I’ve been knitting for almost two years now, and though I didn’t take classes, I don’t think it’d be fair to say I’m self-taught because I learnt from the amazing knitters on YouTube too numerous to mention. I remember trying to learn how to cast on from a book, but just couldn’t. Then, I went on a hunt on the net and came across Good Knit Kisses‘ video on YouTube which helped tremendously. I must say she had one of the clearest and easy-to-follow beginners’ tutorials I ever came across, and after watching and repeating her steps a gazillion times, I could knit and purl English style.
So, armed with my newly acquired ‘skill’, I said to myself, “now I’m going to knit a jumper”. I scoured around for patterns, settled for this v-neck jumper, and proceeded to order yarn. While waiting impatiently for it to arrive, I practised some more on some jute yarn I bought from a hardware store. Did I remember to say the yarn I ordered was Sublime Luxury Tweed Aran, (don’t say it, because I already know what you are thinking)? The pattern is supposed to be an easy knit, so I convinced my self it would be fine, after all I could knit and purl. Hah!
The yarn was cheap, and I further convinced myself that having a project like this would help me learn a lot of things. There was a little problem though, I didn’t enjoy particularly purling English style BUT I trudged on. In fact, I think my English style later became American style because I didn’t let go of the yarn as I knitted. As I didn’t really know what I was doing, I didn’t recognise when purl stitches inadvertently became knit stitches and vice-versa. I even knitted through the back loop several times without realising it. My tension was all over the place, and though and I found the experience extremely uncomfortable on my fingers, I was slowly making progress, AND I loved seeing the cables come to life.
However, the joy of seeing the cables forming was not enough to soothe the cramps I was having, so, I abandoned the jumper. BUT I still wanted to knit. I kept on searching for knitting videos and then came across the Continental style. It appealed to me because I could hold the yarn in one hand and the needle in the other. After lots of practice, I gradually got the hang of it and continued my project, but there was another problem. I developed the habit of pushing the tip of my needle with my right index finger and it soon became so sore that I couldn’t knit for days on end. It took a lot of effort to discard that habit and I now really enjoy knitting continental style.
The said jumper finally left my needles early in January of this year (almost a year after my cast on), and though it’s full of mistakes, my model was very happy about his ‘new’ jumper. I’m even going to hold on to it when it becomes too small for him because it became my teacher alongside YouTube.
Below is the finished jumper and the close-up.
Though Continental became my main style, I still practiced to knit English/American style and now combine both styles when knitting colour work, because I find holding two yarns in my left hand cumbersome. I still dislike purling the latter way though. One video I remember helped me learn Continental style was by RJ Knits on YouTube. I’ve also tried to purl Norwegian style but I find it even slower, and get very loose stitches, so I hardly use it. I’ve heard about the Portuguese style but I’ve never tried it.
So, which is your knitting style, or do you use a combination? Are there more out there?