Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Creative Space: Doing the Limbo



Knitted limbo, that is. I reckon it took three good years for me to get to the point where I could KNIT WITHOUT LOOKING. In the last few months I’ve been able to do veritable minutes with nary a glance, relying on ‘feel’ to keep stitchery on sticks.

Which is why a certain TAMARA has a lot to answer for. At Tam’s encouragement and some amount of cheerleading, I have entered the world of continental knitting and have come over all sixes and sevens:

• I can no longer knit and not look

• Knitting in public is embarrassing (tongue sticks out when concentrating)

• I haven’t a clue about increases or decreases or tricksy stuff and when I give ’em a whirl, I dribble (intense periods of tongue-stuck-out concentration)



Thing is, even though I had the ‘English’ approach (‘throwing’ the yarn over) down to a practised art, I can’t believe how speedy the continental version is. I reckon, if you’re a crochet type and you were about to step into the world of knittery, you might want to take a look at this method (which ‘picks’ each stitch, much like a hook does), before you take the great leap.



The Soulful Hues Girls Cap-Sleeved Top is a fab pattern for beginners of all kinds (including those re-learning to knit) and my eldest loves to wear ’em (the youngest doesn’t love to wear anything). This one used two and a half balls of Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed and my girl has her jaw on the floor at how continentally-quick-given-lack-of-co-ordination her mother was, at coming up with the goods.

.........................

You can learn how to do the continental knit thing with this excellent tute (Lorilee takes things s.l.o.w.l.y) – then pop by Kirsty’s place and see what the rest of the bloggy, crafty world is up to...

Oh and One More Thing: I received quite a few ‘How to’ queries regarding gnomes. Let me survive the birthday party weekend (yikes!) and I’ll put a step-by-step something together for early next week.

33 comments:

One Flew Over said...

Love a bit of continental and I just knew...once you gave it a good whirl - you'd be hooked x

Give me a T! Give me a A! Give me a N!...YAY YAY YAY!!

Sally said...

Top looks fabulous. That Debbie Bliss spins some lovely wool doesn't she? As for continental v. english knitting... I haven't a clue what you're on about but yay for you conquering it :)

Sue said...

The top looks great. You are so good knitting continental style. I tried it once and I was so slow at it that I returned to my normal way of knitting! Isnt it great when they love to wear what you make. My daughter does and my son never has so there you go!

Kate said...

Are you serious! Three years to be able to knit without looking (I can't wait that long - 2 years and 50 weeks to go!) and a crocheter friendly style of knitting! I'm afraid its two weeks too late for me.I'm finally getting the hang of this way, there's no way I'm trying something new now.
Love the cap sleeved top. That one's next in my queue.

Andi said...

Loving that hula hoop!!

Bianca said...

Can we have a full shot of that wall flower limbo stick? I likey!

I have decided that my grandmother knits at a rate of knots, complex patterns without looking just to irritate me. I bet in reality she makes all kinds of mistakes and has to unravel and fix when I am not looking to see how fast shes going.

Oh, thats right, I'm onto her game.

xB

Kylie said...

Please don't make me add another thing to my to-do list Tania!! I love the idea of knitting and a kind that is similar to crochet has me thinking "ooo maybe I could.." Yours looks fantastic and, as always, divine photos of that gorgeous big girl of yours! Happy creative space day Mrs :) Kx

Mandy said...

oh it looks terrific your knitting bits. & Like Sal up there, I don't know what you are on about but great job to learn it! Must check it out so I have a clue! lol

Real Life Reslers said...

I've never heard of continental knitting...I'll have to check it out since I'm a crocheter right now!

Fer said...

I remember watching one of my Mum's oldest friends (who is Russian by birth) do Continental knitting one day, I was mesmerised!

Anne-Lise at Rag, Tag, Bobtail said...

I knit both ways and do so when I have two or more colours. Here I get stared at for knitting the English way - which I prefer for speed (!) and even stitches. Love the top.

teddybearswednesday said...

WOOHOO !! Exciting knitting times ahead over here I feel. I stick my tongue out too, all the time but i hate to tell you whether I'm looking or not looking- I've convinced myself it helps makes the thing I'm doing.
I love the top too. But I always love what you make xo

ecoMILF said...

cute pattern. loving the limbo- what smiles! xo m.

Chicken Willow said...

