As mentioned previously, I am an Eastern European style knitter. I both knit and purl through the back loop, it’s the leading leg. Here is a quick video of me doing the knit-front-and-back (kfb) increase.

This video first appeared on a 4/7/2017 comment on Ravelry when someone said they “knit weird.”


Twisted stitches bust my britches

I know I’ve mentioned this, but I knit in an Eastern European style. Which means I knit and purl through the back loop. Pretty sure I “unvented” it (Thanks, Elizabeth Zimmerman) based on the fact that I’d been crocheting since I was six.

Unfortunately for me, since I was mostly self taught, I didn’t have someone around to point out that my stockinette in the round looked different than my stockinette knit flat. It took close to two years for me to be able to look at my knitting to know what I was doing and sort out what the problem was (this was right at the start of Ravelry and I wasn’t much in to forums) and then to figure out how to wrap the yarn so that my stitches looked the same in the round as they did flat.

I loved each of these socks. But you can see the ridges on every pair, a very tell-tale sign of twisted rib. It’s especially obvious in the green sock pic as the camera sort of reverberates over the color.

Compared to these more recent socks. Smoother, more even stitches that lay flat.

Which is not to say that you never want twisted stitches. More and more designers are using them intentionally. I generally avoid them, even as a design element. But had to carefully work them in my Plicate hats by Hunter Hammerson.

Talk about a tough sell, I have to re-seat each stitch in order to get the proper ridge/twist that the designer is looking for (love this hat, btw, a favorite no matter how I do it).

Done intentionally a twisted stitch can be an attention grabbing design detail. Done unintentionally, particularly in fair isle, it makes your work look unprofessional and like you jumped into designing/selling before really knowing your craft because you haven’t been able to “read” your knitting well enough to know you are doing it wrong.


Eastern European Knitting – how the stitches sit

There are a lot of different styles of knitting and most of them involve knitting through the “front” loop. Usually that’s the leading leg. Eastern European, however, has the “back” loop or leg leading, and that’s the loop you knit and purl through. I’m finding that it is especially common among knitters who started with crochet.


And this can’t be confused with Combined Knitting, well explained by Annie Modesutt, which seems to involve purling through the front, leading leg.

For Eastern European knitting I insert my needle (the project, btw, is Alana DakosPerennial) through the back, leading leg.


I then wrap the yarn clockwise, if you are looking down from above, around my right needle.


And pull the new loop under the left hand loop on to the right needle, removing the left loop from the left needle. New stitch made!IMG_20150207_191540109

For the purl stitch, I come around behind the back leg, insert the needle from left to right, wrap yarn clockwise, pull it under, pull the left stitch off.IMG_20150207_191738164



Long Live the King

My Jackaroo Cardigan is in the process of being frogged. Ribbit. Sadly, my skills & maths are just not up to a pattern that is done in pieces & sewn together right now. It’s really too bad as I’ve heard such good things about Amy Herzog. I knew for awhile that it wasn’t working, but I kept knitting, hoping some miracle would happen. It didn’t. And when I put the fronts & back together I knew there was no hope. But I kept it on the needles for a bit longer, did a few more rows of the sleeves.

IMG_20140923_141931226┬áThere’s just no way that that is going to close in the front. And unless I’m knitting a sweater designed to be open, it should close.

I’m going to attempt a knitbot pattern by Hannah Fettig instead. It’s called Calligraphy and is one I’ve had my eye on for awhile. I really like what Susan B. Anderson did with the pockets and may try that, too.

I may, unfortunately, need to order a few more skeins of yarn from Knitpicks. I’m debating getting them in a different color for a touch of interest. Maybe just the pockets and sleeve ribbing?

Kitchener Stitch for Eastern European Knitters

Kitchener stitch is used to graft live stitches together. There are plenty of great tutorials, I, myself, used Silver’s Sock Class for simply ages, but was never happy with the result I got. My stitches always looked twisted and wonky. When I finally realized that I was doing Eastern European style knitting, I realized why! Because of how I knit, my stitches sit differently on my needles than most poeple.
So, for a model, here is a hex, knit in the round. I’ve swapped out the tail for a pink tail to make what I’m doing more obvious.
I worked on twenty stitches. So the first step is to take it down from 3 needles to 2.

The general rule with Kitchener is Knit & remove, Purl the front needle; Purl & remove, Knit on the back needle (KP, PK).
Step A – First, though, run the needle, as if to purl, through the first stitch on the front needle.
Leave this stitch on the needle.


┬áStep B – Then run the needle, as if to Knit, through the first stitch on the back loop.
Leave this stitch on the needle.


Step 1. Here’s the first stitch you’ll remove. Run the needle, as if to knit, through the first stitch on the front needle. Then remove that stitch from the front needle.



Step 2 – Now run the needle, as if to purl through the second stitch (now the first stitch) on the front needle.
Leave this stitch on the needle.

Step 3 – Run the needle, as if to purl, through the first stitch on the back needle. Then remove that stitch from the back needle.



Step 4 – Now run the needle, as if to knit, through the second stitch (now the first stitch) on the back needle.
Leave this stitch on the needle. Return to step 1 & repeat until the last stitch on the back needle.


Et voila! You can see the new pink stitches grafting my hex shut. Once again, it’s important to note that (hopefully) these instructions don’t actually differ verbally from other blogs and posts descriptions of how to do the Kitchener stitch; what should be different is the pictures of the needle moving in & out of the stitches because of how my stitches sit on the needles while knitting.