Fine Tuning

Let’s talk a bit about VHS tapes. Yes, I am aware that ‘VHS’ is not what comes to mind first when hearing the term ‘tuning’ but since I am more familiar with VHS tapes than cars, this analogy will have to do. Do the lot of you even remember VHS tapes?

My VHS remote control had two buttons, side by side, that said ‘tune’ above them. With those you could try to improve the picture, if you thought it was off. Mostly it worked, other than DVD’s and Blueray discs that you pop in the player and hope that it will run properly and none of the digital data is corrupt since there is not much you can do.

I bet you are wondering now what VHS tapes have to do with knitting. Well, nothing really, apart from the tuning. There are a few things you can do to fine tune your knitting – or, if you will – your knitting knowledge.

Today we are going to learn about ‘sl1’. Easy, right? ‘Slip 1’ is the explanation when you look it up in the legend. Let’s pretend you have never slipped a stitch. How would you go about it?

Slipping a stitch means essentially moving a stitch without knitting it. Okay, that you get. But now you start thinking. Or not. Maybe you just go ahead and slip it as if to knit, meaning you insert your needle knit wise and slip it over to the other needle. There. Slip 1. What you missed here is that when you slip a stitch knit wise, you twist it. If you look at it closely, you will see that the ‘legs’ of the stitch are crossed. And they are not meant to be crossed, they should be open, so when you pull the stitch, the stitch opens up more widely.

I am going to fine tune your knitting now. Get this:

If a pattern says ‘sl1’ you always slip purl wise, unless the pattern says otherwise, i.e. knit wise.

When you slip a stitch purl wise, it just gets moved from one needle to the other. Sans twisting.

So from now on pay attention if the pattern just says ‘sl1’ (i.e. purl wise), or if it says ‘sl 1 knit wise’. It seems a small thing, but it is important.

On that note, happy knitting, as ever!

– Mona


9 thoughts on “Fine Tuning

  1. Natalia Carreiro says:

    Thanks Mona !

    Natalia Carreiro,
    Courtier, Assurances des particuliers, Comptes V.I.P.
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    P Est-ce vraiment nécessaire d’imprimer ce courriel ?
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  2. Sherrill Brown says:

    Espace Tricot emails now sneak into my inbox disguised as though from WordPress. The content is still there but it’s disconcerting not to see “Espace Tricot” in my inbox list the way it used to be. Love the posts, nevertheless!

    Sent from my iPad


  3. Martine says:

    TY Mona, I was scared for a minute when I read VHS! I thougt you wanted to present us a way to recycle VHS tape in a knitting project! A little rought for a cowl no?

  4. Barb says:

    Thank you so much. I think I’ve been slipping my stitches incorrectly too. I truly appreciate learning the correct way to do any knit stitch.

  5. Marie-Laurence Morin says:

    À une exception, il me semble: que les ssk doivent se faire slip kw, slip kw, k les deux sl stitchs sur l’aiguille droite from the front loop. Non?

    • espacetricot says:

      Non, pas d’exception. Parce que dans l’explication il dit exactement ‘knit wise’.

      This is exactly what I was talking about: we knitters need to pay attention when it says knit wise and when not! The long version of the ssk abbreviation is: slip one stitch knit wise, slip a second stitch knit wise, then knit stitches together through the back loop.

  6. osmviv says:

    I always enjoy your posts, Mona! Thank you for this. Especially the answer about SSK, which I was going to ask myself. I’ve heard that it can be a good idea to Slip one knitwise, then slip one purlwise, then knit together through the back loop. Have you heard that? Why might there be an advantage to doing it that way? Thanks again!

  7. Mona says:

    Thank you! I do appreciate it.

    There are several ways to do an ssk – slip both stitches knit wise, slip one knit wise and then one purl wise…in the end it is really up to the designer (or whoever wrote the pattern) and the look they want to achieve. I am not really sure if there is an advantage, I do think it is more about personal preference, as so many things are.

    All i am saying is to pay attention to what is written and do accordingly! 😉

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