(In)Visible Stitch


How to Knit by Stitches and Hos, Illustration by Ben Javens

I have become increasingly fascinated with the myriad of techniques and styles that can be used to produce the 2 basic knitting stitches knit and purl. Hold your wool in your right or left hand? Wrap your wool around clockwise or anticlockwise? Where do these techniques and styles come from? Most, if not all of these techniques are not ‘visible’ in the knitting produced. Why is this? I understand that knitters are basically doing the same thing but why don’t these differences show? In other craft disciplines slight changes to technique are visible in the finished product.

What factors lead to a knitter using one technique or method over another? Are they geographical? Inherited? Stylistic? Historical?

Over the next few months I intend to look into these questions. The first thing I’m going to do is to film knitter’s hands whilst they knit to see the what differences there are in technique and style. I’ll also ask some questions about how and where they learnt to knit to see if can spot any patterns.

So if you see me at our next hootenanny wielding my smartphone at knitters hands you’ll know why.

Our next hootenanny is on Tuesday 28 May from 7:30pm at Hare and Hounds