Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who's not paying attention?

I've known my husband for just about 15 years now. I think we actually communicate pretty darn well. Sure, we have our breakdowns from time to time, but on the whole I've always thought we do a pretty good job at the talking and the paying attention to one another.

Last night, I was proven horribly, horribly wrong.

We were hanging out in the kitchen, having a beer and just talking. I'm in the midst of a big stretch of stockinette, which makes the beer/yarn combination pretty safe so I grabbed my knitting from the other room and got busy. We were having a great time. Chat chat chat. Laugh laugh laugh.

All of the sudden I notice he's looking at my knitting with great concentration and asks "You keep switching the needles from one hand to another. What's with that?"

People....15 years. In all that time, he's never once noticed how knitting works! That you consume the stitches on one needle (I was working on straights) and then turn the work and start over. To say I was stunned is the understatement of the day.

In his defense, there are two or three places I do the lion's share of my knitting. One is the couch watching TV. We're usually sitting next to each other on the couch. Another is in the car on road trips. The last is on airplanes. The latter two also have us sitting next to each other rather than across from one another. But still. Seriously?

Frankly, we got a big giggle out of the whole thing. And he redeemed himself in a pretty significant way when he asked me after all this time if I'd teach him to knit.

Any tips on teaching a lefty?

19 comments:

Knit Purl Gurl said...

He's a keeper, I tell you. A keeper! I don't think my hubby has ever thought twice about my knitting. let alone asked about it!

Myriam said...

I'm a lefty and forever grateful that my grandmother taught me to knit the 'usual' way. I think that knitting uses both hands enough that the dominance issue is less pronounced.

My husband learned to knit from me 4 years ago and he's my favourite knitting buddy. It's made him a fantastic enabler in yarn shops too! "You should get it if you want it," is his usual line!

Terri Lynn said...

Yeh! This is good! I keep telling my software designer hubby it would be good for his binary program writing skills!

Phoenix Fiber said...

A lefty here! I taught myself to knit using the Susan Bates booklet "Learn to Knit." All the basic stitches and techniques covered are very clearly illustrated for both left- and right-handed knitters. It generally shows throwing style, but I went with picking without much conscious thought (I think because I came to knitting from crochet). Of course, I'm now trying to learn throwing so I can do colorwork two-handed.

Anyway, for me the biggest challenges were in understanding how cables twist and increases/decreases work, since the results are mirrored for we lefties. Sometimes it matters, other times it doesn't. I've found with lacework that I can work the chart such that the results are correct without much effort. Cables take a bit more thought if you want the exact results seen in the pattern.

floribunda... aka Julie said...

Another lefty here; my mother taught me to knit right-handed when I was young (although I crochet left-handed because I taught myself years later!) I agree with Myriam, above, that you should teach him to knit the way you do. Most lefties are more ambidextrous (0n average) than righties and he should be able to handle it!

Allyson said...

That is adorable! I giggled right out loud at that story.

And I agree with everyone here! I teach lefties the same way I teach righties and I've never come across someone who couldn't do it.

yarnaholic said...

I agree with Floribunda! i am a lefty but was taught to knit right handed. It's going to be awkward for him anyway but I think lefties are more ambidextrous than most right handed folks.

Rachel said...

I was sitting here giggling on the couch about your post, and my husband asked what was up. I read him your post, and he confirmed... he has no idea how knitting works either and has never actually watched me. Now, I've only known him 3 years, so maybe we can give him a little benefit of the doubt, but still :) His response to my reading the post was "things that are funny only to knitters".

Nautical Knitter said...

My husband is a lefty and I taught him to knit by sitting across from him and he did everything in mirror to what I did. It worked great!

pia said...

I'm a solid lefty and I knit righty. It's how I was taught and it works just fine. Really, you're using both hands, so why would it matter?

Deborah said...

I too am a solid lefty and knit righty, I crochet lefty. Leftie's are used to descrambling most instructions but the mirror image might work for him. Sit directly across from him and don't be intimidated because he's a lefty.

ninironi said...

I'm a lefty and taught myself how to knit using right handed tutorials. Like several have said, you pretty much use both hands equally,and once he's comfy knitting then he can choose which method, picking or throwing, he is most comfortable using.

c h r i s t i n e said...

As lefthanders, both me and my roommate knit the right hand way. It really is just as comfortable as any other way as both hands are used just about equally.

Linda said...

I too am a lefty. I knit sort of the same as everyone else--right handed. The sort of comes from the fact that my family knits through the wrong side of stitch so they sit with the back of the loop ahead of the front. Since it is easier to purl this way, we just call it the Allen Family's Improved Knitting method. I just have to reinterpret ssk's and k2tog's.
I say teach him the "right" way.

Lotus Baker said...

Another self taught lefty here who knits left, teach him as a righty and he'll never have to decode the instruction beyond the normal amount. No translating SSK to K2tog or the reverse. Also you will be able to pick up his knitting and know what is going on! Plus later he can learn lefty if he wants!
I wish my husband was interested but I guess I'll be glad I have an enabler!

Robin said...

I am a lefty and I knit combo continental style - easiest for me. Learned at age 5- good luck- just don't tell him there's a right and lefthanded way to knit-

Crochet Renee' said...

I crochet left-handed, but knit as though I am right handed. I throw my yarn, but am challenging myself to knit continental. I found knitting involves both hands enough that it's not an issue.

Mary Ann said...

Too cute and true!

woolwoman said...

very funny post about your husband's observations. Love LL - glad to have found your blog. Mel