simple, and comfortable and offers a fair amount of visual texture. Pattern by Sip and Stitch. Uses a size 9.0 mm knitting needles. A tapestry needle and scissors are also required for this pattern. Garter Stitch Knit Blanket 





How to Garter Stitch | Knitting | Garter Stitch Shawl Free Patterns

Cecily Shawl is made using almost entirely the garter stitch and is a great way to practice a stitch. Pattern by Hooked Hazel. Uses a size 9.0 mm circular knitting needles. The finished size is approximately 62 inches across the top edge and 30 inches deep at the center point. Cecily Shawl 





How to Garter Stitch | Knitting | Garter Stitch Potholder Free Patterns

Garter Stitch Double Thick Potholder is beautifully textured and thick to help keep your hands cool while cooking. Pattern by Purl Soho. Uses a size 4.0 mm 16 inch circular knitting needles and 4.0 mm double pointed needles. The finished size is approximately 7 inches by 7 inches. Garter Stitch Double Thick Potholder 





How to Garter Stitch | Knitting | Garter Stitch Sweater Free Patterns

Simple Knit Sweater Is a simple beginner friendly sweater pattern that anyone can do. Pattern by Sewrella. Uses a size 12.0 mm knitting needles. Sizes available are from XS to XXXL. Simple Knit Sweater 






Get Ready to Garter Stitch! 

Now that you know a new stitch it is time to try it out! Head over to the Knitpal storefront to grab your supplies, find a free pattern that you like best, and get started. Happy knitting!


Casey Morris

Garter stitch is knit every row—the easiest stitch pattern in knitting. What you’ve described in this article is stockinette stitch. Your pictures are of garter stitch.

Casey Morris

Might want to rethink row 2.

Leave a comment