|Pattern:||Self-drafted – garter stitch knit on the diagonal, with stocking stitch motif|
|Yarn:||100% acrylic Caron Simply Soft in Vanilla|
As knitters, we seldom use garter stitch once we have a few simple projects beneath our belts, and have moved on to greater things. But I do find something rather attractive about the rhythm of those simple alternating rows, and set on the diagonal it seems to take on a new life entirely. So I set out to create a square baby blanket, a gift for the impending birth of a friend’s first-born, starting from one humble stitch on the needles, and increasing row by row before decreasing back down to nothing once more. It was a pleasant change to work without charts or instructions, letting the project grow beneath my fingers and in my mind as I worked.
Construction Notes: The pattern evolved in my head from my first simple idea of a square blanket worked on the diagonal in garter stitch. It was mindless knitting at first, needing only an increase in the first stitch of each row. After some time, I introduced a band of stocking stitch, which began as a single reverse-bias stitch in the centre of a row, slowly widening in the same way as the blanket itself. This changed the rhythm a little, alternating a row of knit stitches with a row containing these growing purl stitches in the centre, and demanding a little more concentration on every other row to make the changes in the right place.
An interesting effect was how different the stocking stitch section felt to the touch; the garter stitch with its ribbed rows on either side lofty and cosy, while the flatness of the stocking stitch made it smooth, and somehow almost cold to handle. When I felt this smooth ribbon was wide enough, I again let knit stitches creep back into the centre of the row and grow in a return to the fluffier texture of the garter stitch. Having reached a suitable width, I then began to decrease the rows and the inner sections, a stitch at a time, until finally the stitches dwindles to three, two, one and I was done.
I’m pleased with the result. The blanket feels snuggly and soft, the diagonal rows pleasing as they march across from corner to corner, and the band of stocking stitch sits like a ribbon, smooth and almost satiny, to mark out a simple but striking diamond – or square, depending on how you approach it!