Archive for the ‘Garter Stitch’ Category

The week Nikolai spent on crutches is certainly not something I wish to repeat (especially the doctor’s bills), but the sedentary lifestyle we were forced to adopt was perfect for lots and lots and lots of knitting.

My aunt came into town for a visit the day Nikolai got his cast on, and while she entertained the boys, I entertained myself with her knitting!

My aunt had been slowly knitting and knitting and knitting on a seamless yoked sweater for her mom for over a year, and being the impetuous and impatient knitter that I am…

In 3 days re-knit the yoke, steeked the front, knit on the button bands, and wove the armpits.  My aunt got to weave in the ends which was just fine with me!

It ended up that there were 300gms of wool left over from my aunt’s sweater. She very kindly gave me the extra yarn and I knitted a little vest for myself.

Check it on Ravelry here.

I’m calling it “Hobble” because it was knit entirely during the time Nikolai was in a cast.  I wore it to the doctor the day the cast came off.

Yarn: Donegal Tweed by Tahki, royal blue tweed, 3 skeins.  Wool of the Andes by Knitpicks, Beryl Heather, 1 skein.

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 6 /4.0 mm yielding 4 sts per inch.

There was no pattern involved, it’s just a simple pullover V-neck vest with garter stitch edgings. I’ve been interested (fashion-wise) in longer styles lately, as they seem to both look good, and keep your butt warm.  I was also interested in experimenting with the visual impact of a hip-level decoration.

I chose the simple diminishing zigzag pattern because it was appropriate to my stress level during my son’s week on crutches.

Because I have very little personal shaping, I like finding garment styles that create an impression of shape.  The actual difference between my hip and chest measurements is only 4 inches, but this style seems to make the most of what (little) I have.

Edgings: Ribbing seems like a logical choice for this type of simple vest, but I didn’t want anything clinging around my hips.  I chose garter stitch because it looks so wonderfully clean, but it also suits rustic tweedy yarns so well. I toyed with the idea of knitting the whole yoke in garter stitch a la Cobblestone, but this yarn was too bulky in garter, and the silhouette needed to be sleeker.

At the armpit split I bound off 8% and then decreased by another 5% on each side of each armpit.  I decreased by binding off 2 sts each time I was at the underarm, which results in pretty good 45deg angles. When picking up and knitting the garter stitch edges I did a half-miter at each corner which turned out beautifully.

The V-neck: I wanted this to be quite deep and rather more dramatic than anything I normally wear.  Before splitting the front to begin the V-neck I worked the center stitches in garter stitch for several rows before binding them off.   I decreased for the V-neck by one stitch every 2nd row, then worked straight to the shoulder where I wove the fronts to the backs.

I makes me feel tricky to make seamless garments.

The neckband was worked back and forth in garter stitch, starting and ending at the center front. At the end of each row I worked the last stitch together with one of the BO stitches.  In retrospect I would leave the neck edging loose and sew it down, as I think a neater, more symmetrical result could be achieved.

All in all, I’m very pleased with this vest.  I think the shape and style suit me pretty well, aside from being very functional!  The thing that pleases me most about this vest is how well the shoulders fit.  I really dislike wide-shouldered garments, the narrow fit is just divine.

I’ve already worn this several times. Oregon finally got summer, but I still like some wool when the wind picks up!

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Pattern: The Bog Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann, found in Knitting Around  Here on Ravelry

Knit for: Tyler – Mr. Maroon Fishtrap Twin.

Yarn: Plymouth Encore Worsted, 3 skeins Orange and 1 skein Dark Red Colorspun.  A bit of stashed white for accents.

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 7 / 4.5mm  yielding 4.5 sts per inch.

Mods: Many!  Before I started this I checked out all the projects on Ravelry and my impression was that the bog jacket is a rather tall/skinny garment.  Now, most children’s clothing nowadays has lots and lots of ease.  I tried to knit this Bog to be similar to a boy’s modern sweater shape – nice and wide, and very boxy.

So: That meant shortening everything and eliminating most of the shaping details EZ talks about. My magic CO number was 128 for a 28″ finished chest.  The original Bog would be 64 ridges to the armpit, mine is only 52 ridges.  The original would have 64 ridges over the shoulders, mine has only 50.    Sorry if that makes no sense, you have to be familiar with this design.

Additions: Pockets. Since this is knit back and forth I thought it would be fun to try pockets in Double Knitting. They are a bit flimsier than the rest of the sweater but very very low fuss to include them.

Hood: Pretty much the same as a Tomten hood- increase up the back, weave the top. As you can see above I made a very shallow V-neck to cozy the front of the hood around the face.

Sleeves: I picked up all the stitches at the cuffs and worked K2P2 ribbing until the yarn ran out.

