sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Monday, November 19, 2007

the trouble with garterlac

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Garterlac washcloths (dishcloths), six
Pakucho organic naturally colored cotton
Started: ? November 2007
Finished: 16 November 2007
US 9 (5.5mm), 32" circular Knitpicks Harmony

Last year I knit my dad a pair of (wool) socks for the holidays, maybe not the best choice for desert wear but hey-- I thought they were cool :) This year, it's washcloths and bath stuff. We'll see how they're received... as for me, I really like them!

I haven't seen too many solid garterlac dishcloths, but the effect of garter stitch entrelac on a solid yarn is really fun and textural-- quite like damask knitting shifting in the light. The garterlac pattern is just so satisfying to knit-- I'm also the oddball who loves picking up heel stitches, so grains of salt abound, but Dave has a truly addictive pattern here. (Just ask trek!)

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I've been really fascinated by Pakucho organic cotton ever since Clara wrote about it-- if you're not familiar with it, it's a naturally colored cotton-- no dyes are used to achieve the color of the yarn. The green you see (as well as the shades of brown and cream it also comes in) occur naturally and are farmed using pre-Columbian techniques; a cottage industry of color, history and fair trade. Seeing it at elann for less than $3 a skein (one skein = one cloth, plus leftovers) was the clincher for me.

The yarn is cabled-- made up of 5 plies of 2-ply yarn. (The above pic is of a woven in end, the yarn is more plied together than that but not very tightly overall.) I started the washcloths on (blunt tipped) Addis but just couldn't get all the plies when knitting by touch, and even after switching to the super sharp Knitpicks Harmonies I still would miss one on occassion...

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No matter though, not for this project. The look of the cabled yarn in garter stitch is just beautiful, and the washcloths are crazy soft and supple. I knit at a slightly looser gauge than I'd normally choose to give the fabric even more drape and account for any tightening up/shrinkage in the wash... these are all unwashed/unblocked, though I think I will give them a hot wash and tumble dry before wrapping up as a gift. The cotton will shrink (10-15% I've read), but I want to give them the same kind of treatment they'll receive by a non-knitting, machine washing recipient to see the effect beforehand. The colors are also supposed to intensify with each wash, and I'm excited to see if it's true.

I'm also thinking about knitting the scrubby and soap pouch from One Skein, but reviews on Ravelry of the aloo nettle yarn in the project weren't too positive. Maybe Euroflax Linen? We'll see, I have some bright red euroflax but think a more "natural" color would be a better compliment to the green washcloths. (Anyone want to swap?)

They do look good by on their own though...

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...but my new piddleloop bag is staying with me :)


eta!! threadless is having a $10 tee sale thru dec 16th... woo!

12 comments:

Zonda said...

Nice washcloths! I love them in that yarn. Oh BTW, I have some of that Aloo yarn. Um..it stinks, I mean, really stinks and not much fun to knit with. I started the pouch, but it is pretty rough. I can send you the skein if you want ;)

Dave said...

Doncha think you got a little carried there? But I do like the texture. Hmm. Great pattern. LOL!

lexa said...

I haven't tried Dave's pattern yet, but I really like it. Haven't knit entrelac in years. Looks good in the solids.

Chris said...

LOL - they're reminding me of bibs! *twitch twitch*

Twinsanity/Spinsanity said...

The garterlac is dangerous, back away from the garterlac.

http://twinsanity.blogspot.com/2006/10/obsession.html

Stacey said...

what a great gift idea! and that cotton will be wonderful the more it gets used!

jenfromRI said...

Those look so cool. I'm officially ading them to the list of Things to Try After Christmas.

Lisa said...

I love that pattern. They seem to multiply like bunnies here too!

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Aija.

trek said...

I've not knit a garterlac in quite some time, but a local peep wants to learn the technique so I am giving a lesson soon.

Becka - The Knitting Wounded said...

I may have the mental fortitude to complete a washcloth... next year...

Rhonda the Stitchingnut said...

I couldn't resist ... I just bought a shawl pin also. Thanks for the lead!

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