The terms stockinette stitch and garter stitch originated in the 1500s when sock knitting became an industry in England.  Garments were mostly made from woven cloth which lacks elasticity because its threads run horizontally and vertically, but a knitted fabric provides a lot of stretch and flexibility because of the loopy path the thread takes.
The "right side" of stockinette stitch
This stitch was used for the leg and fitted portion of the stocking, and garter stitch was used for the top of the stocking -- the garter -- where it needed to stretch to fit over the thigh.

If you knit every row your resulting fabric is called garter stitch which appears the same on both sides and is very stretchy.  If you knit one row, and purl one row, you get a smooth fabric on one side and a bumpy fabric on the other side, it's called stockinette stitch.  The smooth side is what people associate with the "right side" of knitting -- like in a t-shirt.
Garter stitch

If you knit circularly -- with double-pointed needles or a circular needle, you get a tube of knitting that doesn't require a seam.  This is a great advantage when producing socks or stockings.  When you add (increase), or subtract (decrease) stitches you are able to shape the sock or the garment to the body's curvatures.

Hand knitted footwear is luxurious.  Nothing feels as good on the feet as soft wool or alpaca socks custom made for the wearer.  If you can knit and purl, socks are the perfect next project.  They are small, portable and skill-building, and we have gorgeous sock yarns!

Sock class begins on March 5th at 6:30PM and meets for 3 consecutive weeks.
$65 includes your pattern.
Please call 773-244-1646, email or stop by to reserve your space.