Monday, May 26, 2008

EZ Garter Stitch Blanket - Day #1

1. The pattern is in Elizabeth Zimmermann's THE OPINIONATED KNITTER, a book I love with a passion usually reserved for Szechuan food and creme brulee.

2. Knit Picks Options, size 9.

3. Single strand of CASCADE Ecological Wool. (It's supposed to be double-stranded but that would mean a significant jump in needle size and my hands balked.)

4. I picked two very pale oatmeal/cafe au lait shades but zipped back to WEBS to order two of the darker shades as well. I'm thinking I'll want a little more contrast. Or maybe to knit more blankets.

5. EZ doesn't specify wrapping stitches in the pattern but I wrapped anyway. I just didn't pick up the wraps. Why, you ask? Well, mainly because I hate picking up wraps but also I just liked the way it looked this way. (The holes are part of EZ's pattern design.)

6. I take crappy photos of my knitting. The blanket in progress looks much niftier in person -- edges are crisper, fabric not at all lumpy.

Wait! I forgot to tell you: I'm knitting again!

I'm surprised trumpets didn't blare and marching bands start parading up and down the street. I cast on yesterday afternoon for the first time since January and it felt great! Okay, so maybe I over did it (I'm the original all-or-nothing kid) but what a joy, what a thrill it was to feel needles in my hands again, fondle yarn with an actual purpose, watch as those beautiful utilitarian spare and lovely garter stitch ridges began to stack up one on top of the other.

How did I live so long without this?

I can hear you laughing. You'd think I'd actually embarked on an Orenburg or a Wedding Shawl or something equally mind-blowing and not a simple garter stitch blanket. But I am a knitter who is easily pleased by the Simple and the Easy. (Although I could probably screw up Simple and Easy if I put my mind to it.)

Definitely doing the Happy Dance here in central NJ.

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Blogger Fran Baker said...

That's pretty, Barbara. I like the simple look of it, even though we know getting it right is never simple. Mmmh, sounds like the book I'm writing! Simple, but not-so-simple all at the same time.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Oh, it's definitely simple, Fran! And I love the writing analogy. The easier a book is to read, the harder it was to write. That's been my experience.

11:17 PM  
Blogger kshotz said...

I just got a copy of this book by EZ and it's amazing! There are a number of projects in there I want to try....from the DQ hat to the Baby Surprise Sweater. I'm feeling a little intimidated to try though. Any words of advice to get me over that?

BTW--your blanket looks terrific and I love the colors!

8:46 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I started one of these, too, mostly to use some bulky wool I got on sale 20-odd years ago. I did some calculations to try & figure out how to maximize the size, use up all the old yarn, and added another color. I'm still on the first tapering part -- my schedule got crazy and I set the blanket aside.

9:55 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Actually, Barbara, trumpets did blare and marching bands did parade up and down the street, as you can see from my blog entry today. :-)

I love simplicity myself (although I've taken a U-turn and embarked on a not-so-simple project). I'm savoring your neat rows of garter stitch and that gorgeous diagonal of wrapped stitches. The serentiy of your color choices adds to the beauty of your work.

Welcome back to knitting!

10:20 AM  
Blogger BeadKnitter said...

Hurray! She's knitting! The blanket looks wonderful. Garter stitch is such a satisfying texture to look at.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Sven said...

Good Job! :)

9:14 AM  

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