According to Douglas Adams, 42 is the answer to “… the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything”. This simple garter stitch scarf has 42 points, so designer, Martina Behm, called her scarf Hitchhiker. My eye has passed over this pattern many times, (it’s perfect for variegated yarn – we all love them, buy them, then wonder what the hell to make with them!), but I found the idea of making a whole project in garter stitch off-putting. I love the smooth V’s in stocking stitch, I wasn’t so keen on lumpy, bumpy garter stitch. I also have memories of learning to knit as a child – when my tension was all over the place and I was probably using the wrong size needles for the wool – when I used to get really gappy rows of garter stitch; I hated them. How wrong I was!
The garter stitch makes a dense, squishy fabric that makes it feel like you’ve used a heavier yarn. For all that, it’s not stiff at all, but drapes beautifully. If my tension was a little more even, it wouldn’t even had needed any blocking. As it was, mine did have a few areas that were a little lumpy. I was nervous about blocking it. I’m used to knitting things that needs a bit of stretching to open up the pattern. I very much didn’t want to do that with this scarf. I really liked the springy texture and wanted to retain that. I debated steam blocking it, but the very idea of holding a hot iron anywhere near yarn still terrifies me, so I gave it a bath. It was a relief to discover that the knitted fabric didn’t want to stretch out at all. All I did was place a few pins along the straight edge, then smoothed it out with my hands. The points kept their shape beautifully and I didn’t need to do any extra pinning of those.
Overall, I’m delighted with how this scarf turned out. It was my first garter stitch project, but it won’t be my last.