This year I really have started to analyze how I knit. The reason for this started back in February when I took a class with my local knitting guild. It was called “Stitch Anatomy and Increases/Decreases” or something like that. The person teaching it did a very good job by starting off the class looking at how each of us knit. This meant looking at how we hold our yarn, how we wrap our yarn to form the stitches and how our stitches were mounted on the needles.
In a class of about 25 people there were two of us that had stitches mounted in a very different way. Ours were mounted with the right leg of the stitch on the back of the needle instead of the more Western (traditional) way where the right leg is located on the front side of the needle.
I really wish I had some serious photoshopping skills so that I could properly draw the diagrams for this, so I’m going to go to my little friend “Google” and get some diagrams for you there. Be right back.
The following images were taken from ModeKnit, Anne Modesitt’s blog and website. She is one of the most well known “experts” on Combination Knitting, which I will talk about in a later blog post.
Eastern Stitch Mount - Right Leg in Back of Needle
Western Stitch Mount - Right Leg in Front of Needle
As you can see in the photos, the Western Stitch Mount has the right leg in front of the needle, whereas in the Eastern Stitch Mount it is behind the needle.
This is how I knit. I knit with the right leg behind the needle. I don’t know how I picked this up, or when I picked it up, but it just works for me. The exact name is called the Eastern Uncrossed Method of knitting. It is thought to have originated in the Middle East according to several sources I’ve found on the internet. I’m not sure if this is true or not, and I myself am looking for more definitive proof. I have a request out for some knitting books through the interlibrary loan system and hopefully will have those in my hands very soon.
The other difference in these stitch mounts is in how you knit the stitch. With the Western mount you enter through the front loop and knit by wrapping the yarn in a counter-clockwise direction around the needle. With the Eastern mount you will enter through the back loop and knit by wrapping the yarn in a clockwise direction around the needle. Both will produce the same knit stitch, though one will be mounted with the right leg in front and the other with the right leg in back.
Now the real difference starts to show up in purling. Look for that post to come soon.