My mom called last night to tell me she has picked up the needles again after a long hiatus. One of her problems before had been that she felt like she couldn't knit fast enough, that everything just slogged along at a snail's pace. She can crochet much faster, so didn't bother with the knitting for a while. When we talked about this last week, I told her "Well, Mom, it's because you're holding your yarn backwards." She just happens to be one of those crazy people that hold their yarn in their right hand. I just happen to be the opposite.
So, she tells me, "Now that I'm holding the yarn in my left hand, things are moving much quicker. I just had to tell myself it was alright to hold the yarn that way." Seems it made more sense to her in the first place to hold it in the left hand, as that's how most people hold their yarn to crochet. But, when she learned how to knit, she got it in her head that right-handed was the only way to knit. Her comment got me wondering, though. (I know that there's really no wrong way to knit, as long as you end up with the same thing, but the right handed way just seems so slow. If you happen to be one of those weirdo right-handers, don't take offense.) Was there a rather large period of time where the only acceptable way to knit was right-handed? Is it a regional thing, perhaps? And for those who still knit this way, why not try left-handed? Are there techniques or stitches that are easier to do this way? Does previous experience play into it at all, i.e., people who learned to crochet first tend toward left handed knitting?
Right now, it's all questions and no answers, but I'll let you know as I come across information. Also, feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences on this.
Oh, and I started an oven mitt for my husband. I'll post pictures later on. (Note to self: STOP STARTING NEW PROJECTS!! Especially when I have about a bajillion to finish.) Also, I have decided to give "Sheldon" (the turtle pattern from Knitty.com) a try in the near future. This is because people in the knitting group I frequent here in Reston (http://knitting.meetup.com/1125/)
have a really bad habit of mentioning and/or showing off really cute patterns and getting me sidetracked into new projects. Enablers, the lot of 'em.