Other Details: The white has a thin band of stockinette between 2 ridges.  The front garter band was picked up at the very end, 6 rows white, 3 ridges red and bind-off.  I inserted the zipper with the sewing machine, not worrying too much about hiding the seams, and it was ok.  Still wavy, despite how many pins I used.  Grr.

Verdict: I can’t believe how fast this was!! I would love to knit another someday – perhaps for me with all the shaping and other details.

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When it was decided that Nikolai would be attending a private school next year I immediately ordered a large quantity of Navy Blue wool and set to work. First off the needles is his school jacket:


The Modular Tomten Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Here on Ravelry.
Started: February 21, 2008 Finished: February 27, 2008

Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Bulky, color Navy Blue, 6 skeins / 600 gms.

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 10 / 6 mm yielding 3.5 sts per inch.

Finished size: 32″ chest, 18″ from bottom to shoulder, to fit a 5-7 year old child.


Features: I-cord edgings on every edge possible -the knit-on-as-you-go-stuff, not applied I-cord. So I-cord up the front edges, and also on the back and fronts armhole edges. I have never seen I-cord edgings used here, but I really like the result. It’s a nice detail without using color for the shoulder straps. I wove the edgings at the shoulders when the fronts and back were reassembled for the collar. Applied I-cord on the bottom edge.

Continuing with the small stockinette details I did a reversible phony seam at the sides (EZ talks about this technique with the Bog Jacket in Knitting Around), and a phony slipped stitch seam at the top of the sleeves.

For extra growing room, I finished off the sleeves with 3 inches of K1P1 ribbing, right now it’s folded up, but the sleeves will lengthen with his arms for a year or so (I hope!). I also used K1P1 ribbing for the collar as I find it much cozier and more fitting for a collar.


I finished off with afterthought pockets, also edged in K1P1 ribbing, and a zipper up the front.

Verdict: I love it! I think it’s a very handsome jacket. I think Nikolai loves it too, as he rarely shows enthusiasm for wooly things. The WOTA bulky is quite soft for being a cheap wool, and I think this will last several years of hard boy wear.

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So I taught another friend to knit, and it so happens that this friend is expecting a baby in June, and we go to the same church, and la la la… a baptism sweater was called for.

The February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann, found in Knitter’s Almanac.

Started: Feb 12th, 2008  Finished: Feb 18th, 2008

Denise asks how fast do I knit? Rather quickly, being a Continental knitter, but the real question is probably how much time to I spend knitting?  Answer: I’m not sure, and probably too much.  

Yarn: Knitpicks Bare, merino/nylon fingering weight.  Held double.  About 110 gms.

Needles and Gauge: US sz. 4 / 3.5 mm  Approx. 5 sts per inch.


To round out the ensemble I unvented a little bonnet using EZ garter stitch heart pattern, found in Knitting Workshop.


After picking up sts around the edge of the heart, I started knitting the gull lace pattern to match the sweater.  It worked out quite nicely.  I picked up 73 edge sts, decreased 2 at the center top, leaving 63 (7 sts x 9 repeats) plus 8 sts for garter stitch selvages.

After 6 repeats of the gull pattern I decreased K6 K2tog across and finished off with an inch of garter stitch.


An applied I-cord neck edge and ties finishes it off.

Pattern: February Heart Bonnet by Elizabeth Zimmermann. Heart and basic hat found in Knitting Workshop,  gull pattern found in Knitter’s Alamac.

Yarn/needles/gauge: same as above.  About 35 gms of yarn.

Started: Feb 18, 2008  Finished: Feb 19, 2008.

Should I round out the month with a shawl?

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The February Baby Sweater by Elizabeth Zimmermann, Knitter’s Almanac.

Yarn: Stashbusting Red Heart Super Saver acrylic (cringe cringe cringe… but I prefer to use easy care fibers for other folks’ kids.  You just never know what will happen!)
Needles: US sz. 7 / 4.50 mm

Gauge and Size: Umm, I don’t check. Maybe 4 sts per inch?  Yielding a 12 month size.

Obviously I abandoned the pink buttons and trim idea.  It just didn’t do it for me.  And I had these buttons already.


Timeframe: started Thursday, Feb 7th. Finished Saturday, Feb 9th.  Extremely fast.

Verdict:  Cute!  Fast!  Get me a baby right now!!

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Not the type of bunny I’m chasing however. Well, actually I bet my grandmother Bunny, being quite an extrordinary knitter, was as susceptible to casting-on as the rest of us. But I digress.

I keep missing WOYNW, so I’m not going to bother showing you the next BSJ on the pins, or little Thumbelina the Ballet Fairy, or the sock that will. not. get. done. I’m going to show you what is bringing me joy today.

