Tangles In The Yarn: My Personal Knitting Techniques And Troubles

In this post, I describe the way I knit. From my previous posts about knitting, you thought that I was an expert: really, I’m not. Get ready for my explanation of what I do, and what my reaction is, as well as the little mistakes I’ve made.

I learned to knit sometime up to five years ago. I learned it three times: once from my grandmother, then I forgot; once from a knitting class, when I forgot a little bit more. At last I managed to keep knitting, though I mostly crocheted. I even borrowed a book from the library, and tried knitting more. Again, I forgot. Finally, I bought a book from a used bookstore, the same one that I found in the library, and began knitting more. I got another knitting book (and some needles and yarn) for Christmas, and I’ve been happily working on several projects at a time, mostly increasing my skills.

At one point, it was crazy: I had a hat for my cousin (very complicated, from Hattitue) going, a fluffy scarf for myself, and dreams of knitting myself a pair of mittens. The hat got stashed in my cabinet: I’d gotten lost in the pattern. I was working on the scarf forever, although it was so boring. Just a few months ago, I finished my scarf, and began the mittens with a beautiful yarn that I had (by the way, it doesn’t match the scarf) and loved it. I unraveled the hat, because I probably wasn’t going to finish it anyways, and began knitting my cousin a cute pair of mittens. The mittens for my cousin have a dark green cuff, thumb-tip, and finger-tip, and a lighter green body. I knitted crazily on my first pair of mittens, increasing in an impossible way: the increase was making gaps in my fabric. And, I discovered that I had been knitting wrong with double-pointed needles when I knitted the thumb of my mitten differently from the hand. Oh. See, the needles form the triangle ( < ), and instead of knitting along the outside, like I discovered was the real way  to do it, I knit along the inside! Let’s also give you a demonstration of the increase that you’re supposed to do:

My knitting is horribly different: when I take the yarn over for the stitch, I go from RIGHT to LEFT, instead of LEFT to RIGHT like the woman does. I also do my knit stitch differently: in the increase video, you can see that there are two parts in the increase. Well, do you see that last part? I do that for every single knit stitch. Thus, whenever it taught me how to increase, I’d do the last part twice, because my knitting is off, giving the same result as a yarn over, for those experienced knitters reading this. (My pearl stitch is fine)

So when I was knitting my mitten, I was angry with the little bars that were forming, ruining the warmth of my mitten.  I watched several videos, and discovered my mistakes. I decided to start increasing the stitches like in the video, but keep knitting how I’d been knitting: it made no difference to the fabric, just that the little loops were facing different ways on my needle. For the knitting of my sock monkey, I’m going to do the knitting in the round the way that you’re supposed to, because there’s no point for me to turn the monkey inside out. But for things I can turn inside out, like hats or mittens, I will knit the way I keep doing.

My cousin’s mittens look so much better than mine, since there are no bars across the thumb (my mittens also are pulling the limit with finger space). But when I was knitting her mitten…I was horrified to see that I had finished the mitten too soon, leaving almost no finger space for her! I could snip the knot off, and unravel, then pick up the stitches, but I’d try that on my own mittens, lost track of where the end of the round was, and ended up restarting the whole thing. But I snipped, pulled…and after picking up numerous dropped stitches and counting carefully, I resumed the knitting (read here for another woman’s post about how she edited a storebought-knitwear) and kept working. I’m nearly done with that mitten: just the tip and the rest of the thumb are left. I think I gave myself confidence by doing this: I’m ready to do nearly the same on my own pair of mittens, fix the increases, and give myself a bit more finger-space. My plan is to decrease down to the edge of the cuff, then knit up again from there. I’ll follow my edited pattern for my cousin’s mittens to make my own new and improved mittens.

Geez, why am I writing so many really, really long posts? Probably because I’m more passionate about the subjects, or maybe I’m just more experienced.

~Aidyl

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