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Topic: Did I just make a Garter Stitch?!  (Read 1013 times)
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papa justify
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« on: December 08, 2009 09:09:10 AM »

I just learned to knit at the end of last school year and I've just finished my first piece that was bigger than a potholder.

Now in reading about how to do more complicated stitches, I'm confused as to whether what I just finished is a Garter stitch...

I have only really done knit stitches. I did the whole scarf, 28 stitches across, knitting each stitch. I thought it would just be called a knitted scarf but some of the very confusing definitions for Garter stitches said that if something is done with each stitch knitted row after row it's a Garter stitch.

Can anyone direct me to a clear definition of the Garter stitch? I want to know which is which!
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SassyRedhead
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2009 10:37:13 AM »

yup, if you knit every stitch, every row, it is garter. If you knit one row, purl the next, knit, purl, kit, purl, etc. then it is stockinette. So, garter has bumps on both sides, stockinette has bumps one side, V's on the other (and it curls some rather than lying flat.

Once you learn knitting and purling, you will be able to do pretty stitch patters like seed stitch and basketweave that  look very complicated, but aren't.
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"Our whole American way of life is a great war of ideas, and librarians are the arms dealers selling weapons to both sides."
James Quinn
papa justify
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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2009 11:13:36 AM »

Thanks so much for the reply!

That also means (awesome!) that my best friend is doing a stockinette stitch on what she's doing and that's why it might be curling on the sides.

Excitement!!!
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SassyRedhead
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2009 11:18:28 AM »

No problem!

If your friend wants to make a stockinette scarf, it's usually best to knit some sort of border, garter or seed stitch, something that will help it not curl, or if she is using a blockable material (such as wool) blocking it can help (steaming it or getting it wet then pinning it and/or shaping it, when it dries, the fibers remember the shape you pinned it into) Stockinette curls because the V's of the knits are taller and skinnier than the bumps of the purls.
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"Our whole American way of life is a great war of ideas, and librarians are the arms dealers selling weapons to both sides."
James Quinn
papa justify
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2009 03:08:13 PM »

I read that if you're going to do cables you need to do garter stitches around the edges, do you just do the garter stitches and begin the stockinettes/cables in those cases?

Man, I'm a long-time crocheter and I've never blocked anything! I didn't even really do swatching either or consider it until I started doing baby afghans for my friends and knitting! Smiley
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soozeq
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2009 04:10:53 PM »

You can also purl every stitch on every row and get garter stitch too, but it's usually easier to knit them. This is because the back of a knit st is a purl and the back of a purl is a knit st.
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sue
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2009 06:42:54 PM »

You can also purl every stitch on every row and get garter stitch too, but it's usually easier to knit them. This is because the back of a knit st is a purl and the back of a purl is a knit st.

Man, this knitting jazz is crazy!
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soozeq
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2009 08:04:24 PM »

Yeah, but it's a lot of fun!!
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sue
cristinaisamazing
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2009 10:00:56 PM »

AND once you've mastered the knit and purl, there's pretty much NOTHING you can't do. :]
you're on top of the worldddd! well, maybe i shouldn't go that far, but you get my drift. ;]
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SassyRedhead
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2009 05:54:55 AM »

I just read Lily Chin's Knitting Tips book and found it to be by far the clearest instructions on the basics. I got it from the library, but may end up buying it as a quick reference.

With cables, purls usually surround the cables purely because it will make them stand out more, the purls lie flatter and the cables pop out 3D. It can be garter, but reverse stockinette makes them pop even more (purls on the Right Side with  the cables and knits on the Wrong Side that won't show.

You're right that it must sound confusing at first, but remember it's all just names and words that knitters made up so we could talk about what we're doing. Fancy names doesn't mean it's hard.  Wink

What I love about knitting is how step by step it is, you can begin a pair of mittens and not know how to do the thumb gusset, but there's enough videos and websites out there that when you get to it, you can do that little fiddly bit easily and move on. You rarely have to do 3 or 4 complicated things at once (until you begin needing to decrease in pattern etc and even then you just write it out long hand and breathe and take it step by step.)
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"Our whole American way of life is a great war of ideas, and librarians are the arms dealers selling weapons to both sides."
James Quinn
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