Fiberuary Day 7: Technique
Instead of sharing some cool hack for perfect cast-ons or bind-offs or something, here’s a wonky glimpse into how I knit (feat. Henri) and story time about the technique I first learned when I learned to knit.
I learned to knit when I was ~11 years old. My childhood best friend’s grandma, Eunice Baugh, taught free craft classes and held knitting groups at a local community center and I wanted to learn to knit, so she had me come to her knitting group and she taught me. I’ll always be grateful to Eunice for teaching me, an incredibly awkward and nerdy middle schooler, how to knit when she was probably just trying to hang out with her knitting friends. But the thing Eunice didn’t tell me was that she’d taught me to knit Continental and it wasn’t until a decade later that I figured out that the reason why the way I knit was so different than picture tutorials in books (this was pre-YouTube, or at least before I thought to look for knitting information online) was because all of those were English, not Continental. For a long time I felt weird and kinda ashamed that I didn’t elegantly throw my yarn with each stitch like everybody else. So I tried knitting English and I hated it. It felt so awkward and went so much more slowly, so back to Continental I went.
A couple years later when I decided to knit my first pair of socks, I realized all of my knit stitches were twisted— because all these years I’d been knitting from the back loop. Eunice taught me “purl in the front, knit in the back” and so that’s what I always did. So when I started my first sweater (raglan, in the round), I tasked myself with knitting from the front and having nice, flat stitches— except the shaping before joining in the round was worked flat and suddenly my wrong-side rows were coming out twisted. I supposed she had taught me to knit all of my stitches twisted, even my purls, but that wouldn’t make any sense. I trumped it up to her probably noticing I was getting my purls twisted, but not correcting me because I was just a kid and I was crashing her knitting circle. Cont. in comments...