Tuesday, July 10, 2012

In love with Garter

 It wasn't always this way, the passion for garter stitch. No, at first, like many new loom knitters, I resisted the ackward motion of the purl sitch, lifting the loop off the peg, and then replacing it. Especially since I could not see the peg, and was terrified of dropping the loop. Little by little, I came to understand that I needed  at least a little garter. It kept edges from rolling, and framed stockinette beautifully. It gave stretch to fabric, and helped work around some of the limits of 24 to 42 pegs on 4 plastic rings. Purl, I realized, let me shape things on the loom in ways that were no longer flat and dull. 
Still, it was not until I read about the Baktus and Karius forms, that I came to realize the beauty of garter. Both of these scarves, or small shawls, are perfect for loom knitters. They are worked from side to side, with the mid-point reached when half the yarn is used up. I made the Baktus first, and was dismayed when the stockinette edges curled over. A crochet edging was needed to pull them down. But the Karius - well, it was garter stitch. It laid flat, and stretched out wonderfully, wrapping around and around my neck in such a lovely way. By the end of the Karius, I could purl like a pro, and I had found my  "Purl Direction."  I purled best from right to left, and I knit best from left to right. I've never looked back. Garter has become the mainstay of my patterns, especially lace, where it offers a lovely background for loom knit lace work. The second photo shows a half-pi shawl for the pattern collection I'm working on," The Shapely Loom." The shawl's lace is worked in garter stitch, in an alpaca and silk fingering weight yarn from Lisa Souza. The color is Peach Melba. The first photo shows a round, ruffled facecloth, also from the collection, in good old garter and Lily Sugar & Cream, Country Stripes. It's love, all garter love, for me.
 Blooming Loom: Colorful Patterns for Loom Knitters ebook  $12.00 US 
Loom Knit Shawls: From Simple to Sublime ebook $12.00 US