Wednesday, July 5

Breathing and Knitting

'Bout three AM I woke to the smell of something burning, smelled like fireworks in the distance. There was a slight breeze and every few minutes it would blow more of the smell into the room. Turned out it woke Franz too, but he thought it smelled like creosote. I went outside. The air was uniformly stinky, misty, like a low fog forming, or perhaps it was smoke? Slight breeze from the southwest. There was nothing on fire, no obvious source, no noise, so I figured perhaps the change in weather had pushed the fireworks aroma toward the ground and northeast to us. The shows had been over for four hours, but who knows.

It was bad enough that Franz went downstairs to sleep. I figured that knowing for sure the house wasn't on fire I could go back to sleep, but the smell got worse before it got better. I did smell creosote. I lay there calculating how many minutes of life expectancy this toxic aroma was going to cost me and finally did fall back to sleep.

This morning I read Erika's blog of a bad fire in her neighborhood at that time. Yikes. That must have been it. Found in the paper that it was at NOAA and that sure enough, creosote was involved. I live at least three miles northeast of there.

In knitting news, recall how I found out that twisting stitches by wrapping backwards did not look like twisting stitches by knitting through the back loop? Well last night I also found out that if you knit the RS through the back loop to make a nice twisty pattern, but then instead of purling correctly, somehow you accidentally start wrapping your stitches the wrong way when purling when you haven't done that in months ---- well you end up with UNTWISTING all those stitches you twisted on purpose!

And if you don't discover this until you have already done two whole purl rows that way and are starting your third, and you are knitting an entire jacket in one piece with 236 stitches on the needle, then you have to tink 944 stitches.

I don't really mind the tinking; I did that last night. I do mind that I have no idea how the stitches ought to be put back on the needle. With ordinary stockinette, I know how the stitches ought to look so after a tink session I can make sure each stitch is oriented correctly before knitting it. So I decided to worry about that later. An idea did come to me, I will make a new small swatch in the twisted stockinette pattern to play with and learn from.

1 comment:

Dorothy said...

Congratulations, you just learned to knit Combination style! Also known as Eastern Uncrossed.
Check out Annie Modesitt's website for a tutorial on how to do it and how to fix it. You can find it at It's kind of hard for me to explain without pictures.
Grab some dishcloth yarn and some big needles and knit a little swatch by knitting into the back of your loops and bringing the yarn up between the needle and swatch and around the needle away from you, pull through the loop and drop old stitch off right needle. Purl though the stitch by inserting needle as normal and bring yarn up between needle and swatch and around toward you, pull through loop and drop old stitch off right needle.
The best way to learn how to tink, is to St st a little swatch, then halfway through a purl row, drop one stitch on purpose and pull it out. Watch how it comes out and how it looks before you do.
Also, if you put your right needle back into a stich just below the one on the left needle, you should have to insert it just between where the working yarn comes out and the part of the loop closest to the right needle. Almost like a reverse English/Continental knit stitch.
Hope that helped a little.