Thursday, May 2, 2013

Visiting the Continent

I decided to try something new. Something adventurous, exotic, undiscovered.

I tried Continental.

I was taught by my aunt how to knit. She taught me how she was taught by my grandmother who presumably was taught by her mother. Our family knits English. We are a whole bunch of throwers.

But I decided to try something new. I had heard Continental knitting was faster than English, that picking the yarn was easier and smoother than throwing but I've been set in my ways. I am very much a creature of habit and I'm in the habit of tossing my yarn about like a madman. The more precise picking hadn't crossed my mind even after a friend in college had decided to pick it up. He talked about his increased speed and how much quicker everything seemed to go and yet after my fumbled attempts, I gave up and stayed in my comfort zone.

For some time, it has been my desire to teach. I've taught numerous people how to knit and they have all picked it up or decided it wasn't their cup of tea. The first thing you have to have when knitting is patience and if you don't have that then you won't enjoy knitting. But as I'm trying to figure out just what I'm supposed to do, I figured that I could teach others how to knit. I'm a good teacher and I've learned, being with my very analytical boyfriend, how to explain things multiple ways to get even the most left brained person to understand.

"But if I want to teach," I thought to myself, "then I should know more techniques than just my trusted English knitting."

So I braved it. Yesterday I picked up my needles and my cotton (I'm on #3 for my Mother's Day washcloths) and started a mitered square washcloth. It's been slow going and weird. I'm still not sure I like it. My right hand feels like it's being lazy or left out and not doing anything. It's so used to being the one to direct the whole process and now my left hand, my non-dominant hand, is in control.

It's too early to say whether or not I like it. And I'm not even half done with this washcloth so the whole "faster" thing has yet to be seen in my opinion. And tensioning the yarn is weird. I've found a way that sorta works but I definitely knit looser than I do when I throw my yarn, which might not be a bad thing. I tend to knit on the tighter side.

Maybe I'll be a convert. Maybe I'll go back to my old ways. Maybe I'll get so frustrated that I'll throw it away and take up weaving and never touch a set of needles again. Only time will tell.

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