Garter Stitch perceptions

I remember when I was first starting to knit and I would do rows and rows of the knit stitch, resulting in garter bands. At the time, I found purling to be incredibly difficult and knitting was all I could manage. Heck, even that was very difficult! Let’s just say, that when it came to knitting, I was not a natural.

On one hand, the garter stitch was the most amazing thing to me because of the fact that I created it out of thin air. I was a magician with my two needles and yarn. On the other hand, I found garter stitch to be ugly and unflattering. All I wanted to do was make stockinette stitch, with its beautiful Vs and smooth surface. As far as I was concerned, until I could do stockinette, I would not be a real knitter. The garter stitch would tell everyone I was a beginner.

Once I got purling down, I was well on my way to knitting stockinette stitch, then ribbing, lace, etc. For a long time, I tried to stay away from patterns that involved using large amounts of garter stitch as I still considered it the “beginner” stitch and nothing more. I wanted to be an advanced knitter and garter stitch would just not do.

And then I went onto shawls and the idea of purling 200 to 400 stitches left something to be desired! I all of a sudden fell back in love with garter stitch and the ease of knitting every row. Instead of thinking garter stitch was bulky, bumpy, and ugly, I loved the result, especially on fingering weight yarns. Was it the yarn, the pattern, or was it me? Was I finally ready to give garter stitch the attention and spotlight it deserved?

It is amazing how our perceptions change over time. I am now once again in love with garter stitch and the beautiful bumps. I no longer look at it as being only for beginners but a powerful tool in my knitting bag.

I wonder if other knitters go through the same mind set when it comes to garter stitch or other stitches?

The photo for this project is the Lilly Cardigan.
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