Sunday, March 01, 2009

Knit Garters

A Pair of Period Garters

Notes: These are building upon my interest in period knitting, following Taylor's Mitts from a couple years ago. These are meant to hold up the cotton or wool stockings worn by women in the 18th and 19th centuries. You tie them around your leg right below the knee. They were inspired by the many extant examples of garters shown on the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get a specific extant example to base these on, so they are more "inspired by" than fully accurate.

Finished Size: These are quite stretchy, but they were made to fit around a leg of 13" circumfrence.

Materials: Way less than a ball of Paton's Classic Merino or similar worsted wool yarn (Cascade 220, Knitpicks Wool of the Andes, etc)
1 set of US 4 needles
Medium (about a size F) crochet hook
Darning needle

Gauge: 8 stitches=1.25" in garter stitch (row gauge is unimportant)

Garters: cast on two stitches using a long-tail cast on, and leaving at least a 6" tail.

Knit into the front and back of each stitch, so that you have four stitches total.

Knit back and forth in garter stitch (knit every row) until the garter measures 10.5".

K1, m1, k2, m1, k1, giving six stitches total. Work one row even in garter stitch.

k1, m1, k4, m1, k1, giving eight stitches total.

Continue working in garter stitch until the whole garter measures 19". On the next row, k2tog, k4, k2tog, giving 6 stitches total. Then work one row even in garter stitch.

K2tog, k2, k2tog, giving 4 stitches total.

Continue working in garter stitch until the garter measures 30". Then k2tog, k2tog, giving 2 stitches total. Finish off by cutting a 6" tail and pulling it through the two live stitches with a crochet hook.

Repeat for the second garter.

Tassels: cut six strands of yarn about 3" long each. Lay these side-by-side and fold the whole bundle in half. Tie a piece of yarn around the bundle just below the fold, making a loop, and knot it off securely. Attach this tassel to one of the garters by threading the 6" yarn tail through the loop a couple times and knotting off. Repeat for the three other ends of the garters.


Stephanie Ann said...

I love these. Have you had any problems with them being too stretchy? I've been trying to solve the problem in another pair of garters that I am working on. Yours look great.

Gloria said...

Hi Stephanie Ann,

I've used them a few times and they've worked well. They do stretch out as you wear them, but if you then soak them in warm water and block them back to shape, you're good to wear them again. This has worked best if you use worsted wool, since it blocks back to shape well. Thanks for commenting!