Monday, December 3, 2012

How do people *do* this?!

I'm working on the Fish Hats for Luke and Connor.  These are really cute hats, and I can't wait to see them when their finished.  However, I'm not moving toward that finish line very quickly.

I'm working the bodies of the fish in fair isle, which is something I'm not very good at.  I've done a little bit, but in such small amounts that I have no skill with it.  I normally knit Continental style, with the yarn held over my left index finger.  I've tried to knit with both yarns on my left hand, but I cannot get the hang of one yarn on the index finger and one yarn on the middle finger.  Having both yarns on the index finger works pretty well, until the yarns get too close and then picking up the upper yarn in a PITA.

So, as Elizabeth Zimmerman advocates, I am knitting with one yarn held in the left hand (Continental style) and one yarn held in the right hand (English style).  Or at least trying to knit this way.  How do people knit English?  I know that I am new to it and really really slow, but I have to drop the needle every time I make a stitch!  Crazy!  Is this how you really do it?  Is there something I am missing?
See that?  A whole hand, off the needle!
Knitting this way-- dropping the needle for about half of all the stitches-- is making for slow going.
Even Brett thinks this method needs some reevaluating.
Hopefully soon I can post some actual progress on these hats.  Maybe by the time I finish them I will be a little quicker using English style.  I still have three other fair isle hats to make this Christmas.  And If I get those finished, I may have mentioned to Karla that the boys might need some handmade Christmas stockings.  Thank goodness school ends next week.  I'm going to need all the knitting time that I can find!


  1. Hi Karen! I knit Fair Isle patterns the way you're doing it now - one color Continental and one English. (I was taught to knit in English style originally.)

    So, I just checked to see how my throwing compares to your photos and there's two things I do differently. Maybe they would help -- only my right index finger moves. My right hand doesn't let go of the needles. And, the other thing is that I wrap the yarn around my right index finger in the opposite direction from what your photos show.

    Maybe that will help? And, I realize that we haven't talked about nursing school! We definitely should.

    1. Hi Amy!

      I will try out your suggestions for English knitting. I've never thought about wrapping my yarn differently. I just wrapped it like a mirror image of my left hand and off I went. I'm sure that will help with the tension problem I've been having-- the yarn on my right goes all limp and noodle-y (which is why I have to completely move my right hand off the needle, because I'm also adding some tension to the yarn).

      And YES, we need to talk about nursing school!