Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Knitting the right way

Knitting the right way

So there I was, sitting comfortably with my one student, just enjoying the peace and calm of a slow afternoon. An older couple comes in and begins to browse a bit. The man, husband I assume, comes over to me and tells me he used to knit when he was young. Learned it in Switzerland where he grew up. It's all very nice and I'm ready to hear his reminiscences. Suddenly, the wife, I assume it's the wife, turns around and announces to any and everyone who was in the shop the she would just love to come back in and teach everyone to knit the right way. (I knit with a right handed throw.)

"He's the teacher," the husband explains.

"Well, I suppose he's just knitting the way he learned," she replies.

I felt just, well, gobsmacked, as I've heard others say. I have had a few other knitters who felt that their way, continental, was better. One farm lady absolutely refused to consider that there are alternatives to knitting her way. Hers was the best and only acceptable way. I'm glad she lives in Bakersfield and doesn't get into the city very often.

My late friend Joanee used to tease me about my knitting style but she did accept that for me to change from throwing to picking would be way more difficult than the payoff would be. But she never told me it was wrong.

Where do these people come from? I've heard stories from other knitters of people, strangers, taking their knitting away from then and showing them how it should be done. Without being invited! I'm afraid those knitting nazis might find out that a pointed stick has more uses than for knitting if they were to try that with me. Well, if I weren't too gobsmacked. Who put them in charge?

I find it fascinating that knitting has evolved in different ways all around the world; that totally non-connected cultures could have come up with something that ends up looking pretty much the same in the end, all via different routes. I love watching how other people knit. Even the ones who throw the yarn the way I do are so varied in the "how" they do it that it's like handwriting.

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