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It’s only weird if it doesn’t work…

Do you watch football?

It’s okay if you don’t. I’ll fill you in on the important stuff.

I love watching football, and there’s an ad that often comes on that I absolutely adore. (It’s an ad for a beer company, and you can watch it on YouTube)

What I love about the ad is the tagline:

Oh, so true! Right?

Weirdness, Knitting & Crochet

Now, before you think I’ve gone off the deep end, I’ll tell you why I love this line so much… it’s my teaching philosophy!

I strongly believe that there are lots of different ways to do something… and as long as it works, you’re doing it right! Why should you do everything exactly the way I do it? Do you use the same amount of milk in your coffee as me? No? Well… why should you hold your crochet hook the same way?

Besides the frequent airing of these ads, this issue came up for me because I read a blog post by Kellie about her grandmother-in-law telling her that she wasn’t crocheting ‘right’. Do you know what affect that had? It made Kellie stray away from crocheting… isn’t that sad?

Are you weird? Some examples.

When you’re beginning to knit or crochet, it can be difficult to tell if you’re struggling because you’re learning a new skill… or struggling because you’re doing something problematic.

Let me give a few examples that come up frequently in my classes, and my ‘professional diagnosis’.

Holding the crochet hook/knitting needle: There are all sorts of ways to hold your hook/needles! I knit, holding my needles overhand with my yarn tensioned in my left hand. I crochet the same way (‘knife hold‘, yarn in left hand).

I know people who hold their needles like a pencil, hold the yarn in their right hand… you name it. And while ‘knitting/crochet rumor’ claims that this way or that way is faster, I know lightning-fast knitters/crocheters in each style/method.

So you hold your yarn with your right hand. Is that weird? No. Because it works! To put it differently: no matter which way you do it, the end result is exactly the same.

Which way you wrap your yarn: When you’re knitting/crocheting, there are two possible ways to wrap your yarn. You can either bring it from the back of the needle, over the top to the front (1) OR you can bring it under the needle, around the front and to the back (2).

Do you see the difference?

Most people do the second method. Are you weird if you do the first one? Maybe. Let me explain: these two methods produce different results, making the stitches sit differently on the needle. Since most people knit the second way, most knitting books/instructions assume that the stitches sit on the needle that way (with the front leg of the stitch to the right of the back leg).

So, if you knit the first way and don’t change anything else about your knitting, then your stitches will come out twisted… which is different.

Of course, their are solutions: I know someone who knits the first way, but then knits all of her stitches through the back loop to avoid a twisted stitch. She’s not weird, because her way works.

Which way you wrap your yarn matters in crochet, too. If you wrap your yarn the first way, the yarn will be difficult to catch with the hook. For most people, wrapping your yarn the first way doesn’t work.

How do you tell if you’re weird?

One simple question: is what you’re doing working?

If you’re new… I know this is hard. Sometimes nothing feels like it’s working! So as you knit/crochet, look for a consistent problem. In the example above, if you consistently find that you can’t catch your yarn with your hook, then that’s a clue that something’s wrong.

But if you find something that’s working for you, even if none of your friends do it the same way… don’t let anyone tell you you’re weird! That’s just how you roll!

Do you love crocheting? Well, then! You might be interested in listening to my Crochet Chat Podcast!

I post new episodes the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month… but if you’ve never listened before, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do! Click here to check out previous episodes!

4 Responses to “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work…”

  1. Nancy says:

    Great blog topic today. I totally agree with you. Teachers should be encouraging their students, not putting them down. That goes for anything. Otherwise, the student’s creativity can be squashed and enthusiasm is lost. Be positive!

  2. Vanessa says:

    Amen! I always tell people it’s only wrong if instead of getting knitted material it looks like crochet, or vice versa! As long as it works for you, who cares?

  3. Su says:

    Yup, being somewhat dyslexic, the question of weird has come-up frequently in my life. Sometimes I actually have to stop in the middle of a project to look at a picture of a crochet stitch – I may have just done 40 of them, but suddenly, it’s totally blank brain freeze. Yes, I knitted a couple of sweaters with all the stitches twisted. I do your patterns “front” loop after struggling with “back” loop and it works just fine for me. Don’t know why, but it works for me.

  4. lucia thiel says:

    Great words. I don’t knit but when I crochet I use the knife method too, but I let the yarn wrap around my left wrist for tention, and loop up and over my index finger, then lower over my ring finger for YO. It makes tight even stitches. And take the yarn in slowly so a yarn ball won’t roll all over even if it’s out of a bowl xD. It’s on and looks like I’m making a cat’s cradle. But I’m a cat person so I just consider it the “Tabby tailor” way =D