I discovered something recently. OK, I discovered lots of things - that is what life is all about! But I discovered something about my knitting.
I learned to knit from my Mum. I presume she learned to knit from her Aunty Mae. I knit in what I thought was a typical "western" or English style.
Apparently I don't.
I throw the yarn but I never take my hand off the needle to do so. I hold the needle between thumb and middle+ring fingers of my right hand (hand over the top, not like a pencil) and I flick the yarn around the needle with my index finger. My pinkie provides the tensioning.
I guess this is why continental knitting isn't that much quicker for me. It also explains why I can knit a jumper in a week even with baulky needles. I don't take my hand off the right hand needle. I just flick my way along a row. I don't need to watch my knitting when I do garter stitch, stocking stitch or ribbing or moss. Simple patterns I can feel my way through - my left thumb and index finger and my needle tell me if something is wrong. Purling isn't an issue because I hold the yarn in front. Indeed except that I am obviously throwing the yarn and holding it in my right hand, I almost look like I am knitting continental. It is different to the way that the Yarnharlot knits. I should get a video of me knitting, but when I am under scrutiny I get nervous and shaky. Stupid brain.
Mum taught me to knit the slow way (hand off, move the yarn around with the whole hand) but I got annoyed with taking so long to knit so I practised her style. It took a while, probably a couple of weeks of knitting but now it is so engrained that throwing the yarn with my whole hand feels wrong!
I can do continental (and combined) but I mostly revert to my english style unless I think about doing it a different way. I am running a class on continental knitting tomorrow - just as well I've been practising! :-)
On a different note, thanks to those who suggested where I could find little shopping trolleys. I sat on the light rail for over an hour to get to Mountain View then rode up to Elephant Pharm but they only had totally fold up ones for more than I was willing to pay. I eventually rode all the way back to Purlescence (horray - finally got there! They have noice yarn!) and then back down Wolff Road to HP, where I caught the bus after checking out the huge Asian supermarket (holy cow!). I found a $2 shop along the way that had prettier and much cheaper versions of the fold up trolley so I bought one of those to try. I'd prefer a rigid one but this will do for the nonce.
BTW, we are SO GLAD that we are not going to live where we are for much longer. The kids upstairs have been rampaging at all hours and we are going to have to have a word with their parents (I wasn't feeling well the other night and one was running around at TWO AM!). If they were quiet and we only heard the odd thundering of feet it would be ok, but we are talking hours of bangs and thuds from about 7pm to midnight, and our roof (which is full of asbestos) creaks and groans and it is hard to sleep when an enormous crash happens above your head.... Plus today I went to change the sugar water in the hummer feeder and it was broken. It had a hole in it. That's odd! Maybe a bird hit it? Then Nathan heard a weird noise and discovered that the guy in the next apartment along and upstairs from us was firing an air rifle. I wonder what he had been using as target practice?
NOT impressed! Nathan went to see the guy but he eyeballed Nathan (who was holding the birdfeeder) and when and turned the stereo up louder. We complained to the apartment management. It breaches the lease to use a firearm (even if it is a beebee gun or an air rifle) and imagine if he graduates to using a real rifle and decides to take pot shots! Plus the area behind our apartment is the dog running area. What happens if a dog runs out at the wrong time and gets shot? It could blind or kill it. Or a child. Not that I have any kids in mind....