This page features discussion, comments, insights, information and just plain old ramblings about hand knittingA style journeyI was taught to hand knit by my Grandmother, in the ‘English’ style in which you throw the yarn with your right hand. Although a prolific knitter, I never saw her knit with a circular needle, and although she knitted socks, I don’t recall her using double pointed needles to knit in-the-round. So my formative hand-knitting years were pretty ‘vanilla’, limited to straight, metal needles and the quite frankly boring hand-knitting yarns available in our local West Country market town. As I explain in the Introduction to ‘Translating Between Hand and Machine Knitting’, my interest in hand knitting waned in my teenage years, and wasn’t rekindled until my mid-twenties when I discovered the most scrumptious Italian Hand-knit yarns whilst I was studying machine-based knitted textile design.
Despite this new interest it wasn’t until years later that I discovered that there were other ways of knitting: ‘European’, ‘Continental’, ‘Russian’ and even more exotic styles from South America, one of which I saw demonstrated involved hanging the yarn around your neck as you knit.
Loving a technical challenge I tried various methods, but my early muscle memory prevailed, and I still am happiest with ‘English’ style, although I hold my needles like a knife, not a pencil!
The reason I persist is that I think having a few variations on how you hold the yarn/needles must help to keep the dreaded RSI at bay.
I posted this Hyperlapse of me practising ‘continental’ purl stitch as part of the Instagram #SeptTextileLove organised by Seam Collective.
Please be kind when watching…I am still trying to teach those muscles to co-operate.
I am arm knitting a double bed throw as a gift. As they want it washable I’ve opted for acrylic roving from Woollymahoosive. It’s going to take about 3kg of the massive 4kg ball to complete this in the single rib fabric.
…and yes I have noticed my mistake. I’ll unravel that stitch down and rework the stitch before binding off.
I’ve completed the runner.