söndag 17 november 2013

Garter stitch

"I would like you to consider using this fabric quite often; it is a beautiful one. NO PURLING; just back and forth in lovely KNIT. It never curls at any of its four edges. In short, NO PURLING, NO CURLING." (Elizabeth Zimmermann: "Knitting Workshop", Lesson two: Great Garter-Stitch)

My first contact with  knitting involved garter stitch. I do think I have that in common with many fellow knitters. I made a scarf and it took forever. When I was allowed to progress to knitting socks in the round with double pointed needles I turned my back to the garter stitch and didn´t look back until I discovered the books of Elizabeth Zimmermann. They are very inspiring and she loves the garter stitch.

Reading her books got me to take another look at this stitch that I had been so glad to leave behind - and through her texts I could see that there is more to the garter stitch than being just a beginner´s stitch. It clearly has some nice features and, for sure, it is not difficult.

I had this nice grey yarn that I bought when we visited Solkustens Spinnverkstad in October. It is spun with a mix of  wool: 70% Gotland (in Swedish Gotlands pälsull) and 30% Finnsheep (in Swedish finull). Nice lustrous and rather soft (not like merino of course, but soft enough). I decided to make a scarf that was to be used on a daily basis, no frills and nothing fancy. Plain, grey and very useful.

I browsed my knitting books and when I read Elizabeth Zimmermann I decided that it would be a garter stitch project. One of the advantages with garter stitch it that it creates a rather thick and elastic fabric that is warm - a good feature for a scarf. I then remembered that a couple of years ago there was a rage knitting the garter stitch Baktus scarf, and I thought that a Baktus would be pretty ideal project for this yarn. The principle for the Baktus is that you increase every fourth row until you have reached the middle of your scarf. Then you decrease every fourth row until you are left with the same amount of stitches that you casted on in the beginning. Here is a link to Stikkelise´s Baktus, if you would like to see the pattern.

"Garter stitch is the easiest of all stitches, and one of the best looking. It is achieved simply by working back and forth in all-knit. ... Garter stitch has a very pronounced grain, caused by the ridges of its construction, and it is fascinating to employ it running both horizontally and vertically, so that it catches light and shadow differently. Its interesting texture is thus accentuated." (Elizabeth Zimmermann: "Knitting without tears")

lördag 2 november 2013

Tunisian crochet - Honeycomb Stitch

I have been asked a lot of questions about these Tunisian crochet stitches shown in the post TunisianCrochet (in Swedish: "krokning") from 2012.

They are a combination of Tunisian Simple Stitch and Tunisian Purl Stitch, together sometimes called Tunisian Honeycomb Stitch. In the picture above I have made them in grey/red and grey/grey. In the picture below they are done in light/dark grey and then in the reverse dark/light grey. I do Tunisian crochet in the round with a double-ended crochet hook.

You can find more and more information about Tunisian crochet on the internet. Below is a link to more information about the Honeycomb Stitch. I haven´t been able to find instructions on how to do the Honeycomb Stitch in the round, but if you do it flat first you will soon understand how it works in the round.

Best of luck!