Thursday, December 4, 2008
The Chronicles of Continental
When it comes to knitting, I've always been a thrower, sending big looping arcs of yarn all over the place with my right hand. This is English knitting, and the way I learned when I was six years old. When I picked knitting back up again almost fifteen years later, after being a sewer, the method of looping my yarn around came right back to my hands like I had never put my fiber down. This is proof that "throwing" my yarn is engrained in my muscle memory like riding a bike. I think this has been part of the obstacle to my learning to crochet, which is much more like Continental Knitting, or "picking," which is considered by most knitters to be a much quicker and more efficient way of knitting. But with a list of Christmas gifts in front of me, I decided to give Continental another try. There are many less hand movements, and when working with DPNs, which I mostly am (hats being at the top of my list), a much more controlled way of wrangling in those five needles. So last night, I asked my mom to time me on a row of English knitting, and on a row of Continental knitting. Even though this was my first time knitting Continental, it took me 46 seconds to complete the row, compared to the 40 seconds in English, which I've been knitting all my life, and can do in the dark without even looking! That's craziness. With practice, I'll be churning out rows of stockinette. This video has been the most helpful of anything I've ever read or seen in helping me grasp Continental-- and grasp my yarn in my left hand!