Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Knit Along: Noro Legwarmers from Yarn Company - Day 3

Stitch literacy...
Especially with a simple pattern, it’s fun to get to the point in your craft where you don’t have to keep staring at a paper.  It’s rather like that magical moment where you can cook without a recipe...it somehow feels more like art, less like science when you’re not continually peering at written instructions.   
Memorizing a simple repeating pattern is only half the battle.  You’ve got to be able to look at your knitting and see where you are.  My friend calls this “stitch literacy.”  
These leg warmers are a perfect example.  “Increase one on each side every 10 rows” (or in the case of my chunky calves, every six rows) doesn’t tax many brain cells.  You can either employ a stitch counter--and there are scads of adorable or practical ones--or you can learn to count your rows visually.  
Here my needle is pointing to the knit-one-in-front-and-in-back increase.  It’s that purl-looking loop snuggled in between the two columns of knit stitches below it.  Now, if you go by my favorite adage that “knit stitches wear v-necks and purl stitches wear turtlenecks,” you can count the v-necks up from that loop to know you’ve done your six rows.  
Remember, however, to count the stitch on your needle.  This means five v’s in your knitting with the sixth around your needle.  Here I’ve simulated that so you can count up yourself.  See?  It’s not that hard.  And you’ll feel oh-so-skilled when you can pick up your knitting and know exactly where you left off--even if your toddler has made off with your stitch counter because it’s shaped like a sheep and he was playing farm.
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