A ‘Right’ Way To Knit?

So, remember when I told you that I was unfortunate enough to go to the emergency room with out my knitting? Well, I eventually did get my knitting and enjoyed the remaining time I had in the hospital knitting a nice hat for my daughter’s godfather.


During my knitting I was stopped by a nurse who informed me that she had been knitting for years and was curious as to what I was casting on my needles. I showed her the picture from the page I had torn out of the magazine, (yes, I tear pages out of knitting magazines. I’m such an anarchist!), and then continued on my merry little way of casting on. Then the nurse asked me the one question that gets to be every time. “How do you knit?”


Why this question bugs me, I really don’t know. It could be from the fact that over the years I have had countless knitters stare at the way I knit, explained to me that I was doing it wrong and then proceeded to try and teach me the ‘right’ way to knit. (FYI- I knit forwards and backwards, and my little rabbit doesn’t go through the front door or the front gate- it goes through the back of the loop. My bunny likes it in the backdoor. *smirk*)

Usually, when this question comes up I have several sarcastic remarkes that run through my head. “How do you knit?”

– With two sticks and yarn.

– With my hands.

– Without listening to you ask questions.

– Very well, thank you for asking.

But the proper young lady that I am gets the best of me and my only response is, “I knit a little different from most knitters”.

“Well, I’ll show you how I knit”, and the nurse took the needles and yarn out of my hand to show me how she knits. That’s right, you heard me, She TOOK my needles and yarn and started knitting with them. (Note to any new knitters out there or any knit muggles -aka-  people who don’t knit: Never remove needles and yarn from any knitter’s hands without full verbal permission in front of witnesses or with a notarized statement of permission. To remove such items from the knitter without permission may result in being impaled and hung by the very needles and yarn you thought you had a right to touch.)

“See, I knit continental style but I prefer to hold my yarn this way to keep tension…” At this point, I could care less if she held the yarn in her mouth to keep tension, I just wanted my needles back. “Well, let me show you how I do it”, I interrupted her. Needles and yarn safely back in my hands I started on a few stitches.

“Oh, you just throw your yarn.” She stared. “ Wow, I’m not sure what kind of knitting that is. That’s a bit different. You sure you’re knitting the right way? I’ve never seen  stitches like that. Well, enjoy making your hat.” The nurse walked away and left me with a small half finished row of her stitches next to mine, which did not make for a pretty sight.

So, as I frogged the whole thing and began casting on again, I wondered why the big deal about how someone knits? I remember reading an article by Meg Swansen which pretty much talked about the fact that there is no such thing as a ‘right’ way to knit. If you like knitting a certain way and you get the results that you want, then that’s all that matters.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy learning different techniques as much as the next knitter, but I hate this feeling among knitters to define yourself based on your knitting style. “Hi, my name is Michelle and I knit Eastern combination with tension in the left hand over the index finger“.

Continental style knitting. English style. Russian-style continental knitting. Norwegian purl. Eastern Combined knitting. Portuguese Knitting. They are all wonderful techniques to learn. But at the end of the day I frankly could care less how you knit, just finish the damn sweater that’s been sitting in your knitting bag for the last three years! Seriously, I’m tired of looking at it.


One thought on “A ‘Right’ Way To Knit?

  1. Oh Michelle, I LOVE your humor and how you so humanly see people’s actions. You make me laugh. I like you had a gal at work try to teach me to “correctly” cast on. I learned it her way to discover that her’s casts on two loops for each wrap. Mine is so much more comfortable and less confusing. And I also keep tension in my left with the yarn taught over my left pointer. Does that mean my momma taught me “wrong” on that too?
    Love ya girl. I’m into knitting sweaters for Jack my dog. I found a box that is 3 FEET X 3 FEET X 3 FEET full of yarns (skeins of it) for $20 in a yard sale. My sister and I have been having a hay day. But she does that other stuff, you know…crochet stuff. Give Ray a hug for me.
    Love ya,

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