I don’t know how to mount a horse but I do know my stitch mount! Do you?
Are you aware of the correct stitch mount? Well, having asked that, it all depends on your style of knitting. In this case let’s assume we all either throw or pick and knit and purl the common way. Which in return means your stitches are mounted all the same. They have to be to follow instructions like k2tog and ssk successfully – and not get some mangled result not knowing why it doesn’t look like anything in the picture.
You probably wonder how can it happen that some stitches are not mounted the correct way? Imagine you made a mistake and you take the knitting off your needle, rip to the mistake and then pick up the stitches again – that is when some of backwards mounting happens. I do it, too. Especially when I don’t take care and just want to get the stitches back on the needle quickly because I don’t want them to drop down any further. Or you ‘tink’ (heh, that’s ‘knit’ backwards, and that is exactly what you do) stitch by stitch and it just so happens that some of them are now backwards on the needle. No biggie, we can fix that!
First up: The correct stitch mount. You know the stitches are mounted correctly when you insert your needle as if to knit and the stitch can be opened up wide – just like in the second picture.
Now: The incorrect stitch mount. When you insert your needle knitwise and try to open the stitch, nothing much happens. See the twisted legs of the stitch? You do not want that.
If you knit that stitch anyways, this is what happens. Look at the second stitch from the left on the right hand needle. It looks like the stitch has crossed its legs, they look definitely different than the rest.
You can fix it by either knitting directly into the back loop, or, if you are not comfortable with that, move the stitch to the right hand needle as shown and then back to the left hand needle by inserting it in the back also and it is mounted correctly.
I am lazy, so all I do is knit it into the back loop – UNLESS I have to do fancy things like k2tog or ssk, for these you want to make sure the stitches sit on the needle perfectly all looking in the same (or rather: proper!) direction.
Happy knitting, as ever!