Garter stitch scarf

The first project is a garter stitch scarf. Not only will this be probably the easiest piece you will ever knit, but you can relax and enjoy creating your first fabric while gaining grounding in the fundamentals of casting on and off, the knit stitch and tension. If you knit every stitch and every row it creates a reversible fabric called garter stitch. You can recognise it by the wavy horizontal ridges it creates.

Normally at this stage you should knit a tension square to make sure your tension is the same as that quoted in the pattern before you start the project, but as this item is basically a narrow strip you can begin to work the scarf straight away.

casting on

2 Then insert the knitting needle upwards through the yam loop on your left thumb.

1 Make a slip knot, leaving a long tail. With the slip knot on the needle in your right hand and the yam that comes from the ball over your index finger, wrap the tail end of the yam over your left thumb from front to back. Secure the yam in your left palm with your fingers.

techniques focus

(casting on and (overleaf) the knit stitch and casting off (see also pages 26-7, 30 and 32)

2 Then insert the knitting needle upwards through the yam loop on your left thumb.

casting on

1 Make a slip knot, leaving a long tail. With the slip knot on the needle in your right hand and the yam that comes from the ball over your index finger, wrap the tail end of the yam over your left thumb from front to back. Secure the yam in your left palm with your fingers.

3 Next, with the right index finger, wrap the yarn from the ball up and over the point of the knitting needle.

4 Then draw the yam through the loop on your thumb to form a new stitch on the knitting needle. Lastly, let the yam loop slip off your left thumb and pull the loose end to tighten up the stitch. Repeat these steps to make the stitches you need.

Cast on the number of stitches quoted in the pattern and knit for approximately 10cm (4in). Lay the work down on a flat surface and put a ruler or tape measure across the width. If the piece of knitting measures 12cm (4%in) across then you will know that your tension is correct as it is the same as that quoted in the pattern. You can then carry on knitting until you achieve the length needed. If it is wider, then your tension is looser and you are creating larger stitches; if it is narrower, your tension is tighter and you are creating smaller stitches. On a small piece such as a scarf this may not be significant the knit stitch

the knit stitch

1 With the cast-on stitches on the needle in your left hand, insert the right-hand needle from left to right and simultaneously from front to back through the first cast-on stitch.

2 Then take the yam from the ball on your index finger (the working yam) around the point of the right-hand needle.

3 Draw the right-hand needle and yam through the stitch, thus forming a new stitch on the right-hand needle, and at the same time slip the original stitch off the left-hand needle. Repeat these steps until all the stitches from the left-hand needle have been worked. This is called a row.'

garter stitch scarf enough for you to feel you need to change needle sizes but on any other pattern you should do so, as your garment will be larger or smaller than it should be (see Tension on page 34).

Measuring tension over garter stitch is different from over stocking stitch as it is a unique stitch pattern where the rows compress so that it takes two rows to create the distinctive wavy garter stitch ridge. To count the number of rows, count the ridges and multiply by two.

knit cast off

1 Knit two stitches. Then insert the left-hand needle into the first stitch knitted on the right-hand needle and lift this stitch over the second stitch and off the right-hand needle.

2 One stitch is now on the right-hand needle. Knit the next stitch. Repeat the first step until all the stitches have been cast off. Then pull the yarn through the last stitch to fasten off.

knit cast off

1 Knit two stitches. Then insert the left-hand needle into the first stitch knitted on the right-hand needle and lift this stitch over the second stitch and off the right-hand needle.

2 One stitch is now on the right-hand needle. Knit the next stitch. Repeat the first step until all the stitches have been cast off. Then pull the yarn through the last stitch to fasten off.

garter stitch scarf measurements materials tension abbreviations

Approximately 12 x 55cm/4% x 21%in

One 50g ball Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran in Pale Pink. Pair of 5mm (US 8) knitting needles.

18 sts and 38 rows to 10cm/4in square over garter st with 5mm (US 8) needles, cm = centimetre(s) in = inch(es) K(k) = knit mm = millimetres st(s) = stitch(es)

to make

With 5mm (US 8) needles, cast on 22 sts. Garter stitch row K all sts.

Repeat this row until you have approximately 38cm/15in of yarn remaining. Cast off.

Darn in the yarn ends.

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