Like many knitters, when I first learned to knit, I started with a garter stitch scarf. By the time I finished, I’d learned cast on, knit stitch, and casting (or binding) off.  As I recall it was a long scarf, so I had lots of practice on my knit stitches.

The scarf was made of a single color. I didn’t try anything fancy. Was just happy to be using two wooden needles, size 11, instead of the spool knitting I’d done previously. At the time I thought spool knitting boring, and for children. It seemed as though there were only a limited number of things like placemats or hot pads to make with it. And after all, I was in elementary school, so knitting with two needles was very grown-up!

Since then I’ve learned a few things about knitting garter stitch with color. And like most knitters I have definite preferences as to what I like! 😉

So what patterns arise when you use simple techniques to add color to your garter stitch?

  • Stripes, or
  • A mosaic, or even
  • A pattern you won’t know until you finish your knitting.

When making stripes I tend to be an orderly kind of knitter. My preference is usually to change colors on the same side, which ends up being the right side most often. Carrying one color only across, and then changing colors on the same side. This gives you sharp stripes. This picture shows colors alternated every 2 rows:

Garter stitch stripes "right" side

Garter stitch stripes "right" side

And the other side, usually the wrong side is more blended:


Garter stitch stripes, "wrong" side

If changing colors on both sides of the article, you’ll get a blend of the two.

There is another technique called mosaic knitting. Here, you change the colors at the beginning of a row like stripes, slip some stitches, and still carry only one color across at a time. It gives some lovely color patterns, on both sides:

Two color mosaic garter stitch odd rows

Two color mosaic garter stitch odd rows

Two color mosaic garter even rows

Two color mosaic garter even rows

Here’s a nice online description of knitting instructions for mosaic garter stitch.

I must admit, however, that one of my favorite ways to add color to garter stitch is easier than either of these.


Garter stitch with variegated yarn

Use a variegated yarn! Especially if you like the randomness, and being surprised at the outcome which may look like stripes or Intarsia, or even something else.

If you like garter stitch, and want to try a small project, why not a kitchen set? Here’s the link on how you can get knitting instructions for my Ripple Garter Stitch Kitchen Set.



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