As for purling backwards, I was wrapping my yarn the wrong way. The knitting ladies at the store told me I should change so that when I get into learning to do cables I won't have trouble because it was causing my stitches to twist.
Yeah, I'm sure you'll want to learn to wrap the yarn the other way, but I'm finding out there are times when you want to wrap it "backwards". http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=106644 I'm itching to try combined knitting and that uses the "backwards" purl. Somehow I have to get my tension more even and I hope that helps.
To all experienced forum dwellers -- did you notice the wave of brand new knitters who really don't bother with endless dishclothes in garter stitch and jump right in with useful accessories like hats and scarves with colourwork, shaping, knitting in the round and such?
I wonder if it's any indication that knitting becomes more of a useful skill and healthy challenge that has to do with self-reliance other than 'just a hobby'?
I'm not yet an experienced knitter, but my grandson wanted a sweater and giving him a dishcloth wouldn't have made his eyes light up. :noway: He would have said,"Thank you," very politely but ..... Besides, making something with increases, decreases, bind offs, buttonholes...I actually learned some useful things. Thanks to everyone here and the things I've learned watching endless videos :zombie: I now know I can make a sweater that fits me and that requires changing patterns, working short rows and mixing sizes. :gah:
I think for many of us knitting is a hobby but a useful hobby. It's mentally challenging in lots of ways. I have a heck of a time with the math involved but I'm finding ways to deal with that even.