Is "thru the back" worth it?
If this project teaches me nothing else, it has taught me what I dislike most in knitting: purling through the back loop. Even knitting through the back loop is enough to make me break into a scowl. Doing either hundreds of times in a single row? Yikes, somebody get me some chocolate!
Why bother? What does going through the back loop accomplish? I figured if I understood the design goal behind KTBL and PTBL, it might make me feel better about endlessly digging my right hand needle through an uncooperative loop hiding at the back of my left hand needle. So I went hunting.
A little research told me the stitch method intentionally twists the stitch to create a starker line on the opposite side of the fabric. If you want to create a vertical or diagonal single line of stitches—as the border of this piece seems to incorporate—you’ll want to knit or purl through the back loop to get a line that stands out.
Is it worth all the trouble? Tough to say right now. I can’t quite see how the border pattern will play out because I haven’t blocked it. So I am taking satisfaction in two important facts: 1) I’m finished stitching! 2) This baby is about to get its bath so it can transform into its final glory. Because of its linen content, this piece will transform in both stitch clarity and texture. It will get larger, have more drape, be softer to the touch, and have a more pronounced lace pattern—I can hardly wait!
But yes, this is going to be a "sevener"... so you'll get your payoff in a view of the finished piece, but it will be in the seventh post.