Those EUREKA moments...

Since I have quite a bit of yarn (Bernat Baby Coordinates) left over from my daughter's scarf, I decided to knit a newborn cap for our 2nd child (due March 13th). I cast on 56 stitches onto my size 6 needles and began some 2x2 ribbing. I finished two rows and quit. What I had produced looked like it had been hacked by a blind was gnarly, bumpy, and uneven. So, I ripped it all out and put it away, resolving to start again another day.

This morning, I woke very early from "knitting dreams." I am an IT professional and often have "coding dreams" when I am trying to work out a problem or facing a new project. So, it wasn't too surprising to me for knitting to make that jump, too. Anyway, as I was downloading some files to work on for work, I surfed over to to peruse their "how-to" section. That's when my first "EUREKA" moment of the morning happened. I had been doing K2P2 on the RS, and then K2P2 on the WS. When I read the instructions, I believe I figured out the issue - I should have reversed it and done K2P2(RS) and P2K2(WS). (Even now, I had to go back to the page to make sure I've got it right.) Instead of 2x2 ribbing, I believe I was doing 2x2 seed stitch.

The uneveness was due to the CO not being uniform...that will be easy to correct.

The 2nd "EUREKA" moment happened in the shower. I had seen a pattern for a baby afghan that was flat knit on a large circular needle. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out how you could possibly do flat knitting on a circular needle without ending up with a tube. Then, in a flash, I got it. As I CO on a flat needle, the slip-knot moves steadily to my right. So, if I was casting onto a circular needle, that slipknot would move closer and closer to the lefthand needle and would, therefore, be the first stitch that I knit when knitting in the round. However, in straight needle knitting, the slip-knot is the LAST stitch to be worked on that first row. So, if I were to turn the circular needle so that the slipknot was the first stitch on the RIGHT needle, I wouldn't join and would be able to flip the work back and forth to simulate one honkin' huge set of straight needles.

I think I will get it...eventually. But, before I jump into this hat thing, I think I need to get out my junky yarn and do a stitch swatch...say CO 16 stitches on Size 10 and then work garter for 6 rows, then stockinette for 6, then garter for 6, then reverse stockinette for 6, then garter, then 1x1 ribbing, then garter, then 2x2 ribbing, then garter, etc... That way, I could make sure I'm doing the stitches correctly.

So, two EUREKA moments have really energized me - too bad I'm sitting at work now! I can practically feel my fingers itching to knit!!! =)


MMario's picture

gotta love those light bulb moments.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

jrrenola's picture

It really stinks when you have a "Now what was I thinking" moment after a Eureka moment. Unfortunately, that's what happened with the 2x2 ribbing thing. I did my swatch - garter (good), stockinette (fine), and then tried the 2x2...nubby nastiness again. So, I turned on the fine fine DVD my wife got me for Xmas...Nici McNally. Reviewed purling b.c I was afraid I was doing it backward. Nope, purling worked OK. So, I checked the ribbing chapter...there it was - how to identify which ones are knit stitches and which are purls. Then you knit the knits and purl the purls (I think) - I did what the video said...and sure enough, I found myself with 2x2 (albeit UGLY) ribbing.

MMario's picture

well, you know how it is, sometimes when the lights come on, they are all pointed in the wrong directions!

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

scenter's picture

OK, for ribbing on a multiple of 4 stitches in flat knitting:
*k2, p2*, repeat between *'s to end, turn

Repeat this row until the desired length of fabric.

So, to hopefully clarify whats going on, the right side of the fabric 'knits' (stitch creation order) left to right as:
This is the mirror image of the way the stitches appear on the fabric after the row is done, because you end up on the left side of the just completed row.

The fabric , when viewed from this side, has this stitch pattern left to right:

Now, when you turn it to the wrong side, you get from left to right the reversed stitch order from the other side, and the reversed stitch type (K P):
which, in this pattern, is exactly the same.

doing the same stitchcreation order on this side will give you two rows that are exactly the same:

and so on til the desired length.

Hence the adage: Knit the knits, and purl the purls or knit as presented

FWIW: on the current side of the fabric the next stitch was knit on the last row if it looks like a tiny 'v' underneath the needle. It is a purl if there is a tiny horizontal bar '-' just under the needle

jrrenola's picture

Thanks! With any luck, I've learned my ribbing lesson once and for all!

Tallguy's picture

Hahahaa... sorry, not laughing at you, but just remembering some experiences from long, long ago. (no, I'm not going share them now)

Yes, the books will say "to knit the knits, and purl the purls". Now, they don't really bother explaining it further. What the hell is a knit or a purl, and what do they look like??!! It takes some time to recognize them, and we never think about it again. We then become like all the rest, and take for granted that you already know all that, and we don't bother to explain it to any beginner.

So now that you have learned to recognize stitches for what they are (we call this "reading your knitting"), and have learned that you CAN knit flat with circulars, you are well on your way to discovering many new adventures! One thing I have said many times: you don't need dp or straight needles. You only need one long circular needle in every size of needle and you can do any work you want. Well, maybe you might need TWO needles of every size... and a long length will work for everyting --- even fingers of a glove!!