Playing Hookie

No boat today, and we were given the option to go in to just work in the office if we wanted, which I fully intended to do… until I woke up this morning and went “naaaaah.” Yay for days off! I think I’ll go for a nice long hike somewhere after doing some job searching and other random bits of business that need doing.

Like mailing out the package of knitwear I’m donating to the Afghans for Afghans collection organized by Cephalopod Yarns:

Malabrigo Chunky, colorways Mariposa and Bobby Blue; STR Mediumweight, colorway On Blueberry Hill

It’s crazy to think that these wee woolens will go farther around the world than I’ve ever been. I hope they keep some people very warm.

In other news, I’ve been reading The Principles of Knitting and never realized how many different ways there were to hold/tension your yarn and knit! I used to just hold my hands like this:

I would hold the yarn near the needle, with it sort of channeled through my palm but not wrapped around anything. Imagining, of course, that my picutre-taking-left-hand is supporting the needles, I would then lift my whole right hand off the needle, curl my index finger around the yarn, and wrap it around the right needle tip, usually twisting my wrist to do so. Sometimes I would use my middle finger to grab the yarn and wrap it when my index finger got tired.

Now, after reading about this method, I’ve started knitting like this:

That’s a bit exaggerated, my index finger is usually closer to the knitting, but basically the yarn is looped around my pinkie, goes across the palm, and then out and over the top of the index finger. Then, when I want to make a stitch, I just sort of flick the finger and move the whole hand up a bit to wrap the yarn around the needle tip. No twisting, curling, or bending of anything required. It lets me go quite a bit faster and doesn’t make any of my joints hurt at all.

Now, the real question is: why did it take me so many years to learn this?!

Also, how do you hold your yarn?

In case you’re wondering, that lovely stripey-ness pictured above is my Color Affection shawl, which looks much the same as it did before, just with a few more stripes:

SG Bugga, colorways Nude and Common Emerald Moth

It is going to be oh so exciting when it’s time to start the third colorway!

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12 thoughts on “Playing Hookie

  1. It's funny- I find i hold my yarn in different ways depending on what I'm doing. I even sometimes knit the way you first describe- if I get the result tension wise I want and it feels comfortable – that's what i do. It might be less stress on your hands to mix it up i guess.

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  2. That is going to be one pretty shawl when it is finished! I've never noticed how I hold my yarn, I'm going to have to think about it the next time I pick up a project.

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  3. I think changing it up from time to time can be good. And I've only used the “new” way on simple knitting, I suspect that with complicated stitches I'll go back to my “regular” way of holding the yarn.

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  4. It's so fascinating to hear how knitters hold their needles and yarn. My mother, who I learned to knit from, always holds her needles as if they're pencils. She would be so fast with that method but I could never master it. Fortunately, the way I hold my needles and yarn gives me a nice, even tension so I'm not messing with it! Great hats, by the way.

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  5. I call myself a thrower, but when other knitters watch me knit, they say I don't throw much. I hold the yarn like you described the second way – with the yarn on my forefinger. When knitting with straight needles (it seems I knit with circulars 80% of the time!), I use the pencil method with the needle resting between my thumb and forefinger. I'm glad to learn that these are noted in the book as I thought I was “weird”!! And thanks for making me dig up my book to explore. It had been sitting on my shelf for display! When I do colorwork (which is not a lot), I use my right hand for one color and left for the other. The color on the left would be the prominent color.

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