I was taught to knit by my Middle Eastern grandmother, by the method that North American knitters generally call "combined." Basically that means that I knit through the back loop. This affects a lot of elements of my knitting, in particular the way that my decreases slant.
I've gotten really frustrated with published instructions that assume there is only one way to knit. Most text patterns will mechanically tell you to "k2tog" rather than "make a right-slanting decrease," meaning that I basically have to translate every pattern I read into my own knitting style before I can even begin. I do know how to knit the European/American way; I just find it much slower and I don't think the fabric looks as nice.
I've gotten even more frustrated with my inability to ask for help in matters of combined knitting, because most English-speaking knitters simply don't understand how I knit. What I mean is, they might know the answer to the question in the European/American style of knitting, but they often don't know (and sadly, they often don't care
) whether their advice applies to other knitting styles. The odd thing about combined knitting is that some things have to be reversed (like k2tog/ssk) but others don't. I'm trying to learn enough about the "anatomy" of stitches to figure out which instructions need to be reversed, but I'm very new at this, and I don't know where to turn for help.
There is a little bit of information on the web about combined knitting, but not nearly enough IMO. (Annie Modesitt
is a big fan of combined, but frankly I find the diagrams on her web page ugly and confusing.) Only three users in LJ have "combined knitting" as an interest, and no communities have it at all. Moreover, I have never found a site in English about knitting in Middle Eastern styles; I understand that Middle Eastern knitting is not identical to combined knitting, but I don't know exactly how and I don't know who to ask.
So today I decided to make a new community as a place for discussing stuff like this.combined_knit
But while we're waiting for that community to get some members, here's my question! While I was looking on the web for some information on combined knitting, I found this
translation table for stitches. However, there's some stuff about it that I don't really trust, and I could use some help interpreting it. For instance, the table seems to state that for combined knitters, both
ssk and k2tog slant left
. That seems surpassing odd to me; I've been simply exchanging k2tog with ssk for years now, and never noticed a problem. It's also given me doubts about what I'm doing when I ssk -- my grandmother never got that far when she taught me to knit as a kid, so I just kind of guessed which way the needle's supposed to go in the stitch, so now I'm starting to wonder if I've been doing it wrong all this time. I don't think
my decrease stitches are twisted, but I don't know for sure.
Has anyone knit enough combined to show me how this works? I'd be much obliged.