Learn knitting the chunky way!
Copyright 2006 Alice Seidel When I was a kid, there was a candy bar by the name of "Chunky". It was nothing more than a solid square of chocolate, with some raisins and nuts thrown in. But, boy was it good! I can't remember how many nickels I plunked down for one of those on a hot, summer afternoon! Chocolate bars aside, if you want to learn knitting, learn it the "chunky" way. What do I mean by that? I mean, learn knitting in little bits and pieces. Learn anything in little bits and pieces, and before you know it, you have learned a LOT! So when you read a knitting pattern, whether it be a child or a baby pattern, or something for your mother or best friend, and the pattern tells you to work in garter stitch for the first 6 rows, you will know to "knit" all 6 rows. Garter stitch = knit every row.
If you knit one row, then purl the next row, then knit, then purl, and keep doing that for the entire pattern, you are working in "stockinette" stitch. The word "stockinette" probably comes from an alteration of "stocking-net", because it means "a loosely knitted stretch fabric". As you knit and purl, your knitting begins to take on a loosely knitted look. The knit side has a "V" design in it, and the purl side has a "brickwork" look. And here's a newsflash for you: never, never, never knit a scarf in stockinette stitch.
Why? Because, it will curl up like yesterday's french fries. And that's not a good thing! Your scarf will look more like tubing than a neck protector; unless you like tubing as a neck protector. Garter stitch and stockinette stitch are the two basic knitting stitches. Learn these and all the rest are mere variations on that theme. When you knit, oftentimes you will come across the words "wrong side" and "right side". The knit side is not always the right side, any more than the purl side is always the wrong side. Sometimes, the knit side is the wrong side, and before I start sounding too much like Edith Bunker, just take my word for it. In fact, when you purl on the "right" side and knit on the "wrong" side, you are using the reverse stockinette stitch. Usually when you are knitting cable stitches, you will use the purl side as the "right" side of your knitting; because cables show up much better on the purl side of your work. The right and wrong sides to your knitting only refer to which side will be on the outside and which side will be on the inside when your garment is worn.
You see, it's little bits and pieces like these, that make you a good knitter; not always knowing what the newest yarn is all about, or should you buy those lighted knitting needles? Another chunky bit is the word "knitwise", and no it doesn't refer to anyone's brain power. Knitwise means to slip the stitch from the left needle to the right needle as if you were knitting it; but you are slipping it. Purlwise means to slip the stitch as if you were purling it. If you are not slipping the stitch, only inserting the needle in preparation to something else, then insert the needle knitwise. Or purlwise, if that's what the pattern calls for. So, you see, if you learn terms, a little at a time, then you will never be wondering what something means, when you come across it, in your knitting. You will know what it means. And, as you go, you add to your expertise! As time goes by, I will add additional articles on glossary terms, and lots and lots of other stitches and knitting terms. You know what they say, a little knowledge goes a long way; well, with us knitters, the more we know the better! And if we learn knitting the chunky way, why, that's about as good as eating that chocolate bar!.
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