10 Things one should know about garter stitch

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Baby Boy Blanket

  1. The etimology of garter is jartier, which is a bend in the knee.  Maybe garter stitch looks like the bend of the knee and is thus called so?  Maybe it was used to knit garter belts?  Anyone?
  2. Garter stitch is easier to spell than stockinette stitch. Where did the ‘g’ go at the end of stocking?  Sloppy speaking evolution?
  3. It is knit both sides (or is it purled both sides?), which means that it is the easiest stitch pattern to knit (or purl) on straights.
  4. It lays flat because when you knit both sides, the curl made by the stockinette row on one side of the fabric is balanced by the curl of the stockinette row on the other side (or perhaps the reverse…) I refer to the ridges caused by this balanced curl ‘the sproing factor’
  5. Garter stitch is a good friend for stockinette scarves because it can surround it and make it lay flat.
  6. Though it is faster to knit garter stitch than it is to knit stockinette (this is assuming that you find either knitting or purling faster than the other) it takes nearly twice as much yarn and probably a longer amount of time (because of that due to reason number 3) depending on the deviation between your stockinette vs garter stitch knitting time.
  7. Fortunately, due to the sproing factor caused by the alternating knit/purl rows (which create warm air pockes that a flat fabric would not create), and the extra amount of yarn, garter stitch garments are warmer.
  8. Garter stitch is stretchy both ways, unlike stockinette which is more stretchy sideways than up and down.
  9. Garter stitch is square. which makes it great for satisfying the symetrical fabric side needs (like lace or those handy bias knit cotton wash cloths or mitered corners)
  10. Garter stitch selvedge is arguably easier to seamt than other fabrics such as stockinette (which is really getting punished in this post.  Sorry stockinette. Its because you are hard to spell)
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