Sunday, January 28, 2007

String of Purls

I've finished reknitting the back of the cable-trim sweater and have made some headway into the front. It's a LOT of stockinette, so to keep myself from being too bored, I have been experimenting with different ways to purl. I know I should be doing this on some swatches, rather than on a garment, but I'm not big on gratuitous knitting. When I knit, I knit continental, but generally when I purl, I do English. I wanted to see, though, whether other ways would work for me, so I tried...

1. Continental: This really felt awkward for me. I don't like holding the yarn in front of the needle this way.

2. Combination: I tried to like this, I really did. I read about so many people who are big fans of this style of knitting. It's definitely faster than purling continental. But you still have to hold the yarn in front of the needle, and it still feels funny. Plus, I don't like having the stitches sit differently on the needle so that you have to knit through the back loop. And finally, I admit I'm too lazy to reinterpret various increases/decreases and pattern stitches in order to accomodate this method. Such a shame!

3. Norwegian: I love this method when I'm doing a lot of alternating between knits and purls, like for ribbing and seed stitch. You still get to hold the yarn behind the needle, which is just a lot more comfortable for me. If I'm trying to do it for the backside of stockinette, though, I find that my tension is just too loose, and it creates noticable ridges on the front.

4. Knitting back: I really like this in principle, but I'm not getting my fingers to work properly for it. I do think it has some potential for me, though, so I'm going to keep trying.

5. Pick & Wrap: Okay, I didn't really know else to call this. I held the yarn in my left hand, between the thumb and index finger. The left needle kind of rested on the other fingers of my left hand. When I inserted the right needle into the stitch, I used my left thumb and index finger to wrap the yarn around the needle, rather than "throwing" the yarn with my right hand. I think I saw Tina Marrin knit like this on Knitty Gritty. It was actually faster than knitting English, but eventually, my left hand would get crampy. I might keep trying this way as well.

6. So in the end, I went back to throwing. It's not super-fast, but it gets the job done and I have better tension control.

If someone knows of other ways, let me know so I can try them too!

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