Reverse garter stitch looks like garter stitch.
Instead of knitting every stitch, every stitch is purled.
So, when do you use reverse garter stitch?
- 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—