OK, That Makes More Sense

Look at this page, specifically the first diagram after the “Binding Off” heading.  See how the little illustrated knit stitches sit on the needle?  The ‘leading’ leg, the side that’s closer to the end of the needle, is in front.  Apparently, because of the way the yarn is wrapped around the needle in forming the stitch, that’s just how it works out.  For most people, that’s how they do it.

That’s not how I do it.  The leading leg of my knit stitches is behind the needle; the leading leg of my purl stitches is in front.  I have no idea why I do it backwards, but it probably has something to do with being mostly self-taught.  It does make it a little easier (at least I think it’s easier) for me to knit untwisted, as the stitch is ‘open’ in the correct direction; people who do it the usual way, I imagine, have to do more manuvering of their needle points.  But it also causes a problem that I wasn’t aware of until a few years ago, when I made a pair of lace socks (which I gave to my mother for her birthday, and which, as far as I know, have never been worn.  But I digress.)

For the first few rounds, I couldn’t figure out why my decreases, which were an integral part of the pattern, were slanting in the wrong direction.  Rather than making a nice solid line like they were supposed to, they looked almost like a two-stitch cable.  Eventually I worked out that I needed to do “knit two together” everywhere it said “slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over”–which confused me, as both of those are left-leaning decreases for me–and do some complicated rearranging of the mounts wherever it told me to k2tog, but I still didn’t really grasp why.  I think I thought it was a typo. 

But it wasn’t; it’s because I knit with a different mount.  This has the side effect that there are no easy right-leaning decreases for me.  Now that I know this, I can make the minor modifications necessary to adjust patterns in which the lean of a decrease is important.  It also means that I do lace patterns better from charts than from written directions, as the symbol on the chart usually tells you which way the decrease is supposed to lean.

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