Friday, July 8, 2011

a true oxymoron?

Now, seriously! is it 'ravel' or 'unravel'? 'ladder' or 'un-ladder'?
I’m working on my article on cables for Knit'nStyle - this will be in #176, Dec 2011 - I’ve made an cute cuddly cabled cardigan using some absolutely awesome alpaca from The Alpaca Yarn Company ( - they will actually cone up your order for you!!! no ends - get it? How good is that? Anyway, I made the garment, wrote the pattern and now am trying to finish up the accompanying article - making a bunch of swatches to show different cables on the LK150, of course, and mulling it over in my mind - sometimes it’s good to do a little research...I go on the ‘net and check out ravel and unravel - it doesn’t seem to be clear - you’d think one would be the opposite of the other, but not really. I decided 'unravel' must be an oxymoron - usually it takes two words to make a true oxymoron, but, checking the list, ‘unravel’ is not there - no knitters were on the selection committee - but, ‘unthaw’ is! So, even though ‘un-ladder’ and ‘ladder’, ‘ravel’ and unravel’ are almost exactly the same, I’m clearly confused. In my unbiased opinion (it’s really an educated guess) it’s the same difference and my only choice is to make a deliberate mistake, act natural and rephrase.
Some of my favourite oxymorons:
- ribbed stockinette
- stockinette rib
- natural synthetic
- loose knot
- user friendly
- one size fits all - ha!
You can probably tell I'm wasting time....


isrbrown said...

I'm a fan of ladder down and ladder up. Ravel and Unravel are synonyms according to good old Merriam Websters. (Ravel-Verb Unravel-Transitive verb)

IMHO - For the purpose of communicating machine knitting action; ladder down makes more sense and describes the action to be taken more effectively. Then reversing the action with the ladder up sequence continues the process. Particularly helpful to new knitters.

Ravel is also used to refer to Ravel Cord by some MK designers.

Irisha said...

Love the hoodie and the color of it!
Thank you for the link to the company.
I keep bugging Knitpicks about conning the yarn.
Is there such word as "conning"? ;o))))

Amazing how different cables make different fabric.