Get Your Knit On With These Seven Garter Stitch Projects (That Aren’t Scarves)

Be honest: you’ve always wanted to learn to knit. Maybe you’ve already started! Maybe you have the first three rows of a scarf in the back of your closet underneath a box of cat toys. In my experience, part of the reason that initial knitting attempts stall out (or never get started) is that we don’t have enough achievable motivation. Knitting a multicolored lace shawl is awesome, but takes a lot of experience and isn’t really feasible for one of your first projects. On the other hand, some of the stuff that is feasible is really unsatisfying: when you’ve been knitting for three days and only have a couple inches of your boring garter stitch scarf, it can be hard to find the strength to go on.

To remedy this situation, this post contains a few things. First of all, here’s a video explanation of how to get started. It’s going to show you how to purl at the end (as opposed to just casting on and knitting), but you don’t need to pay attention to that unless you want to; all the patterns in this post use a garter stitch!

Got it? Good. Practice as much as you need! Then you can get started working on these easy, diverse projects that all rely on the simple garter stitch.

Cup Cozy (heart is optional!)

cup cozy

copyright Rachel Moore

Infinity Cowl

infinity cowl

credit Cozy Cape Cottage

Easy Baby Blanket

credit purlsoho

credit purlsoho

My Kind of Town Cowl

copyright Trish Woodson

copyright Trish Woodson


copyright Wendy Easton

copyright Wendy Easton

Fingerless Mittens

copyright Kellery

copyright Kellery

Woodland Cowl


If you’ve watched the video above, then you really truly know everything you need to know to try making all this stuff. The only other thing to keep in mind is how to finish off a piece of knitting once you’re done with it. For that, may I direct you here:

What are you gonna make? How warm are you gonna be when winter comes back (and/or right now, Australians)? Happy knitting!

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Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. this makes my queer knitter’s heart happy. the woodland cowl looks like something i want to try.

  2. “The Knitting Experience, Book 1: The Knit Stitch” by Sally Melville is a great introduction to knitting. All the projects are in garter stitch and are really very cool & clever, garments you’d actually want to wear. Yes, GARMENTS! not just accessories, as nice as these are.

  3. Oh my goodness please have more of this! My grandma taught me to knit when I was 14, and 13 years I’m still pretty bad at it (consistency would’ve helped). I’m making a baby blanket right now and it’s the easiest pattern my grandma had (same pattern as the blanket she made me as a baby!), and it’s still harder than the one here – it has knit/purl and knitted ends and a color pattern on each side and I’m effing it uppppppppp. But darn it that baby is gonna get a blanket. Stupid babies, why do they need blankets? Can’t they just buy the kid a snuggie or something?

  4. I tried to learn how to knit for years before I actually finished a project, mostly because I was scared and kept choosing really easy (boring) projects. It is important to pick something you are actually excited about, or it will for sure sit in the back of your closet forever. And there are lots of really cute things you can make that are easy, as evidenced by the projects in this post! Even this rather impressive-looking cowl uses only garter stitch.

    • AND spring for good quality yarn, not cheap crap. AND I’ve finally discovered that having the right needles *for me* makes a huge difference. Some people prefer straights (erm…) that they can tuck into an armpit, some of us use circulars for everything. I think double points are the invention of the devil, but have friends who swear by instead of at them. My BF uses bamboo circs that slow me waaaaaay down, while I like pointy tipped nickel plated circs with a flexible cable. Another friend wants blunt tips and a stiff cable. So the thing of it is to sit down with knitterly friends and try out their needles to figure out what works for YOU!

      Come to think of it, all the previous adds up to you should join/form a knitting group. My group has Show & Tell wherein we all admire each other’s work, problem-solve, group frogging (“rip it, rip it” – get it?,)the occasional group project, and every July we have the ritual burning of the impossible pattern & project. Oh and field trips!

  5. Every October I dig out my needles and yarn stuff and re-learn how to knit. This concept of knitting in summer has completely blown my mind!

    Comin’ up…one cup cosy (don’t want to get too ambitious..)

  6. I may have misread the title because I was expecting seven different knitted garters and/or suspender belts

  7. I have avoided knitting loads because due to woodworking and ceramics and other hard material based craft my busted fingers usually snag the wool up…plus I don’t know my own strength and by the third row the tension is so high I can’t shift the stitches down the needle. These projects are super inspiring, totally taking my knitting on our camper van road trip this summer. Hoping to have achieved some sort of cowl/fingerless gloves by September.

  8. That woodland cowl is so cute that I’m stopping at the teeny tiny local fabric store tomorrow. I want to make it over the summer so I can bust it out the instant the leaves start turning.

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