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  • August 28, 2023 3 min read 7 Comments

    Reading your knitting

    The ability to read your knitting includes things as simple as being able to identify a particular knitted fabric and as complicated as being able to find a mistake in a pattern with cables and lace.

    We'll start at the very beginning, and you may be surprised by what you learn in this basic lesson\

    Identifying stitches - knit and purl

    blue stockinette fabric

    A knit stitch is the stitch we create when we insert the right hand needle from front to back through the right leg of the stitch on the left hand needle and draw the yarn through.

    The Knit stitch looks like a V snugged just below the stitch above

    A purl stitch is the stitch we create when we insert the right hand needle from back to front through the right leg of the stitch on the left hand needle and draw the yarn through.The purl stitch looks like a little downward curving bump snugged just below the stitch above it.

    The anatomy of a stitch

    A stitch is just a loop of yarn. I like to think of it as having three body parts: a head, a right leg, and a left leg.

    a knit stitch

    What will make this little loop of yarn into a knit stitch or a purl stitch is where its head is relative to the stitch just above it.

     

    What makes a stitch knit or purl?

    a knit stitch

    Now the loop we just looked at has another stitch above it, and the head of the original stitch is behind the legs of the stitch above it.

    With it's head behind the top stitch, our original stitch has become a knit stitch

    In the image below, the original loop also has another stitch above it, but in this case, the head of the original stitch is in front of the legs of the stitch above it.

    purl stitch

    With it's head in front of the top stitch, our original stitch has become a purl stitch

    How do knit and purls look in the fabric?

    Our course on reading your knitting always begins by asking students to place their needle underneath a knit stich. This is what we're looking for. how to identify a knit stitch.

     

    knit stitch in the fabric

    You see the legs angling down to the V shape and the head hiding behind the stitch above.

    It't trickier to put your needle underneath a purl stitch, but understanding this concept is crucial.

     

    purl stitch in the fabric

    Can you see that the purl stitch has legs pointing down to a V as well? But what you notice is the purl stitch's head in front of the stitch above it creating that bump that we recognize as a purl stitch

    Whenever a knitter has a problem seaming, picking up stitches, or doing any kind of finishing, it's typically a lack of understanding of this kind of information, which is why I focus on it so heavily in the foundational stage of Club Crazy for Ewe where you learn to knit sweaters that you're proud to wear!

    This mini lesson is an excerpt from the Stage One Workbook inside Club Crazy for Ewe.  The club is closed to new members while we give it a redesign and a whole new look, but if you're interested, you can get on the wait list here and start making sweaters that are Fun to Knit and Fabulous to Wear.

    Warmly,

    Ellen  

    7 Responses

    Donna Bohmfalk
    Donna Bohmfalk

    August 30, 2023

    Absolutely phenomenal! This is what it’s all about and I couldn’t be happier with the workbook idea. I’d like it to be downloadable and printable to write notes and refer back to as a resource. Thank you for your work done here with this project. Well worth the effort!

    Kristi
    Kristi

    August 29, 2023

    I absolutely love this! This is going to be an awesome program andI I look forward to the new launch!

    Kathy Mitchell
    Kathy Mitchell

    August 29, 2023

    Great photos with explanation.

    Jo McDonald
    Jo McDonald

    August 29, 2023

    Pictures are so helpful in understanding fully. A workbook to accompany lessons is a wonderful idea—although work intensive for you.

    Susie Neighbors
    Susie Neighbors

    August 29, 2023

    Great photos and illustrations. I loved this!

    Amy Briggs
    Amy Briggs

    August 29, 2023

    This is great! So clear when I see it in these illustrations.

    Judy Hewitt
    Judy Hewitt

    August 29, 2023

    Excellent photos, very nicely illustrated!!

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