doh!

I feel stupid.  Really, really stupid.  Tonight, for the first time since I began knitting again six months ago, I realized that I’ve been knitting incorrectly.  Yep.  The most basic stitch, nay, the foundation of all other stitches I have been doing incorrectly.

It’s embarrassing.

I have all of this yarn, these aspirations to knitting nirvana, and I can’t even knit

Yesterday when I picked up the damp and cast on for the Magnolia sweater in KnitScene I thought my 2 x 2 ribbing looked pretty darn funky.  And not in a good way.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that my ribbing *always* looks a bit funky. 

See for yourself:

Dsc00115
The color is totally off (no flash for more definition of funkiness) but you get the idea.  Gappy ribbing. 

I investigated, using The Knitting Answer Book.  And there it was on page 60: a picture of twisted stitches.  Stitches that strangely resembled my stitches.

Witness:
Dsc00116 Twisted stitches, every other row.  No wonder things look funky.  I thought I must be purling wrong — that’s hard, right, purling?  So I flipped to Chapter 2: The Basics.  And what did I find?  When knitting in the English method (which is how I knit) the yarn is wrapped around the needle counterclockwise

All this time.  I’ve been wrapping the yarn clockwise.  I feel a fool.

I mean, there is an explanation.  My grandma taught me to knit when I was 8 or so, but I quickly forgot.  Every once in a while I would break out the needles and the Red Heart and go to town until I’d figured out how to make a stitch that looked vaguely correct.  When I started up again 17 years later, I used the same method.

Now, I’ve never been good with directions like clockwise, counterclockwise.  Diagrams and written instructions are useless to me; I need to see someone do it.  Probably more than once.  So I couldn’t figure out the diagrams, and the go-to-town method had worked well enough before, I just decided I actually knew how to knit because — hey — my stitches looked okay.  To my unpracticed eye, being the key condition of this decision.  And yes, wrapping clockwise (incorrectly) does produce a fabric that approximates stockinette stitch when alternated with correct purling.  But it’s still kind of funky.

And I checked: everything I’ve knitted in the last six months alternates rows of twisted / non-twisted stitches.

I’m embarrassed.

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2 thoughts on “doh!

  1. Thank you. I was recently told I was twisting my stitchs and had no idea what that even meant. A short trip to Google lead me to this post. I have that book so I could easily look it up and figure it out. :D Thank you for posting this.

    *OtterHuggles*

  2. Thanks for letting me know I’m not alone with this twisted stitches business. I was feeling pretty silly … but at least it was an easy problem to fix. Glad my (former) cluelessness came in handy.

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