Day 5 – Knitting the Garter Stitch Border

Day five, its time to jive! I hope casting on and joining in the round went flawlessly for all of you. My first time casting on, I had to cast on and and rip many times before I got it right. But someone really smart has said “… it’s better to have knit and ripped, than to have never knit at all”, so don’t lose heart if the same happened to you.

It’s better to have knit and ripped, than to have never knit at all.


After finishing Round 1 of the pattern, my knitting looks something like this

If you observe the picture on the right, you’ll see this is where we had joined the round because of which there is still some looseness here. We are going to tighten up this looseness now.

Garter Stitch Border

Round 2 of the pattern is a Knit round which means all stitches have to be knit. Knit stitch as you well know is inserting your right needle from the front to the back of the stitch on the left needle, looping the yarn around the inserted needle counter-clockwise and then pulling the yarn while forming a stitch on the right needle. When you begin Round 2, try to keep the last stitch of Round 1 and the first stitch of Round 2 as close as possible. While knitting the first stitch, hold and loop the yarn with some tightness. This will take away from the looseness of the first stitch of Round 1. I have knitted the first stitch and this is how it looks

After knitting the first stitch on Round 2

You will notice that the looseness of the first stitch has gone. Proceed to finish Round 2 which is all knit stitches and then finish off Round 3 as well, which is another round of all Purl stitches. Once you finish that, the first Garter stitch border of your cowl would be ready and hopefully it would look something like this

Garter stitch border complete

Finish your garter stitch border so that we can proceed to the lace sections. My favourite kind of knitting is lace knitting so I’m really looking forward to telling you all about it.

Now if you are knitting on straight needles, the pattern has to be turned at a 90 degrees angle, which means that instead of knitting the garter stitch border in one go (like it was done above), you will knit it on every row as you proceed with the project.

I had made a mistake in my post Day 3 – Decoding the Pattern in the pattern I had given for those knitting on straight needles. Please note the correct one below

Row 1: (P3) K11 (P5) K19 (P5) K11 (P3)

Row 2: Purl all stitches

The brackets in Row 1 indicate the Garter stitch borders in every row. When you purl all stitches in Row 2, it will form garter stitches within the brackets and stockinette stitches outside of it. I recommend that you use stitch markers or loops of yarn to mark where your brackets start and end so that you don’t end up making a mistake.

Once you are done with Row 1 and Row 2, all the remaining odd numbered rows (i.e. Row 3, 5, 7….till Row 209) will be knitted in the same pattern as Row 1. All the remaining even numbered rows (i.e. Row 4, 6, 8… till Row 210) will be knitted in the same pattern as Row 2. You can now proceed with finishing all your 210 rows and meet me straight for binding off. Remember to keep a note of the rows you are knitting so that you do not fall short or exceed the required number.

Please note that this pattern is only for those people who want to use straight needles and don’t want to use lace sections. Anyone who wants to use straight needles as well as lace sections needs to write to me directly.

Colour Variations

Now for those of you who don’t want to use lace sections, there are a few other variations I can think of to give variety to your cowls. One of them is knitting your cowl in more than one colour. For this you will need to have the same yarn in two or more different colours. Making a garment with different types or different weights of yarns is never a good idea and makes for an odd sort of fabric. So identify your coloured yarns and keep them aside.

On Day 6, I will tell you how to use different coloured yarns in both circular and straight knitting. Anyone knitting on straight needles who wants to bring some colour variation to their cowl may wait another day before starting with Row 1.

Happy knitting to all of you and see you on Day 6!


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