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Garter Stitch In The Round Without Purling

Blog » Tips and Tricks » Garter Stitch In The Round Without Purling

Garter Stitch In The Round Without Purling

Liat Gat - Founder

August 29, 2011

Who’s a cheater? I AM!! Here’s how I create lovely garter stitch IN THE ROUND…

Closeup of multicolor garter stitch in the round

…without purling! Not that I don’t love purling on Magic Loop, but when I’m speeding along, knitting in the round, the last thing I want to do is break my rhythm by having to switch to purling every other round. So I have a trick that I use.

Of course, I want you to be able to do this too! So here’s how to cheat and use wrapping-and-turning to turn every round garter stitch project into knitting-only:

ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode

This works even on Magic Loop, as I demonstrate in the video.

The secret is to do a wrap-and-turn on the first stitch of every round, then go back the other way, knitting, of course. This is also great practice for advancing your basic Magic Loop skills.

Prairie Boots by Shaggysun on Ravelry
Prairie Boots by Julie Weisenberger of CocoKnits

A great project to practice this on is CocoKnits’ Prairie Boots – they go SO much faster when you use this trick.

You can use Magic Loop to do this entire project, including the short rows around the base of the foot.

You can also add a suede sole to make them look nice and finished, more durable, and a lot less slippery.

In local news, Monday was a holiday and I (along with the rest of Mendoza, apparently) went to the park to stroll around before the sun went down. This is a huge park, with a soccer stadium, a lake, art and science museums, a zoo, and a darn good-sized mountain right in the middle.

The lake was shimmering with the reflections of lit-up trees, beginning to glow in the darkening light. I spied this young kid by the water’s edge, silently taking in the same beautiful view.

Kid standing by pond in the park in Mendoza

Young kid sitting by a bridge and its reflection in the lakeIt was a beautiful afternoon – warm and fresh out, with families rollerblading, or sitting and drinking mate (remember, pronounce it “MAH-tay”) on the grass.

Groups of people were playing soccer everywhere, and joggers and bikers circled the lake. I didn’t see much frisbee here – a friend says it’s considered a beach game, not as popular in this land-locked city.

As twilight came on, people made their way out of the park through the parking lots all around. Guys on motorcycles revved their engines, and I passed car after parked car with twenty-something Argentinian guys lounging coolly around the open trunks.

They were all blaring loud Cumbia and Reggaeton music and generally looking tough, watching other people pass, noticing and being noticed. It was the Dairy Queen and the In-N-Out hangout of Argentina, and very cute, in a teenage-testosterone-overload sort of way. :)

Two-at-a-Time Mittens Video E-Book Cover
Available NOW!

In video e-book news, I’m very excited because as we head towards somewhat cooler weather in the States, my Two-at-a-Time Mittens Video E-Book is finally ready!

I was busy adding more features that you had requested.

Now there’s an all-videos-included version so you can watch the videos without an Internet connection.

Check out the Two-at-a-Time Mittens E-Book Here

Read More of My Journey Through Argentina:

Other Knitting Tricks:

If you liked this tutorial on garter stitch in the round, post in the comments!

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19 thoughts on “Garter Stitch In The Round Without Purling”

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  1. Debbie Schuster

    Hi Liat! Your tricks are great! So I am doing sleeves on a raglan sweater in the round, the top part was back and forth. But, now I have an obvious mark where I switched knitting methods, UGH. Can I use your technique and do stockinette? I assume I do the wrap & turn at the underarm? Any suggestions would be appreciated! :-)

    1. Hi Debbie,

      First of all, thanks for being a newsletter subscriber! I hope you are learning a lot with my email tips.
      Sorry it took me a while to get back to you — I do my best to answer all comments.

      For the sleeves on your sweater, just to make sure I understand you right, you want to do the sleeves in Stockinette using this system so that they match the way it looked when you were knitting back and forth? My short answer is yes, I think you can. I would do the W&T at the underarm.

      But looking closer at the issue…

      The thing to focus on is why there’s an obvious mark where you switched knitting methods – I’m assuming the sweater is in Stockinette stitch and you purl a little bit looser than you knit, and that’s why you can tell the difference? Because there shouldn’t be any obvious mark. The long-term solution is definitely not to knit back-and-forth when you could be doing Stockinette in the round, which is one of the easiest and most fun ways to knit.

