Thursday, 24 November 2011

The Change

No, I am not talking about The Change, unless everyone is thinking about the knitting change, in which case you are spot on!

A while back I mentioned something about my knitting.  It started with YO's being really small, and it turned out I was twisting them.  This got me thinking about how I knit, as my 'natural' way of putting the yarn over the needle, and then my 'natural' way of knitting that stitch messed it up, so who was to say I wasn't doing anything else wrong?

So, I watched videos, read forum posts.  I spent a couple of evenings reading and watching.  On the third day, I put what I learned into practice.  You see,my style of knitting didn't fit quite with the continental knitting style - I did my purls differently.  I practised and practised, and slowly but surely I was able to knit a full row of knitting knitting and purling using my fingers only.

Then I noticed it.  It took me a few rows to properly see it, but something was really really wrong.  All my stitches were being twisted.  So I watched and re-watched, and then I watched a slow-motion video and saw that she was wrapping the yarn over the needles in a different direction to me.

You see, as I have discovered, when you see pictures and watch videos of knitting, it is very important to pay attention to that small seemingly insignificant detail.

I happened to come across this post on ravelry purely by accident.  The problem I was having was most videos assume your knitting is mounted with the right-leg of the stitch in front.  It's a fair assumption to make, as most people when they learn to knit will learn this way.  Instead, when I learned to knit, I went with what was comfortable, and this ultimately resulted in my knitting being a little bit weird.
Bottom is the old, top is the new.
The leg at the front on my knitting is the left-leg, which meant every time I knit into it as shown on videos, I was twisting it.  When I was purling, my way of wrapping the yarn over the needle seemed to compensate for this a bit, and gave me stitches that looked like knit stitches until you looked closely.
When it's stretched, it is very obvious!
I have looked at, and felt hundreds of knitted items over the years.  Not once was it glaringly obvious to me that my stitches were twisted!  My knitting always looked a bit different, but I put that down to knitting styles as most people I know knit English style.

I have since learned that I knit Eastern European style.  I have had to make changes to how I interpret patterns, as K2tog and SSK would obviously not work as written (well, they would decrease, but the direction would be off), but compared to learning how to hold yarn years after holding it a certain way that was nothing!  The solution was insanely simple - just knit or purl through the back loop!

The best part is my knitting speed has increased.  I love how my 'new' stitches look.  I love the fact my hands don't hurt any more from gripping the needles while trying to knit into the front stitch which is leaning the wrong way!

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