One of the appeals of knitting is that there are thousands upon thousands of readily available knitting patterns. Once you master a few simple things, all you need to do is find a suitable pattern and follow the instructions. It’s almost exactly like finding guitar tab. Sure, some patterns are harder than others, but you start with the basics and build up.
However, as I delve further into the mysterious inner circles of knitting, I have discovered that there are a lot of unspoken little bits of arcane lore here and there. “Well sure it doesn’t say that in the pattern, you’re just supposed to know,” says Sara.
The pattern doesn’t tell you how to make your stripes joggless, otherwise how would the true knitters mark the posers? “Make one right” is different than “make one left” but the pattern just says M1 because who’s got the time to type out that extra ‘L’ or ‘R’? Oh, and you slipped a stitch around on your circular needles every few rows, right? I mean, what kind of idiot doesn’t know about rotating the stitch??
I’m a computer programmer. When you give the computer a set of instructions, it doesn’t care what your intentions were when you wrote the code. It’s a set of instructions and everything has to be there on the page. If it’s not there, it doesn’t get done. If you leave out a critical instruction, THAT IS CONSIDERED AN ERROR.
It really is similar to playing guitar. I watch youtube videos on how to play songs. The person in the video very calmly and clearly explains what you need to do to play the song. However, when the time comes to play a little bit, all of that goes out the window. If you watch carefully, what they actually play is practically nothing like what they told you to play; theirs is full of little extra hammers and pulls and “I just think it sounds nice if I leave the pinky off”. I don’t know if they do it without realizing it or what, but the net result is that what you’re playing, what they TOLD you to play, sounds nothing like what they’re playing.
My only conclusion is that, whatever the activity, the initiates to the higher orders like to keep all the arcane knowledge to themselves. Which means, now that I’m an initiate, you can pry my knitting secrets off my cold, dead needles.