Thursday, November 08, 2007

Combination Knitting Quagmires

Do you knit strangely? Do you change the way you knit depending on the type of project that is in front of you? If you answered yes, then we may have been separated at birth.

I'm a combo knitter. I fell into this quite accidentally. I thought that I was teaching myself Continental style knitting. Not so. I screwed that up royally. I had finished two sweaters before I realized that I had twisted all the stitches. So, I did some research and found that I combo knit. I'm a hybrid knitter. Hmmm, could I call myself an eco knitter? a green knitter? anyway, back to my point.

I find that thanks to the hybridness that is combo knitting, that I can't knit exactly the way that I'm supposed to. Here's some examples:

- when I knit stockinette in the round, everything's just peachy.
- when I stockinette flat, things start going wrong.

Why? You can put the blame on Purl. Let's see if I can possibly explain this. I don't have any visuals, so bear with me.

I take my right needle and insert it into the first loop on the left needle as if to purl. I then take the yarn in my left hand and wrap it around the right needle back towards me in a clock-wise fashion using my thumb (the thumb reference is really irrelevant, just thought I'd share.) Basically it's wrapped the short way around.

So say I've done an entire row of purls and then turn the work. Now what's wrong with this you ask? Well, the loops are set up wrong for doing a proper knit stitch. The correct way, the side of the loop closest to your body should be just ahead of the back loop so that your loop is slightly angled to the right. right? still with me? So, on my needles, it's backwards. The back side of the loop is just slightly ahead due to the way that my purls were done.

Now, if I were to go ahead and do a knit stitch in the front of the loop, it ends up being twisted. But if I knit from the back of the loop, it knits up just fine. By the way, this really messes up patterns where the directions say "knit through back loop" because the designer wants you to twist that stitch. I then have to knit through the front. Can get a little confusing to say the least.

Here's where my quagmire comes in. I refuse to change the direction of the purl just to make the knits happy since I can purl much, much faster this way. But, I want to knit the correct way. I like sliding that needle in through the front leg of the loop. It's fun.

On my current project calls for a Moss stitch. Oh boy. K1, P1 across the first row, P1, K1 across the next. This really messes me up. If I knit the way I always do, I'll have "loop legs" going in every direction. But I'm stubborn, I found away around the dilemma. This is where learning to "read" my knitting has completely paid off. All I've done is to purl through the back loop while still wrapping the yarn towards me in a clock-wise fashion. It's worked beautifully. My loops are all turned the correct way for the knit stitch and I'm now a happy camper.

Make any sense at all? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear from other knitters about this kind of thing. How do you change your knitting depending on what project you're working on?

Monday, November 05, 2007

3 big mistakes

I made a couple of semi-mistakes this weekend by going out to my Mom and Dad's place. The Eldest begged to go and who am I to deny my children their Grandparent's company?

Mistake #1. I'm now two days behind on my novel writing. Don't know if I'll be able to catch up, but we'll see. Let's see, 1667 words a day. Friday I only finished 862. SO, 8o5 for fri, 1667 for sat, 1667 for sun, 1667 for today. 5806 words to catch up on. might not be happenin'.

Mistake #2. My mother and I should never, ever go to Walmart together. We're both enablers of the other. It's always fun to help someone else spend their money right? Well, we spent each other's money and way too much of it too.

Mistake #3. I picked up my knitting and got a whole three rows done. wow. what progress.

Here's the progress of the cardigan so far:
so soft! so green!