Continental Divide

My new thing is learning how to knit continental style.

I’m an English style knitter, or a “thrower.”  That means that I hold the yarn in my right hand and throw the yarn over the needle with every stitch.  When I first learned how to knit using a combination of a DVD I got in a kit and my mother’s basic knitting skills, that’s what was demonstrated and so I followed it.  (That’s also why I’ve always done the long-tail cast on method for everything and didn’t even know there was such a thing as multiple methods until years after I started knitting.)

But more and more recently I’ve been thinking about how slow of a knitter I am and how this method is the reason I’m slowing down.  I think I’m pretty quick with the method I use, but continental style knitters can whip through stitches like nobody’s business while I’m throwing each one over the needle.

I’ve also realized that I have a pretty strange yarn tension thing going on when I knit: I tuck the yarn under my pinky and ring fingers, but with each stitch, my index finger picks up the yarn to throw it over.  I never noticed this was how I was doing things until I started paying attention to the way I was knitting and how other people were knitting.  It comes very naturally to me, but there are just so many more effective ways of knitting, and I want to know all of them.

So, that’s that.  I’ve been watching videos of people knitting continental style, and I can do it – but not without feeling incredibly awkward.  I know that anything worth learning takes time, and I’m going to stick with it, but for now it’s incredibly annoying that I haven’t gotten the yarn tension right, that my pointer finger sticks out when I’m knitting that way, and that everything feels so wrong.

Patience is key, I guess.  In the meantime, I’m going back and forth between the two, because continental is in no way, shape, or form a quicker method yet.

Continental Divide

My new goal is learning how to knit continental style.

I’m an English style knitter, or a “thrower.”  That means that I hold the yarn in my right hand and throw the yarn over the needle with every stitch.  When I first learned how to knit using a combination of a DVD I got in a kit and my mother’s basic knitting skills, that’s what was demonstrated and so I followed it.  (That’s also why I’ve always done the long-tail cast on method for everything and didn’t even know there was such a thing as multiple methods until years after I started knitting.)

But more and more recently I’ve been thinking about how slow of a knitter I am and how this method is the reason I’m slowing down.  I think I’m pretty quick with the method I use, but continental style knitters can whip through stitches like nobody’s business while I’m throwing each one over the needle.

I’ve also realized that I have a pretty strange yarn tension thing going on when I knit: I tuck the yarn under my pinky and ring fingers, but with each stitch, my index finger picks up the yarn to throw it over.  I never noticed this was how I was doing things until I started paying attention to the way I was knitting and how other people were knitting.  It comes very naturally to me, but there are just so many more effective ways of knitting, and I want to know all of them.

So, that’s that.  I’ve been watching videos of people knitting continental style, and I can do it – but not without feeling incredibly awkward.  I know that anything worth learning takes time, and I’m going to stick with it, but for now it’s incredibly annoying that I haven’t gotten the yarn tension right, that my pointer finger sticks out when I’m knitting that way, and that everything feels so wrong.

Patience is key, I guess.  In the meantime, I’m going back and forth between the two, because continental is in no way, shape, or form a quicker method yet.

A Little Bit Neckish

I read something recently about cowls being one of the best things to make, and I couldn’t agree more!  I love knitting cowls and scarves and infinity scarves and shawls and cold weather accessories, and there are so many different ways to wear them.  One of my favorite things I’ve ever made for myself was the Stockholm Scarf in a beautiful variegated teal in Berroco Ultra Alpaca.  It’s a long and wide infinity scarf that wraps around twice and that is so comfortable and soft.  I love it way too much (as if that’s possible!) and wear it as often as the temperature allows.  My other favorite is something I finished recently, the Great Divide Shawl, a huge striped triangle shawl with a simple yo/slip stitch pattern, but the result is really lovely.  And yet another favorite is the New Year’s Cowl, a new pattern on Ravelry from a woman who frequents the yarn store in the next town over from me.  It’s a reversible cable and seed stitch cowl that I made in a gold-colored alpaca/merino blend yarn called Francesca from Lana Vida. Love love love them all!

I really just love things that can be worn around the neck, honestly. There are so many different patterns for them or you can design something all your own; they can be worn in so many different, wonderful ways; you can make them to be casual or dressy or somewhere in between; and you can make them any color you like, to match anything.  (Really, this goes for all knitting, let’s be real.)

I’ve reopened my Etsy shop (here!) after neglecting it for a few months.  Technically, I never closed it, but my listings expired without me realizing it, and I wanted to get everything back on the up and up juuuust in case there was someone on the site looking for something I have to offer.  There’s not much – just three items: a hat, an infinity scarf, and a cowl – but it’s enough for a start.  And since I’ve been knitting like mad recently (more than ever before), I’ve been designing my own shawls, and I’m excited to see how they turn out.  I’ve been scrounging through stitch pattern books trying to find ones that I think would make sense for a shawl, and I think I’ve got a few good ones.  I’m looking forward to it!

