October 6, 2009

Garter Pattern from Godey's Lady's Book 1862

Civil War Reenactor Garter Pattern"A New Style of Garter"
       This knitting pattern was taken from a Godey's Lady's Book from the year 1861.  I was ecstatic to find it. No more tight non-period elastic bands holding up my socks! They look so feminine, knitted with a delicate tassel. I can't wait to knit these and I hope you enjoy.
    These garters make me think of Sarah Morgan, a southern girl during the Civil War. While visiting the army, the buggy she was in flipped over, crippling her for months. She reported of that day not only the embarrassment of being hurt but the embarrassment of losing a garter too: " My garter, a purple silk ribbon, lay in the center of the ring. By the respectful silence observed (by the onlooking soldiers), I saw they recognized its use, so, unwilling to leave such a relic behind, I asked aloud for my 'ribbon' where-upon Anna says the officers pinched each other and smiled."
Civil war Reenactor Garter Pattern         

I drew out my rendition of the garter (above) because the directions were not very clear. The directions should mention that you are using white and a color. I drew out where the colored parts should be, you could make the tassel colored or white.

I also drew a close up of what the loop at the beginning should look like on the needles.

Pattern: Cast on six stitches in colored worsted on fine steel needles. Knit forty-five rows plain knitting. Double this piece to form a loop; take up the stitches on one needle, making twelve stitches in all.
            Join the white worsted: knit one row plain, one row purl until you have six rows; then reverse the rows so as to make a rib he other way: six rows in each rib. Do this until you have thirty-three ribs.
            Join the colored worsted; knit one row plain, then narrow one stitch at the end of the row for two rows; then knit one row across plain, and repeat the last three rows until all the stitches are off.
            Make a short cord and tassel.


  1. To see the finished product please go to this updated post:


  2. What size knitting needles did you use?

  3. Awesome awesome awesome! I had to scrounge a little on the interwebs but finally found your pattern and information, SO glad! Like you I am also tired of elastic garters that for me barely fit my Highland dancer lumberjack sized calves! Thanks for posting!

    Now I do have a question- Would fingering weight or sock weight wool work, do you think?

  4. Thanks Ms. Jessie! I would use fingering weight or sport weight.

    If you want a simpler pattern than this, you can make 1 inch strips in garter knit about 19 inches long. It was popular for young girls to practice on simple garters.

    Glad I could help!


Tell me what you think!

Copyright © 2008-2020 Stephanie Ann Farra. All rights reserved.

All materials posted on this site are subject to copyrights owned by Stephanie Ann Farra. Any reproduction, retransmissions, or republication of all or part of any document found on this site is expressly prohibited, unless the author has explicitly granted its prior written consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or republish the material. All other rights reserved.