I have been knitting loads, and even started knitting something for “myself”. You know that cowl start I showed on Friday. I had it all complete except for running out of yarn on the bind off, as usual. So while I was pondering what yarn I might use to finish the bind off I tried it on. And man was it the yuckiest thing! I only have 300 yards of the yarn. So that meant increasing the piece to accommodate my shoulder width left me with less yardage to create length in the body. So it basically was a neck piece and didn’t even start to cover much of my upper body. Ripped really quick with Hubster’s help.
So Saturday dawned a new day and we set off to watch the Beau-In-Law* wrestle at an invitational. These basketball/wrestling/football activities are great for my knitting. I don’t feel any guilt to sit and knit while watching the action. Today’s match gave me 5 hours of knitting. I put it to good use knitting on Honey Cowl using my Jasper yarn.
Although your monitor may show this as dull gray, it actually is olive toned with some gray accents. I need to get a daylight/sunshine photo. This is a little over one skein of 3, so I should probably be able to make it very deep. Hoping the blocking of it will lengthen the loop so it can wrap twice. While knitting it at the match one of our team’s Mom was sitting with us and she kept admiring the color and the knitting. She is dealing with her husband’s very aggressive cancer right now, so I am thinking this might end up with her. Even though I really want to keep it, it’s soooo soft. She needs the pick me up more than I.
<rant > I have been searching new blog reads lately and seem to keep tripping over this age old issue. Continental vs English. If you know me well you will know I have a very strong opinion on this subject. Once upon a time I tried to learn to knit. I took lesson’s from a Spanish woman who owned a local shop. She gave me Angora yarn (trying to make the big bucks) and size 9mm 16″ long needles. She was teaching me to knit a garter st scarf a la continental. I was the BIGGEST FAIL! I could not get a handle on it what so ever. So I gave up. Fast forward to 2000 and I found out my friend was a knitter. I begged for help and she supplied me with Worsted weight wool/cotton blend and US 8mm 10″ long needles. She was an thrower so she taught me English. I knit a Fair Isle baby sweater 6 months later. To say it took would be a huge understatement.
I pondered why I was such a failure before, and not later. Yarn and needles was a big factor. Angora yarn is NOT the first yarn a newbie should touch. But for me, the biggest factor was hand dominance. I am sooo right hand dominant it isn’t funny. I cannot text with my left hand. I cannot open pull tabs with my left hand. My left hand just doesn’t follow my brain’s commands. So for me, trying to strand yarn in my left hand is never going to happen. I have tried again since learning to knit the 2nd time, still can’t do it. I think this is why I absolutely hate to crochet, the yarn is in my left hand.
A few years later I found myself in the teaching seat. I would always tell my students, I am teaching you this way because I am a thrower, but if you have issues, try the other hand holding your yarn. If they were left handed, for sure I would get the yarn in their left hand. I would never teach someone to “knit” left handed because patterns are written for right handers. Some can be reversed, some cannot. Why fight that tide if you don’t have to.
As to the argument, continental is “faster”. Bull. If all things are equal and all you are doing is knitting a St st blanket, sure, some Cont knitters will get across the row faster. But that is only one piece of the puzzle in knitting. Patterns have variations in sts. They have increases, they have decreases. They have many things that chop up your progress. Cont Knitters have a harder time doing a purl**, so once you shake up the st pattern, you negate any speed you have.
But the biggest factor in “faster” is the time you have to commit to knitting. I can produce a lot because I can knit 24/7 if I wanted. I have no outside job, with only 1 kid at home 9 months out of the year, my mom duties are less, I spend more time dealing with the pups than I do my girls at this point. Other than feeding myself, dogs or the rest of the family, I am footloose and fancy free most days. So I can devote a lot of time and energy towards my knitting.
All of this rant to say, if you are a beginner, don’t let someone convince you that you HAVE to knit Cont or Eng. Try both, see what works for you. Don’t let someone tell you that you will knit FASTER if you do Cont. I will say, Cont has better ergonomics and less motion on knit st. So if that is a factor, go for it. But do not give up on knitting if you cannot do it the way you are being taught, try the other method. You might find a better fit for you. <rant />
*Diva Girl’s Boyfriend
** Unless they do Norwegian Purling