Thursday, April 22, 2010

For Knit-wits like Me

My husband watched as one of his patients knit at Indy 500 speed while reading a novel at the same time. I can't even carry on a conversation when I'm knitting as I need full concentration to know whether I just did a knit or a purl or more likely in my case, a miss and a hurl because I dropped another damn stitch.

So, if you're like me and you can't do this:

There are these videos, which help knit-wits like me.

Do you know what word knitters use to explain what they go back and undo their work in order to correct a mistake? Besides the obvious one, I mean.

It's tink. Knitting backwards to find and solve the problem is called tinking.

Tink is knit spelled backwards. Clever little Needle Hands...

Mastering the art of the tink is part of learning to knit properly. It is my Waterloo.

(Nice to see the grain of the table is in full focus. The yarn, not so much. Still, it got me on track again but really, how hard is it to shoot a video of yarn with the yarn in focus?)

And just when I think I've got it, along comes a newer, better, faster way to knit. Does anyone knit the continental way? It's all I can do to knit the way I do now without taking on something new. However, it might be like a golf swing. If you start off learning the wrong way, it is harder to undo bad habits later.

Is this continental knitting better or just different?

And even more videos HERE


Lottery Girl said...

My opinion: Continental IS superior to English--It is so much faster, and purling isn't as hard. Unfortunately, I do the English style. I took Continental in January, and really all I have to do is practice, but I am so fast with the English style that I don't want to slow down temporarily to become adept at Continental.

Also, when you learn to do Fair Isle, it's so much easier Continental.

One other thing: Right now, I almost always knit right on gauge. I ALWAYS do a gauge for each project that requires it. So if the pattern calls for size six, I use the sixes, make my gauge, and everything is great. HOWEVER, when you switch from English to Continental and vice versa, your tension can change.

Jayne said...

Knitting is a painful process of torture for both myself and everyone within a 50 mile radius.
It's far more compassionate for all that I stick to crochet lol ;)

Deniz Bevan said...

Love being a Knit-wit! I can undo, thank goodness, and read while knitting - if it's a hardcover that lays flat - but I certainly can't speed knit. I knit faster than most, and that might be cos I knit - well, I thought I was using the Continental method. But the one in the video is the method my Polish friend uses. My English friend knits by throwing her yarn overhand. Whereas I throw (pass? toss?) underhand, which helps me go faster. Can't seem to find a video showing what I mean :-(

Lottery Girl said...


The English method involves "throwing" the yarn over or under using the right hand. Tension is largely determined by the right hand, which controls the yarn.

For the Continental, the yarn is wrapped around the left hand as though you are going to crochet. The left hand controls the tension. All the right hand does is "pick" the stitch either to knit or purl.

Deniz Bevan said...

Ah, I thought there was a separate name for people who throw underhand like me. Guess not :-)