Learning a new skill

This past week has been very slow in knitting news, as I have decided to bite the bullet, and try to teach myself to knit right handed.

I first started knitting by holding the yarn in my right hand, and dropping the right hand needle to wrap the stitch, but for my first major project (The Go Everywhere, Wear with Everything Cardi from “Stitch ‘N Bitch”), I decided that my techniquie was far too inefficient for about 30 bajillion miles of stocking stitch (Note to American readers, what you call stockingette, we call stocking stitch).

So, armed with the instructions from “Stitch ‘n Bitch” , which are excellent, I taught myself to knit continental. And I forced myself to use the method for every bloody stitch of that god forsaken project. I love the cardi, but it is a challenging knit. Brain death occurs about 1 inch into the back piece, and then you realise you have two fronts, and two arms to do, and there is no way you can go back and frog because even that 1 inch has caused you so much pain.

So after THAT, I was pretty comfortable with continental, and have been happily speeding through my kniting and feeling (although not the fastest knitter in the world), that my knitting is not embarassingly slow, and that I have enough speed to be able to conquer a big project.

And then I saw Emma knitting the Fair Isle Sampler Hat from an old Interweave Knits magazine. And she was knititng with a strand in each hand, and I was in awe.

GIven that I am slightly left/right challenged in the first place, and that I had already pushed my boundaries to switch to continental, I really felt that that technique was not for me. But then I tried doing it another way, and quickly learned that only pain lies in that direction.

So I have pondered the problem for about 18 months, alternating between “I really should pull my finger out and try that” with “I don’t want to go backwards, look how far I’ve come”.

So this week I cast on another Umbillical Cord hat, and gritted my teeth, and decided to do it.

And I have discovered 2 things.

1) It’s very, very hard, but I can get about 1 stitch in 10 to slide off the needles with a proper flow, and if I am determined, I may get better with practice.
2) It’s much easier to knit in traffic with your gearstick hand free.

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