Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I'm turning to the dark side and picking instead of throwing.

How many of you are left handed? Not like it really matters in knitting but it will make more sense as you read on. Yes, I'm a left handed and at times it's a curse and other times it just feels right. Being raised in the um um um 60's, their wasn't much in the way of left handed stuff. I do write left handed and that was just the hardest thing about school or at least it was a constant reminder. For those of you who are lefties, you know what I mean. From Jr High School forward they mostly had seats with attached writing tables affixed to the right side. Imagine writing in any spiral or ring binder with your left hand, it's next to impossible. OK enough of the pity party. We do have our benefits though. In Sports and the Arts it seems like left handers have the advantage. I have also been in a room of Engineers where we all realized after half of a days worth of training that their was 9 of 11 lefties in a technical environment. It was the highest concentration of lefties I have ever seen. Left handed Fun Fact Swimmers typically see better underwater when left handed. Mark Spitz was left handed as a few other world class swimmers. Fencing is dominated by left handers. For more fun facts check this out
One day soon I will take a fencing class to test this theory with the bonus of being 6'5" helps with the reach advantage too. Another life goal if to learn to fence and we have local clubs who promote beginners in low cost adult education classes. Watch out for another obsession lol

I have been hearing that Continental knitting is a whole lot easier for the left handed folk. That wasn't what attracted me to the mysterious other style. I saw knitting as a time motion study from the very beginning. One of my first questions was "Why do I need to turn it around?" "Why can't I just knit back the other way." Then the more I learned the more I liked the economics of movement in Continental knitting. Fewer variables that give a more consistent stitch that should give a more constant gage. I know I know, it's supposed to be relaxing and there is no wrong way to knit but when you are a psycho about this kind of stuff you look at life differently.

Mrs. Twisted says if your are nodding off to skip to the next red words where there is more knitting content.

If you want to read more about how my brain works then plow on ahead

Here is a prime example;

What do you see when you look at this picture?

Now, what looks like it doesn't fit?

When I saw this I immediately thought why are they using metallic green trucks with Yellow service equipment trailers. But that wasn't what intrigued me. Why do they have sleepers on the truck's when all they are used for is slow moving of trailers used to build or repair the freeways here. Nobody sleeps in these trucks, they park here in this lot and are dispersed to the work site each night. This was a 1/4 mile from where we were sitting but it drew my attention because of the way things just didn't fit. My guess is that the purchasing agent for the construction company found a great deal on some used or rebuilt trucks and the fact that they are green or that they had a sleeper was irrelevant and the reduced price out weighed the additional equipment or color disparity.

More knitting content here.

Welcome back to those of you who skipped ahead. Do you read the cliff notes too?

Back to my point here, I have changed over to Continental and like Leanne from "To Knit Is Divine" said with such eloquence, "You'll knit like the wind when it stops feeling like your knitting with your toes"

I have along way to go before I'm NOT feeling like I'm knitting with my toes but it's slowly coming along. It like I'm starting all over again. A newbie once again. One discovery I have made is that I love the Knit Picks Options more and more because the reduced drag. My poor wooden needles are all nervous as they see me with the nickle plated conquerors of yarn.


  1. Anonymous10:40 PM

    What I like about picking is the economy of movement. It is so efficient. I like knitting this way.

    Sorry I did not offer you a slice of blogiversary yarn cake. I scarfed down the whole thing (hee hee, could not resist the pun).

    Happy 4th of July to you both!


  2. Hello Jerry and Debby, I must say that the blue yarn is great, and I have english version of my blog, the adress is
    Jerry you look great with needle in your hands!

  3. Leanne5:51 AM

    Keep at it, Jerry - it will get easier and feel more natural!

    In response to your beginner's question about why you can't just knit back the other way - actually, you could. I taught myself to do it the first time I knit entrelac. The constant turning was driving me crazy, since it was only a few stitches at a time. So I tried knitting backwards, and much preferred that. I would keep the yarn in my left hand all the time, so I would pick (my usual way) as I knit the stitches on the left-hand needle, and then throw as I knit the stitches on the right-hand needle. For some reason, I found throwing with my left hand easier than throwing with my right hand (and I'm not even a leftie).

    On longer stretches of knitting I still turn and purl back, but knitting "backwards" is a fun little party trick on entrelac.

  4. Welcome to the dark side, it's a better palce in so many ways. Listen to Leanne, she so knows what she's talking about and you are also right about the options, they are better

  5. LOL. See, I grew up knitting on the dark side and the one time that I took a knitting class (way back in the 60s -- I think I was 10 or 11 and had already been knitting for 2 or 3 years), I had the teacher of our darling little girl scout troop, inform everyone that while "this little miss thinks she is knitting, she is NOT. I don't know what she is doing but it definitely isn't knitting." Imagine my Mom and Gram's surprise when I went home and told them that they didn't know how to knit either!

    I also love the Options, have bought the complete set and have added other tips.

  6. I *heart* economical knitting - I knit Continental and purl English. Supposedly, Elizabeth Zimmerman says it's the fastest way.

    It will feel more comfortable the more that you do it and then when you try the "old" way -- that will feel weird! Ahhh muscle memory.

    Thanks for your comments on my blog - are you checking your Ravelry message box? I sent you a reply there!

    I didn't find your post boring at all. When you read your Ravelry msg, you'll know why!

    Happy CONTINENTAL knitting!

  7. Hello fellow leftie! I too have encountered a huge number of left handed people at work (science/technical field). Many of the great thinkers and artists are/were left handed... Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Ludwig van Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Bobby Fisher, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, and Wynton Marsalis... the list goes on...

    I am lucky in that I switched to Continental very early on. I happened across it while looking for a video for a particular stitch. I found (still my favorite resource) and saw the videos for different styles of knitting. I watch and was intrigued so I tried continental and just never looked back! Next thing I'd like to learn is that knitting backward thing - I'd like to do some entralac and see the huge advantage to not turning your work there!

    Good luck, happy picking :)

  8. Muhahahaha! Welcome to the dark side ;) I have always been a picker... (not my nose!) i taught myself from the internet .. I found throwing extremely hard and awkward and hated it.... then i came upon a website that taught continental knitting and..... BAM! light bulb moment! I teach at my LYS and I have to teach english style and I look like a HUGE rookie to my students! :)

  9. I want to learn continental too! Being left handed, I hear is an advantage. One reason I am happy to knit right handed is that everything seems geared that way, so being left handed doesn't interfere with my knitting. Now, on to the socks........ still gotta get some heels done.

  10. Hey Jerry! I'm a lefty too! The first day of my first year of music at University the Prof asked all those who were lefties to raise their hand. Out of 30 students, 15 were lefties. Including the Professor there were 16 left-handers in the classroom. It was a liberating day for me. I grew up, the only lefty in a family of 7 and none of my friends were lefties. I was the freak, not that I mind to much.

    My righty MIL taught me to knit. I knit backwards from righties, like a mirror image. I just couldn't make the needles work the other way. I have a friend that knits continental and she just flies, her hands are a blur. I have taught myself to knit backwards [right-handed] so I could teach righties. I've taught about 10 right-handers and one leftie.


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