Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Newbies - Reading Your Knitting III

I'm still considering what my next big project will be, and, in the meantime, one pair of perpetual socks has been finished and the next started. There's a good chance that a charity hat will be finished tonight. At some point I'll deal with the languishing kitten.

So, back to the Reading Your Knitting lesson. The last part of my class handout discusses cables and how to tell where you are.

Cables don’t usually cross every other round, so it’s easier to get lost about when to cross the stitches. The above sample crosses the cable every six rows (i.e., row 1, 7, 13, etc.). If you count the stitches up the left hand side of the cable, there’s the little stitch just peeking out from the last cross (which would be row 1) then 6 rows (including the stitches on the needle about to be knit), so it’s time to cross again.

This is one time when knitting back and forth may be an advantage, since, for the most part, cables cross when the right side is facing. The drawback is more purling. You can do cable knitting in the round, but you need to build your skills in keeping track of rows, to keep the cable twists properly spaced. When knitting in the round, the right side is always facing you, so if you're dealing with directions written out for right side/wrong side, you will need to translate the wrong side instructions to produce a correct-looking fabric. In general, if the wrong side instruction says to purl, when knitting in the round you would translate that to knit. If the wrong side directions say to knit (i.e., to produce a reverse stockinette stitch background), then you would purl those when knitting in the round.

Another important thing to know is what way to cross the cable to make it look like the picture. When the stitches on the cable needles are held to the back of the work, the cable will cross from left to right, as above. If the stitches on the cable needle are held to the front of the work, the cable will cross from right to left.

The local artists' cooperative has opened their annual store in Porter Square - Sign of the Dove. It's in the same building as the Porter Square Bob Slate's and the Unicorn Book Store. I found a magnet there today - olden picture of a woman knitting a small item while sitting on a bench - captioned, "How can you have a beautiful ending without making beautiful mistakes."

I meet a lot of knitters, beginners and otherwise, who want the answers without having to do the work themselves -- questions of "How will this turn out if I....." In some cases experience can teach, but in many cases the real answer will come out of having your own experience. Don't be afraid to try it for yourself, and, let others know what worked for you.

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