Friday, October 22, 2010

Three cheers for garter stitch

I'm off shortly for some needlework festing at one of the local conference centres, but before I go I want to crow a bit about finally finishing my first and probably not last Baby Surprise Jacket:

There are so many collar options for a BSJ, including a hood, but I decided to do a simple collar that would stand up in the back - this baby won't be sitting up much till after she's outgrown it and a roll there might be uncomfy - and curl down in front, so as not to get in the way of her chin. To achieve that I worked the front ends of the collar I picked up stitches for with an increasing amount of stocking stitch until only the center back was garter, and then I cast off.

It was so fun to make this, finally - and in spite of all my worries about the scratch factor, the Cascade 220 Superwash came out from its Soaking very very soft indeed. The B-in-BSJ's mum picked out the colours and I think they are smashing together, especially with buttons in the most perfectly matched red.

I got the buttons in a Mennonite charity shop on one of last summer's happiest day trip last summer, ha. I love stuffing bonus good feelings into gifts, don't you? Like sneaking spinach into double chocolate cookies, only prettier.

Of course, I finished off the BSJ at the expense of the latest project that has taken my fancy, and yesterday when I still wanted to be working on said project, I was dutiful and edited patterns instead. And got another ready to take to the show today, because no matter how badly I want to work on it, there is no pretending that a 6-mile-wide scarf thing worked in two colours that keep wrapping around each other the moment they're off the ball is going to be portable.

Consequently I have not gotten nearly so far on Like Clockwork as I'd hoped.

Beautiful though, isn't it? Really I need to be calling this project Winter Warmer. I'm not much of a girl for a beer, but I lived in London lo these many years ago and became completely besotted with Winter Warmer, a seasonal variety sold only in one particular chain of pubs that made me welcome the beginning and end of the year. Seeing Clockwork there in red and Ember with its garter froth and the maple keys scattered around, as tea leaves warning me of the cold that's coming, WW just seems logical.

Another thing I'm noticing from these three pictures is that I've been doing a fair bit of garter stitch lately. In fact I think the garter is what drew me to Clockwork in the first place, now that the Carrot is done and the BSJ too. Garter stitch has such wonderful non-curling properties, and the squish of it when knit in a soft yarn is very pleasant.

To say nothing of all those little wavy ridges: they have a real dignity about them. As we draw to the end of the first week I've been able to wear the Carrot I can tell you that it's almost never off me, and that element of the garter stitch is one of my favourite things about it. (that and the colour. It's just the most fantastic thing in my wardrobe right now.)

The hat that's packed up in today's bag has not a bit of garter stitch (yet), because it's a second cloche design for chemo-related knitting. I can't help thinking an alternating layer of purl rows would be a bit abrasive against bare skin, especially on one's head, no matter how soft the yarn. (But if I can figure out a way to slip some in there, it's so on.)

On the upside, I can knit quite a bit of this pattern while walking around blinking at gorgeous displays of yarn and so forth. So there's a good chance I can get it polished off by bedtime - or bedtime Saturday, anyway.

And then it's all garter all the time because I cannot wait to be able to wrap up my shoulders in the two fantastic yarns I'm using for the Warmer.

1 comment:

heklica said...

Yay for the BSJ! And Like Clockwork looks intriguing, the colours are just perfect! Looking forward to seeing it grow :)