Friday, 21 February 2014

Free Pattern: Little Garter Gerkin

Little Garter Gerkin is a garter stitch vest that is knitted in one piece using short rows.  You can use any needles and yarn, this method of pattern take very little planning and you can adjust and modify the pattern as you work through it.  I like to keep the numbers outrageously simple, but it is very very easy to alter and adjust this pattern.  I like to understand what I'm doing, how it all works, so I'm giving you the recipe to create the vest rather than all the stitch counts etc.  Once you have knitted this once you could knit it for anyone.  Read Step 11 before you start, you might want to put a button hole in.



CONSTRUCTION:
Little Garter Gerkin works from one shoulder working down the front, using short rows to shape the front curved section, worked straight across the back, round and using short rows again to create the other front section and up to the shoulder.  Finally you pick up the middle back stitches and knit to shoulder, seam and finish.

EQUIPMENT:
1 pair of knitting needles to match you weight of yarn.
Yarn, any weight, the amount will depend on the size (the picture shows 0-3 which took about 30g)
Crochet needle of the same mm as your needles.

STEP 1:
Knit a gauge square, I normally try and avoid this like the plague but it is necessary here.  From this you can see how many stitches you have per inch.  This will allow you to work out the key measurement.

STEP 2: 
Measure across the chest (from armpit to armpit) on your muse (alternatively there are standard sizing charts online).  Divide this number in half, this is a key measurement.  Work out how many stitches you need for this measurement (half the chest).  In the picture this was 20 stitches.  20 is now your KEY NUMBER

STEP 3: SHOULDER TAB 1
CO half the number of stitches you worked out (example, 10 stitches) and knit in garter stitch for 3/4 your 'Key Number' in rows (so 20 was my key number, 3/4 of 20 is 15...I knitted 15 rows).

STEP 4: SHORT ROWS FRONT 1
You will use short rows in this session, do not fear, the deliciously clever Purl Bee have a fantastic tutorial, the wrapped stitches are important, because you have ugly holes.  Once you master short row literally your head will explode with possibilities - they are my current favorite & best!

Row 1: Knit to the end of the Row, CO the other half of the stitches (so you now have the Key Number of stitches).
Row 2: Knit to the last St, wrap and turn.
Row 3: Knit to end
Row 4: Knit to 2 st from end, wrap and turn,
Row 5: Knit to end.
** Repeat this until you are knitting half the stitches then turning (example, Knit 10 wrap and turn).
Next Row: Knit to 1st wrapped stitch, pick up wrap, repeat to end of row picking up all the wraps.
Next Row: Knit all stitches.

You now repeat this section 2 further times which creates a quarter of a circle.

STEP 5: WORKING THE BACK
Measure the back of the recipient, again you can find these standard figures online.
Work this measurement in garter stitch.

STEP 6: SHORT ROWS 2
Now you will reverse yourself and work up the second front section.  Take a look at your work, make sure you are starting from the far edge and not at the armpit. (Experienced Knitters will notice that your wrap stitches will now show slightly, I wanted this to be a very easy pattern so I haven't got clever here :-) Feel free to be very clever and reverse your wrapping to make them as invisible as the other side.)

Row 1: Knit to the end of the Row, CO the other half of the stitches (so you now have the Key Number of stitches).
Row 2: Knit to the last St, wrap and turn.
Row 3: Knit to end
Row 4: Knit to 2 st from end, wrap and turn,
Row 5: Knit to end.
** Repeat this until you are knitting half the stitches then turning (example, Knit 10 wrap and turn).
Next Row: Knit to 1st wrapped stitch, pick up wrap, repeat to end of row picking up all the wraps.
Next Row: Knit all stitches.

You now repeat this section 2 further times which creates a quarter of a circle.

STEP 7: SHOULDER 2
Next Row: CO 1/2 the stitches (making sure you CO the end starting at the centre!)
Knit 3/4 the key number of Rows (Same as step 1).
Bind off all stitches

STEP 8: BACK
Pick up all stitches across the back of the gilet.  Make sure these are picked up Knitwise or you'll end up with a seam (which if neat might look cool).
Work in Garter stitch for approximately 3/4 the key number of rows...but I'd also work this a little by eye.
Bind off all stitches.

STEP 9: SEAM
I hate seams....hate hate hate.  So I apologies, if you are clever you could have provisionally cast on the shoulder, and kept the other on yarn, and then you wouldn't have to, but simplicity is the name of the game here...so sew up the shoulders to the back, obviously at either end.

Sew in all the ends (hate doing this too - slutty knitter!) and if you are so inclined block.

STEP 10: OPTIONAL
Now, the vest is finished really, but if you want it to look dead profesh (as my hubby would say) you could crochet round the edges.  See below for a tutorial, it's really easy, this could be in a contrasting colour!

STEP 11: FASTENING
I did a simple Icord, and because my tension was quite soft I just fed it through, feeling a slightly pinched icord is better than a baggy hole showing...that sounds weird but you know what I mean! You could definitely work in a little button hole using a YO on one of the fronts, or maybe some other way of fastening.

Well there you go, that's Little Garter Gerkin, a perfect evening's knit, and rather useful spring addition for any little sartorialist.  I wanted to knit one for myself but El Kap said I'd look like an extra in the Lord of the Rings.  Personally I think working out short rows for big boobs might be too tricky to be worth the energy...instead I think Bobbin needs another cardy - watch this space!!

TUTORIALS