What is the difference between stockinette stitch and garter stitch?

Q&A: What is the difference between stockinette stitch and garter stitch?

Knowing the difference between stockinette stitch and garter stitch can drastically change your creations. We’ve been there too, tangled in yarn and confused about which technique to use for a particular project.

This blog article provides clear comparisons between these two foundational knitting stitches in terms of their appearance, texture, construction and how you knit them. So let’s unravel this knot together; read on as we unlock the secrets behind these iconic knitting stitches.

Stockinette Stitch vs Garter Stitch

Stockinette stitch and garter stitch are two basic knitting stitches that create different textures and appearances in fabric.

Appearance and texture

In knitting patterns, the appearance and texture of a fabric can drastically change based on the stitch you choose. Let’s compare stockinette and garter stitches. Stockinette stitch has a smooth and flat texture with little “v” shapes forming tidy rows.

The right side showcases these v-shapes while the wrong side displays wavy lines from purling. Conversely, garter stitch is bumpy, stretchy, and reversible. Each ridge created in a garter stitch pattern consists of two rows, making it appear cushy on both sides as there are no distinct wrong or right sides like in stockinette stitch.

It provides more structure to your knitting project due to its dense fabric nature which lays flat without curling at the edges unlike stockinette stitches that tend to curl up at the ends if not properly edged or blocked.

Construction and knitting technique

When it comes to construction and knitting technique, there are notable differences between stockinette stitch and garter stitch. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Stockinette Stitch:
  • Created by knitting all stitches on the right side rows and purling all stitches on the wrong side rows.
  • Gives a smooth, sleek appearance with V – shaped stitches on one side and horizontal bumps (purl loops) on the other.
  • The fabric tends to curl at the edges, so adding a border or using ribbing can help prevent this.
  • It is stretchy and drapes well, making it ideal for garments like sweaters or scarves.
  1. Garter Stitch:
  • Created by knitting every row, whether on the right side or wrong side.
  • Gives a bumpy texture with ridges formed by the tops of knit stitches on both sides of the fabric.
  • The fabric lays flat and is reversible, meaning both sides look identical.
  • Due to its thickness and cushiony feel, garter stitch is often used for blankets or cozy accessories like hats.

Before you go…

The main difference between stockinette stitch and garter stitch lies in their appearance and texture. Stockinette stitch creates a smooth, flat fabric that tends to curl at the edges, while garter stitch produces a bumpy, stretchy fabric that lays flat and is reversible.

Both stitches have their own unique uses and characteristics, making them versatile options for various knitting projects.


1. How is stockinette stitch different from garter stitch?

Stockinette stitch is smooth and creates a fabric with rows of “V” shapes on the right side, while garter stitch has ridges and creates a fabric with rows of bumps on both sides.

2. Which one is easier for beginners to knit, stockinette or garter stitch?

Garter stitch is generally considered easier for beginners because it involves knitting every row, whereas stockinette stitch requires alternating between knitting and purling rows.

3. Can you explain the differences in appearance between stockinette and garter stitches?

Stockinette stitch has a more uniform appearance with smooth columns of stitches on the right side, while garter stitch has a textured look with visible ridges on both sides.

4. Are there any specific projects that are better suited for stockinette or garter stitch?

Both stitches can be used in various projects, but garter stitch is often preferred for items like scarves or blankets where you want more warmth and texture. Stockinette stitch is commonly used for garments like sweaters or socks where a smoother finish is desired.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.