I've tried learning continental but didn't like slowing down the for the learning period so I gave up. Good on you for sticking with it. Maybe I'll try again another time. Love top and the photos.

Sandrine said...

OH I want a top like that!!;)I knew about continental breakfast...now I know another continental thing! Thanks for doing my education Tania! ;) xx

nikkishell said...

I've always thought about trying the continental way, may have to give it a go.
Great top!

Caroline said...

I have no idea about this knitting content of this post either, I only have eyes for the top. Yum.

Melanie said...

Being a leftie and having a bit of experience with the crochet hook as well, I tried out the continental method for a while, thinking it might work out. Knit - no problems, it's fabulous. Purl - not so much. I have no idea how I was stuffing it up so badly, but I ended up giving up trying to learn to knit for another year. I've only recently taken the learning back up again, and in the conventional style. Maybe sometime I'll give it another go. I love this top, it's a great style. (Filing away for later consideration!)

Nycole said...

:-) I've also been 'transitioning' to the continental method, but it's by no means cold turkey on the English method. How good would it be good to be multikningual? And that's only the beginning - recently someone showed me a 'Finnish' style (much like continental, in fact I'm not sure there's a difference!), and a Hungarian style where you hold one of the needles under your armpit.

Megan said...

Knitting without looking?? There is such a thing?!?

And new knitting?? Argh, I haven't even got the hang of old knitting and now there's new??

Go you!

Cute as Buttons said...

Why am I just discovering this? Of course I haven't tried it and I may well be a dismal failure but by George I'm going to give it a whirl! Lisa x

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Sniff, you mean 'Scottish' DON'T you?

I don't think anyone but my family (and those I have taught personally!) knit the way I do. I thought EVERYBODY did it like we do. That what we do is the *definition* of knitting.

Apparently not.

Straight needles (35cm) right one under your oxter, working yarn held over right index finger. Thumb method of casting on - you know just called 'casting on' in my house, there *are* no other methods.

Yes, knitting without looking, yes quick. Too old (er, stubborn?) to change now.

Good luck with that!

Stripey limbo stick... how do you think of these things.

Cheers,
AJ

Lola Nova said...

Knitting English or Continental sounds lovely but, I must admire with my eyes only as my hands and psyche have not recovered from "The Great Knitting Debacle" of 1983 - when my Nan tried to teach me.
So, I am admiring the gorgeous top and thinking you are quite good at it which ever method you choose.
Looking forward to the gnomes how to!

Karen said...

Thank you so much for the link to the excellent tutorial. I am definitely going to give it a try.

Di said...

I have tried this. Really I have. But my tension was super loose, and hugely different on the knit stitches to the purl stitches. So my hat goes off to you- well done, dribbles and all.

Nikki said...

I'm with Ms Fox's Lane on just about all points.

Just started to get the hang of knittng when Kirsty showed me continental.... couldn't take to it (without the dribble).

VERY impressed by the not-looking-knitting. ALong with Kate I have 2 years and 50 weeks to go on thast one.... and I'm also book-marking that top to try.

Hey Kate.... can I just follow you around and do everything you do????

Angie said...

I was just about to pull out the sticks (which still have unfinished - and probably outgrown - projects on them)

Perhaps I'll give it a go....perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

I do like the idea of faster knitting as that is wehat has always put me off- it seems to be slow, however I am reluctant to try anything new at the moment for fear of obsession gene kicking in.

Not sure if you know you can get those little faceless gnomes with the wire legs and wood square body and face at Bunnings, can't remember how much but we have bought them before.

Amanda said...

I need to learn the "quicker" way. I am so slowwww....But that top is beautiful great job.

beccasauras said...

I'd bookmakred this pattern, but something scares me- circular needles! I'm coming over for some lessons if I decided to make this one. I'll blinfold you so you are forced not to look!

Madeline said...

Did ya have to go there? Now you've got me thinking about learning a whole new way to knit, and I haven't even gotten all that good at the old way. Sigh....must ignore. ;)

june at noon said...

I haven't tried Continental out of fear because I, too, can knit without looking *and* pretty fast too. I'm afraid of being slowed down. :)

Black Eyed Susie said...

I've been meaning to try continental for a while so thanks for the links. The jumper looks great. Also, thanks, peppermint penguin for reminding me of the word oxter. I'd forgotten and I love it!