To be even more precise, my knitting style is called the Eastern uncrossed knitting method. In knitting literature it is usually called simply Eastern knitting and commonly labeled- the oldest knitting method.
Where I live, many knitters practice this style but, knitters from other parts of the world either don't know anything about it or have a very vague idea of what it is.
There aren't many informations about it on the internet and, over the past couple of years, I have been asked to write about it more than once. I have also promised to do so more than once.
The reason for constant postponing was - what looked like a simple project at first, turned out to be not so simple :) as it included collecting and processing a lot more material than I'd expected.
But, now, having collected most of it, I have no excuse to put it off any more.
I owe one huge "Thank you" to my friend Sunny for her extraterrestrial patience, her help and for being my photographer.
For the sake of simplicity and better organisation, I will divide the material into a few posts. I still don't know exactly what will go where but, some of the things about Eastern uncrossed knitting that I will surely talk about (sooner or later) are: basics (knit and purl stitches), stitch mount, yarn overs, yarn tension, twisted stitches, decreases, differences between eastern and western knitting, "translating" patterns, switching between the styles and more.
The first part covers the stitch mount, knit and purl stitches.
(you can enlarge any picture by clicking on it)
EASTERN UNCROSSED KNITTING
The stitches have two legs, right?! And one bottom! (well, they do!). For this reason, the stitches can sit on the needles in more than one way. The way they are positioned (or mounted) on our needles is technically one of the most important things in knitting as it determines the knitting style and dictates the whole process of knitting.
So, the orientation of the stitches on the needles is what we call the stitch mount.
|Eastern uncrossed stitch mount|
In Eastern uncrossed knitting, the leading leg of the stitch is always behind the needle. Most knitters will simply tell you that the "right leg is in the back" but I find this explanation somewhat confusing (it gets even worse if you're one of those people who can never tell right from left). The leading leg works much better for me.
In the above picture you can see what it looks like in reality.
It is important to say that the stitches are always mounted this way in Eastern uncrossed (which is what makes it uncrossed); they're the same on the right side as well as on the wrong side, in circular knitting (in-the-round) as well as in flat knitting (back-and-forth).
Therefore, the stitches are always knit (and purled) the same way, too.
And this is how!
With the yarn in the back of the work, we insert the working needle (right-hand needle) into the back of the stitch (as shown above)
The yarn is wrapped around the needle overhand or, as we usually say, clockwise. The former is probably more precise and less confusing.
...and, it's a new knit stitch.
Here's a short video showing how it is done!
Depending on how the yarn is held, the process of making a knit stitch may vary.
I keep the yarn between my fingers and literally wrap it around the needle. Knitters who tension their yarn over the index finger, usually pick it up with the working needle (instead of wrapping it around the needle).
I will get back to the yarn tension in one of my future posts but, until then, you might want to see THIS VIDEO as it explains how a knit stitch is made by picking up the yarn tensioned over the finger.
Let's move on!
Before making a purl stitch, the yarn should be in the front.
We purl into the back of the stitch, meaning that the we bring the tip of the working needle to the back leg of the stitch and insert it into it from behind .
Then we wrap the yarn around the needle underhand or clockwise a shown above.
We pull the yarn through...
...and it's a new purl stitch.
Here's another short video!
Again, knitters who tension their yarn differently, purl differently too! HERE you can see a video showing another very common method. At first sight it looks quite different but, if you give it a closer look, you'll notice that it is actually the very same thing only achieved in a slightly different manner. In this style the yarn stays in the back all the time.
That's it for now!
In the next post I will talk about styles and yarn tension in Eastern Uncrossed knitting.