Saturday, May 17, 2008

Look ma! I'm knittin' all continental-like!

So I've spent the better part of the afternoon watching continental knitting videos on YouTube and I think I've finally figured out what's been fouling me up with the continental purling thing.  As I previously mentioned, my typical intentions-without-actions MO isn't going to fly with this idea that I should learn to knit continental since I knit with Emily, who, since hearing me say I was toying with the idea, has not let me forget about it and continue on with my comfortable English knitting ways.  I'm kind of afraid that her verbal poking is going to eventually turn into Addi poking if I don't get this shit figured out!  So this, combined with my recent need to just knit something simple and singular (i.e. not two of something, which seems to be my kick these days - socks, mittens, fingerless gloves) has led me to my newest WIP.  I decided that I really just don't want a clapotis, which was the project that I'd decided would be my continental learning project.  I think I'm not a wrap kind of person.  I am, however, a cardigan kind of person and doing a top down cardigan requires lots of purling which is what I really need to practice most.  I've decided that I'm going to make the Anthrolopoligie Inspired Capelet - kind of.  I'm not using bulky yarn, because I think the yellow Maggi Linen that I have is still calling to me and I'm sure I've got enough of it for a smallish project.  I hope anyway.  So I'll have to refigure some numbers since this is technically worsted weight (although it's not the easiest thing to knit since it's made up of 5 individually plied bits, which are not plied to each other.)  I swatched (in continental!) with the size 8's that the ball band recommended but really didn't like how loose the fabric was.  I probably should have moved down to a 6, but my needle search turned up a pair of size 4 Addis so that's what I tried and liked the look of.  I suppose I can't really call it a WIP until I actually cast on, but I'm sure I will before the day is over- I'm never a very responsible swatcher and always stop way short of a 4" square!  So anyway - there's my progress report on my foray into continental knitting.  It still kind of hurts my hands - mostly my right hand which I apparently use to put a death grip on the needle for some reason.  I'm trying hard to just relax my last 3 fingers, which I believe are the issue.  I'm going to have to watch some of the other continental knitters in my group and see what they do with their hands.  Oh, the thing that was fouling up my ability to purl, and what I learned most from the videos, was how to hold my yarn.  At first I just had no tension - and that's still a bit of  a problem - but also I realized that if I wrapped it such that the yarn would come off the front of my index finger, instead of coming from behind it, I can rotate it forward for the purling.  That's the opposite of how I used to hold it for English knitting.  Also, it helps me to wrap the yarn twice around my index finger to keep tension since apparently my left pinky can't grip for shit.  Hey, you live and you learn and thank god for the internet to help you along that path!  

P.S. Sorry 'bout the craptastic focus on the picture - had you seen me pushing the timer button then quickly trying to grip the camera under my chin against my chest, and get my hands back in place, you might better understand why the ball of yarn in my lap got the focus instead of the actual knitting in my hands!  

1 comment:

emilynye said...

YAY!!! I don't actually GRIP with my pinky, just its presence keeps the tension better. but whatever works for you =)
I'll see you tonight to show you my beading techniques too! =)