First: The February Baby Sweater. It is February after all and though I’ve made a bastard FBS I’ve never actually followed the pattern:


Folks, that is only 5 hours of dedicated knitting time. I can’t believe how fast it’s going! And I can’t believe how poorly acrylic yarn photographs. Ugh.

A friend called me up this morning, and asked if the boys and I wanted to come over to play. It sounded like a low-key morning so I brought my knitting. And I knew said friend is interested in my projects so I brought some wool and needles for her as well. While the kids played we sat down and I taught her to knit.

This EZ quote from Knitter’s Almanac was brought to mind: “Sit and knit with your child; while it perfects its potholder you can knit it a fine reward – a pair of longies.”

Actually it was my friend, not my child, and she’s not getting longies, but her baby is getting a sweater. I’m thinking pink buttons and a pink crochet trim on all the edges?

The other thing that is bringing me joy lately is the Swedish Cardi. The bands came out exactly as I had pictured them. And, I have enough gold wool to finish up the colorwork on the sleeves. Yea!
Here I am trying not to get impaled on the DPNs in the sleeve. Yes, that’s a Ravelry shirt. Yes, I’m a dork. Yes, it’s really time to clean the bathroom mirror, or make the kids stop using that sink. Digressing again…


The shoulder and back. It comes down to a nice length I think, these pants are quite saggy so I don’t think the pictures really give an accurate idea of the fit.

Everything is a bit tight, but I planned for some stretch in the washing/blocking process. I didn’t put in any buttonholes as I planning on getting some nice pewter clasps for this one.

OK, I’m off to knit the FBS. It’s so cute!

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Oh Baby.





I think this is my favorite unvention yet. So. Friggin. Cute.

The Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann, with a few unventions of my own.

Yarn: Light green- Plymouth Galway Highland Heather 90 gms. Purpley- Knitpicks Telemark Mineral Heather 130 gms. Light beige- random worsted wool from a ravelled hat my grandmother made several decades ago.

Needles: US sz. 4 / 3.50 mm

Gauge: 20 sts over 4 inches / 5 spi

See the second generation “join-less and improved” version here on Ravelry.


Extension Pattern Instructions: note: you will still need EZ’s instructions.

At 158 sts work 22 ridges on the center 90 sts.

Split for legs – 44 sts each – leaving 2 center stitches for the crotch. Work 22 ridges for each leg.  Option: To make a join-less suit pick-up sts along the inside of the first leg, work the 2 crotch sts, then begin knitting the second leg.

Border: When legs are complete break wool (leaving live cuff stitches on a holder) and go back to the miter corner on the left belly – where you abandoned the row to start lengthening the body. If you start all the way at the neck you’ll have 2 rows of stockinette instead of perfect garter stitch.

There should be 34 live stitches from the neck edge to the miter corner. Those 34 sts have already been knit to begin the border row, so start picking up the rest of the border on the ridge below.

Option: for perfect garter stitch and a join-less suit: After working the second leg pick-up sts on outside of the leg and up to the right-hand neck edge, turn and begin working border.  On the next row – WS – you will need to pick up sts on the inside of the first leg you encounter, and the outside of the second leg you encounter, all the way up to the 34 abandoned miter stitches.  Because you will be picking up sts on both RS and WS, make sure you are happy with both.

Knit all live stitches and pick up stitches -one stitch per ridge- all the way around to the right neck edge. Place markers at cuff and crotch corners, there are 6 corners. This is one helluva lot of stitches. Stay calm.


Knit on, increasing 2 sts every second row at each marker. On your second ridge of border decrease the leg cuffs by *K2 K2tog K1 K2tog* across.  A perfect mirror to the sleeve cuff increases would be *K2 K2tog* across, however… the border adds so much width to the leg cuffs that the sharper decrease more closely resembles the sleeve cuffs.

After 3 ridges put in buttonholes all along one side from neck to leg cuff, and up the outside of the opposite leg. Work 3 more ridges. Bind off as directed. Sew on lots of buttons.

Option for a small infant:  Do not incorporate any buttonholes, sew in snap tape.

If desired: Add snowcuffs and bootees and hood in softer wool.


There you have it. Enjoy!

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First of all, and although it’s a bit late, Lynn and her New Year’s Resolution rock.

Get your shit together.  

What other resolution could anyone need? It’s a fantastic motivator, at least for me.

My shit for this year is (among other things) getting rid of my stash, it’s the best justification to buy more!  I’m not trying to rush, but enjoy what I have, because there was a reason I bought it, right?   Honestly I don’t have that much wool, but certainly enough to last several months.

Here’s my first stash-busting project-


Sorry about the bad picture.  It’s an EPS top-down raglan steeked cardigan using that same Binge colorwork chart as the hat.  The blue is Silky Wool (8 balls in the stash because I loved it) the gold is KnitPicks Telemark (2 balls in the stash leftover from Nikolai’s pirate knits) being knit on US sz. 2 / 2.50 mm needles.

