Learning How to Knit Again

In an effort to ease the soreness in my hands after a knitting session, I am learning how to knit in the continental style.

Last year at the Pottstown Knit Out, I had taken a class on how to knit continental. By the end of the class, I could make both a knit stitch and a purl stitch.

Yet when I got home and picked up my current knitting project, I reverted back to the way I had always knit. The habit was too great.

At first I rationalized that I didn’t want to potentially alter my gauge halfway through a project. When I cast on for the next project, I would switch to knitting in continental. But, I didn’t. Nor did I do it for the project after that or for the huge hexagon blanket I just finished.

So here I am having to consult my Knitting Without Tears book to remember what I learned in the Knit Out class.

I feel like a beginner knitter. Part of me is happy to be learning something new and expanding my knitting knowledge. The other part of me is frustrated to be relegated to knitting dishcloths when what I really want to do is test out my new lace pattern.

After just a few rows of the dishcloth, I understand why the continental style of knitting is as beloved as it is. It requires a whole lot less hand movement. I can make a new stitch with just a flick of my wrist. It’s nice. It might even correct my gauge issues. You see, I’m a loose knitter. I tend to use needles 2-3 sizes smaller than what is recommended by yarn companies. I didn’t start out that way. In fact, I knitted extremely tight when I was first starting to knit. Well one day, my MIL saw me struggling to knit. “Why are you knitting so tight?” she asked. Before I could even answer, she took the needles out of my hand and showed me how to knit loosely. I never knit a tight stitch again. But, I went to the other spectrum and began to knit extremely loosely. Now that I’m learning to knit again, maybe I can knit just so and not be too loose or too tight. Just so.


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