My projects this summer have been largely garter stitch projects. I think garter gets a bad rep, like the step child of knitting stitches. Yes, it's easy - just knit all the live long day. The thing is, you can produce lovely, interesting knits with garter.
I knit the Aggregate, which was a lot of fun. It gave me the opportunity to use two colors of Baah! Sonoma (DK: 100% Merino, 233 yards). The designer incorporates the use of short rows to make a kind of negative of the pattern. Check out the pictures of what people have done, but not until you're done reading the post ;)
Baah! Sonoma has been calling my name ever since it arrived. The colors are so rich I wanted to knit something that used every single color. I was delighted when Michelle and I discovered the Aggregate pattern. By the way, Aggregate is the current Westport Yarns knit-a-long.
Michelle used Ultra Pima by Cascade Yarns (DK: 100% Cotton, 220 yards) and Findley Dappled by Juniper Moon Farm (Lace: 50% Silk, 50% Merino, 798 yards). She held Findley double to get gauge. I love how hers came out. It has a completely different feel to it than mine (obviously given the different fibers).
Next on the garter hit parade is a modified Log Cabin Afghan using Silk Garden by Noro (Aran, 45% Mohair, 45% Silk, 10% Wool, 110 yards) and Kureyon by Noro (Aran, 100% Wool, 110 yards). I used The Paintbox Log Cabin Blanket as a jumping off point. I modified it slightly because I'm teaching it as a class at Westport Yarns. This is a terrific portable project because 1 skein of either yarn works up to be one square.
I have loved Noro yarns since I first learned to knit. I have vivid memories of going to Goldman's yarn store with my mother and sister and ogling the Noro yarns. All the special (and expensive) yarns were kept on a table in the center. My mother (understandably) would not buy me Noro yarns. I was 12 and a new knitter; boy did I pine for those yarns. Now as a grown up, I knit something with Noro yarns every year. The colors are captivating.
In keeping with the Noro theme, I also knit #26 Cropped Jacket. Again, knit with garter. The designer cleverly used short rows to shape the sweater. Wicked cool and really fun to knit. For those of you wondering, you can modify it to be longer.
You are alternating between two colors of Silk Garden Sock by Noro (Sport, 40% Wool, 25% Nylon, 25% Silk, 10% Mohair, 328 yards). This is another class at Westport Yarns.
Dreambird KAL also caught my fancy this summer. Garter, short rows, color contrast, and (wait for it) Noro Silk Garden Sock. The technique used in this design is called Swing Knitting and requires some quiet concentration. I guess that's why this one has been on the back burner. I don't get a lot of quiet concentration time. When I'm done knitting it, I will add it to the classes at Westport Yarns as a one-day workshop.
The last garter project is Thing #2's college afghan. THAT I will save for another post.