Last Updated on December 23, 2023
For many beginner knitters, the excitement of creating their first knitted piece can quickly become confusing when attempting to achieve the coveted V stitch design.
Often, the culprit behind this confusion is the mix-up between two fundamental knitting stitches: Garter Stitch and Stockinette Stitch (or Stocking Stitch).
- Know the difference between Garter Stitch (too much knitting) and Stockinette Stitch (a mix of knit and purl).
- Mix knit and purl stitches in your rows to achieve the classic V-shaped look.
- If your knitting looks like purl when you want a V, throw some purl stitches between the knits.
- Alternate between knitting and purling to create the timeless V-stitch pattern.
- Keep it simple and enjoy creating the traditional V-shaped charm in your knitted projects.
Additional Resources – Knit Vs. Purl Stitch
Here, we’ll unravel the mystery behind these stitches and guide you on how to achieve the traditional V stitch design.
Garter Stitch vs. Stockinette Stitch
Garter Stitch consists of all knit rows, creating a textured fabric, while Stockinette Stitch alternates between knit and purl rows, producing a smooth fabric with the classic V-shaped knit stitch pattern.
Is garter stitch same as stockinette?
No, Garter Stitch is not the same as Stockinette Stitch. They are two distinct knitting stitches that result in different textures and appearances.
Suppose you’ve been diligently knitting rows, repeatedly working the knit stitch, only to find that your fabric looks more like purl stitches than the classic V-shaped ones. This common mistake is known as Garter Stitch.
Garter Stitch occurs when you knit a row and then knit another row, repeating the knit stitch without introducing the purl stitch. The result is a fabric that resembles the purl stitch, lacking the distinctive V-shaped pattern associated with traditional knitting.
- In Garter Stitch, every row is knitted.
- This creates a fabric with a textured pattern that looks the same on both sides.
- The result is a series of horizontal ridges or bumps, and it does not have the classic V-shaped pattern associated with traditional knitting.
To achieve the traditional V-shaped knit stitch design, you need to break the cycle of continuous knitting. Instead, alternate between knit and purl stitches to create Stockinette Stitch.
- In Stockinette Stitch, you alternate between knitting one row and purling the next.
- This creates a smooth and flat fabric on one side (the “right” side) with a V-shaped pattern of knit stitches, while the other side (the “wrong” side) appears as a series of purl bumps.
- Stockinette Stitch is often used to achieve the traditional V-shaped knit stitch design.
Here’s the process:
- Knit a Row: Start by knitting a row just as you normally would.
- Purl a Row: On the way back, switch to the purl stitch, creating a row of purl stitches.
- Repeat: Continue alternating between knit and purl rows—knit a row, purl a row, knit a row, purl a row, and so on.
By following this alternating pattern, you’ll create the Stockinette Stitch, which results in the classic V-shaped knit stitch design. The key is to break the monotony of knitting-only rows and introduce the purl stitch to achieve the desired texture.
So we can say that Garter Stitch involves only knit stitches on every row, resulting in a bumpy texture, while Stockinette Stitch alternates between knit and purl rows to create a smoother fabric with the desired V-shaped pattern.
Additional Resources – How to Purl Stitch Knitting
Is garter stitch tighter than stocking stitch?
Yes, garter stitch is tighter than stocking stitch. Knitting every row in a garter stitch creates a wider, less elastic, and denser fabric compared to a stocking stitch, where you alternate between knit and purl rows.
If you want a tighter feel, go for a garter stitch; if you prefer a more elastic texture, opt for a stocking stitch.
Can I substitute garter stitch for stocking stitch?
Yes, you can substitute garter stitch for stocking stitch in a knitting pattern. However, it’s important to be mindful of the differences in size. If a pattern initially calls for a stocking stitch (alternating knit and purl rows), switching to a garter stitch (knitting every row) will result in a wider and slightly thicker fabric.
The garter stitch requires more rows to achieve the same height as the stocking stitch because the stocking stitch is taller and slightly thinner. Therefore, when substituting stitches, be prepared to adjust the number of rows accordingly to maintain the desired dimensions of the finished piece.
Is garter stitch shorter than stockinette?
Yes, garter stitch is shorter than stockinette. The width difference between the two stitches is minimal (only 2%), which can be overlooked. However, concerning stitch height, the garter stitch is 30% smaller than the stockinette. This means that in terms of vertical measurement, garter stitch will be noticeably shorter than stockinette.
Additional Resources – http://www.oddknit.com/design/tension/design.html
Understanding the distinction between Garter Stitch and Stockinette Stitch is crucial for beginner knitters striving to create the traditional V-shaped knit stitch design. While the Garter Stitch may resemble purl stitches due to continuous knitting, the Stockinette Stitch offers the desired V-shaped pattern when knit and purl stitches are alternated.
So, if you find your knitting resembling purl stitches instead of the classic V, remember to break the knitting monotony by introducing purl stitches on alternate rows.
This simple adjustment will unlock the secret to achieving the timeless V stitch design in your knitting projects.
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