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Wales, United Kingdom
You know those diagrams in science textbooks that show the water cycle? Water evaporates from the sea and cools as it rises over the land until it condenses into clouds. Well that's where I live - where the clouds are born. It's very beautiful here, and it's also very damp. I don't yet know what I'll be writing about here. I had a blog a few years ago called, "Growing Things and Making Things," and there will be some continuity with that, but my life has moved on since then. I'm at a stage of reflection and re-evaluation - you could call it a mid life crisis - and this blog will reflect that. There'll be posts about things I'm doing - foraging, cooking, crafts, daft experiments (which may overlap with any or all of the other three) - posts about my thoughts on life, photos of beautiful Welsh scenery, maybe some Welsh language, and probably a bit of politics. Because it's important.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Easier knooking

I never set out to write a crafting blog, with tutorials and patterns, WIPs and finished products, but I've learnt so much from other people's blogs that when I have something that might be useful to fellow knookers and would-be knoookers, I feel almost duty bound to share it. So here's a little tutorial on a new and improved method for knooking.

I mentioned recently that I'd come across an easier way of doing the purl stitch, kindly provided by Ronda. After using this for a while I noticed that I was getting twisty stitches.

[Edit: Ronda's method does not produce twisty stitches. She's now posted a video, from which I can see that I'd misunderstood her instructions for the purl stitch, so that's why I was getting twisty stitches. Anyway, my adapted version of misunderstood instructions ends up with a method that also works, so this is a third knooking method.]

Twisty stitches don't bother me greatly, but having noticed them I started thinking about why they were happening, and thinking, and thinking...

It gets a bit technical here, but only a bit. Each stitch leaves a loop on the needle/cord that either has the leading edge at the front and the trailing edge at the back, or vice versa. Also, each stitch needs the one on the previous row to be a particular way round, either leading edge or trailing edge at the front. If you do a stitch that needs the leading edge at the front, but the previous row left trailing edges at the front, then you end up with twisty stitches.

[My misunderstanding of] Ronda's new purl stitch needs a leading edge at the front and also leaves a leading edge at the front. She changed the knit stitch as well, to leave a leading edge at the front so that it would be well set up for the new-style purl stitches. This only solved half of the problem, though, because [my... etc.] her new knit stitch needs a trailing edge at the front, so it still twists stitches when following the new purl.

I've developed the new knit stitch so that it now both needs and leaves a leading edge at the front, the same as the purl stitch. This means they work together with no twisting. So here are some brief instructions, with photos, of the two stitches:

Knit stitch

With the working yarn at the back of the work, push the hook from the left of the stitch, straight through the stitch from front to back.

Hook going through the stitch to start a knit stitch

Take the yarn under the hook and up across the front of it, then pull the hook back through to the front of the work.

Yarn across the hook for the knit stitch


Bring the working yarn to the front of the work and take the hook behind it, through the front edge of the stitch, from right to left (or the other way if you're left handed).

Hook through the front of the stitch, ready to purl

Take the working yarn up across the front of the hook before taking it over behind and right round the hook. As you pull the hook back through the loop, move it slightly to the back, so that the old stitch falls off the front. It is possible to drop the stitch off the back, but that way lies much twistiness and confusion.

Winding the yarn round for the purl stitch

I hope the words and pictures here are clear enough to explain this. Let me know if not and I'll have another go.

Looking at these photos, my hands look pretty horrible. This is because I've been doing a lot of gardening recently and they are horrible!


  1. Wow, you're becoming really proficient - lovely neat stitches! When can we expect the first jumper? :-)

  2. Thanks so much for the photos that you can zoom in. Makes the stitches look clearer.

    No, you are not talking to yourself and I would think many of us out here really appreciate you for taking the time and effort to post some tips for the rest of us. :)

  3. Hi Roffield - glad to know you found it useful :-)

    Cheers, Gingerbread Lady. First jumper... ah, hmm, well... I have been pondering what to do next... um...

    Seriously, it has to be something useful, so it's either socks or something really big. I am considering a jumper, but your fabulous tiled blanket could well lead me astray ;-)


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