Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Knitting Techniques

I notice that when knitters ask technique questions they want a simple straight forward, this the only or the best way to do X answer. 

Unfortunately, I find it really hard to give that kind of answer. Knitting is partially art and partially engineering. Many knitters don't recognize that every variation has an impact on the final result. By variation I mean, we start with yarn, it might be wool, cotton, acrylic, etc. The yarn could be a single, or plied in a number of different ways. Next, we choose a needle which is of a specific material, wood, bamboo, metal etc. The needle could be a straight, circular or double pointed version. Then there is the construction method to consider, top down, bottom up, sideways, multi-directional and there are many more choices here. Now layer in the knitters individual knitting style, right or left hand yarn hold, picker or thrower, tightly tensioned over several fingers or loosely tensioned. Within those categories, there are still huge variations in the final result, as two different knitters who knit in the same way do not necessarily get the exact same result.

An expert knitter can always show you how they do something. What they can't show you, is how all of the above variations will impact your specific project. I'm sure you know where I'm going with this. Research and swatch. Doing both will answer your question. Invest in a good knitting reference book, take classes, ask a knitting friend or do your research online. You can test different techniques and choose the best for your project.

1 comment:

  1. I completely understand! People always ask me similar things when knitting my patterns, like there is a magic answer to get things right. I always find it funny that people are surprised that I swatch.