Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On Playing Leap ‘Frog’:

Yes, I have been missing from the blog for a few days. I have been concentrating.

If you have been following my blog for a while you know I have memory issues. And that after I went through Chemo for breast cancer four years ago, I was suddenly a Combination Knitter after being a English Knitter all my life. (I still don’t know how that happened.)

There is nothing wrong with either method. Most all patterns are written for English/Continental Knitters and Combination Knitting is much faster. The basic difference is the coil of the knitting around the knitting needle is clockwise for one and counter clockwise for the other, but the outcome is the same. (Don’t ask me which at the moment or my head will explode.)

Well after a self imposed vacation from knitting for a few months, I tried to learn how to knit English/Continental again.

This was for no other reason then some knitting patterns just can’t be made into Combination very easily and I was getting tired of transposing them. Some times it meant learning a new stitch in English then learning how to change it to Combination then re-writing the pattern to accommodate the change.

So for the last few days I have been knitting, making mistakes, frogging (or tinking, unknitting, pulling out my work), doing this all over again repeatedly and concentrating very hard to learn how to knit in Continental. (The knitting itself is English, but the holding of the yarn coming into the knitting is Combination.) The knitting itself is not as fast as Combination, but I don’t have to take days to learn a new pattern either.

I have finally turned the corner in this relearning and have gotten 9 1 /2 inches or 24 cm done on a simple, neck down, feather and fan patterned sweater without having to frog some or all of the stitches in each row. At this rate I just may be ready for the Knit Olympics to start on Friday.

Now all I have to do is pick a difficult pattern, get the wool, and do all this in a record breaking snow storm. Maybe this year I’ll just keep on practicing at this knitting for now.

Here is a website with videos of all three kinds as well as knitting for the left handed if you are interested. (Although she does make it harder to purl in Continental then it has to be. I use my thumb there.)


Mouse said...

When I taught myself to knit (by book) I had tons of problems with my decreases leaning the wrong direction and other fancy stitches not looking the right way. Turns out that I was doing something similar to combination knitting and I was twisting ALL of my knit stitches.

I'm a continental knitter but I don't wrap the yarn around my hands AT ALL... I sort of hold it between my first two fingers like one would hold a cigarette. Every time I knit in public I have people staring at my hands trying to figure out what I'm doing... but I can do knit/purl combos (like ribbing & seed stitch) very quickly since I don't have to drop the yarn.


Oh wow, so much information! I had no idea what combination knitting was, so I followed the link and watched the videos. Who knew?

I knit continental, and purl with the yarn in the back, aka Norwegian purling. Very fast for me and easy on my hands.

And like Mousie wrote, I used to hold the yarn between my first two fingers, too. I still do that while crocheting. People thought I was nuts, so I learned to wrap the yarn around my pointer finger.

BlackCrow said...

Continental knitter here too, and knit just like Mouse and Fuzzarelly.
I must say that I've not knitted much at all the last few months...apart for a teeny tiny dress for one of my dolls but I feel the urge to knit creeping up upon me once more.....I NEED A NEW in black. I have sooooo many unfinished projects to do first though...hmmm that's what I said at the beginning of last's a worry!