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Old 12-31-2006, 07:10 AM   #1
PurpleMittens
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Propping up needle?
When I knit, I almost always tuck the knob end of the left needle (the needle I am knitting from) between my arm and body, or in the crook of my elbow. If I try to knit with both needles supported only by my hands, I feel very clumsy, and am much slower than if I tuck the left needle away. I know the standard mantra is "do whatever works for you," but is it considered "wrong" to tuck the needle away like that? Is there any disadvantage to doing it, or a good reason I should train my muscles to hold the needle freely in my left hand?
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:28 AM   #2
itsjustmeghan
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how is that on your back? sounds like a stiff and akward position to hold your needles... if you're holding yourself in a weird position, it might cause problems with your back later on. that'd be my only concern.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:50 AM   #3
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I've heard of this many times before, so you're not doing anything unique. I taught a lefty to knit righty and she ended up holding the right needle stationary under her arm and did the work with her left needle.

It's true that whatever works is fine--and if you're comfortable doing it and like the result, then go for it.

ETA--the only concern I have knitting-wise is that you might have a problem with circular needles and they do come in handy.
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Old 12-31-2006, 10:51 AM   #4
birdbeaty
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knitting without 2 hands
I don't knit holding both needles either. I tuck the knob end of the right needle between the fold of my leg and my body (when I'm sitting) I SUPPORT it with my right hand, but simply don't hold it. Holding 2 needles does indeed feel clumsy to me, too!
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:20 PM   #5
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there are knitting harness (they are rare now but you can see them in knitting books) for holding needle.

these harnesses do the same thing.. they support the needle so you can walk or do other things while knitting.

the style of knitting (with needle tucked under an arm, or held between legs, or in a harness) is/was a scot's style--so its found everywhere and anywhere in the english speaking world today!

Very popular in parts of Canada, and in parts of US, and also done in austrailia and NZ.
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Old 12-31-2006, 01:07 PM   #6
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All of the above.

There's no need to "train" your muscles to do something that's uncomfortable for them. Knitting is more about flexibility than strength (unless you're doing knit 4 together through back loop or some such heavy-duty maneuver).

Plus two alternatives:
*Try using shorter needles.They might feel better balanced and more comfortable for you.
*Try using use circular needles for regular back-and-forth knitting. The weight of the knitting hangs on the cables instead of being supported by your arms. For many people, this is much more comfortable and faster than using straight needles. You can also squeeze many more stitches onto circs so that knitting large pieces is less tiring. I use them for just about everything; my straight needles have become decorative objects standing in a vase.
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:08 PM   #7
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Years ago, when my Mom knitted (she was a leftie), she would put the left needle between her knees.

I don't like using long straights anymore as they do put a large strain on my arms. I've switched to shorts and mostly circular needles and my hands/arms/back are thanking me

But if that's working for you, keep doing it. But, I would try other ways to see what works for you the best.
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