Continental Knitting

When I first told my younger sister that I was knitting a scarf, she laughed me to scorn. “You must be REALLY bored,” she said, “knitting’s for old people.” (And then she begged me to knit her a scarf! haha)

My Mom laughed too when my sister shared the news with her. But she’s the one who taught me to knit!!! When I was barely TEN!!!! haha.

Thinking back to my Mom’s training, it’s kinda crazy how English everything was…The way you say “dictionary”…What you serve guests when they call on you in the afternoon…Even the style of knitting! But that’s besides the point.

Now, I didn’t know there were different styles of knitting. The only style I knew was the one my Mom taught me, which I’ve come to learn, is the English style. So when I first saw my good friend and fellow knitting enthusiast, Kimmy, holding the yarn in her left hand, I thought, “she must not have learned properly…”

But then she would knit faster than me…and it looked less strenuous on her hands…and, I just wanted to learn altogether.

Kimmy had already taught me a new method of casting on which made for an even edge and a more pleasant experience overall. If her casting on method worked so nicely, maybe her Continental knitting style wouldn’t be so bad :-/

But how could anyone do anything better than how my Mom showed me to do it?! Fine, the casting on method was a fluke…Could there be a more efficient knitting style altogether?!

Then last weekend, I was chatting with another avid knitter who shared her journey to the Continental. Hearing about how she felt when she made the switch from English to Continental style, the benefits, and the challenges, encouraged me to at least, give it a shot. Wouldn’t hurt right, and worst case scenario, I’d have gained a new skill.

So, now years after I first saw Kimmy knitting Continental, I decided to give it a shot. I watched a YouTube video just to be sure and took the plunge two nights ago.

Can’t quite say it’s better than English style knitting…though I do find it friendlier to my fingers and I feel like I may be going a little bit faster. Maybe, it’s just better for me, or at least so it seems, for the moment.

What’s shocking is how reluctant I was to veer off the beaten path and attempt something that would cost me nothing. <sigh>.
What’s thrilling is that I did it! I tried something different from what I grew up with (not that what I grew up with was wrong – just different).
In just a small way, in a relatively insignificant aspect of my life, I achieved healthy open-mindedness! <sigh>.
I’ve got a long way to go!


Last week, my family welcomed to the world my second niece – baby No-Name Nhari 🙂 After a very difficult pregnancy in which she was mostly bed-ridden, my sister was too weak to push the 5.7lbs bundle of joy into the world. But thanks to vacuum suction, baby No-Name entered the world with no other complications than a little jaundice – which, by folklore is attributed to her Mom eating too much tripe during pregnancy…

As you can imagine, the entire family is ecstatic! Something about this type of good news bonds a family together. It’s the opposite of losing a loved one but has the same stickiness factor – that is, you know family best understands how you feel. There’s something comforting about that.

I thought to describe the joy that I’ve experienced and came to realize that the joy of welcoming a new life into the family is its own descriptor. You can’t liken it to any other joy. Rather, you’d use it as a hallmark of joy so to speak. I mean, you’d say “seeing Person X being baptized gave me the kind of joy you have when welcoming a newborn into the world…” 🙂

It’s an exuberant joy. Shared first with my family, then with close friends who knew my sister was expecting, then with my spiritual family (the church), until it overflows in a blog post open for the world to read. It’s a joy that seeks expression.

And you know what’s crazy, I actually expect others to be as happy about the news as I am. It’s obvious that the more distant we are from each other, the less likely that would be the case, and yet that knowledge does not abate my hope that you would share my joy. In a sense, it doesn’t matter to me whether or not you can relate – I feel like my joy is so contagious it will force you to be happy too!

So, welcome to the world baby No-Name Nhari! I’m excited to meet you, get to know you, love you!