I read Yarn Harlot's blog (Stephanie Pearl-McFee--probably no relation to Nanny McFee) every day, and have the RSS feed to prove it. I also sometimes read her books. She's a very funny lady.
Currently reading Free-Range Knitter, on my Android Kindle App--and came across a funny story about how she was in a building, with an elevator, knitting a sock with the yarn in her pocket, and how it fell out inside the elevator. The story was mostly about how her maniacal thoughts carried through the theme--and how, ultimately, "the worst" didn't materialize, but she did lose a skein of yarn.
Too bad for all that.
But something she said in her stories has strummed a chord on the guitar of my own "lessons learned", and I have taken on "knitter watching". You know how some people will sit on a park bench and watch the people walk past--some are in a hurry...what are they hurrying for? Where are they going? Are they late? Etc...that sort of thing. Knitter watching is watching knitters, and how they differ from knitter to knitter.
So I decided at my LYS knit night to try this out, and watched the knitter sitting beside me.
I wondered to myself how in the world she knit so tight. Come to find out, she wraps her yarn the opposite direction than me, twisting every stitch. Still and all, her stitch definition is IMMACULATE. Everything she's knit, I've loved, and I've come to wonder if I'm wrapping MY YARN in the wrong direction, but I am assured, that I am doing it correctly. I just think hers is a much nicer looking way. I can't imagine knitting as tightly as she does--my goodness, my entire arm cramps just thinking about it. Yet, she looks so relaxed, and rarely ever looks at her knitting while she chats away with other guests. It's a good method for HER, and definitely different from my way of knitting.
Then I got to wondering if she wondered why I wrapped my stitches the direction that I do. And I wondered, if I take on the same project, should I opt to wrap the wrong way to get the same look?
Granted, in the grand scheme of things, it's not of derth importance, but it gave me pause to consider some things, and I think that one of my next knitting projects will be a dishcloth, wrapped entirely the wrong way, just to see if I can get gauge (because I've always had to go down a needle size or two to get gauge for projects)....I wonder...
Sometimes, watching other people knitting teaches you things about your own knitting, and helps you to resolve issues and might even set you on a totally different path. If you don't believe me, try watching the next person you meet while they knit. Let me know your thoughts on it, and if it has changed your perspective.