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Y'know, I'm just wondering - is needle preference formed by what we used when we're just starting to learn how to knit? From one of the posts in the Yarn Harlot's blog (October 22, 2004) about teaching a beginner on circulars vs. straight needles -<br><br>
"Here's what I think. I always start new knitters on straights, or at least working back and forth on circulars. I think that it makes for a better start. People who start with circulars often (not always) learn to regard purling as the crabby and difficult sister of the Queen Knit, hold dark and bitter resentment for sewing up seams, and spend their lives searching for patterns knit in the round, complaining bitterly when they are faced with back and forth knitting."<br><br>
(Just as an aside, I <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> the Yarn Harlot's blog. Always good for a giggle, and she's a bloody amazing knitter. <a href="http://www.yarnharlot.ca" target="_blank">www.yarnharlot.ca</a>)<br><br>
I was taught on straight needles, and I simply cannot get the hang of knitting on circulars. I'll even take a nice set of dpn before circulars...what about you all?
 

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I taught myself on straights, and a few weeks ago I tried out circulars and I LOVE them. They're so much lighter and easier to work with. I've had to go back to straights and now don't like them as much. I now use circulars when even knitting a scarf. :LOL But, I don't have that many circs so I have to keep using straights.
 

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Oh yes, I forgot to mention that I don't mind purling at all. I find it just as easy as knitting. Am I the only one? lol
 

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Hmmmm...I taught myself on straights *gulp* 24 years ago (still have 'em too: size 10 pink aluminums <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">). But I can't stand them now, I'm a circs gal.<br><br>
I don't get hating to purl <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch">...it's part of the yin & yang of knitting. Though I must admit that I did teach myself how to knit backwards to avoid having to constantly turn my work on entrelac. Do any of you purl haters knit backwards?<br><br>
Allison
 

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hmm, tell me more about knitting backwards. do you mean that when you are purling you go from right to left but when knitting you go from left to right? there are certain projects where the turning gets awfully tedious...<br><br>
and i like purling better than knitting. but i adore circs, usually knit flat on them if i can, though. i learned to knit on circs in the round, but really hated it at first (i mean the lack of alternating purl rows)
 

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I taught myself to knit on birch straights.<br>
I'll use circs. when I have to, but much prefer birch or bamboo straights.<br>
I also don't hate to purl...I think I can actually purl faster than I can knit. LOL!
 

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I don't understand why there'd be a problem with purling.<br><br>
I like that idea of knitting backwards for the return rows. Rubidoux, I think when she says knitting backwards, she means knitting from the right needle onto the left at the next row instead of switching the needles from one hand to the other. Makes sense to me; I wonder why that never became standard in the first place.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
My only knitting project is on circulars so I could get the motions of both knit and purl down pat without having to worry about which way I was going between the rare times I actually pick up the knitting.
 

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I learned on straights initially, but really didn't like the purling at all (and I got started right away on K1P1 ribbing, so k & P were given equal time - so much for that theory!), and never finished a project. It wasn't until I discovered & taught myself circular knitting from a book that I ever finished a project. I did a hat on a circ needle, which required switching to dp's eventually, so I got used to using dp's too. Then I moved on to socks & mittens, knitted on dp's. Then I wanted soakers, but didn't like the style of patterns that were available at the time, so I started messing around with my own ideas. But they had to be circular, or mostly so, with no "true seams", or it wasn't satisfactory for me.<br>
I just got the Sweater Workshop book by Jaqueline Fee, and I am totally with her as far as flat-knitting goes. Flat is fine so long as I don't have to sew anything up from pieces after the knitting is done! I'd rather work in the round just so I don't have to wrestle with sewing together seams - I'm all for working circular, knitting on, and grafting to join stuff <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> You have to learn some more complicated techniques to do it that way, but I also enjoy the challenge - it provides more food for thought (even though my brain keeps me up nights thinking about stuff like this! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: ) If it can be done all in one piece without seams, that's how I want to do it. And that means knitting circular.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>rubidoux</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">hmm, tell me more about knitting backwards. do you mean that when you are purling you go from right to left but when knitting you go from left to right? there are certain projects where the turning gets awfully tedious...</div>
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When knitting backwards you make stitches onto the needle in your left hand from the right needle. It is easiest for me to hold the yarn British style for this. Insert the left needle <i>into the back</i> of the first stitch, loop the yarn over your needle clockwise (I think...it's hard to picture it without a piece in my hand <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> you'll know you're doing it right if your stitch is sitting properly on the needle) and pull through...takes a wee bit of practice but it's incredibly easy for entrelac & short row shaping. I thought that I had invented this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">...duh then I saw a video with Meg Swansen doing it a few years ago and have since heard of many knitters that do it.<br><br>
Allison
 

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I learned on straights but did my first project on circulars (in the round). I hate hate hate knitting back and forth on circulars. Drives me frickin' bonkers. It feels as though I'm endlessly fighting the cable.<br><br>
I don't mind purling so much since I've been getting my tension evened out.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bluenail</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">(Just as an aside, I <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> the Yarn Harlot's blog. Always good for a giggle, and she's a bloody amazing knitter. <a href="http://www.yarnharlot.ca" target="_blank">www.yarnharlot.ca</a>)</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> Check out "Gifts for Knitters: Day 2."<br><br>
Oh so true. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao">
 

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I learned on straights when I was a kid, but moved to circulars when I took up knitting again. It wasn't about the K or P being easier/harder, but about the weight of the project on my hands/wrists/arms. If you're doing a a big sweater or blanket, there's a big difference between the weight on circulars versus straights. I was worried about a repetitive strain injury, and working on circulars helps take some of the physical stressors away.<br><br>
And yes, I also taught myself to K and P backwards when doing entrelac work -- it's so much faster that way. (Though I doubt that I could teach anyone else how to do it.)
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mehndi mama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I just got the Sweater Workshop book by Jaqueline Fee, and I am totally with her as far as flat-knitting goes.<br>
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<br>
nak<br>
me too!! great book!<br><br>
love knit, love purl, hate seams.... love circs!
 

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I learned as a teenager on straights. I found them cumbersome. My mom had me switch to knitting everything on circulars. If I need to knit something flat, I just knit back and forth like I would on straights. I don't mind purling, but I did learn to knit backwards a few years ago, which is nice when I'm doing a flat piece of stockinette, merely because I don't have to turn my work. That saves time and the yarn doesn't get as twisted. I'm not a big fan of seams either, so I do like patterns worked in the round either on circulars or dpns. The only straight needles I buy are dpns for small projects. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I was taught on straights. I love love love circulars! The only straights I now have are dpn. I even use circulars when I am knitting flat items.<br><br>
I don't mind purls. I find stockinette to be booooorrriiiinnng, so I do textures, colors, anything to keep it interesting. And that means purls, increases, decreases, short rows, cables, everything. The only thing I don't like are multiple decreases - like decreasing 5 stitches into one.<br><br>
I dislike seams. I think that it's so much more... searching for the word here....organic to "grow" a garment without any seams.<br><br>
I work from the top down, trying it on as it goes (if needed). I haven't used a garment pattern for over 20 years - I make them up myself, using a few really good reference books to help me along. I do sometimes have to rip out rows, or very rarely start over, but I don't mind because in the end they always fit perfectly.
 
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