My Garter Stitch Conundrum

Okay, allow me to say that this is a very humbling moment for me.

I’ve been knitting for a couple of years and have made lots of relatively simple projects that came out well. I’d call myself an advanced beginner.

Recently, I took on a project that should not have been a challenge to anything but my attention-span. Or so I thought. This project, a basket weave preemie blanket (for the preemie blanket project on this very site) seemed relatively basic. Garter stitch border, checkerboards of knit 5/ purl 5 for the basket weave itself.

My vow is that this project should be completed with as a great a degree of perfection as possible. This is not for me. This is for someone who is a very, very upset and stressed parent and their baby. So occasionally I am watching tv and going merrily along and I k where I should p or vice versa. No problem. I just tink back (I’m a heck of a tinker, what with all the practice) and reknit. Once or twice I dropped a stitch. Nooooo problem! I just grabbed my trusty crochet hook and picked it up all nice and neat perfectly matching the RS and WS for that little checker. Twisted stitch? Nooooo problem. That was the first mistake I ever learned to fix.

With unfortunate frequency, however I have zoned out and when my brain is on autopilot, it sometimes mistakes my bumpy garter stitch border for purls. Sometimes it doesn’t even realize it’s done this for quite some time as reverse stockinette looks comfortingly like garter but nevertheless, multiple rows of nasty little v’s have invaded my border. And being stockinette, making one row of it inevitably leads to another row of it even if you do the next row correctly by remembering to knit. (For the record, I do garter stitch in all knit).

Now here’s the crux of the problem:
I am failing utterly to rip out small sections of accidental stockinette and to replace it with garter stitch. My crochet hook is incapable of fixing garter stitch. All it can do is create more durn stockinette no matter which side of the piece I come from. Clearly I am doing something wrong. Is it not, in fact, possible (surely it’s possible!!) to fix errors in garter stitch?? Is it because I’m on the edge of the work?

Please, help me if anyone can. Or at least let me know if it is impossible to correct errors in garter stitch so that I stop fruitlessly trying to make it happen before eventually giving in and frogging entire rows of 70 some-odd stitches just to fix the first grinds teeth FIVE in the row :frog: .

I hate to create a new topic for this spamminess, but I have had no luck searching the KSOS site, the KSOS cd, Google, my books… you name it. Apparently I am the first person silly enough to futz up garter stitch by turning it into stockinette. Le sigh.

It IS possible to fix garter stitch, so don’t give up. The trick that you have to alternate the direction you insert your crochet hook on each row. So if you start on a knit row, inset the hook from front to back to make the desired V. Now for the next (purl) row, inset the hook from back to front. This will put the V on the back and the bump on the front where you want it. (It has been a long time since I did this, so that sequence may be backwards, you will have to play around with it.)

Alternatively if you have DPNS of the same size, you could try dropping all five stitches you need to fix at once, unravel them down to good work, insert a DPN and knit them back up correctly. Give that you are right on the edge of the blanket I am not sure how well this would work, but to get that very edge stitch corrected it might be easier (I know I have a terrible time fixing edge stitch mistakes by crochet hook.)

Hope that helps. Good luck and happy knitting. :XX:


The DPNS thing. Genius! I bet that would work! Thanks so much!

You’re welcome. :smiley:

Treeling, I often need a big reminder that the stitchwork needs to change in a particular spot, like for an edge, something that says “HELLOoooo, I’m a different stitch pattern here,” so I would use round stitch markers to demarcate the edging. That usually wakes up my brain enough to pay more attention. :slight_smile: