Knitting · Memoir · Yarn

For the Love of Garter Stitch

I finished up this pair of Cold Morning Mitts about a week ago, and I’ve been test wearing them since then. I really like how they came out, and I enjoyed working with the Twirling Petals Rupert’s Drunken Walnuts yarn.

I decided to use the same size needles that I used for the rest of the mitt for the three-needle bind off seam. The US 1 needles were just making the seam too tight for my taste. I really wanted the contrasting color of Freddie’s Gold to shine through. The next time I make these, I think I’ll go down to size 3 needles instead of size 4 for the entire mitt or cut out the last couple of rows, because the mitts are a little on the loose side, especially at the palm. I’m very happy with my mitts overall, but I think they’d be even toastier if they were snug.

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One of the thing that caught me off guard while knitting these was the walnut dye rubbing off on my fingers. Thankfully, it washed off pretty easily with soap and water. The walnut dye also seems to give the yarn a slightly waxy texture, which took a little getting used to.  This yarn didn’t run very smoothly through my fingers at all, so I had to adjust how I held the yarn a little bit. I don’t think that I would knit any big projects with this particular yarn, but it was just right for this project. The other Twirling Petals yarns that I bought at the same time as this one seem to have a smoother texture, so I’m not too worried about having the same “sticky” problem with them.

Other than that, I really do love the slightly uneven, earthy texture of the Twirl yarn. I think the garter stitch really helps bring a cozy earthiness to the project, which is what I was hoping for in the first place.

Speaking of garter stitch. I have realized that, up until this year, I hadn’t really been knitting a whole lot of garter stitch projects. I guess garter stitch tends to remind me of my early days as a knitting beginner when I was a kid. My very first knitting project was a garter stitch potholder, and then there were many, many garter stitch scarves after that. Once I discovered how to purl and thus learned how to knit stockinette stitch, ribbing, seed stitch, etc. I rarely went back.

Over the summer, though, I’ve changed my tune, and I have really fallen back in love with garter stitch. There are just so many beautiful patterns out there that use garter stitch for the main body of the project. I particularly enjoy Martina Behm’s wonderfully elegant and quirky asymmetrical scarf and shawl patterns like Hitchhiker, Miss Winkle, and Lintilla. All of which I have knit for myself this past summer.

I’ve also knitted the French CanCan shawl by Mademoiselle C and Stephen West’s Groove shawl for gifting this Fall. Both patterns are made up of mostly garter stitch and look very sophisticated indeed.

2 thoughts on “For the Love of Garter Stitch

  1. Twirl is fantastic, Jen. I knit a bear with last year and loved every minute of the knitting. You’ve inspired me to dig out the two skeins I have of twirling petals and see where they’ll take me.

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