Sunday, May 08, 2005

Trying something new

I love knitting cable patterns except one thing - the reverse stocking stitch background. I can say with confidence that I knit stocking stitches very evenly, but for some reasons unknown to me, my reverse stocking stitches are always the opposite. Here is proof:


Besides, the drape of the pieces in that stitch is always too floppy. So, I loathe knitting reverse stocking stitch as the right side ... and I finished the back of the cabled vest with this feeling.

As if in answer to my complaint, I stumbled upon Annie Modesitt's blog and read about her combined knitting page. The purling method is very different from mine. However, at that moment, I did not have a particular motivation to test that out ... because I knit fast enough for myself and I suffer no writst strain. It was until I read this post of Kathy's that I started to think otherwise:

If not for you, my purl rows would still be 50% bigger than my knit rows! I love to purl because of you!


I think this is some serious testimonial given to an instructor. So, I decided to try out Annie's purling method. I am now almost half way through the front of the vest and I can tell you that I am VERY satisfied with the result ... no, I can also show you:


The stitches are so obviously more even now! Besides, look at these:


The upper one is the back and the lower one the front. Feeling the 2 pieces in person, the drape of the front piece is definitely tighter and better. But the ironic thing is I knit slower and have some pain on my right upper arm (I hold the yarn using right hand). I hope the pain is only the result of my using a method I am not familiar with. I don't really mind being slower ... if I want something fast, I might as well go to the shops and buy something.

P.S. I forgot to mention this earlier. Kathy has a very comprehensive convertion table for combined knitting and video clips showing the various styles and methods of knitting. Go and check them out.

2 comments:

Kathy said...

Hi Agnes,

I'm so happy you discovered Annie's website and the Combined method! It is a life saver for so many knitters, although I must admit most of us carry the yarn in the left hand. Have you checked out my knitting webpage? (http://grumperina.com/knitting.htm) I have a Western-Combined stitch conversion table and Combined knitting videos on there. Another thing I must admit to you is that I use both the Combined and Western methods, depending on the project and the yarn. Once I realized *why* Combined purls came out so much neater for me, I applied the correction to my Western purls and they are now equally neat. A learning experience through and through! Good luck, and let me (or Annie) know if you run into any trouble!

Lynette said...

Oooh. I will definitely check out Kathy's page. I like your before and after combined knitting examples. My purl stitches are pretty even but I've been interested in learning the combined method for a long time. Thanks, very useful information!