Recently I've been reading a lot of posts and forums about knit design. I figured if this is something I want to soon try might as well read up and learn from others. Granted forums are organic beasts that can go off on tangents but one thing I kept running into was to Question Why you are knitting the way you are.
For instance, if there a Ktog, why?
If you need to YO, why?
If you're knitting flat instead of the round, why?
All of a sudden you start to see your knitting in a different way. At first I would see FO and just want to simply knit. Knit to my heart's content without recognizing why things are doing what their doing - so long as the finished project looked like what I wanted. Cherie was the first knit that totally crushed that idea and sent me in to a minor knit depression. Sometimes, patterns just suck and blindly knitting into the night will often cause more heartache than fun photo shoots.
What comes from knitting so much is that you start to See what is happening and thus why it happens. I'm currently all about the Medallion Shawl by Norah Gaughn in the new VK. These little hexagons are wipping out in a very quick fashion but not without me questioning Why? Why is there a random purl in some of the knit rows? Becoming more familiar with the pattern repeat shows that this purl happens when faced with a double YO, however there is an earlier row that doesn't specifically state how to knit into the double yarn over, which for no other reason than it just worked, I simply knitted into the front of one YO and the back of another. Once blocked it looks fine.
But then I thought... well if the other rows are purling the 2nd YO, why not just purl the 2nd YOs on that first double yarn over row? Then something strange happens, I scrunch up my face a bit and think what if it looks like crap or destorts the final shape of the hexagon, well then the question of why there is or is not a purl in the 2nd YO will be answered. In the end it looks fine and perhaps makes the Double YOs more even and uniform.
When you go to a museum one of the first questions you ask yourself while looking at the pieces is "why did they do it this way?". Why dark paints or sharp shadows or blurred here rather than there. I was that girl who saw a painting and just thought oh that's pretty instead of now why did he/she take or make it that way. Questioning knitting is no different. Why is this stockinette or why use the moss stitch here? I get it now so much more than I did before.
You may be looking at your knitting but do you really see what your knitting? I think I finally See.