a large triangular hap designed by Gudrun Johnston
from The Book Of Haps by Kate Davies
which had just come in the mail.
or even tried some traditional techniques (lace edging first --who knew?), and made up my own. The book is awash in ideas and history,
and the essays--as with all Kate Davies words--are irresistibly readable.
When it came to actually casting on, however, my small stash of knitting yarn yielded only a collection of vaguely similar leftover bits that fell roughly into six categories --the number called for in Johnston's stripe sequence- so her enveloping striped hap is the one I chose.
super duper yarn organizer waiting in my recycling bin
with exactly six compartments
and a built in handle for easy summer transport,
Garter stitch meant that I could read and knit at the same time (always a huge benefit for me),
and Johnston's genius way of joining the colors for the stripes
led to clean edges with absolutely no -- ZERO--ends to weave in afterward.
The pattern is well written and the stripe sequence (which I mostly followed, at least at the beginning and end of each square), compelling.
I was suddenly confused. Shelley (the power behind The Yarn Underground , my LYS), said "garment," and almost immediately afterward Jaymi said "sweatshirt, "
and possibilities unfolded.
It might not be a triangular hap, but was it a sweater?
Did I want to deal with shaping and all the accompanying nonsense?
To hedge my bets I knit another bias square that could be a back, but also could be part of a rectangular stole.
lots of reading and knitting,
and trotting here and there, six pack in hand,
endless garter stitch and no decisions.
I was pretty sure it was a garment
but by that time my brain was immersed in backstrap weaving,
and I had to catch its attention long enough to focus on garment structure.
It took a little bribery:
"once you figure this out, you get to return to all that nice garter stitch and thefabulous book about Isobel Wylie Huchison..."
The book, Flowers in the Snow, won out, and I finally made some decisions.
First, I decided to join the front and back with a sleeve strap, which had three benefits:
1. it added a couple of inches to the length
2. it provided a neck opening (boat necks make me claustrophobic)
3. it seemed to do interesting things stripe-wise.
So casting on a few stitches and starting at the neck edge of the strap,
I knit back and forth, joining front and back as I knit,
then picked up the rest of the sleeve stitches at the edge
and knit out toward the cuff, decreasing slowly as I went.
Overhand? Kitchener Stitch? 3-Needle Bind off?
I finally chose the last, in part because I'd never done it before.
Picking up stitches along all the edges (one for each garter bump), I knit one ridge of garter stitch on each side and then cast them back off together on the wrong side.
It is light weight, super stretchy and fluid all at once.
The bias squares provide drape so that despite the lack of shaping (save for the sleeve decreases), it does not feel remotely like the rectangular sack that it is.
Better even than I hoped (and I'm a good hoper).
Yippee! New clothes for fall.
for the next bossy knitting idea that happens along.
(sorry about that -- couldn't resist).
Some of the last leftover bits floating around the bottom of the six pack will be perfect for needlepoint.