A Little Bit Neckish

I read something recently about cowls being one of the best things to make, and I couldn’t agree more!  I love knitting cowls and scarves and infinity scarves and shawls and cold weather accessories, and there are so many different ways to wear them.  One of my favorite things I’ve ever made for myself was the Stockholm Scarf in a beautiful variegated teal in Berroco Ultra Alpaca.  It’s a long and wide infinity scarf that wraps around twice and that is so comfortable and soft.  I love it way too much (as if that’s possible!) and wear it as often as the temperature allows.  My other favorite is something I finished recently, the Great Divide Shawl, a huge striped triangle shawl with a simple yo/slip stitch pattern, but the result is really lovely.  And yet another favorite is the New Year’s Cowl, a new pattern on Ravelry from a woman who frequents the yarn store in the next town over from me.  It’s a reversible cable and seed stitch cowl that I made in a gold-colored alpaca/merino blend yarn called Francesca from Lana Vida. Love love love them all!

I really just love things that can be worn around the neck, honestly. There are so many different patterns for them or you can design something all your own; they can be worn in so many different, wonderful ways; you can make them to be casual or dressy or somewhere in between; and you can make them any color you like, to match anything.  (Really, this goes for all knitting, let’s be real.)

I’ve reopened my Etsy shop (here!) after neglecting it for a few months.  Technically, I never closed it, but my listings expired without me realizing it, and I wanted to get everything back on the up and up juuuust in case there was someone on the site looking for something I have to offer.  There’s not much – just three items: a hat, an infinity scarf, and a cowl – but it’s enough for a start.  And since I’ve been knitting like mad recently (more than ever before), I’ve been designing my own shawls, and I’m excited to see how they turn out.  I’ve been scrounging through stitch pattern books trying to find ones that I think would make sense for a shawl, and I think I’ve got a few good ones.  I’m looking forward to it!

 

The Comeback

Well, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?  It’s been nearly a year and a half since I’ve blogged about anything I’ve made.  It’s not like I haven’t knit anything in these past eighteen months – I most definitely have, and a lot of it.  If you’re interested in particulars, check out my Ravelry projects page here, and you can see all of the awesome things I’ve made for myself and others.  I’m not going to go into details of each, but after this, I’m going to be posting about them more individually.  I would do it now, but I’m at work and don’t have access to my photos.  (Ridiculous, right?  But a girl’s gotta make a living, especially to support her crafting addiction.)

But why am I back now?  A friend of mine was on my Facebook profile doing that creeping thing we’re all completely guilty of, and when she saw my blog listed under my website link, she noticed that I hadn’t posted in over a year.  Well, we couldn’t have that, now could we?

I’d been avoiding blogging for a while because of the weird sense of obligation I felt surrounding it, but that feeling was connected to my non-knitting related blog.  I got into a state of mind in which I couldn’t help but compare the number of posts I made and the level of coolness of the things I posted about to everyone else who posted about their super awesome and overly interesting lives.  And when I didn’t have anything as “cool” or “fun” to post about, it was a major let down.  But after remembering this blog, and how much I’d enjoyed posting the photos of what I was making and seeing all of the other things people were posting, I decided to come back.  So here I am!

I’ve decided to instead start fresh on my blog from this point on. Even in the past year and a half, my knitting and crocheting technique has improved tons, and I’ve been taking on much more interesting and unique knitting projects.  Most importantly, I finally allowed myself to get out of my comfort zone and admit to myself that, yes, I can tackle those “intermediate” and “experienced” level knits that I somehow convinced myself were too difficult.  (And to anyone thinking the same way, please try them anyway.)

I’m looking forward to sharing my knits with you, and I can’t wait to see yours!

The Comeback

Well, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it?  Try about a year and a half.  It’s not like I haven’t knit anything in these past eighteen months – I most definitely have, and a lot.  If you’re interested in particulars, check out my Ravelry projects page here, and you can see all of the awesome things I’ve made for myself and others.  I’m not going to go into details of each, but after this, I’m going to be posting about them more individually.  I would do it now, but I’m at work and don’t have access to my photos.  (Ridiculous, right?  But a girl’s gotta make a living, especially to support her crafting addiction.)

But why am I back now?  A friend of mine was on my Facebook profile doing that creeping thing we’re all completely guilty of, and when she saw this blog listed under my website link, she noticed that I hadn’t posted in over a year.  Well, we couldn’t have that, now could we?

I’d been avoiding blogging for a while because of the weird sense of obligation I felt surrounding it, but that feeling was connected to my non-knitting related blog.  I got into a state of mind in which I couldn’t help but compare the number of posts I made and the level of coolness of the things I posted about to everyone else who posted about their super awesome and overly interesting lives.  And when I didn’t have anything as “cool” or “fun” to post about, it was a major let down.  But after remembering this blog, and how much I’d enjoyed posting the photos of what I was making and seeing all of the other things people were posting, I decided to come back.  So here I am!

I’ve gone back and deleted some old posts with terrible quality photos, or knits I posted even when I wasn’t proud of them, so I only have a handful of posts prior to this one now.  But that’s okay!  Even in the past year and a half, my knitting and crocheting technique has improved tons, and I’ve been taking on much more interesting and unique knitting projects.  Most importantly, I finally allowed myself to get out of my comfort zone and admit to myself that, yes, I can tackle those “intermediate” and “experienced” level knits that I somehow convinced myself were too difficult.  (And to anyone thinking the same way, please try them anyway.)

I’m looking forward to sharing my knits with you, and I can’t wait to see yours!