      I’d focus on troubleshooting why your back-and-forth Stockinette stitch looks different than your St st in the round. If it’s because you purl looser than you knit, why not try using a smaller-sized needle in your right hand when you purl? That will help tighten up the stitches until you get to a point where they come out the same size no matter what.

      If your purling is a little loose, check out my videos on tensioning your yarn while purling, in my Beginner Superstar course or my Continental Knitting course if you knit Continental.

      I hope this helps!

      Happy knitting,

      Liat Gat

  2. Dear Liat, me again. To continue on my question about knitting in the round on one circular needle, let’s say I have 80 stitches.
    Do I knit to then w&t stitch 80 ?
    When coming back the other way, do I w&t stitch 1 or stitch 80?
    Thanks again for taking on this question. I have not found it anywhere else.

    1. Hi Linda,
      I’m happy to answer your questions! Sorry that it sometimes takes me a long time. :(
      Each time you come to the BOR (beginning of round), wrap and turn and then work 80 stitches. You’ll be going back and forth all the way around the tube, knitting, and therefore creating the effect of garter stitch, but without having to purl.

  3. Hi. Great video. I tried the ‘no purl garter’ knitting in the round on 16inch needles, not with magic loop. As Katrine stated, I wound up with a very obvious ‘seam’. Could you demonstrate this technique on short circulars? I think I’m missing something because I didn’t have to flip. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Linda,

      This is a good point. I need to do a video about how to do a jogless color join – that’s basically the technique you would use to avoid a seam here, I should think. I’ve added the video to my list!

  4. Dear Liat. Thank you so much for your amazing video tutorials!
    They are the best I have ever found anywhere :) Really innovative knitting.
    I love this trick with garter stitches without purling in the round!
    But is there any way to avoid the “seam” that is created at the beginning of each round, where you do the wrap-and-turn?
    Just wondering , or maybe I am doing something wrong?
    Planning to make a sweater this way … :)

    1. Thanks, you are so sweet! About the seam, you could pick up and knit the wrap when you get to it, but since this is garter stitch, the wraps should be pretty much invisible. Are you getting a very obvious seam? I think mine wasn’t too bad…

  5. Liat I used your technique on how to knit the Garter Stitch In The Round Without Purling (on youtube) on the sleeve of my Tomten Jacket by knitting the seam as I knitted the sleeve in the round.The pattern didn’t call for a Ribbed cuff and if I hadn’t planned of adding it the wrap & turn would not have been a problem . Now I need to start the ribbed 2×2 cuff and I transferred my stitches onto dpn ,question is what do I do with the wrapped st now so I can work the ribbing?

  6. YAY!! thank you so much for such an awesome technique!! :) my purling in the round is a bit looser (especially in garter) so this has made my stitches sit nice and pretty :) thank you so very much for your time and effort to help the rest of us!! :) xoxo

  7. Thank you so much for making this video! I’ve been knitting forever (almost 40 years) but stuck to easy, straightforward knitting. DPNs mess me up royally, so until I recently found magic loop, I never knitted in the round. I’m finally knitting socks this year! Anyway, I really appreciate that you and others are willing to make videos to share with those of us who don’t know what we’re doing! Thank you again!!!

    1. Hi Susan –

      You are more than welcome! I’m so glad that Magic Loop could help you learn to knit in the round. :) I hope you get the opportunity to work on different types of projects now! I will definitely keep making videos for as long as they are helping students learn. :)

      Happy Knitting!

  8. Wow, interesting idea! Thanks for sharing your purling tricks here! And you’re right – it’s important to be consistent so your stitches don’t get twisted. Thanks for commenting! :)

  9. I knit continental for the most part as that is my first choice for knitting. I also noticed on your videos when knitting or purling, you wrap the yarn counter-clockwise around your right needle tip before pulling it back through the stitch on your left needle. I wrap mine clockwise for both knitting and purling. I have noticed that if I wrap one counter-clockwise, and the other clockwise, then I end up with a twisted stitch that is noticable on my next round/row. I guess if you wrap one way, you must be consistent to keep wrapping that way. BTW, I also purl off my left thumb — when bringing the yarn to the front, take it and loop it around your thumb from bottom to top and it goes back around your left index finger. Much less movement and easier to make the purl stitch. Just my experiences.

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