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You are here: Home arrow Articles arrow Make your own arrow Knitting for the Nervous part 1 - Garter Stitch

Knitting for the Nervous Part 1 Garter Stitch

Written by Sally_in_Wales & Mochyn

Get to grips with your rusty knitting skills and make a useful Dishcloth. Swap the cotton yarn for a softer version and you could use this as a basic block for a patchwork blanket. All the other squares in this series of knitting exercises come out about the same size so you could piece them together to make a blanket, or just knit one longer to make a scarf.

Garter Stitch Dishcloth

Abbreviations: lhn left hand needle, rhn right hand needle

Supplies needed:

Yarn: Cotton DK (double knitting): I used Texere "Provence" in shade Light Spruce

Needles: 4mm

Cast on 50 sts. I use a two needle cast on as follows:

Make a loop on one needle. Holding that in the left hand (lhn) and the other needle in the right hand put the point of the right hand needle (rhn) through the front of the loop. Bring the yarn up round the rhn and pull through the first loop. Put this new stitch on to the lhn. The rhn now goes between these two stitches below the lhn. Bring the yarn round the rhn as before and bring through. Place this new stitch on the lhn. Continue like this until you have as many stitches as you need.


There are several other cast ons: this is just the one I prefer. For this project it doesn't matter which you use.

Row 1: Knit. It's just the same as you've been doing to cast on, except for going through the front of the lhn stitch instead of between stitches. Just like the first cast on stitch after the initial loop.


Row 2: Slip the first stitch from the lhn to the rhn. As easy as it sounds: just transfer the stitch from one needle to the other. It gives a very good edge: firm and tidy. Knit to the end of the row. Repeat row 2 until the cloth is a long as you want it. I did about 80 rows.

Cast off. This is how I usually cast off:

Slip the first stitch to the rhn. Knit the next stitch as usual and then pass the first stitch over it leaving one stitch on the rhn. Do this by putting the lhn into the first stitch on the rhn and bringing it over the second.

Continue like this until there's just one stitch left on the rhn. I've used this stitch as the base of the hanging loop.

Cut off the yarn leaving about 12" and work a crochet chain of 10 stitches. Pull the end through the first loop of the chain and fasten off. Sew the end into the knitting and do the same with the cast on edge.

If you don't want a hanging loop pull the cut off end of yarn through the last stitch and fasten off as above.


Holding the needles: The lhn I hold rather like a pencil, with the thumb and forefinger just behind the point and the rest of the hand above the needles, with the ring and little fingers maintaining a loose grip of the needle and some of the knitting. The rhn rests in the gap between thumb and forefinger with the yarn under the forefinger, over the middle, under the ring finger and over the little. This arrangement helps with yarn tension. The end of the rhn (if the needle is long enough) goes under my armpit.

There are many other ways of holding yarn and needles. The only right way is the one that works for you.