Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Garter stitch binge

I seem to have been on something of a garter stitch knitting binge lately.
Those of you who know me and my knitting will be thinking 'Yes. So? What's new?' Well, what's new is that I think I've arrived at a point where I've so internalised the aesthetics of garter stitch knitting that I choose these patterns for their general appearance and only later realise that they're constructed using garter stitch. For me garter stitch knitting has a neat geometry - a plainness - that I find irresistible.

First there was my Terra shawl with its broken garter stitch base; then there was Aestlight with its garter stitch triangle and borders; and now I'm dividing my knitting time between a garter stitch scarf for a friend

[Stephen West's Clockwork in Lang Jawoll Magic and Biggan 4 ply Merino]

and a garter stitch jacket for the very new baby of a work colleague

Baby jacket
[DROPS Design b14-27 in Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury 4 ply - and it's really mauve, rather than the blue of this pic]

These last two projects are not only in garter stitch, they're garter stitch stripes - another of my passions. They're also a wonderful practical example of gauge variation to achieve different textures in the final fabric. I'm knitting the Clockwork scarf in fingering weight yarn on 3.75 needles, and the resulting fabric is nicely drapey, while being structured enough to retain the geometry of the stripes. The baby jacket is also from fingering weight yarn, but on 2.5 needles. The outcome will be quite a structured jacket (rather than a soft cardigan) where the shaping created through the stripes is a very neat feature.

All great garter stitch fun.


jp said...

I have been swatching for a cardigan for the last 24 hours. Gauge plays such an important part in drape and structure.

I do love both of these patterns. The shawl is looking fantastic.

knitabulous said...

If it weren't for you, I don't know if I would have the appreciation for garter stitch that I have now. I have to thank you for that.

Did you know Elizabeth Zimmerman has pre-orders open for a 'sweater' book based on garter stitch over at the schoolhouse press site? It says the idea was rejected by the publishers way back when, but she kept the draft and now they're publishing it. It sounds intriguing..

Anonymous said...

i really love garter stitch, i think we forget sometimes how its like a pattern all of its own. i love the feel of it too. it helps that its easy. you always make such lovely things with it, so i can see why you love it so much!

1funkyknitwit said...

Stripes, garter stitch with the only thing missing is shades of grey and then you have knitting perfection in my opinion... knitting really doesn't get more simpler or better !
I love it as it appeals to my lazy knitting side with fantastic results ;D

I love your Clockwork and the baby cardi is going to look so lovely in those colours, baby like but very modern.

Bells said...

you are really a garter stitch inspiration. I've not been able to get your Terra out of my head since you posted it. When we see so many patterns every day, it's lovely to think of the ones that stick in our memories and why that is. You've got a real eye for elegant, simple patterns Lyn!