As with most knitters like myself, we have secretly marveled at our ingenuity of creating a knit garment, perhaps even gloating that we didn’t need a teacher to figure this out, unknowing that it was not the mainstream or Western way of knitting. As others have witnessed our amazing feats, we have been appalled and confused by comments that ”we learned to knit “wrong”’! Nevertheless, we have presevered in secret, often embarrassed to knit in public or explain why we were knitting the way we do. Only when our creations were finished did we dare to venture out to show off the beautiful examples of needlework, to the oooh’s and aaah’s of admirers, who had no idea how we created it.
Well, the time has come to “come out of the closet”. We have Annie Modesitt to thank for convincing the world that it IS possible to knit in a different way and come out with amazing knitted things. I understand she makes the argument so eloquently in her book, “Confessions of a Knitting Heretic”. I still need to get myself a copy. We need not be afraid of teaching others our style of knitting. I understand that Annie’s classes in “Combination Knitting” seem to be sold out. Is that telling us something? Wouldn’t you want to learn a new way to knit if you found that it was easier, faster, less of a strain on your hands and wrists and produced a more even fabric in stockinette? As I grow older I sure can appreciate these things and thank my lucky stars, my knitting has not given me arthritis or carpel tunnel. I have heard more horror stories of Western knitter’s who "throw" doing this.
Learning that Eastern knitting started somewhere about 200 AD in Arabia, made me realize that Western or American knitting came later. The Eastern knitters, had the technique down earlier, and have the right to claim that Western knitters learned it “wrong”. Isn’t that enlightening?
Actually, neither style is “wrong”. What does it matter when you can come out with the same result? When teaching the style, it should be labeled correctly and patterns should differentiate what style the pattern is written, so knitter’s can make adjustments in their techniques if needed.
Pictures are worth a thousands words, but a video is worth much more. This is why I thought I would show how I knit in the Eastern Uncrossed Style. I’m not much of a talker, so I tried to show you what I’m doing by doing several stitches rather the one. I knit alot faster than the demo. For instruction purposes, I wanted the viewers to understand exactly how I do it. I hope it helps. By the way, I knit Eastern Uncrossed Continental Style. I hold the yarn just like I learned when I first crocheted. To me this is a faster and smoother way of knitting that allows the tension to be more even.
Video #1 Diana’s Eastern Purling and Knitting
Video #2 Diana’s SSK: right-slanted decrease
Video #3 Diana’s K2tog: left slanted decrease
Video #4 Diana’s Eastern SSK-PSSO: double decrease left slant
Video #5 Diana’s Vertical Double decrease: center stitch on top