Reading your knittng

During a recent bout of self-injury, otherwise known as rock climbng, I couldn't help but think, reading knitting is the exact opposite of reading a climbing route. In climbing, a route path may be painfully obvious, yet unobtainable due to the physical ability necessary to complete it. It may be easy to see the relationship between holds and how one is used to reach the next, but quite difficult to just stand up on that bent knee and progress to the next hold.

In knitting, the physical act of creating a stitch may be mastered well before its effect is clearly understood by its creator. It’s not uncommon for a new knitter to know how to create a knit stitch before knowing what a knit stitch looks like or how it relates to the other stitches surrounding it. It is this relationship, though, that will take your ability to the next level. Once you can understand the way the arms of one stitch reach out to form the arms of the next you can feel much more comfortable in recognizing stitches, identifying fabric patterns, and correcting mistakes.

The anatomy of a stitch: Each stitch has two arms that reach around to hold onto the needle on which they’re placed-the right arm always facing forward. The head of the stitch, where the arms meet at the top of the stitch, faces backwards on a knit stitch [allowing the arms to create a visible “V” on the right side of the fabric] and faces forwards on a purl stitch. The hands shake at the point at which each stitch connects to the next.

To decide which stitch you need to create next, you must be able to recognize the stitch you are currently working into. To tell which stitch you are lookng at you must simply look to see if you are looking at the head [you're looking at a purl] or the arms [you're looking at a knit].


Fabric Sampler

Pictured fabrics, from the bottom up:

[What they are, what they do, and how to get them {yes this is information overload-save it for future reference}]

In a stockinette fabric, all of the stitch heads are facing the same direction [creating a smooth fabric wth two distinct sides]. That is to say, if the stitch you are working into has its head in the back, you must create a stitch with its head in the back [a knit stitch], but if the stitch you are working into has its head in the front, you must create a stitch with its head in the front [a purl stitch].

For a garter fabric, every row faces the opposite direction [creating distinct horizontal ridges that looks the same on both sides]. Therefore if you are working into a purl stitch [head in the front], you will work a knit stitch [head in the back], and vice versa.

In a ribbed fabric [one with vertical ridges that look the same on both sides], each knit stitch will be greeted with another knit and each purl with a matching purl.

When working in a seed stitch [an all-over texture that looks the same on both sides], the opposite is true-each knit it met with a purl and each purl with a knit.


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