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An explanation

April 4, 2007

Ok… so I taught myself to knit, or so I thought anyway…

Actually, to be totally honest, my step mother taught me to knit… I was 12 at the time, and I have very little recollection of her teaching me, but I do know she did. She taught me to throw, and I think that’s the only time I ever did. I did it as a bonding sort of thing, and while it did work, and we bonded… I don’t recall every finishing any ‘projects’…

Then 8 years pass and I’m in college and looking for a stress reliever and wanted to make my then boyfriend a cool gift… so I bought some needles and yarn and a pattern for a strip Aran cabled afghan and off I went. I taught myself how to knit again… and little did I realize that I re-taught myself to knit continental style, but still.. incorrectly… I have knit incorrectly since I was 20… and while I haven’t always knit consistently since then, I can say I’ve knit consistently incorrectly since then! ๐Ÿ˜‰

How did I figure this all out… well, I should have figured it out last year when I was working with a knitting group to try to teach some newbies to knit. They were interested in my style because it’s different from most American knitters… so I tried.. however no one could quite GET what I was doing… so they all now Throw.. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And thankfully Lee took over the teaching much to my approval!

In February I knit the mid-month KAL with the yahoo group, MonthlyDishclothKAL… and it looked NOTHING like the expected result. It was this pretty lace dishcloth.. not too hard a pattern by any means.. just a bunch of yarnovers and k2tog… should have been simple… but NOPE… no go for me. Someone then posted that she was having problems getting the holes to appear in hers and that she thought it was because she knits continental and that her yarnovers needed to be done differently. She pointed me to some videos of knitting techniques so I could see if I was doing my YOs wrong.. and know what I saw… that I’m KNITTING wrong!

Weird… but true. So.. you’re maybe wondering what on earth did she do?? Well, I have ALWAYS knit through the back of the loop and never through the front. I thought… hmmm.. .easy to fix.. .and i tried it… and for some reason when I got around to pearling behind a knit row… things went kaplooey! I couldn’t get my needle into the loop, it was angled the wrong way and was too tight to get into… and then when after 10 minutes I could finish a row.. all sweaty and worked up and stressed.. the yarn was all crossed and looked funny… I was so frustrated and my dear hubby was so funny.. he’s like… ‘why re-teach yourself if it’s so frustrating… the way you knit before was fine.. just don’t do any lace patterns’… which seems simple enough.. so I went back to my regular method…

A few weeks later I’m sitting there wishing I could knit this pretty lacey shamrock dishcloth, but know that I shouldn’t waste my time.. it won’t come out right… so off I go again trying to re-teach myself. Well, I finally figured out my problem… it’s my PEARL stitches now…

My pearl stitches.. well, this is harder to explain… I mean I was technically pearling ‘almost’ correctly in that I went in from right to left through the front of the loop, however it was how I was grabbing the yarn… I was just litterally grabbing the yarn and pulling it through the loop instead of wrapping it around and pushing it down through the loop… maybe you can visualize what I’m explaining.. but I had to watch the video tutorials on it a few times to get it right…. so now.. I can finally knit correctly, though my fingers don’t always know that… they revert out of habit to the ‘Michelle’ method now and again… it’s frustrating.. because I could always knit in the car, even in the dark before.. and now I need to see what I’m doing to make sure I’m doing it correctly… I know I’ll get back to that dark knitting level at some point.. but I just feel liberated knowing I can knit correctly now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oddly, I never saw any problems in my completed projects with my old method… funny that I just taught myself that whole process and had it work out ALMOST right!

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 4, 2007 9:33 pm

    Amazing experience you have been through, indeed! ๐Ÿ˜€

    I remember watching Knitty Gritty and a Designer Guest of the day (I don’t recall her name) saying that there is no wrong way to knit as long as you are comfortable with it… She didn’t mention the “yo” thing though… ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You must be so proud to have it all figured it out though. That is what clever knitters do…

    CONGRATULATIONS and welcome to the lace-land! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Isabelle aka Tricotine

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