Here is the rainbow I saw on the way to Knit Night Out.  On Tuesday night, my knitting group met at a local restaurant.  We meet on the first and third Sunday of the month.  There is an extra week between the third Sunday of August and the first Sunday of September than we would normally have between meetings. We decided to get together in between. It was a lot of fun.  How can anyone complain about knitting, adult conversation, and food!!  It is like heaven.   I really enjoyed myself.

Of course, it was raining that evening. The rainbow was a complete rainbow (I couldn’t get a picture of the whole thing).  It was really beautiful!  I knew that it was going to be a great night when I saw it!

While at Knit Night, I worked on my one row scarf.  I have about 14 inches done so far (much of that done at dinner).  It is moving so quickly! I am still loving the pattern. It is so simple. It is easy to travel with as well because it is easy to pick up anywhere in the row and know where you are.

The only thing I don’t like is that I am doing it on straights. It would be a bit more portable if I had put it on circulars because they fit in my bag a little better. I keep poking myself with the needles reaching into my bag.  I am going to have to get some new circs this weekend!  I am planning more of these scarves so I will make good use of the circs!

Lately, I have not been very happy with the way my stockinette stitch looks.  I haven’t done a lot with stockinette because I do a lot of knitting in the round and garter stitch. I have been noticing that my stockinette just didn’t look right.  You can see in the above picture that every other row is twisted.  I started to question whether or not I was doing the knit stitch right. I taught myself to do Continental knitting with drawings on a website.  I went onto to watch a video to see how it is supposed to be done.   I have been doing it right. My next thought was that maybe I have been doing the purl stitch right. I also taught myself to purl using this video.  I checked the videos on KnittingHelp. I realized that the purl stitch in Continental knitting is not how the video shows. That being said, I love the way I purl.  I didn’t want to change. I decided to try to figure out what I needed to do to make that purl stitch work. I then realized that I was knitting Continental style, but purling in Combination knitting!  I found Annie Modesitt’s website. I changed the way I was doing the knit stitch (only when knitting in stockinette…in garter stitch or in the round I have to do the knit stitch the way that I was)!  Here is the result!

Look at how nice and neat and pretty that is!!  All better!  It looks like it is supposed to look.  I was so very thrilled!  Not only does the knitting itself look so nice and neat, but it made the edges of knitting look so much nicer.

This is the monkey head. The top area is the top of the head.  The bottom area is the snout (it is bent down).  Both are made using short rows.  The red arrow is pointing to the “seam” made on the knit rows before I made the change in my knit stitch.  The blue arrow is pointing to the same thing, but using my combination knitting.  You can see that it makes the “seam” look a lot neater. It also makes it symetrical (the same as the “seam” made on the purl row).  I also noticed that my tension is more even between knits and purls. I think doing the knit stitch is easier this way too. I was so excited, I almost ripped out the whole head to start over. I decided just to leave it and consider it a “design feature”!  I have ordered Annie Modesitt’s book because I still can’t visualize how to do an SSK (and a few other random things).  I also found that Grumperina has a really helpful combination knitting page. I haven’t gotten to explore it as much as I would like, but that will be for this weekend.

In doing the research on combination knitting really helped me to have a new understanding on how the stitches worked. I realized that all combination knitting really means is that you always knit/purl into the leg of the stitch that is closest to the needle tip (unless you want to twist a stitch on purpose).  It really helped me understand how some of the decreases and increases lean.  It all made sense!  It was a big “aha” moment!  I can’t believe that I have been twisting stitches for so long and not realizing it!  Now I know why things haven’t really looked exactly right!

After I realized that I was knitting in a very mixed up way, I started examining the scarf I was working on. I had been not very satisfied with how my knits looked in the scarf as well.  I put in a lifeline and then just changed to combination knitting. I was hoping it would look a bit neater without looking dramatically different.  It looked different enough that I ripped back to the lifeline.  I considered frogging the scarf and starting over (it is fun to knit). Instead, I decided to continue knitting in my “mixed” way and consider it a design feature again!  I will do it “right” on the next one.  14 inches of scarf is too much to rip!