And yet I hear stories every week about non-teachers who are more than happy to say them. They are most often meant to be kind and helpful, and are delivered with the best of intentions. But in many cases they are less than helpful.
Even if the speaker is correct that the knitter is indeed wrong, it's a pretty discouraging message to hear. But sometimes, wrong turns out to be very, very right.
While I playing Knit Guru at Shall We Knit this past weekend, I met a knitter. She approached me nervously, saying that she "knitted funny", and needed help getting sorted out.
She told me her story: she learned to knit when a girl, and happily knitted along, on and off over the years. And then a neighbour, a woman from the former Yugoslavia, ripped her knitting out of her hands and said those terrible words... "You're doing it wrong."
So our knitter learned to knit again from her neighbour.
She put her knitting down again for a number of years, and has recently restarted. She's been knitting with a group of friends who once again told our now very confused friend that she was doing it wrong.
She came to me anticipating that I would help her "get it right".
It gave me great pleasure to tell her that she was doing it right, and she needn't change a thing.
You see, there's more than one way to knit.
Most of us in North America and the UK knit - regardless of whether yarn is in left or right hand - knit a specific way: our stitches are oriented so that the right leg is at the front of the needle, and we work into the front loop. Easy.
But there's another way to do it - and it's generally accepted as being a faster and ergonomically more efficient way of doing things: Combination Knitting. It's also known as Eastern Uncrossed, and it's common in the far east of Europe (the former Soviet Territories) and the "near east" of the Middle East. I know a lovely Iranian knitter who works this way. And everyone who works this way is blindingly fast.
|(image from Annie Modesitt's website - |
she created it, she owns it)
So my new friend left happy - and perhaps even a little smug - upon learning that she wasn't just doing it right, she was doing it better!
If you're interested in this, or suspect you might indeed be a 'combinationer', please visit the website I've linked to above - the author, Annie Modesitt, is the master of Combination Knitting.