There are millions of knitters in this world, and I’d put money on it, that they all knit differently.
We know about English-style and continental-style knitting, left-handed knitting, knitting belts, straight needles, circular needles, and the myriad of ways to tension yarn – and there are doubtless more ways I’ve forgotten.
OH, I JUST REMEMBERED PORTUGUESE KNITTING.
But, even in these broader knitting styles and methods, there seem to be endless variations on how we position our needles, hold our yarn, wind our yarn to form a stitch, where we look, how we sit – and in my case, whether we stab ourselves on the fingertip with each stitch.
I am a left-handed knitter who knits right-handed English-style, tensioning my yarn through my fingers on my right hand. I use short-tipped needles and prefer them to have a pointed metal tip because I’ve convinced myself I knit faster with them.
EVERY TIME I WORK A STITCH, I FINISH THE MOVEMENT BY PUSHING THE END OF MY LEFT NEEDLE WITH THE INDEX FINGER ON MY RIGHT HAND.
So, when I’m knitting quickly with yarn that slides beautifully over my needles, the tip of my needle goes something like: “bang-bang-bang-bang” on the pad of my finger.
I can bang away for ages with bigger needles, happily slapping the pointed metal tip without feeling a thing.
But, after a handful of sessions working fine yarn on tiny needles, all that banging starts to take a toll on my (now reasonably calloused) finger-pad – and the teeniest hole begins to form.
It just takes one bang too many to send me through the roof, and from there on in, to avoid being stabbed, a kind of wonky-style knitting begins where I shift and turn my finger in an endless game of “miss the hole”.
I’VE TRIED ALL SORTS OF THINGS TO AVOID THE INEVITABLE AGONY OF BANGING INTO THE HOLE – STICKING PLASTERS, THIMBLES, TWISTING MY FINGER, NOT HITTING MY FINGER … YOU NAME IT, I’VE PROBABLY TRIED IT.
But they’re all a bit of a pain (‘scuse the pun).
I could probably stop for a bit, think about my knitting style, try something new and make an effort to stick at it. But we all know how difficult that is!
I’m in awe of English-style knitters that persevere with continental knitting. The slowness and discomfort of adjusting my knitting style is something I’ve never been able to work through.
I TRY FOR A BIT AND THEN INEVITABLY THROW IN THE TOWEL, RETURNING TO MY USUAL QUICK-STAB METHOD WITH THE DESPERATION OF A LOVESICK TEENAGER YEARNING FOR MY HEARTTHROB.
So, for now, anyway, I’m stuck with my “bang-bang-bang-bang” style of knitting.
And, just like between babies, between stretches of knitting fine yarn on tiny needles, I completely forget about the pain. So before I know it, there I am again, headlong into another long fingering-weight body on US 4/3.5 mm needles.
I think the phrase is: c’est la vie.
Only in this case, it’s a knitters life ;)