Monday, February 07, 2005

this is not a knitting blog...

...which may explain why I really don't have anything to say. I spent the weekend casting on and knitting 12-20 rows of clapotis, over and over again. Well, not over and over, but more often than I care to say. I have learned that I don't know how to knit. Actually, it's even weirder than that. I apparently knit European style, with the yarn held in my left hand, but then I knit into the back rather than the front of the stitch (believe me, this doesn't really make sense to me, either), which leaves my stitches twisted. Or something. I found this out because this pattern requires me to knit into the back of a loop as if that were unusual--and I had to figure out what the pattern thought was usual. Not what I do. Sigh.

Which raises an interesting issue: I don't know when I learned to knit. I learned to crochet one summer when I lived in Ogunquit, Maine, and I had a roommate who crocheted. She taught me and I made several afghans, learned to read patterns, etc. But I don't remember learning to knit. My mother knits, or once did (she tells stories of knitting argyle socks in college lecture halls--shudder!), but I've never seen her do it. I have or had a couple of aunts who knit but I don't think they taught me. My best guess, actually, is home ec class in 7th or 8th grade, but I obviously didn't follow up on it then, and am not sure how I got back into it. I know that I knew how to knit in the mid-80s, because I knit Mark a sweater then. Who taught me? And why did they teach me this weird way?

It seems very strange to me that I have a skill that I can't remember acquiring. I can't really remember learning to read, either, but it's pretty obvious that I don't remember that because I was so young when it happened. I'm guessing I was about four. But I was, I'm quite sure, significantly older when I learned to knit. Or. sort of learned to knit.

Anyway. Any knitters who want to help me with this front-of-the-loop thing, be my guest. It's going to bug me for a while, I can tell. I'm thinking about ripping out (again) my progress to date on one of the two clapotis (clapotises? clapoti?) that I've started, and trying it "my" way, to see if it makes any difference at all.

Or maybe I'll just chuck the whole thing and go back to thinking about books. That would be the smart thing to do.

3 comments:

Becca said...

No, no, no. You must continue! You're my inspiration!

Rin said...

It's really funny that you posted about this. I had the same knitting "problem" for years. I don't quite remember how I figured out I was knitting "wrong," but I've spent the last few months re-training myself to knit through the front of the loop. Oy. I'm still not quite up to speed yet.
Anyhoo, let's say this: /\ is a stitch on your needle, with the needle running between the two legs (bear with me here). Right now you're knitting between the /\ and picking up the \ leg, and knitting it. Instead, you need to come around from the left side, twist your needle, and pick up the / leg, from the left side of the stitch. Think of it like making a U-turn with your knitting needle. It's a very strange motion, and it makes K2tog's a real pain in the ass, but the rest of the world does it, so I guess it's the "right" way to knit.
Sorry if this was too much information.

Libby said...

Thanks, Rin. I think I've got it now, but you're right, k2tog is the worst with this "new" way of doing it. Sigh. Your clapotis is a lot further along than mine...