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Learn to Knook: Left-Handed Purl Stitch

Here's the video for learning to purl left-handed on the Knook:

There's a longer video here that has a lot of extra information on the properties of stitches and shows you how to bind off in the purl stitch.   I highly recommend clicking that link.

Is that all I've got to say today?  No.  It's time for a knitting confession.

I knit wrong.  I've known this for a while.  Whenever I watched videos demonstrating techniques like knitting two stitches together or slip-slip-knit--they're NOT the same thing--I would notice that I didn't knit the way the person in the video did.  But I assumed that it was because the person in the video was a 'thrower' (English knitters move the yarn over the needle with their free hand) and I am a 'picker' (Continental knitters sort of pull the yarn through the loop with their needle).  My Mamaw told me once I knitted "funny," but I had mostly forgotten that.

What I didn't realize, even though it's painfully obvious, was that I also purl wrong. Mamaw taught me to knit (after my Grandmother refused to teach me to knit because she said she knitted wrong and didn't want me to learn her way.  Well.) and then released me back into the wild and I went on my merry way of knitting however I wanted and never thought about consulting books or videos to make sure I was still doing things right after so many years.

Even when I started to learn techniques beyond the basic knit and purl stitches, it never occurred to me to make sure I was knitting or purling correctly.  I mean, sure, I'd watched that Elizabeth Zimmerman video (mostly just for entertainment) and I knew I didn't knit quite like her, but I figured everyone has their own little quirks and knits in a slightly different way from everyone else, right?  Right?

Um, not quite to this extent.

I didn't even get it when I started going to a knitting group on Saturday nights and noticed that most of the people there seemed to knit like each other!  Oh, such ignorance and naivete!

There were other signs--the biggest one being that I'd follow a pattern as closely as possible as many times as I could stand it and then still have it turn out wrong.  (I know.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.)

Finally, I watched the DVD Knit Stitches in Motion.  I was just about to start blogging over here and I wanted to familiarize myself with more Leisure Arts patterns and instructional materials.  And then it happened.

Oh. my. goodness.  I was purling wrong.  So very wrong.

I am not even exaggerating when I tell you that all the blood drained from my face and I nearly fell off the couch to find the remote so that I could re-watch the purling section again.  Again.  And again.  Then I shouted in my husband's face, "I've been purling wrong for close to 20 years!"  He replied, "I guess....ah, that's bad?"  Yes, it's bad!  I was seriously freaking out!  How am I supposed to talk about yarn crafting when I'm such a fraud?!  How am I supposed to function like a knitter knowing this about myself?!  And what is wrong with me?  Could it be fixed?

Not really.

At this point in the game, muscle memory tries to convince my hands that I'm doing something ridiculous and wrong every time I try to purl correctly.  After a month or so of my private shame, I went ahead and told the other knitters in my group about my horrible affliction.  They watched me knit and purl a few stitches, and then someone explained that I twist the stitches when I purl.  Then I untwist them when I work the knit row.

Side note: This explains why I tried and failed six times to knit a hat with a twisted rib pattern.  It just looked ribbed.  Duh.

It's not like anyone made fun of me, but I did get some odd looks when the other knitters tried to figure out how or why I wound up doing that--and then did it for so long.  "I mean, I guess if it works for you....." one of them offered.  Ugh.  So now I get to go through life reminding myself "No, you have to purl like a real person for this pattern.  Wait, no, now you have to knit correctly too!"

So why am I embarrassing myself on the Internet and taking up a lot of your time?  So you will learn from my mistakes.  This is my desperate attempt to convince you that you must absolutely watch videos for seemingly simple techniques.  Unless, of course, you're a left-handed person and you're probably already watching these.  Hi!

That's why watching the left-handed videos has been so helpful for me.  Seeing another side--literally--of the knitting helps me at least understand how a stitch is supposed to work.  I don't always do that stitch because I've caught myself Knooking wrong, though.  Of course.

Watch the video.  Save yourselves from my fate.

Here's another washrag I made from the Dishcloths Made with the Knook ebook.

"Lace" pattern with the H/8 Knook and the Lily Sugarn' Cream cotton yarn in the Hot Blue colorway.  I think I have enough yarn left for another dishcloth.  Score!

I thought this was pretty fancy as far as cleaning supplies go.

So far my goal of Knooking each of the ten patterns is going pretty well.  I'm learning different stitches techniques on the Knook, and making a nice little pile of gifts in the process.  I've made two, and have two more on the needle. 

AND: for the record, I've been trying to Knook the purl stitch correctly as much as I can stand to.  My rehabilitation may never be complete.  But I'm hopeful.

One thought on “Learn to Knook: Left-Handed Purl Stitch”

  • 12 volt Tv/Dvd

    Usually I do not read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it!
    Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very great post.

    Reply
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