While I loved school as a kid (lectures! tests! essays!) (I’m not being sarcastic; I really was that nerdy) I’m glad there’s no school for knitting. Almost everything I know about knitting I figured out on my own, using a combination of pattern books, youtube tutorials, informal chats with other knitters, and good old-fashioned fiddling with needles and yarn. No formal school or curriculum means that each and every knitter can follow his or her own particular looping path through the craft and become a knitter who is different from every other knitter in the world.
My particular looping path lead me yesterday to an exciting aha! moment as I discovered a knitting trick that I’d never thought of before. Maybe you’ve already discovered this trick on your own knitting journey, and if so, this post will hopefully help you remember that moment of discovery with joy. If the trick is new to you, than, hooray; I can share something helpful. And if you’re a non-knitter reading this post (hi mom and sisters!) feel free to roll your eyes lovingly at my knitting nerdy-ness and flip to some other internet site without reading further.
Okay, the trick:
I love stripes, but if I’m knitting flat, I’d always been baffled as to how to easily knit stripes that are only one row tall. You know what I mean? You knit one row with blue. Then you purl the next with white. Then you want to use blue again but darn it, the blue skein is on the back end of your needle! Until yesterday, when knitting narrow stripes, I used to cut off my blue, leave an end to weave in, and then bring the skein back to the front side to knit the next row. Repeat this for the next white row et cetera, and I’d end up with a big fat end-weaving mess.
Yesterday however, I had a break-through idea. If you use double pointed needles, you can, say, purl the first row in blue, knit the second row in white, and then, instead of flipping your work to purl as you usually would (and having to cut your blue skein and move it around), you just slide your stitches to the other tip and knit the next blue row from that side. You just always start your next row using whatever needle tip your skein happens to be on. For stockinette stitch this means, instead of completing rows in a KPKP… pattern, you complete the rows: KP slide stitches PK slide stitches KP slide stitches… pattern.
Cool? I think so. I’m off to transfer more of my striped knitting to double pointed needles!