Showing posts with label garter stitch. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garter stitch. Show all posts

Friday, August 4, 2023

Scrappy Scarf in Garter Stitch


I started this project ages ago and recently found it tucked away in a bag, still on the needles.  I think I had intended for this to be a wrap, but I didn't have as much yarn as I thought I did, so it is now a scarf.  

While I used full skeins of yarn specifically chosen for the project, I am calling it a scrappy scarf, because it is a great project to use up scrap yarn you don't know what else to do with.  I used a mix of smooth worsted weight yarn, loopy boucle and fuzzy mohair, both bulky weight (my own hand dyed yarn from when I had my online shop).  

I cast on 200 stitches using a 42 inch US size 11 circular needle and knit every row.  I cut the yarn after every row, leaving tails about ten inches or so and was careful to leave a long tail when I started each row.  I tied the two beginning/end tails together to create the fringe.  I didn't measure or try to make them all exactly the same length because I was going for a scrappy look.  

While this is garter stitch and technically has no wrong side, I made my color changes so that the purl bumps with the new color was always on the "back".  You can change colors on any side you want if those purl bumps don't bother you. They do look pretty neat.  You can see the purl bumps in this closeup, whereas in the pictures above, the color changes are smoother.

I chose garter stitch, but you really could throw in a few rows of a different stitch, or even use a different stitch for the entire thing.  A mesh stitch scrappy scarf might be pretty.

One thing to keep in mind with a project like this is how you treat the finished project.  You'll want to care for the scarf (or shawl or wrap) based on the yarn used that requires the most care.  For instance, if you use superwash wool and alpaca yarn, you'll want to follow the care instructions for the alpaca yarn.  If you use a machine washable acrylic and a non-superwash wool, you'll want to hand wash because of the non-superwash wool.

Needle size - My size 11 needle worked great for both my bulky and worsted weight yarns.  If you are using yarns with a big difference in weight (bulky and sport for instance) you could switch out your needles depending on which yarn you were using for each row.  Or, whatever the appropriate needle size is for your heaviest yarn can be used for the entire project; it will give the finer yarns a lacier, open look.

You can really use any yarn and needle size that gives you a fabric you like.  Use one or two colors, use a lot of colors.  Use only smooth yarns, use only textured yarns like boucle.  Knit some rows in a larger than called for needle for an open, drapey fabric, knit some rows with a smaller needle size that gives you a firmer fabric.  Use all sock yarn, use all chunky yarn. There are a lot of ways you can experiment with a scrappy project.  I hope this inspires you to pull out all of those balls of scrap yarn you have and make a unique project.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Top Down Garter Stitch Shawls - Triangle


At long last, here is the tutorial for a basic, top down triangle garter stitch shawl.  I will show you two ways to knit your shawl, both are equally easy.  

If you'd like to follow along, any yarn and appropriately sized needle will do.  You'll also want a stitch marker to make keeping track of your center stitch easier.

The yarn I used for my little samples is Premier Hipster Cotton.  I got this at my local Dollar Tree a few years ago, and am not sure if Premier still makes it.  It is a #3 yarn (DK/light worsted) and the recommended needle size is US 6, so that is what I used.  

I used DPNs in the video since I only made tiny shawls.  For regular sized shawls, you'll want to use circular needles*.  Circulars come in various lengths, up to 60 inches.  I recommend at least a 32 inch circular; the heavier (thicker) your yarn is, the longer the needle you'll want to use, otherwise things are going to be all bunched up, and in my opinion, difficult to move along the needle, not to mention more prone to dropping off.  Of course you can always use point protectors to keep your stitches safe when you put your work down; I find that when I have a lot of stitches bunched up on a too short needle, sometimes a few will slip off while I am actually knitting.  Point protectors don't help in that case.  *If you are using a very fine lace weight yarn, you can get a decent sized shawl using very long straight needles.

There are of course other ways to go about making a top down shawl - the two methods here are just the basics to get you started if you've never made a top down shawl before.  That said, even if you are an experienced knitter, sometimes you just want a simple project to work on while you binge your favorite show or listen to an audio book, and don't want to have to bother keeping track of too much detail.  A top down garter stitch shawl fits the bill.

You'll want to bind off loosely so the edge has enough stretch for blocking.  There are a lot of stretchy bind offs, choose whichever you prefer.  I show the k2tog tbl bind off (aka decrease bind off, aka several other names) in the video.

I only knit about ten rows for the mini shawls in the video; if you are making a mini practice shawl, you can stop there and bind off.  If you happen to like how your mini shawl looks, by all means continue on until it is as big as you want.

A word about gauge - yes, it is important if you're knitting something that you want to fit correctly like socks and sweaters.  It isn't quite so important for shawls.  You certainly can make a gauge swatch if you want to, especially if you want to make sure you end up with a shawl of a certain size.  I personally never make a gauge swatch when I am making my own shawls. 

Before we get started, I want to share a tip - while it is quite easy to distinguish between the increase rows and plain knit rows, attaching a stitch marker to one side or the other is an easy way to keep track of which side you're working on.  


k = knit

yo = yarn over

pm = place marker

sm = slip marker

kfb = knit into the front and back of the next stitch

The first shawl uses the yarn over increase.

Cast on 3 stitches

Row 1: k1, yo, pm, k1, yo, k1

Row 2: knit

Row 3: k1, yo, knit to marker, yo, sm, k1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 to desired length, bind off, weave in your ends and block.

The second shawl begins the same way as the first, then uses the knit front/back increase.

Cast on 3 stitches

Row 1: k1, yo, pm, k1, yo, k1

Row 2: knit

Row 3: k1, yo, knit to marker, yo, sm, k1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1

Row 4: knit

Row 5: k1, yo, knit to 1 stitch before marker, kfb, sm, k1, kfb, knit to last stitch, yo, k1

Row 6: knit

Repeat Rows 5 and 6 to desired length, bind off, weave in your ends and block.

Enjoy your new shawl!