10 March 2013

Undereducated: Knitting techniques

One of my lovely readers asked me to write a blog post about knitting techniques I'd like to learn. I found a huge list of techniques via Google, so to begin with, I pared the list down to remove things like project types, since those aren't techniques as much as a combination of things. I also removed references to dyeing or spinning, since those aren't knit-related. Now, although my primary goal is to talk about what I want to learn, I will add some anecdotes about the things I have learned... Primarily for your amusement. Here's the list:

American/English knitting and Continental knitting

Cable stitch patterns
Combination knitting
Designing knitted garments
Domino knitting
Drop stitch patterns
Fair Isle knitting
Free-form knitting
Garter stitch
Graffiti knitting
Kitchener stitch
Knitting and purling backwards
Lace patterns
Long Tail CO
Machine knitting
Moebius band knitting
Norwegian knitting
Short rows
Slip stitch patterns
Stockinette stitch
Textured knitting
Thrummed knitting
Tubular CO
Twisted stitch patterns
Two end knitting

So I'll start with American/English knitting. Have I ever told you how I learned to knit? With a Lion Brand boucle scarf kit? Yeah, the instructions would've been better if they were written by Ikea. Luckily, I was able to find the excellent resource that is Knittinghelp.com, and things became much clearer. 

Now, I'm not sure why I chose English over continental. I think, most likely, it was because I'm so utterly right handed that trying to control the yarn in my left hand was doomed from the start. Now, I knit English with a few weird nuances, like keeping my right thumb against the needle when I "throw"... Would you like to see me knitting something? You would?! How about this:
Lovely! Now, I normally knit a bit faster and more fluidly when my hands aren't around a tripod and reaching into a lightbox... :D

I'd love to learn to knit continental. The fact is, I do know how to knit like that, but my left hand is so bad at keeping tension that it just seems useless to keep going at it. I get my projects done quickly enough without the extra efficiency of continental, so I think I'll just stay happy with this way, until I come up with something better. 

How do you knit?
- YX


  1. I knit continental unless I'm knitting color work. I throw with the MC which I think is backwards from most people. Maybe throwing would take care of my tension issues? My tension is really loose knitting continental.

    1. I've never had issues with my tension, ever with English knitting. I'm extremely right handed and have such a hard time controlling the yarn with the left!

  2. I'd love to learn continental... really get into a rhythm with it, but that would take so much practice (and I knit for relaxation) so it's unlikely to ever happen.

    Next up on my "To Learn" list is color work. I'm going to make this:

    I don't think it'll be hard, but I'll have to put some energy into not losing my place with the pattern.