Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lefties and Continental knitting

Ran across an article that really sums my feelings about the dilemma facing left handed persons re learning knitting. Anyway, good article ahead; has an interestingly sexist slant too:


I am not left handed by nature but my mother was. She was forced to write right handed, as was the custom at the time.She did just about everything else lefty. She knit continental. I am somewhat lefty AND righty, probably from some genetic aspect as well as visually imitating a parent.

The article above is the first one I have seen that really hits the nail on the head. If left handed person is guided into knitting mirror English style- as many left handed folks are taught- the too many adjustments to patterns, etc., make it way too daunting.

Unfortunately, in the US knitting is taught primarily with the throwing method( aka English). Not very lefty friendly IMHO. I consider myself lucky to have been taught continental (aka picking or German) at a very young age and sense is it so much more ergonomically safe; it also balances the use of both hands very well.

Once upon a time I joined a knitting guild whose only requirement was the willingness to learn continental style! HA! No problem. The other women who had switched were all very content.

So- try it , you might like it!

Just be be fair here is a demo of English style
English style animation

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Spinning... and YouTube again

Old footage of spinning that is really interesting, so thought I’d continue with my current thrust of showing videos here.

Spinning, like knitting, is a very relaxing and creative endeavor- you can control wool to get the look and feel of yarn you want. In this video she is spinning a woolen yarn, probably from sticky in-the=grease wool, which (after washing),make for a soft yarn, from carding (also shown) wool into a every-which-way rolag. The rolags are spun and joined. I have raw wool which I have washed (getting all the itty bitty bits of vegetative matter ( aka VM) out is quite the undertaking too. I am doing the hand carding thang too, but the charm of washing raw wool wore off after a few fleeces. I have sent some wool out to a processor. 2 month turn around. Soon I actually will get time on the wheel, without having to hand card and pick out VM-from the wool of a set of sheep I have virtually exclusive rights to!LOL. Later I will prolly get a big carder (drum machine) for color mixing but am taking it slowly due to time constraints- like a day job. Darn!

Check it out- Isle of Mann, old as the hills footage:

Next up will be a cute music video of South American women spinning with spindles, which obviously predate spinning wheels. They also display a unique ( and new to me ) way of plying the yarn as they go too. So much to learn!

For the Andean Spindlers link- click here

Off to felt soap for more party favors this season....more later!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Knitting Rhymes and a Surprise Video

Poems used for teaching knitting to children / I was reminded of these on a Spindling List. Further commentary noted that the how to rhymes stem from the days before reading and writing were not that available to the common man, and these were the way for instructions to be taught.

I have always had a keen interest in how people actually lived, and what skills were necessary for their survival. Spinning and knitting ( weaving as well) were a vital part of life for everyone. These abilities were certainly not just hobbies!

For very little kids:

Into the Bunny hole
Run around the tree
Out of the bunny hole
Away runs he.

Knitting Continental

Under the Fence
Catch the Sheep
Back you go
Off you leap

Knitting English

In through the front door
Once around the Back
Out through the Window
And off jumps Jack.

And for the *Tough guys*

Stab 'em
Choke 'em
Drag 'em back
Throw 'em away!

Here are two for purling:

In front of the fence,
Catch the goat,
Back we go,
Jump off the boat!

Under the fence,
Catch the sheep,
Back we come,
Off we leap!

Click here for a Black Sheep Surprise Apparently, this was a recent leak, and will be coming to a TV near you soon!

About Me

Marin County, California, United States
I work for 2 non-profits in Marin County CA (near SF) that serve the Developmentally Delayed. I was introduced to weaving and knitting at a very young age. Over the years I have always had knitting on hand. There was a time where I was severely chastised for being so old fashioned, so it is great to see the upsurge in the home arts now going on! I have expanded into machine knitting; fortunately there is a great Guild nearby that has really been great. Spinning Fibers is a new thrust as well, and felting has creeped in too. If only I had more time...