Wednesday, June 28, 2006


My brain is about to explode!

There are some things in this life that I just seem to have trouble 'getting'. Is it Capitol or Capital when speaking of DC? Just exactly why to lamps light up when you flick a switch all the way across the room? How do you tell the right side from the wrong side of knitting? The definition I've found ("The side the public sees.") is just a tad too ambiguous for my orderly brain.

I haven't knitted a lot of items that require knowing the right side from the wrong side but here I am, struggling through the beginnings of my log cabin. I had no problems ripping out the center square FIVE times to get it just the size I wanted but now I'm going crazy. Here are my issues and I'm praying someone can help me understand!

1) I was under the impression that an easy way tell the right side is by seeing where the cast-on tail is. Bottom left of the work, correct?

2) The pattern in the book says to always cast off on the right side of the work. I see that and think "Right side (ie: tail on bottom left of square) facing me as I cast off." This now leaves the the cast on AND cast off tail on the same side.

3) Assuming all of the above is correct, I now take the right hand needle, with the right side facing me, and pick up one stitch from each garter ridge (the last stitch of the cast off is the first stitch on the needle).

4) To knit this, I then turn the knitting around so the WS is facing me. If I do this, though, the new color's tail is on the righthand side (if RS facing) which, according to the above 'rule' is incorrect. Or does it not matter since the new color is not really cast on?

5) Let's just assume all of the above is correct. What I have now, with the new color row knitted, are stitches on the RS connecting the 1st & 2nd colors that are all stretched. I tried picking up on the other side of the ridge but that just created a weird bump on the RS. I'm just picking up the easiest stitch on each ridge which is on the WS of the ridge. But to pick up sts on the RS, I have to pick up a full st in from the edge. ARRGH!

I'm thinking this last step is my real problem. I don't mind the "quilted" look of the WS but would really prefer a nice tight connection on the RS. Suggestions? Advice? Straightjacket? Thanks!

I get your drift, although I didn't flesh out the angst quite as well as you.
I knit the center square, and then pinned a safety pin on the side I decided was the right side. Leaving the "safety" in "safety pin" visible kept it straight.
Cuz with garter stitch, the right side is whatever you make of it.
I am having problems with the log cabin too. I found that binding off with the cast off tail on the right side "looks" best. The probem I am having is the picking up stitches. I have no trouble on the first 3 or 4 logs but always have to undo at 5. Also, I cast on with needles that are 1 size larger than what I will actually knit with. This makes adding a log using the cast on row MUCH easier. I am anxios to see what information you get from others. DONT GIVE UP!!
Try this: With the right side facing, put your left-hand needle, from left to right, through the same part of each garter ridge, close to the edge (starting at the bottom left edge of the piece), then use the working yarn and knit the stitches on your left-hand needle. Pictures in Sally Melville's book, The Knit Stitch, in case this doesn't make sense.
When using your cast on tail as a guide to "right side" and "wrong side", which end the tail needs to be on will depend on which method of casting on you use. Some leave it at the left end of the needle, some leave it at the right end.

I recommend the safety pin method that wendyd suggested. With garter stitch, both front and back will look the same, so it really doesn't matter which end your cast on tail is at. All that matters for the log cabin is that you consistently use the same side as the right side throughout.
If I read you right, you are turning to the WS before you pick up stitches, and you don't need to do that, that will avoid the quilty look. And for me, I know it is a mess, but I use a row counter, even if I just go back and forth, because I get so confused myself and try to sew in my ends as I go. After you add the second colour it is easier.
I don't know a lot yet about knitting - but I can share my Capital/tol hint.

If it is a plAce, it is the CapitAl of the country, state, etc.

If it has a dOme, it is the CapitOl building! :)

Sister Eileen Patrice would be so proud! I always misspelled these words ~ often on purpose ~ so I could sit down during spelling bees. I misspelled them so often I had to figure out a trick to remember them!
When the directions say "turn to the right," they mean ROTATE the piece clockwise, not flip it over.
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