Like a Ninja

First week back at home and everyone survived! The house isn’t clean, but we managed to unpack! Tonight I am headed to LYS Johanne’s Knitn’Stitch to show everyone the results of my trip. I acquired a few books including a small book of knitting cartoons by Franklin Habit. It is a really charming book that would make any knitter roll their eyes and smile, because they know it’s true.

Hopefully I’ll get a good chunk of the Coolbreeze button band done while I’m there. I think it is the last thing I have to complete before it is my first finished object of 2014!! I am getting restless and need to finish something! I feel like I am in the knitting black hole, where you knit like crazy and don’t go anywhere.
For the main part of this post, I am going to talk about a skill every knitter either has, or longs for. Knitting without looking. Sometimes when I am in a public venue, I’ll knit along on something and someone will sidle up and ask how I can do it without watching. Now, I am not doing complicated lace charts or anything; just stockinet, or ribbing. Chances are, if you’ve been knitting for a while, your hands know what to do. It is like touch typing. When you become familiar enough with a keyboard, you don’t need to look in order to figure out where the letters are located.
I began knitting without looking because I wanted to read while I knit. I would prop up a hard cover book and hold down the pages with my iPhone; I was horribly slow, but I was succeeding. This really took off when I was knitting Gryffindor scarves for the last Harry Potter movie. It was plain stockinet in the round for a good 10 inches then change colour and another 10 inches. I would read, or watch tv, in order to keep my mind occupied while I completed these tedious, mindless projects, I think in total I made approximately five of these scarves.
Chloe also discovered the joy of climbing up inside what was, essentially, a 6 foot tube.

Chloe also discovered the joy of climbing up inside what was, essentially, a 6 foot tube.

They weren’t perfect either. I dropped stitches and sometimes forgot to change colour, but by the time I was done those bad boys, I could stockinet without looking. To help train yourself I suggest you find something your eyes want to look at more than your knitting; a movie, the view from a vehicle window, a conversation partner. Sometimes I simply put my head back and close my eyes. It must look really strange, but if you have a slight headache (as I have SOME experience with these) it feels nice to rest your eyes, but continue knitting. You will be able to feel the stitches coming up on the left and passing to the right.
As you become more and more comfortable with stockinet, you will be able to move onto ribbing. I am most comfortable with K1P1 ribbing, but that is personal preference. I can do K3P1 ribbing, but I have to count it in my head, it wouldn’t be good if I were knitting in complete darkness and could not see.
If there were one knitting skill I absolutely would not give up, it would be this one. I can knit in moving cars without feeling motion sick, I can knit in movie theatres, or people watch on public transit. It generally contributes to my stalk-y people watching in a really huge way. No one thinks I am paying attention because I am knitting… that must take my full focus, right?
Like anything in life, it just takes practice. I find, especially with knitting, you learn to love the things you hate, as long as you don’t give up on them. When I first started knitting, I HATED purling, it was really awkward and made my wrists hurt, but the more I did it, the more comfortable I was because I stuck with it. I just realized the other day that I used to hate purling and now I can’t wait to get to the purl side row on my grandmothers sweater because there are no accursed CABLES!!
Another blog-worthy note, you may have noticed that I am trying something new with the comments. Please leave a comment with feedback on how easy or difficult it is to sign in and leave a comment. If you are unable to comment, please email me and let me know at nusseym@gmail.com.