Only the yoke will have colorwork, because I have very little gold yarn, the rest of the body and the lower sleeves will be plain blue. After steeking I will probably finish all edges with garter stitch.

Have I mentioned how I adore this chart?

Next- A Baby Surprise Jacket Snow Suit  (!!)  A good friend has been kind enough to give me a reason to knit baby things, something I missed out on with my own children.  And although she’s a fantastically skilled knitter herself, extra woolies can’t hurt, right?

BS Snow Suit!!  Unventing at it’s finest.  I’ve lengthened the body, split for legs, and am now knitting the border all the way around, mitering all the corners.  There will be buttons all down the legs for ease of dressing.  And later snowcuffs with mitts/sockies in a soft white wool, and a soft white hood.

Unfortunately I’m out of yarn. The purpley-grey is KnitPicks Telemark from Gabriel’s Pirate sweater, the light green is Galway Highland Heather from the Tri-Cable sweater and next should be ?????  I have black or a dove heather and I hate making this kind of decision.   Kate, this is for your baby! What would you like?

Fishtrap and his ridiculous sleeves are still glaring at me.  Later.

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Hello again, Blogland!

I’ve been both lazy and busy with real life with some knitting thrown in.

Like what? Something for my Gryffindor swap partner…

This is the first non-garter back and forth thing I’ve ever made. Partner, I hope you realize the sacrifice involved!

Then some washclothes a’ la Elizabeth Zimmermann to use up some scraps:

The one on the left is EZ’s  (February) double knitting pot handler from Knitter’s Almanac. The one on the right is 2 garter triangles I grafted together. I called these my technique towels- now I know the theory of double knitting and garter grafting.

Then there was planning and ordering yarn for my next [huge] project. Remember the twin Fishtraps I made this spring?  Their father now wants a matching sweater. This will be an adventure!

I’m going to do it as a seamless Saddle Shoulder to eliminate the steek and seaming.  With a base number of 268 I’m looking to minimize labor any way I can…  More EZ love, think I’ll ever get tired of it?   uh, no.

Then there were the last minute socks for my mother:

Just a generic cuff-down sock on 64 stitches with an adapted chart from HelloYarn‘s We Call Them Pirates. The yarn is Sunbeam St. Ives 4 ply sock and a bit of leftover Tofutsies for the skullys. US sz. 0 / 2mm needles. Gauge was 8 sts/in.
I offered to make Mom some socks for her first day of school (college at 51- go Mom!) and got a request for pirates. It seems I’ll never be finished knitting pirates!  I finished them up at 1 o’clock this morning. It should not have been hard to finish up a pair of ankle socks in 4 days but…

…I went to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Fest….  that will be it’s own post tomorrow.

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Cobblestone is done!!  WooHoo!!  can you tell I’m excited?  Check the neat garter stitch underarms-


The back:


Pattern: Cobblestone by Jared Flood aka BrooklynTweed, found in Interweave Knits Fall 2007. Size small.

Started: August 20, 2007  Finished: aside from blocking August 27, 2007

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, 10 skeins Amber Heather

Needles: US sz. 6 / 4 mm  Gauge: 5 sts per inch over stockinette yielding a 35″ finished chest measurement.

Modifications: I shortened everything to fit.  It took a bit of figureing on the yoke to calculate out the proportions between decreases and make them fit me. The original had a 10″ yoke and I only wanted an 8″ yoke.  Looking back I don’t think it was necessary to be that painstaking with the ratios, because the garter stitch handles the shaping so well.

I am a lazy knitter so all the garter stitch was done back and forth. Instead of sewing a seam up the yoke I decided a placket and some nice buttons would add a [somewhat] feminine touch.  Unfortunately, halfway through the yoke I decided against a stocking stitch buttonband and decided to go for garter stitch with applied I-cord border and buttonholes.  I had to drop 4 stitches and hook them all back up in garter stitch. It was a nightmare and it looks terrible. Every stitch needs to be hand adjusted. I will never do that again.

Oh well. In the end I didn’t do applied I-cord buttonholes either.  Instead, I [in my infinte wisdom] sat and tried every conceiveable method of adding a buttonband.  My goal was to knit on a band that looked like the rolled neck.  Not difficult you say… and yet it took me 7 tries.

Oh well. I got it eventually.  And that my friends, is how we know I’m a Knitter.

Yep, still grinning like an idiot!
Verdict:  If you haven’t figured it out by now…  I love it.  This is the first sweater I’ve ever completed for myself. It’s comfy, it’s cozy, the fit is divine… and best of all… it’s done!

Now off to the washtub with it-  Knittiversary giveaway post as soon as it’s dry!

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