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Old 02-24-2008, 07:37 PM   #1
gatorjade
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Terrible habit! Help!
When I first taught myself to knit, I bought my supplies at JoAnn's, apprehensively browsing the aisles like I was colorblind in a paint store. I left with some yarn and Susan Bates 14" straights, sizes 5-10. Because the needles were so long, awkward and "heavy" (I began with the recommended size 10s), I ended up teaching myself to knit with the right needle propped straight up on my lap and working "around" it. I never noticed until I attempted a knitting demonstration for my mother on my webcam, and I failed miserably because I couldn't hold both needles up!

Needless to say, my first attempt at using circulars was unbelievably frustrating. I was back at square one, holding the needles awkwardly and knitting slowly. I recently bought a set of Denise Interchangeables which are lighter and easier to work with than heavier metal needles, but whenever I pull out straights, I can't get myself out of my "propping" habit.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to break the habit/what kind of straights to purchase so I don't do this anymore? Has anyone else heard of this habit? I'd love any input!
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:31 PM   #2
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If it works for you it's not a problem. Many people knit "wrong" and do great. Some hold a needle under their arm, propped, whatever. As long as it works for you it isn't wrong.

As for a desire to correct the problem, just practice holding the needles the "right" way and knit a lot. It'll become easier and feel more natural the more you do it.
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:33 PM   #3
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IMHO, why go back to straights? I use my circulars, (also Denise's) for everything. So much easier on my wrists, and I don't have to worry about dropping the other needle. There are small sizes I've bought addi's *for sock * but use Denise's for everything else.
I haven't used straights in a very long time. I love circulars!
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Old 02-24-2008, 08:33 PM   #4
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I have a very dear friend that does the propping when she knits. She doesn't knit very often because it is so slow. I'll be visiting her in August and she's asked me to help her with changing this so I'll let you know. It does take practice, I'm sure and you'll basically have to pop yourself mentally to break the habit. Don't be too hard on yourself, you've been able to do it with the circulars so you can do it. Mary
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:32 PM   #5
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There are cultures where they only use dpns, extra, extra long. One end of the left needle is stuck into a pouch that is tied around the waist, and held very still, and the right hand and needle to all the work. But there is the point that others have made here-- working on circulars exclusively has its fans, and you might find yourself donating those straights to a senior center.
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Old 02-24-2008, 09:41 PM   #6
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Because of wrist pain, I have pretty much ignored my straights as well and use the circulars on flat projects as well. Clover makes some needles called "Flex" that have the wooden part made short like circulars and have a flexible line with a bead at the end, kinda like circulars but not connected to each other. I'll have to agree and by all means, a long, straight knitting needle donation to a local charity would be most welcome. Mary
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Old 02-24-2008, 11:16 PM   #7
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What a coinkidink, there's another thread from a person wanting to learn the way you knit. Also known as irish cottage knitting (with one needle propped and the other one doing all the work). That's also how the yarn harlot knits. So yer in good company.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:00 AM   #8
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I think a lot of us self taught knitters have developed our own unique style and as long as you enjoy the process and your work turns out to your satisfaction then who's to say it's wrong. I will eventually teach myself other styles of knitting someday, but right now I'm focused on turning out finished items and don't want to slow down to learn a new way of doing what I'm already doing.
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Old 02-25-2008, 02:43 AM   #9
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Hello Jade!

I agree with the others, what harm is there in the way that you hold your needles? You can do something I can't ~
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