Department of Lessons Learned

  • 3 star Hotels charge a daily rate for internet, 2 star hotels don’t
  • 7 times out of 10 folks who are dying to ask a question aren’t really interested in the answer*
  • Always buy the extra tank of gas at the car rental place
  • Subtlety is wasted on hyper-crytics
  • Cheap shoes hurt
  • GPS is the best thing since sliced bread
  • 7 pillows can’t make up for 1 Gerry

I received two really lovely emails today – one from a woman who is on her way to Shanghai (wow) but wanted to write to ask a question about Combination Knitting. The other from a woman who really likes Confessions and wanted to tell me why.

When I get a nice email from someone, it’s like getting a little bit of a treat – so as a bit of a treat back, here’s some Combination Knitting info.

Question: How can I translate a pattern from knit-speak to something I, as a Combination (Eastern Uncrossed) Knitter, can comprehend?


A Very Short Knitting Magazine Speak to English Glossary:
What they say: What they mean.

Knit TBL (knit through the back loop):

Twist this stitch as you knit it. If you knit Western, knit into the back of the stitch. If you knit Eastern or Combination, knit into the front of the stitch. Basically, knit so that the stitch is “unhappy” – doesn’t open up fully.

K2tog (knit 2 together):

Knit 2 stitches together so they slant to the RIGHT. If they’re not already oriented on the needle in the Western manner, you’ll want to re-orient them so they’re happily seated Western on the needle.

Annie’s Hint: The tip of the right hand needle will be pointing to the RIGHT when making this decrease!

K2togTBL or SSK or SKP (knit 2 tog through back loop OR slip, slip knit OR slip knit pass over):

Knit 2 stitches together so they slant to the LEFT.

Annie’s Hint: The tip of the right hand needle will be pointing to the LEFT when making this decrease!

Here’s what I mean when I mention the following two terms:

Western Orientation: A stitch which is seated on the needle so it wants to be knit through the front loop.

Note: You’ll know the stitch “wants” to be knit a certain way because when the needle is inserted that way the stitch opens up big and fat and wide.

Eastern/Combination Orientation: A stitch which is seated on the needle so it wants to be knit through the back loop.

The Road
Today and this evening I have classes at Rumplestiltskin, then tomorrow morning after another class I’m off for San Mateo. The weather is extraordinary – absolutely perfect – although I’ve heard from EVERYONE that this is unusually gorgeous weather.

I’ll take it – thank you, Northern California!

I’m able to think about things when I drive that I don’t think about when I’m just sitting and knitting. I’m able to focus in a ‘back of the mind’ way, with my most important thoughts on the guy ahead who didn’t signal, or the exit I just missed. Some of my best ideas come to me when I drive, and I missed not having heavy duty ALONE driving time in August and September.

So California seems like the perfect place for some hard-core driving. Not that a trip to San Mateo is very hard core, but it’s longer than slipping out alone to run to Target.

I am in the happy (?!) situation of having NO deadlines on my plate once I finish my current project. This is a beautiful thing – only classes and family healing on the horizon. Will this wide, open period make me nuts? Or will it lead to a better game plan for the next few years? I’ve put off making plans for 6 months now – and it’s a hard habit to get back into.

One thing that Gerry and I really wanted to get done was to start taping a series of knitting DVD’s. Or even one – a series? Who am I kidding? Perhaps I’ll speak only French in them? Now that he’s on the mend this seems like an excellent project to pick up – not physically taxing, but his expertise will shine through and help us do it more efficiently. He’s spent his whole career working in all aspects of video production – high time we get some of that knowledge wrapped up in my knitting!

I’m curious if you guys have any strong ideas about knitting DVD’s. Do you like ones with a lot of overhead shots? Ones with a knitting group? Do you prefer to just see the instructor? Do you like music, or do you find it a distraction? Do you like a classroom type setting, or something more home-like?

I’m always interested to hear what folks think – not that I’ll heed any of the advice, but it’s good to hear…

*they’re more interested in showing what they know.

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