Ribbing is the absolute pits. In fact, it's my least favorite thing about knitting. It's such a PITA to move the yarn back and forth every stitch! For years, I've grumbled along, doing the minimum ribbing possible, and avoiding seed/moss/basketweave stitch and anything that even remotely sounds like ribbing. Which is why it's time to grow up and learn "continental" knitting. Since the yarn is held on the left in continental, the yarn doesn't have to be moved back and forth between every stitch, it's just "picked" from either direction. I've known how to knit continental for years, but never could get the purl correct, and I couldn't figure out how to keep tension in the yarn. (Unlike most knitters, I don't wrap the yarn around my fingers to control the tension, I just grip it in my hand).
Well enough is enough, and I decided I'd force myself to learn continental, not just for the ribbing, but also so that I can start fair isle and double knitting. Flower Scarf (free Ravelry pattern, by Robyn Diliberto) is a sweet little pattern that looks very forgiving, since it's in fishermans' rib and any aberrations in tension will be hard to spot in such a "squishy" stitch. Then I watched the knittinghelp video on Youtube--so awesome! I had been wrapping the yarn around my pinky and index fingers in the same direction, which is actually pretty stupid because the yarn just gets tighter and tighter until the blood circulation gets cut off. Oh, and I'd been twisting all of my purl stitches. So the video was a nice enlightening smack on the head, and I fixed the two problems, and--presto--look how much I've done already!
Unfortunately my gauge is a LOT looser in continental (I had started a few rows in regular knitting, before switching, and you can see where the gauge changes even in the picture), but otherwise this is like magic! I'll never give up regular/English knitting for the bulk of my knitting, but this whole continental ribbing thing is super!
In other news, it's officially cold in St Louis. I even wore my toe socks today, hee!