Saturday, January 17, 2009

I learned something new.

I can't believe I haven't been knitting continental style. I just watched this video, and it made the miles and miles of ribbing on the recently completed Hanover jacket an impetus to do things quite differently.

When I learned to knit, it was with the "throwing" technique, and I have happily tossed yarn from right hand, over and around the left hand needle, and shifted needles from row to row.

One time, I was knitting in the waiting room of a train station. An elegant woman dressed in beautiful Indian raiment waved her hands at me, shook her head, and mimed taking the needles from me. I let her (the knitting community is amazingly receptive to such incursions) and she showed me how much FASTER her continental technique was. I tried a few stitches, and fumbled. Back to throwing. (She smiled, shook her head at me, and moved on to her train.)

So Continental knitting seemed too exotic, even cumbersome. But it's not. I just hadn't seen the technique up close and personal. Thanks to this handy dandy video and amazingly simple instructions, I want to invest some time in learning a new technique, with its requisite fumbling and miscues until my my muscle memory is up to speed.

I'll post pix of Hanover tomorrow. I'm delighted with the finished sweater and look forward to wearing it for the rest of this winter. It's going to be a mainstay for years to come, thanks to its classic lines and understated texture.

It's a new year, and time to learn a few new things. Continental style knitting, square foot gardening, and table loom weaving . . . this is FUN!

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