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.
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:
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.
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.