“Well shake it up baby, now. Twist and shout. Come on and work it on out.” – Twist and Shout by The Beatles
This isn’t the first song that typically comes to mind this time of year. Rather, on most December days you’ll hear any one of Harry Connick Jr.’s Christmas songs ringing through the house; a must for any Christmas playlist.
Funny how Christmas creeps every year. Always feels like eons away, until right about now when I realize it’s only a matter of days. This is when I kick myself for taking on extra knitting projects, for not planning knit gifts more timely, and ultimately resort to Amazon Prime for my Christmas shopping. It’s a vicious cycle and I seem to find myself trapped in it every year. This year is no different…
The other day, I got a call from a knitter friend asking for help with a project she’s ready to throw out her window. This project was supposed to be finished months ago, and so any little setback is just another headache added to her list. She assumed dropped stitch the verdict. I took a peek and coincidentally, dropped stitch remained innocent. I guessed that when she had previously torn out rows, unknowingly, she began knitting in the wrong direction causing her rows to be uneven. How does this happen, one asks? I’ve thought the same thing, but I too have done it! This happened to me while working a piece in-the-round; somehow just picked up the piece and began knitting in the opposite direction. Easy to do when you’re tired.
I told her I’d rip it out for her and get it back to her that afternoon. I ripped it out, and as I’m putting the stitches back onto the needles I confusingly looked twice at the stitches. The pattern is a ribbed stockinette. EXCEPT her stitches looked twisted. They didn’t lay flat, but looked more 3-D. Jill knits differently than I do. I’m a “thrower”. Jill’s a continental knitter. My initial thought was the variant in the stitch was due to our difference in knitting technique. Common sense quickly interrupted that thought and I knew a knit stitch was a knit stitch and it should look the same no matter which way you knit. So, I asked my good friend Google. And this is what I saw:
BINGO! Along with this great visual came a nice blog post from Amanda at Berroco. My question was answered, at least partially. Now I’m curious to watch Jill knit.
It’s funny, knitting is alot like folk music. I’m sure we’ve all heard You Are My Sunshine. Some of us might remember a special person singing it to us in our youth. Some recall a specific event where this song was sung. And if you asked four people to sing it, there would definitely be some variants in the melodies and rhythms. None particularly wrong, just each unique to our own experiences. Likewise, I’m sure we all remember who taught us to knit. How old we were when we first learned. And if you put four knitters together in a room, we’d all have similar knowledge of basic stitches. BUT…I’m also certain there’d be variants in how we cast-on, how we hold our work, and how we keep tension.
Despite the numerous ways of knitting, in the end, a knit stitch does need to be a knit stitch. This is the second time twisted knit stitches came up this month. My friend Alison at Berocco, is having me rework a piece that was already knit for them, but arrived with every stitch twisted. It’s obviously something knitters are doing unknowingly. Let’s fix it:
- Make certain you’re inserting the right needle correctly.
- Make certain, if the stitch slips off and you put it back onto the left needle, you’re putting it back on correctly.
Take a read here, Amanda clearly and concisely gives good insight into twisted stitches. Just one more good piece of knowledge to put into our knitting bags.
Now, back to coffee, Christmas cards, and Harry Connick…