Messy Garter Stitch

I feel really stupid for posting this, because I know that garter stitch is supposed to be the thing that everybody masters first but I find knitting every row really slow and awkward and wonder what I might be doing wrong.

I have no problem with stockinette or ribbing but for some reason when I’m doing garter stitch the stitches always feel slightly twisted and even though I knit really slowly I keep splitting the yarn with my needle! :aww: I don’t use garter stitch very often but I just wish it looked neater.

Any tips??

Yarn splitting can be caused by the yarn type itself or needle type. It’s not always the way you knit. Is the yarn very loosely plied?

Are you twisting he stitches or knitting them correctly? Check the videos to make sure you’re doing it correctly.

Are you a tight or loose knitter?

I struggled with garter stitch for a long time myself. The overall pattern never looked regular and even, always a slight catch here or split there. For me, it just seemed to get better with practice. No majic solution there. Keep on taking time with each stitch.

I think I’m a tight knitter. I’ve never made a tension square but I only knit toys so I didn’t think it mattered too much.

You’re right, the yarn splitting only happens with certain yarns, and only when I’m going garter stitch. Any stockinette/ribbing/moss stitch that I do looks fine and is easy to knit. I’ve looked at videos and I can’t understand why I find garter stitch so slow and awkward! When I knit a row after purling it is fine!

Glad I’m not the only one!

Try loosening up your knitting and see if that helps, too. And Salmonmac is right…practice helps a lot. Once you develop a rhythm it should look smoother.

I’m going to be a name dropper here. I avoid Lion brand yarn because I have trouble with it splitting. Knitpicks’ Wool of the Andes is another bear. Best ones I’ve found for not splitting: Caron One Pound, Red Heart Supersaver, and anything with the Bernat name. I also like Paton’s.

One thing beginning knitters may not know is that you can also get garter stitch by purling every row. I know one knitter who does her garter this way.