Thursday, 2 January 2014

Garter carriage: A really simple laddered stole/scarf/cowl

Like all the best ideas, this one happened by accident.  I was trying to copy a lovely crochet cowl my sister had made, and it just wouldn’t drape for me, so I decided to try machine knitting.  I used 200 grams of double knitting yarn for a warm winter scarf/hood, but this could be done in sparkly yarn as a stole, maybe with a lace edging and fringe each end.  Or you could crochet up the ladders, or thread ribbon through them, or perhaps make partial ladders for a ‘shredded’ look.  The nice thing is that it looks the same on both sides.

        This is what I did:
1. Cast on 123 stitches in waste yarn and knit a few rows.

2. Set the machine for 3 by 3 rib and ensure that there are three purl stitches at each end for a nice rolled edge. 

3. Continue in main yarn at tension 10.  The work should be very stiff and thick at this point. Every few rows, ladder down the centre stitch of each group of three knit or three purl stitches, but leave the last group at each end untouched.  I found the best way to make the ladders was to knit some rows, drop the center purl stitches only, knit another ten rows, drop the centre knit stitches only.  I hung the last step of the ladder back over the needle.  This seemed to stop the GC misforming stitches around the ladders.  Of course the ladders could be made after finishing the knitting ...

The fabric was now soft and drapey.

Two full 100-gram balls seemed to be exactly the right amount for a cowl that could be twisted twice around the neck or pulled up to form a hood.  I knitted about 330 rows, then put in a twist and joined the ends (to form a moebius strip).  

I liked this so much I made another ...

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