Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Coming down the home stretch

1 full repeat of skein 3 complete--(3.5 more to go—and then I'll be out of yarn and done!)

Maybe I'll get it finished by end of day today.

Then immediately onto a cashmere blend cowl—pretty simple—4 colors, knit in welts. (5 rows/rounds of stocking knit, 5 of reverse stocking knit.. The welt will bunch up like ribs—and will be striped.
One side blue and green stripes, the other side, grey and white stripes.---its a holiday present.

Of course when it stretches out, you'll end up seeing all 4 colors.. but one side will be predominantly blue/green (with recessed white/grey) and the other side white/grey with recessed blue/green.

And I should get back to working on my peachy socks.. (haven't touched them now in 2 weeks!) and then, the contest project, (since that has a dead line!) and then hats, and fingerless gloves, and more patterning writing, and—More tutorials..

I've touch on some of my knitting philosophy—I should put my money (or effort!) where my mouth is (considering this blog to be a mouth piece!)

The Leafy Vines (like it? Don't know how to find the stitch pattern or reverse engineer it? Find it here. ($5) –Yeah, well the stitch pattern is 32 rows. Half-16 are plain (knit the knits, purl the purls)

The 16 pattern rows? Half are faggoting lace (K2tog/ YO) and half are a leaf (with a single K2tog) motif.
--Oh wait—that's not quite right. 8 rows are done with K2tog, (faggoting and leaf) and 8 rows are done with SSK and an other leaf.
All K2tog's would cause a bias—by alternating groups of K2tog rows and SSK row, the unblocked knit is a soft zig-zag, that blocking makes straight. You can see the soft zig zag clearly in the unblocked knitting.

But for me, there are NO SSK's.

For the first half of the pattern on the “plain rows” I make sure to knit Standard European style purls.
And all my stitches line up ready to be knit together and lean Right.

For the second half of the pattern, I work the purls in my standardcombo” (aka eastern) purls, and my stitches all line up on the needle reversed—so when it comes to a decrease I already have the SS part of an SSK done.. and I have to do is K2tog.

A neat trick that makes knitting a bit faster!

If I were working in the round—like say, my peachy socks..with its much simpler lace that also has 50% right leaning and 50% left leaning decreases, (and the purls—there are purls—are part of the rib, but not part of the lace) This trick wouldn't work.

Since I don't turn the work, and the plain rows between the pattern rows are mostly KNIT (not purled as they would be if worked flat) So I use the same sort of trick—I make Eastern style KNIT stitches (which are reverse mounted.)

So I can K2tog (standard European knitting) and get a left leaning decrease, and a stitch or two later, K2tog (EASTERN Style knits) and get a right leaning decrease. (I never have to SS!)

It make lace easier (especially if you do things like knit lace on the subway, at rush hour!)

Wait let me correct that—it changes how I knit lace. It is physically easier and I am less likely to drop a stitch as I slip them, BUT it does require a bit MORE THINKING on the plain rows.. [How am I working this stitch? As European purl? (flat knitting) or as an Eastern Knit? (working in the round)]

To me, the mental effort is easier than the physical!

I have to make a bit of effort with the European purl..(I tend to work it looser, and can, if I am not careful, row out) The Eastern knit is a no brainer—and has no effect on my gauge at all. I could do rows and rows of them, with no effort at all (well I would have to make the mental effort to remember!)

I think it was, perhaps (and in some cases definitely!) true 100 years ago, that everyone in a community knit the same. (and it was also largely true—everyone one was related!) and that changes to styles of knitting (from color work to lace work, to cable work, to..) were infrequent.. but they did happen, and sometimes abruptly—seemingly over night, Shetland islander's change from color work to lace work (and they still are famous for their lace)--If Alice Stamore is to be believed—and I think she is. And almost at the same time, Fair Isler's took over the work of color knitting. (and they have kept it!)

Part of this slow (or radical) change was based on island culture... but even in non island populations—people often remained settled, and didn't travel very far from home very often.
A set of human remains (some 300 years old) found in Cheshire England had a DNA test done—and its clear from the genetic markers, he is related to about 50% of current day residents of Cheshire!(and can if find the link to back this up? No of course not!)

People MOVED out of Cheshire (to London, to Canada, to US, to India or Australia or other part of the empire) but many fewer new comers moved in—and it's far more likely that any newcomer adapted local styles—(and didn't changed them)—even if they did mix up the DNA markers!)

But—in US, (or Canada or Australia, or..) where the population is made up in large part, of immigrants, these immigrants brought with them their home town styles of knitting.

As a small example, I have, as neighbors, a vast array of ethnic groups and populations—there are 12 apartments on my floor (with 14 floors per building, and 6 buildings in my co-op, [Its a small town of 1100 apartments,and likely 3000 to 4000 individuals, in a very small (2 acre) space]) My neighbors (on my floor, alone) are Chinese, Russian, South American, Israeli, Pakistani, Italian, Irish, and Korean (with some doubles!)

There is more diversity in the complex as a whole, then there is on my floor alone—The Indian subcontinent alone provided Hindi's, Jain's, Sieks, Muslims, and Buddhist, (from Pakistan, India, Goa, Bangladesh, and Tibet, and at least one Nepal!--(and truth be told, I only know a fraction of my neighbors! So there is likely also some one from Sri Lanka--(who may or may not be a Timorian!)

The knitting groups I belong to have the same multi ethnic mix. And knitting styles,too, are varied.

Not everyone in any of the groups I belong to is a multi-”lingual” knitter.

Many can just knit in one style, but several can knit in 2 (2 versions of European being the most common--for 2 handed color work) and knitting in 3 styles (2 styles of European, and true left handed, (for entralac!)) is not a unique skill.

A few Knit combo, that can (if pushed) knit standard European, and at least one Knitter, in each group knits Eastern--(tensioning the yarn round the neck, working mostly in purls, and using the left thumb to form the stitches.) Others knit using a Norwegian style purl—one churns out color work (of various styles) like a professional, (but has a hard time with cables!) Each group has at least one other knitter (some 2, some more!) who designs.

And I think my groups are just a year or two ahead of any group of knitters everywhere across the NA continent for the diversity of knitting styles to be found.

Every day, more and more knitters are learning to knit in a different way—English and Continental, or True Left handed, or combo (which is really for the most part, ONE HALF of a combo set, (European knits, Eastern purls, with very few also knowing Eastern knits and European purls!!)

And other knitters-- in other less diverse populations, in even the most remote parts of the world are connected (to some degree) to each other via the Internet. And these knitters are learning about, and how to do, other styles of knitting, too.

40 years ago, I was a closet knitter. Every time I knit in public, I got corrected --because other were sure I was knitting WRONG. Now days, I am admired—because I can help almost any knitter, because no matter what their personal style, I know it!

But I know from many posts on Ravelry, I am hardy special... LOTS and LOTS of other knitters have my skill set (and more!) The idea that there is one way to knit is fast disappearing!

1 comment:

Virginia said...

Love your knitting philosophy.

Wanna join us on Saturday in Brooklyn? We'll be knitting at a place off the G train.