Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I learned how to knit and my dog stinks!

OK. So they're not directly related but both are relevant in my little world right now. First, the dog. Seriously, there is something wrong with this dog. Something very very wrong. As my husband pointed out in an email this morning, the Geneva Convention banned the use of poisonous gas in warfare. Someone forgot to tell Kanji about this. Its a silent weapon he wields well. I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this.

As for the knitting, its a longer story with, hopefully, a happier ending. I learned how to knit today - again. Its actually the third time. Sort of.

The problem, you see, is that I am left handed. Its something I've always been proud of. I consider it one of the sources of my power. It is also a tad inconvenient at times. Learning to knit has been one of those times. My mother, who was an amazing knitter among other things, was not able to teach me. I am a kinesthetic learner, meaning I need to put my hands on things to learn. She was never able to figure out how to hold the needles or where to put the thread so that it made sense in my hands.

Many years later, I asked my mother in law, who happens to be left handed, to teach me. The lessons went very well. I learned to do a backwards purl stitch and a purl stitch. Wait. That's not right! Its supposed to be knit, purl. Well, yeah it is but things don't always work that way in my hands. What I thought was a knit stitch was really a purl stitch from the wrong side. By the time I figured this out, the motor patterns were laid and I was pretty much screwed. I got really good at making scarves (if you didn't mind that I had a terrible habit of adding stitches).

I tried my hand at hats with not so positive results so I moved on to something a bit different. I learned to knit on a loom (commonly sold as a Knifty Knitter but I think loom sounds much more grown up). I have become very good at my looms. I can make hats in various shapes and sizes as well as handwarmers and assorted other goodies. For some reason, ok, for speed, I thought I wanted more.

So today I did what everyone does anymore. I went surfing. I logged on to dogpile and I entered "left handed knitting". I found lots of sites that made my eyes glaze over with k2 and p1 and stuff like that. Then I found this site: If you have ever had thoughts of learning to knit, this is the place to go! Ms. Penny Dablin has a series of videos that show exactly what to do with your fingers and the yarn. And she does it all with a charming accent! What I learned was to knit right handed (I know but it made sense to me) but hold the yarn in my left hand (I believe this is continental knitting?) Its going slowly and I am still adding stitches willy nilly but I seem to have both a knit and a purl going and that is an improvement. Now if I could just find something that will help my dog...


AZMike said...

First the dog; a number of years ago I came across a product at Kmart that you added to dogs drinking water that supposedly tamed their smell, never tried it but if you are talking gas maybe throw a Beano in it chow.

On the knitting; I take it your mother has moved on to celestial knitting grounds? If so, sorry to hear that, I too miss my parents.
It is unfortunate that my answer to your questions of how to teach a lefty by a righty is too late coming for you and your mom but I was given the answer as I read your dilemma. It would have been so easy too. If you would have merely had your mother knit in front of a mirror and then you only paid attention to the left-handed lady in the mirror it would have made sense to you. I am sure this would work even for watching a video of a right handed knitter, just watch it through a mirror.


Lindentreephotography said...

thanks for both tips. might come in handy when it comes time to teach my oldest daughter, the only righty in the family!