How to Knit a Garter Stitch for Beginners

The garter stitch is one of the first stitch patterns beginner knitters attempt when learning how to knit for the first time. It makes for a simple but beautiful stitch that lays flat and has a nice texture. Scroll on down to find a full written tutorial as well as a step-by-step photo tutorial on how to knit a garter stitch.

Garter Stitch in Knitting

Supplies Needed to Make a Garter Stitch

To be able to knit a garter stitch, you will need to have yarn, a knitting needle and scissors on hand. Learn more about each of these essential knitting tools below.


You can use any weight of yarn to make a garter stitch in knitting, from lightweight to super bulky yarn types. This example shows a five weight yarn, but you are welcome to use any type of yarn you may have when learning how to knit this stitch.

Knitting Needle

For this tutorial, I used a 10 mm sized knitting needle. The knitting needle size will vary depending on what yarn you decide to use. The recommended needle size can be round on the label of most yarns on the market.

Other Supplies

To complete this stitch tutorial, you will also want to have something to cut the yarn when you are done, such as a pair of stork scissors. They are not a necessity, but they are fun to have. My stock scissors are the designated yarn scissors in my house, which are only allowed to be used for my knit and crochet pattern creations.

Stitches used in the Garter Stitch

The garter stitch is continuous rows of the knit stitch, or in other words, all the rows of this pattern are made using the knit stitch. The knit stitch is an easy beginner stitch to learn and is the first stitch that most start with when learning how to knit for the very first time. Learn more about the Knit Stitch or (k) abbreviated below.

Knit Stitch (k)

  • Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle. Make sure it goes from left to right into the front of the stitch.
  • Take the yarn behind, bring it up and around the right needle clockwise.
  • Using the tip of the right needle, draw a loop of the working yarn through the stitch
  • Slip the stitch of the left needle. You have now created a stitch on the right needle.
  • The row is complete when all the stitches have been transferred off the left needle and onto the right needle.

Tip: Follow along with our step by step knit stitch tutorial (coming soon) for extra help before starting the garter stitch tutorial below.

Garter Stitch Pattern

Skill Level

  • Basic


  • Yarn
  • Knitting needle that corresponds to the yarn you have on hand
  • Scissors

Stitches & Abbreviations

  • k = knit stitch
  • st(s) = stitch(es)
  • rep = repeat


  • Tutorial is in standard US terms

Garter Stitch Tutorial

To Start: cast on any number of sts

Row 1: k

Row 2 to ?: rep row 1 until desired length.

Save to Knit later

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to knit a garter stitch! If you need any clarification, please feel free to contact me! Save this pattern to make later by using one of the images below to pin to Pinterest.

Common Questions about the Garter Stitch

How Can I tell how many rows of knit stitches I have made?

The garter stitch creates bumpy rows that have interlocking loops. Those bumps are caused by two rows of knitting, so each bumpy row counts as two rows of the knit stitch.

What Can I knit with the Garter Stitch?

Since the garter stitch creates a flat project, it is prefect to create knit scarves and knit blankets with.

More Free Knit Stitch Tutorials & Techniques

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