Reverse garter stitch looks like garter stitch.


Instead of knitting every stitch, every stitch is purled.

So, when do you use reverse garter stitch?

When you’re:

  • Making a garter stitch border, and need to start it with a purl row …
  • Practicing your purl stitches, or …
  • Teaching someone how to make reverse garter stitch.

Honestly, I rarely use it.

For me, the knitting stitch is more natural.  I can do it almost without thinking about it.  Purling, however, takes more concentration.  And after a few rows of reverse garter, I long to throw in a few knitted stitches.

Which is why, if you look closely, you’ll see how small the actual sample of reverse garter I knit for this post really is …


Only 10 stitches wide, and 10 ribs high (not including the cast on and bind off).  And yes, I knit the first row and cast off with knit stitches.  I can cast off with purl stitches, and didn’t feel a need to practice those.

For the cast on method I used knitting the first row is much faster (and easier).  So that’s what I did.

Just like garter stitch, reverse garter lies flat, and is thicker than stockinette.  Its uses are the same as garter stitch. Assuming of course you  have the patience — and the inclination — to purl multiple rows.  A scarf would make one a purling expert quickly, and possibly tire of it quickly, too.

And yes, I’m one of those knitters who goes out of her way to avoid reverse garter stitch.  If I can, I’ll substitute garter stitch, or alter the pattern.  Patterns like gauges, are after all, only a suggestion—



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