Friday, April 20, 2007

Knitting Revelation: Combination Knitting

Thanks for the inspiration to swatch and get technical, Nona.
Thanks to Annie Modesitt and Grumperina for helping me learn something new.

See how awful my stitches are in this close-up?

Le Swatch

No? How about if I outline the size of the stitches for you:

Le Swatch

Or like this:

Le Swatch

Yeah. See how I went from having one row of squished, tiny, tight stitches, followed by a group of big, gloppy, loose stitches? I've always known that my purling was looser than my knitting, and for a long time I've known that it's not just me, it's an inherent thing because of the way the stitches are formed and the relationship of the wrap around the needle and previous/next stitch.

I had looked at Combination Knitting before, and had some false impressions of what it was all about, looked at it a little cross-eyed for one hot minute, and then skipped it. I ran into it again recently, somewhere in my web meanderings, and this is what I learned:

Combination Knitting is all about wrapping the purl stitches differently to make up for the natural differences in tension between a "normal" knit stitch and a "normal" purl stitch.

The mechanics are basically that you wrap the purl stitch the "other" way from "normal" (clockwise instead of counter-clockwise, when viewed from the tip of the needle). When you turn your piece to the knitting side, the legs of the stitch are accordingly "backwards" - the leg that should be on the right side of the stitch is now the back leg, not the front leg - so you knit into the backs of the stitches so that they're not twisted.

That's just my conceptual summary. You should seriously check out Annie's info here, and Grumperina's info here and Nona's well-documented exercise here.


Blogger Carson said...

Wow, that's really getting down to the microknit level!
Are you sure they're that 'bad'?! your stitches I mean.
Hooley dooley too much like work for me I'm afraid: knitting is a way for me to be a bit more 'whatever'with making stuff.

4/22/2007 7:38 PM  
Anonymous jessica in montana said...

i have nevver blog commented before! but i so appreciate your combination knitting sum up. wow! thanks for the links to more about it!

4/29/2007 6:01 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

I'd never heard about combination knitting until my copy of Knitting In The Old Way arrived on Tuesday. I took a look at the stockinette stitches on the shawl I'm making and couldn't see any indication of rowing out, but I have noticed that my purl stitches are a little looser when I'm ribbing, so I may try the combination variation there next time.

5/31/2007 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Amanda said...

Wow - I always thought that combination knitting was just another in the wide variety of ways that different people knit. I didn't realize that it has a very practical application. Maybe I will give it a shot on my next knit project...

Thanks for the heads-up!

7/30/2007 7:30 PM  

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