I am not crazy about garter stitch (sorry, EZ!) because it is too likely to stretch out of shape. And I am afraid that when the garter stitch stretches under its own weight, making holes between the stitches, it will let out the heat. Since I want this shawl to be warm, I am picturing it in a relatively solid pattern which, while still draping as a shawl should, won’t be too loose. So, I was thinking a nice Fabric Stitch or Linen Stitch would give a solid, woven-looking fabric. Then I realized that it probably wouldn’t have enough drape for a shawl. So I got out the stitch books, and swatched a little, and came up with one from BGW’s Treasury* which I think will work. On the right side, it looks a lot like garter stitch. And on the wrong side, it looks like a different right-side pattern, so I never have to worry about fussing with how I put the shawl on — either side will look all right.
The needle size recommended on the ball band is US6. I am having trouble deciding between a US6 and US8 for this project. On the one hand, I want the fabric to be solid and warm, but on the other, it can’t be so firm that it doesn’t drape properly. I know, that’s what swatches are for. Except that swatches lie. So I will just make a guess and see how it goes. Excuse me a moment…
[Soft background music playing…]
Decision made. I just went and examined my needle supply. I have two sets of 60” circulars in size US7. All my 6s and 8s are in use in other projects, and I’m pretty sure I don’t have any of those longer than 29” anyway. So, US7 it will be.
* Barbara G. Walker, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns, Schoolhouse Press, 1998
Edit: If you want a link to this book, that would be here. Scroll down the page a bit (their website is a little low-tech). This book is the blue one.