Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Knitting Tip from Hilda

The original wise Hilda, the knitter after whom this blog is named, was my Mum's Mum.

She was a tremendous knitter and crocheter - and played a mean hand of bridge, too.

She taught me to knit as a girl. (We didn't get very far with crochet. All I could do was crochet absurdly long chains. I remember a purple one in particular. I'm honestly surprised I didn't trip anyone over with it, or accidentally throttle the cat.)

Of course, she also taught Mum.

Mum's been working on a sweater for me - a sort of contract knitting job. I sew up the sweaters she knits for herself and for gifts, and so in exchange she's doing the knitting on a cardigan for me.

I was watching Mum knit the other day, and noticed something interesting. I stopped her, and asked her what she was doing. I'm a little sheepish I had never noticed it before, it's a brilliant thing.... My Knitting Hero, the original wise Hilda told Mum to work the last stitch of every row through the back loop. As I say in my classes (usually when discussing swatching), no matter how good a knitter you are, your edge stitches are always a bit wonky. Working them through the back loop tightens up them up so nicely, and significantly reduces the wonkiness. So simple and so wonderful!

(The two Hildas on a snowy day in Niagara Falls, circa mid-1980s.)

Thanks Hilda! Still learning from you after all these years...

9 comments:

Kirsten said...

I'll have to try this!

A couple of scarf patterns I've used lately have specified to slip the first stitch knit-wise, I guess for a similar purpose.

All these scarves and wraps I've been looking at seem to have a garter stitch edging, presumably to keep the edge from rolling. You'd think there would be a better option, though, with garter stitch having a shorter row gauge than stockinette.

kelene said...

Sounds Brillant to me.. goin to try this one...for sure

northernknitter said...

Thanks for the tip but even more thanks for sharing this wonderful story of how we continue to learn from the women in our lives past and present.

Linda said...

Thanks for the tip. I always struggle with edges.

mariainblog said...

Love the story...

Love the tip...

Love the picture...

Sherri said...

You may have noticed when I send you emails a certain footnote:

"When an elder dies, a library burns to the ground"

Amen sister.

Anonymous said...

I will also try this, because of the edges.

Annegret

V said...

That is the most useful knitting tip I've heard yet this year. Thanks!

LadyFin said...

I have also been given the tip from another wise knitter that going through the back loop when you are doing ribbing helps to tighten it up and create a very neat ribbing.