Thoughts On Combine Knitting aka Too Much Time

I’ve obviously got too much time on my hands if I am seriously looking up every source on combine knitting, grab vs throw, and decreases.

Now, if you read the How To Forum, you know that, because of combine knitting, I’m having the devil’s own time trying to graft the toe of the socks I’m busy knitting. As I am finishing up a pair for my DD, and knowing how tedious knitting the heel flap can be… I started reading up on technique.

Evidently, even coming to terms with my Combine Purling (Thanks to the folks who helped me so much with that and to Amy for her videos) my heel flap looks stunningly neat. But it made me notice something that I am now flailing with. I throw on my yarn, however, when knitting, I am throwing the yarn over the right hand needle and pulling it through. Now, I experimented with a swatch and found that if I throw it under the needle and up and over and pull it through… I get a different slant. Same goes with purling. Throwing my yarn under the right needle and pulling it through gives me the same slant as knitting and throwing the yarn over the needle. Which gave me my lovely flap. Conversely, throwing under knit and pulling the yarn over in the purl, I get the opposite slant.

So naturally, being the scientist I was trained to be… I worked on decreases, where most combine knitting shows its stripes. On the K2tog decreases, it was not necessary to twist the two stitches if I did the throw over knit method. (Note to anyone who was brave enough to read this far, the pull from under method is the "accepted method of combine knitting). Of course, the K1, SSt, K1, PSSO is not affected by my knitting method.

Since I was looking at the Combine Knitting sites I noticed that not one of them touched on different ways of pulling that loop through. In fact, not even the Continental or English Knitting videos I’ve seen even tough on this. My question is, it’s still twisting the yarn in different ways to get a different look or texture, but does it make a huge difference? I can easily see it in sock yarn, however, with a bulkier yarn I’m not so sure that I would notice a differing slant.

I’d like to hear more about this if anyone has any insights.

I don’t know how to answer this other than to say that if you knit through the back of the loop as is done in combined knitting and then you purl by wrapping the yarn over the needle as is done in english and continental style knitting, you will end up with a twisted stitch.

It may be true (although I’ve not tried it) that you effect the slant of your decreases by changing the direction of the purl stitch only but if you knit the rest of your garment that way, you will be still twisting your stitches.

Just so you know, I couldn’t tell the difference when I was twisting my stitches for this very same reason but other more experienced knitters were quick to point it out to me.

So, I still think your choice is to knit combined (knit TBL and purl the yarn under the needle) and therefore have to change the order of your decreases or change to english or continental and knit through the front of the loop and bring your yarn over the needle to purl.

If you are saying that you will just change the direction of the purl stitch if you come to a decrease, why not just go ahead and change the rest of your knitting as well? In the long run, I think you may find it easier than fiddling around back and forth.

If a person knits combined, they do need to swap out the decreases - ssk leans right and k2tog leans left.