Monday, October 31, 2005

I'm Old-Fashioned

I'm noticing a trend lately for knitting two socks at once on circular needles. It's really mystifying me, because 1) I don't particularly care if I knit as efficiently as humanly possible, as long as I loosely meet a deadline, and 2) I can't use that technique anyway.

Why not? Well, I guess it's confession time. I have a secret. It's not an easy one to divulge, but here it goes:

For years now I have been avoiding other knitters and knitting circles - not just because of my latent antisocial tendencies (which, perhaps, are a bit more than latent) - but because of my knitting technique. I actually do make pretty good time, that's not the problem.

Is the problem that I am an English style knitter embarrassed to show my face among Continental style knitters? Or a lefty? No. I hold my yarn in my left hand, so I might be a Continental knitter. Might.

The ambiguity about my "style" stems from the fact that no one sat me down and taught me a style and made me stick to it. My grandmother taught me to crochet, but when I began to take an interest in knitting, she was still in California, while I was in Pennsylvania. I had to do what any determined person does:

I went to the library.

And I found a fascinating book on knitting. I ate it up. I dreamt it, I lived it, I fell asleep on it and drooled on it. I almost didn't return it. What was it?

I think it was called something like "The Traditional Knitting of the British Isles", and I suspect it may have been written by Rae Compton. (It's mixed in my mind with a lot of other traditional knitting books now, but I can still see the pictures in my head.) And it taught me to knit.

Belt style.

Only, I have no belt. And once I returned the book, I made my own variations. I put the left handed needle down, not the right. I only wind yarn around my index finger when knitting, and when I purl, I hold it down on the left hand needle with my thumb. The result is I can do colorwork and knit/purl combos pretty fast, but give me a circular needle and I may as well be knitting with my toes for all the progress I'll make.

Purling

Knitting


So I knit my socks one at a time. With long dpns. Hunched over.

Stop laughing.

6 comments:

Kat said...

Who cares how you knit, as long as it works for you? Get out there and look at how others knit, and I'm betting you'll find that everyone has their own ways of doing things. If anyone tries to correct you, say "hmm, that's interesting" and keep doing it the way that works for YOU. :-)

Christine said...

Thanks. I just hate it when people stare more at the technique than the product, unless, of course, they're 5 years old.

deedo said...

You're not alone! When I was small and learned, the darn needles were awkward, so I knit plenty of years with one needle tucked under my arm, or vertical, stuck in the fold of my leg when I sat cross legged. It's still the fasted way for me to knit! However, in public, I tend to knit 'continental'. :-)

Elaine said...

You've been tagged by a meme...if you don't get the trackback (didn't see one on your site) check at my blog. ...and don't worry how you knit...just shut up and KNIT. :)

Catlady said...

I looked at some of your finished knitting. Amazingly, I could not tell from that how you knitted it. So, what I am trying to say is, who cares *how* you knitted it. I do a lot of things different than other people, but the end product is the same.... So why would it matter? YOu just keep right on knitting in your own style, and enjoy it!!!! Hugs.

fiberfanatic said...

The important thing is that you knit, you LOVE it, and YOU ARE A KNITTER! To real knitters, that is all that matters. Come out and play with the rest of us, please, because you have too much to share, and it is a lot of fun!