I may be separated from myself by a common knitting language! I recently put the wrong abbreviation into a pattern for my test knit, so when knitters carefully put the wrong version into my search box, no one got the information they needed. This is just one example of how I misuse my own knitting language. Of course if I had checked my own abbreviations and techniques I would have seen the proper usage, but like everyone, when in a rush, I just do what I think is correct instead of checking. It caused massive confusion. That is one example of how problems get created.
Knitting Language Departures
You will probably not be surprised if I describe myself as a non-conformist. I believe that if I have a good reason for doing things my way, and I cannot find an equally or more valid reason to do it the prescribed* way, then I should do it my way. This is a fine position to take, except when it causes confusion. As I write this, I cannot really get myself to see why it should cause confusion, because I am so clearly correct, so let’s take a closer look at some places I think my knitting language may be creating a problem. Who me?
There is the list of CYC abbreviations, but I don’t think there is an official knitting language dictionary or resource, and each publisher makes their own choices. I would guess that many don’t feel it is worth questioning what they see used elsewhere or expending the energy in creating their own. I am not of that mind set. Once my crazy brain gets hold of something, I question, which almost always leads to creation.
Knitting Language: Through the Back or In the Back
Is there a common knitting usage for “through the back” or “in the back”? Although I know “tbl” is commonly used, I use -b instead of -tbl. My main reason for using -b? It is cleaner and easier to see. Additionally, it means that I am using the same “b” in k1-b, p1-b, k2tog-b, p2tog-b, k1-fb, k1-fbf, so it seems to actually be clearer. There is the possibility of confusion because some publishers use “b” to mean below. I am torn between conforming or plowing ahead. But I also see how if I haven’t told you that, it might not be so clear!
The other problem I see with this is that I may have, and others too, used loop and leg interchangeably. I like leg because it is more specific, and we usually are not knitting into a loop, but a stitch, and specifically the back leg of the stitch. Because unless specified, we work into the front leg of the stitch.
Which then brings me to what is a loop, and what is a leg, and how does a loop differ from a stitch? Below are my definitions, followed by definitions from Dictionary.com.
Leg: A stitch or loop has a front and back leg. These legs are in front of and in back of the needle. Unless instructed otherwise, we work into the front leg of stitches or loops. If legs are crossed or twisted, the legs reverse position. Unless you work one of the crossed methods.
Loop: Resembles a stitch, but isn’t made like a stitch. A pick up and the result of most cast ons are loops. They look like stitches, but you haven’t actually made a stitch–i.e., you have not executed a stitch. A yarn over would be a loop, not a stitch.
Stitch: A stitch is made by working a knit, a purl, or a variation of knit and purl, into an existing loop(s) or stitch(es).
So what do you think? I think I need to check my own usage to be sure I’m being consistent, and perhaps add the above to my techniques database. I have still not convinced myself that my abbreviation should be changed.
Knitting Language Clarity
This is something I know, but keep running into it, so I guess I’m not really getting it.
- Lack of clarity creates confusion;
- No one knows what is in my head unless I tell them;
- All the cool things I have done are invisible unless I tell others about them.
I’m working on this. I’m open to comments and suggestion!