Knitting ambidextrous rather than knit-purl - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 16 Old 10-02-2007, 09:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
majorsky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 480
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
OK, please try to stifle your laughter after you read my message, if you can.

I went to a yarn group gathering with my local moms' group a couple of months ago and learned how to cast-on and knit. Until this week, I didn't have any knitting books (my mom just loaned me two) and I didn't actively ask for help from anyone in the yarn group. I practiced casting on and knitting at home for a while but wasn't happy with the bumps on both sides of the fabric swatch I created, so I decided to knit both left-handed *and* right-handed to see if that fixed the problem. I wasn't aware of the purl stitch at that time. I figured out how to knit with both hands, so that gave me a nice flat swatch with all Vs on one side. I knitted my DD a couple of play soakers for her baby doll, some swatches, washcloths, etc. using this technique.

Now that I'm reading Stitch n Bitch and talking to my mom (who's in town visiting from the midwest), I was getting confused about the purl stitch and stockinette. I was thinking, why do stockinette if I already have all the Vs on one side and the bumps on the other? So I asked my mom for clarification and told her what I'd been doing. She laughed. I showed her the results I got from knitting both left-handed and right-handed and she was sort of dumb-founded. She'd never heard of someone doing that in her limited experience. She suggested I get with the program and learn to knit like the rest of the world.

I told her I just had to post a message on MDC's yarn board and ask if others have knitted both right-handed and left-handed instead of knitting-purling and creating stockinette. Is there a problem with how I've been knitting? Should I give up the ambidextrous knitting and do it like everyone else?

Kristin

Mama to Laurel '06 & high needs Will '09
Crunchy in mainstream suburbia | Sleep-deprived WAHM
majorsky is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 16 Old 10-02-2007, 10:08 PM
 
Knittin' in the Shade's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: near Philly, PA
Posts: 4,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I do it all the time when I'm working on small pieces that I don't want to have to keep turning over. I learned it from an article Meg Swansen wrote a bagillion years ago in Vogue Knitting. She called it "backwards knitting" I think.

I'm impressed that you taught yourself how to do it just as you were learning to knit! I think its a fabulous way to learn how to "read" your stitches and really know what is going on in your work. Good on you (and ignore your mom, you can work that way just fine!)
Knittin' in the Shade is offline  
#3 of 16 Old 10-03-2007, 12:55 AM
 
Kushali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 99
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I did that when I was learning as a kid. I would knit one way and then knit back the other way without turning. Confused the heck out of my mom and grandma. They couldn't figure out how I had knit several inches of stockinette without knowing how to purl.

I was amused last year to see an article on that technique in knitty.
http://www.knitty.com/issuesummer06/FEATreverse.html

Is that what you're doing? I've never figured out what the difference is between knitting "right-handed" and "left-handed".
Kushali is online now  
#4 of 16 Old 10-03-2007, 01:53 AM
 
eepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: growing in the Garden State ............
Posts: 8,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I knit ambidextorously. I thought of it as an advanced and useful skill when I learned it from this video http://youtube.com/watch?v=1jhCV4ZTLrA

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
eepster is offline  
#5 of 16 Old 10-03-2007, 04:34 AM
 
Angelorum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,194
Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
I might have to learn that, my purl stitches are tighter than my knit stitches, and it screws up my gauge sometimes, unless I'm working in the round and don't have to purl to make stockinette.

Mommy to DS1 July '09 and DS2 Oct '12 and someone new in May '15

Angelorum is online now  
#6 of 16 Old 10-04-2007, 05:48 PM
 
Celery's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 316
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My mother used to do this when she was younger. She too just figured it out, mainly because she was left handed and so knitting back the other way was easier.

Of course, someone at some stage 'cured' her of this terrible habit

Annie Modesett says who cares how you make the stitches, if the fabric looks right, you're right.

There are lots of variations on how to knit. I love Turkish knitting, where you throw the yarn around your neck and keep tension with your thumb.
Celery is offline  
#7 of 16 Old 10-04-2007, 06:37 PM
 
shantimama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 10,909
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 14 Post(s)
It is great to be able to knit this way if you ever want to do an intarsia project!

It is also good if you become a somewheat compulsive knitter - it is easier on your hands so you can knit for longer stretches of time.
shantimama is online now  
#8 of 16 Old 10-04-2007, 06:42 PM
 
PrincessCass's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Twin Falls, Idaho
Posts: 411
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My right hand goes numb while kinitting sometimes. I think I wil give this a try Kudos to you for figuring that out from the get go.
PrincessCass is offline  
#9 of 16 Old 10-04-2007, 10:47 PM
 
xanandali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 813
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My theory is - who cares how you do it if it looks good, right?! Its funny how being self-taught you can invent new things LOL. When the lady at the LYS saw me knit one time she said "well, I've never seen it done that way before." Wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing, but the end result looks good and thats all I care about!
xanandali is offline  
#10 of 16 Old 10-06-2007, 12:07 AM
 
Sarah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I taught myself to knit as a little kid and was not aware of purling either- so I just knit back and forth. Purling is a convention for people who must turn their work- if you don't need to and can manage reading or decoding patters which were designed for people who do turn their work- then by all means- keep doing it the way you are. I think everyone does need to know how to purl- for stuff like ribbing and cables... but you don't need to purl to make stockinette.

That's my video on youtube!
Sarah is offline  
#11 of 16 Old 10-06-2007, 12:37 AM
 
eepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: growing in the Garden State ............
Posts: 8,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just curious here. Are any of you dyslexic? I'm dyslexic and have no trouble reading backwards. Also I was ambidextorous till the great american school system finally forced me to stop switching back and forth writting hands when they started to cramp.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
eepster is offline  
#12 of 16 Old 10-06-2007, 12:47 AM
 
Sarah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,093
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
nope... but I am a Lefty.
Sarah is offline  
#13 of 16 Old 10-06-2007, 04:42 AM
 
flapjack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: England, easily locatable by Google
Posts: 13,495
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, I am so impressed. I'm struggling with knitting back, so for me, that you figured it out yourself, that's just... wow.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
flapjack is offline  
#14 of 16 Old 10-06-2007, 09:45 PM
 
neko's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That's how I started knitting. There are names for it, which means you are not a freak, nor have you invented some new freaky way of knitting. I do flip my work when working stockenet (all smooth on one side, all bumps on the other) or garter (knitting both sides) because it keeps my stitches' tension identical. However, when I work cables, or fair isle, or turn the heel of a sock I prefer to mirror knit so that I can look at the front of the work at all times.
neko is offline  
#15 of 16 Old 10-07-2007, 11:35 PM
 
pamelamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: *dwelling on spelling*
Posts: 5,719
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with what theresa said -- but it might trip you up if you try to read a standard pattern. I would consider it a tool in your knitting toolbox, and then continue to learn other ways of doing everything!
pamelamama is offline  
#16 of 16 Old 10-07-2007, 11:59 PM
 
Meiri's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Murrysville, PA
Posts: 8,869
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
When I was actively knitting last year, I figured out how to knit "backwards" too.

I think that being lefthanded helps that process.

"What will you do once you know?"
Meiri is offline  
Reply

User Tag List



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off