Thursday, January 19, 2012

Slip as if to Knit OR Slip as if to Purl

Olive and I are cruising nicely along on our Flurry sweater.  At this point, Olive has both of her sleeves on to the body of the sweater and she is working her decrease rounds around the shoulders.  I have one sleeve on and have started the second sleeve.  We are both pleased with how our sweaters are looking and should be, hopefully, done by the end of the weekend.  

So while Olive and I were knitting, she asked me how I perform a “slip slip knit” decrease stitch (written as “SSK” in stitch patterns and it slants to the left).   She said that she finds that everyone does this series of stitch movements differently and she that this discussion topic is very interesting among knitters.  She says that some are very set in their ways about how to do this stitch, and others (like me) more flexible.  I told her for me, it’s how the stitches look when they are lying down after the decrease. 

I told her that I have seen it 2 ways and it’s all in that second slip-stitch where the discussion lies:

1)    Slip the first stitch as if to knit onto the right needle, slip the second stitch as if to knit onto the right needle, put both stitches back onto the left needle, knit both stitches together through the back loops.

2)    Slip the first stitch as if to knit onto the right needle, slip the second stitch as if to purl onto the right needle, put both stitches back onto the left needle, knit both stitches together through the back loops.

This discuss comes all down to that second stitch: do you slip as if to knit, or do you slip as if to purl?

I think comes down to 2 things: the yarn you are using and personal preference.  On the Advent Scarf, Kristin, the designer, has several stitches where I have to slip 3 stitches and then knit these 3 stitches through the back loops.  I slip all 3 stitches the same way – slip as if to knit.  I read a comment thread on the Advent Scarf from someone on Ravelry (under groups) about slipping all 3 stitches the same way, “slip as if to knit,” and I agreed with that comment – they looked nice laying on top of each other.  But on the Flurry sweater, I have slipped as if to knit the first stitch and slipped as if to purl the second stitch because – yup, you guessed it – I like the way that they lay on top of each other.  In fact, the second stitch – the purl one, looks almost hidden behind the knit stitch.  Both yarns are DK weight, but the texture of the yarns is different; one is softer and finer (the Advent Scarf – Morehouse 2 ply merino) and the other is slightly more course (the Flurry – Rowan Scottish Tweed).

I like that this subject of how a stitch looks and how it is assemble very interesting.  I am interested to hear what others say about they perform an SSK stitch, especially since I am still new to knitting. And lastly, I will leave you with this thought: 

I recently heard someone say this about knitting, “There are no rules in knitting; it’s just what you like in your stitches that counts.”

Cheers!
The Martini Knitter

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