Garter Stitch Pattern
Any knitted fabric consists of stitches formed in a particular manner. There are two main types of stitches: knits and purls. They differ by the method the loop is formed.
Both knits and purls also have a few knitting techniques. Generally, each technique is traditionally used in certain regions. Nowadays, knitting is an international hobby so you can easily get to know any technique and choose the ones you find most handy. The only thing to know is that chosen techniques should be applied in pairs for knits and purls during circular knitting. Otherwise, if you make knits in one technique and purls in another, you can get crossed stitches. Fig. 1 shows one of the methods of forming knits and Fig. 2 shows one for purls.
If you use knits on both the front and back of an article, you will obtain the weave which is usually referred to as “garter stitch pattern” (see Fig. 3)
The same weave will be formed when purls only are used. But knits are considered to be easier and faster to knit than purls, so reverse garter stitch pattern is used less frequently.
The above said refers to back-and forth knitting; circular knitting will not provide garter stitch pattern this way. In order to obtain garter stitch pattern by circular knitting, you have to alternate knits and purls row by row.
Garter stitch pattern is deservedly loved by many knitters. It is easy to knit and has a prominent relief, the fabric keeps its shape well and is denser than that made in stockinette stitch pattern. It looks very nice with thick yarn.
Garter stitch pattern is often used for making trimming elements of garments such as collars, double bands for buttons or cuffs.
Start studying knitted weaves with garter stitch pattern as it will help you master the technique for making knits. And if you want to improve your skills, knit a swatch or a small article using reverse garter stitch pattern. This way you will see which type of stitches is more convenient and faster to knit for you. You will also see whether there is any difference in fabric knitted using different types of stitches. The texture of the stitch pattern will be the same but knits and purls are usually knitted with different density so one of the fabrics will be denser (as a rule, it is the one made of knits).
Have a nice trip to the world of knitting.
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