Thursday, January 6, 2011
I knit a hat. It's not very good, because I'm not a good knitter. I'm getting better, but even as I knit my fingers are screaming "Noooooo! Noooooooo!" and I find it difficult to get them to settle down. As an adult, it's especially hard to relearn a mechanical process and knitting has been my Everest for many's a year. At this point, I'm still in base camp with the Sherpas but I'm sharpening my ice pick as we speak.
When I learned to knit at the tender age of six, I picked it up wrong. At least, that's what I was constantly told - but no one could fault the end result. It looked like knitting that had been done the 'right' way, except I was holding the needles oddly and inserting them into the back of the stitch. Then my knitting went through a 30-year hiatus till I moved to Germany ... and then one day, I saw a girl in my student residence knitting and realised with a shock that she was also knitting wrong. In fact, she was knitting even wronger than I did - she was doing something that looked a bit like a mishmash of knitting and crochet. I showed her the 'right' way to knit (except, of course, I was still doing it wrong) and she was astonished: did I really mean to say that millions of people in the British Isles learned to knit in what was so obviously the wrong way? Astounding.
Now, readers, that was back in the pre-Internet days so we couldn't go online and Google knitting styles to find out that there are many ways to knit - and they're all right. She was knitting Continental style and I was knitting English (or throwing) style. As a crocheter, I thought I should re-teach myself to knit in the Continental fashion because it meant I could hold the yarn in my left hand as I do with crochet. I also thought I could correct the way I knit and finally learn not to knit in the back of the stitches, as I seem to have been doing for thirty years. So I went on to YouTube and re-taught myself and after a couple of nights of cursing, managed to pick up quite a bit of speed and, although my tension is still a bit wonky, actually became relatively comfortable with it. Yay me! I thought. I was on the road to bistitchuality! One step closer to my dream: socks on dpns!
Except, I'm not. Not that I've taken a step backwards, just a kind of bizarre detour. I was reading a thread on Ravelry (a huge internet forum for knitting and crochet) about how difficult it is to purl Continental-style and I thought, "That's weird! I think it's really easy!" Back I went to YouTube and watched the videos again - and it turns out I'm still knitting wrong. For crying out loud! So I've started another hat to see if I can re-train myself ... again.
Posted by The Gingerbread Lady at 6:28 PM