Monday, February 9, 2015

Knitting garter stitch

Garter stitch is the first thing you do as a new knitter, but boy, is it ever soothing later on.  Even late at night, sitting at a desk, when you're supposed to be banking sleep but can't resist getting a start on a new project.

I find this to be especially true when conducted on a small scale, in spite of a hard-to-see colour.  Yep, you are looking at 2.5mm needles and a cake of near-black sport weight yarn and so much happy.

(Digressing to say that knitting on small needles with black yarn reminds me of a story about my paternal nana, who - during the Depression - knit herself a black wool boucle skirt and jacket in fine weight yarn and was glad to do it because it passed the evenings with minimal expense.  I really wish I had known her.  Although I suspect the size of my colourful yarn stash would knock her right off her feet.)

This very peaceful knit is quite addictive and the start of my Yak Hat - or at least, the first Yak Hat, because there's a handspun version waiting to be born if I ever get around to plying the singles for it.  After a few rounds of garter on very these small needles for the brim, I added in a couple of green stripes.

I don't have much of this potentially Yak-scarf-matching yarn, but I thought that if I put it pretty close to my eyes, it would have the best chance of being visible - and if I framed it with the black yarn, if would have the best chance of looking like it does match, whether it does or not.

You know, when you're changing colours in circular knitting, you get a smoother shift from one round to the next if you slip the first stitch after the marker for that first new round.  I tried that, and I tried a different approach, and it turns out that with garter stitch you're better off just knitting the first stitch in the colour you mean to go on with.

Not to worry: I have a darning needle, and I can embroider black over that bit of green yarn sticking out above the slipped stitch attempt I did with the first stripe.  At 135 stitches per round I am not ripping anything back!

A lot of patterns I looked at for garter stitch hats used small needles for the band and bigger ones for the hat itself, but they didn't increase the number of stitches for the body and they ended up looking kinda like toques.  I am aiming for something that doesn't have to stretch around my head, so it will hold a more significant layer of heat between me and the cold hair outside the hat.

So: I did a round of simple increases that you can't even see because
a/it's garter stitch and
b/it's as near as can be to black yarn (it might be a very dark green: can't tell.)

Hope it doesn't get too boring to work on now that I've used up all the Yak-friendly green, but I think it won't, because soothing is such a good quality when you're this close to having to pack up and move, without actually having three square inches of space to pack from.

Thank you, black Yak Hat.

Sure hope you guys had something peaceful to do this weekend too, so you're all set for a great week now.  See you tomorrow!


Laurinda said...

I have a hat planned for an amazing sock yarn, but I haven't screwed up the courage to even swatch for it! I do have some giant knee socks in bulky yarn started, so those are soothing, anyway

Mary Keenan said...

You know what, I have long thought that a knee sock would be a great project, but I know it would take a really, really long time. Never thought of using bulky yarn to take care of that problem! It's a great idea and I would opt for just working on those too :^)