Saturday, 5 April 2014

Re-training my knitting brain

I’m currently plodding on with my grey CDA Petite Choses Cardigan.  This is being knit in grey rowan alpaca cotton which is a nice fluffy yarn but it’s a pig to pull out as it catches.  I should try to make fewer mistakes I guess. 

This is a free pattern and can be found here, it is in French but there in a link to an English translation.

I have mentioned before that I consider myself to be a beginner when it comes to knitting, I guess I could say I was now an intermediate knitter considering the range of things I have taught myself to do but… I always feel like a bit of a fraud.  You see knitting on long straight needles is a breeze for me, but using circular needles and double pointed needles has proven difficult as I am a ‘tuck your right hand needle under the armpit’ knitter.  This is how my Mam knitted and my Nanna before her and how I was taught as a kid.  It transpires it may be a bit of a northern thing or at least I have read that certain regions of the country tend to have pockets of us armpit lot.  This is a fine way of knitting and I am fast knitting this way, but you can’t tuck a floppy circular needle under your armpit, and tiny DPN’s tucked under there make me look like a demented T Rex (yes I tried). 
I decided that I would have to re-learn how to knit and how to hold my needles and yarn and I am quite proud to announce that I have nailed it.  It took about a week of persevering but I have cracked it.  There are lots of various methods of how to hold needles but I looked at them all and found a way that feels natural to me and this is it.

 Holding the needles like a pen and flicking the yarn over with the index finger of my right hand.

Flicking the yarn over
This is how I hold my yarn for tension

This cardigan was knit quite quickly on long needles up to the point where all parts had to be added to a big circular needle. It’s a bit slow going from there as I am using this cardigan as my practice to learn a new method of knitting.

I have been interchanging between the two methods of knitting and I find I am able to do both now without much trouble, there is a 3-5 second delay every time I pick up my circular needles as my brain puts my hand into the best position and the first couple of stitches are a bit pathetic but I soon get into it.  Fingers crossed I will have a completed cardigan to share with you soon.

I have already got my next project lined up and am itching to get started with it, on circular needles of course.

Back Soon


Mad about Craft said...

I'm a northern 'armpit' knitter but the current garment I'm knitting I'm doing on circular needles and I'm finding it so much easier! For me it is the way to go!

Lisa Williams said...

I envy any knitter... Just can't! It's the same with crochet.
I DO love a cardi so hearts are popping out of my eyes at what you can make. Hope you're well

noodleBubble X

lemonade kitty said...

I too am an armpit knitter and found it quite difficult to knit on 4 very short needles for my socks but I soon got the hang of it. I've never tried the circular needles but I will day!! Your cardigan will soon be finished and then you can model it for us, xx

Ali said...

I'm a needle under the armpit knitter lol loving your top that you are knitting its gorgeous. xx

Josie said...

It might be a pig to work with but it looks gorgeous! I also love your 'Berwick Scarf' x

yarn and pencil said...

Hi, I have read that the armpit method allowed women to have one hand free so that they could do something else at the same time! Amazing.
I hold my needles in my hands as my mother and grandmother have done.
I've had a similar problem with crochet in that I could not hold the yarn my left hand but 40 years after originally learning crochet i have nailed it tooand can now hold the hook and yarn properly and I'm loving it!
Well done to you for achieving your goal :-)
Tracey x

Jo said...

I am a flicker and so is my mum just like you. I remember watching her when I was 10 and wanting to do it like her instead of dropping the needle and putting the yarn round.It is looking good. Jo x

Annaboo said...

Oh wow! That's amazing that you have re-trained yourself!
I am inspired - that's exactly what I need to do. I have only tried knitting a few times and the way I hold my needles is in the 'knife' hold, which is proving too slow!
Right, that's it. next time, I'm going to persevere with a new hold.
Wishing you a great week,
Sarah x