Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Method To My Madness

Mostly Unrelated Picture. Just for Fun.

I knit weird. When I first learned to knit, back in the dark ages when we had to hunt and skin our own acrylics and polyesters---using flint tipped needles--chasing them down the dark and fetid aisles of the local general store, I was taught by my great Aunt Fern. She was an amazing teacher, and I was a pretty good student back then. I didn't realize that the "method" she taught me was "all wrong," at least according to some people, for whom rules are more important than either product or process. I've taught a lot of other people to knit weird, too.

Many years later--after Ravelry, and a proliferation of LYS brought civilization to us savages--I discovered that I could get my hands on other fibers to knit, and that patterns for complex designs involving textures and shaping require some changes in method. The end results look just like something made with the more"standard" versions, so any one who doesn't like my methods can go chew on a big ol' hank of wormy chenille, and stay the heck out of my way. I'll be over here, knitting for people who appreciate it, and having a lovely time.

I still think "my way" is easier all around than any other, and as much as I enjoy wrapping yarn around sticks and pulling it off again, I like to actually make stuff that can be used in some way or another. (You! In the back. Stop sniggering, unless you're thinking about cheezombie's slugs, which are very cool.) Put most simply, I knit in the backs of my stitches. I purl in the front of them; so the motions to make a purl stitch are the exact mirror of the ones for the knit. (That's WHY I knit in the back; if the next row needs to be purled, it sets the stitch up correctly.) That's all. Sometimes I knit from right to left instead of left to right too, but (I think) that's not all that odd.

The first cast-on I learned was the backward loop (wait! There's more than one?) Then I discovered knit, followed by cable (what? they're not the same thing?) cast ons, and used those for a very long time. Even more years later, I learned long tail and Judi's Magic, and crochet, and provisional, all of which cover pretty much everything I've wanted to knit so far, though I'm sure there are others out there.

Years later, I taught myself a whole bunch of other techniques for laces and insertions, short row shaping and steeking, edgings and colorwork and all that complicated stuff, plus how to read patterns and "convert" stitches to "my" style as necessary. From there, it was logical leap to begin writing my own patterns, and I'll probably start charting them soon. I can read charts, but I'm not very good at it. It's still a "foreign" language that I haven't learned to think in, yet.

I like making stuff up, even when the math is hard.

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