February 13, 2008
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A few days ago I posted about the life-changing event that took place at Fiberphilia and the resulting decision, namely to learn to knit using the continental style of holding the strand. I didn’t realize what this decision fully entailed until that night when I was home working on a moss stitch scarf for my brother-in-law. I found myself getting stressed, frustrated, and tired. I couldn’t keep the tension. I couldn’t get the strand to move around my pointer. I’d end up dropping the strand when dipping for a purl. I was ready to throw the knitting across the room, or shake it up and down like a frustrated 3-year-old with a teddy bear while wailing. Knitting has never ever felt like this for me before.
I tried so hard for a few days to sit and knit and those sessions always ended in walking away after 15 minutes. Not cool. I finally took a look at the knit-stitch video at Knitting Help again. That’s when the break-through occurred. I had been wrapping the strand once around my pinky and twice around my pointer. I couldn’t keep the strand moving that way. I watched the video and she showed two ways of wrapping the yarn. It was the second that dissipated my frustration. I wrapped twice around my pinky and once around my pointer and off I went! I zipped through several rows on a baby blanket like I used to with the old method. It was the most wonderful experience.
Despite the frustration that learning continental has been, it has been immensely valuable as it has encouraged me to try out other techniques and styles that I’d never considered before. It has urged me on to be a better, more skilled, more diverse knitter.
February 10, 2008
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If you can’t quite tell how much it’s snowing in this picture, look at the building. This is the bank next door to my apartment building and I took this picture looking out my window because I was certainly not going out for a photo-op.
What does this mean? More time for planning the school week ahead (yes! I am well enough to return to my kiddos!) and more time for knitting (ugh! it’s become stressful now!).
Last night, after posting, I sat down with my brother-in-law’s scarf I began in January in a moss stitch and to practice my continental knitting and purling. Believe you me, this is not the best way to practice. Or, maybe it is. Either way, I spent about 45 minutes on it and decided I simply could not knit anymore because it was making my brain hurt and my fingers ache. You see, they keep wanting to knit in the old way, not this new way. It’ll take a long time to build up new muscle memory.