Thursday, January 18, 2007


I had a dental appointment yesterday. Just a cleaning. I say "just" for those of you who do not harbor a deep, ingrained fear of dentistry.

Unlike myself.

WARNING: scary dentistry story follows. Feel free to skip! I've had four root canals in six years to fix problems from prior bad dentistry. In the first, the anesthetic never took effect completely. *feel free to cringe here* Two others occurred simultaneously, about three weeks after Little Brewer #2 was born. Someday I will write a book entitled "The Root Canal Diet." I lost 50 pounds of combined baby and me weight. Perspective: I'm 5 feet 10 inches tall. My weight went down to 125 pounds. And it was not a good thing.

You have no idea how good food tastes when you've been unable to eat for a month.

My reward for getting through this particular appointment without crying was to stop by my favorite local thrift store for a look-see. Twenty-three dollars and one hour later, I came out with the following:
1 Hello Kitty down jacket, size 6
1 Old Navy soccer jersey
1 black purse
1 pair enameled cufflinks
3 long sleeve t-shirts
3 issues of Vogue Knitting magazine circa 1995
2 Bernat booklets
1 copy of animal knits by Zoe Mellor
1 copy of Vogue Knitting - the 1989 reference book

It is the Vogue reference book that has precipitated my crisis. I was taught to knit by my maternal Grandmother (twice, but that's a story for a different post). This is the woman who could eyeball a pattern and recreate it in her head. When she passed away I was lucky enough to inherit some of her stash, needles and her wooden swift. I still have the fair isle sweater she knit for me in junior high.

There, in the book, were the instructions for the knit stitch and the purl stitch. And I became aware, as I once knew, that I KNIT WRONG. At least, wrongly according to the gurus at Vogue. When I knit, I put the needle through the back of the stitch, rather than taking the front of the loop through the back. My purls seem to be ok.

Yet my finished work is, to me, indistinguishable from "correct" knitting. Why then the crisis?

Have I completely screwed up the others I have taught to knit? Probably not. Adding more knitters to the universe can't be a bad thing.

Is my work crap? Various opinions may be voiced, but I don't think so.

I think it is the fear that someone will tell me I am doing it wrong and this will destroy my love for the craft. This fear kept me from knitting or crocheting in public until fairly recently.

So now I'm mad at myself for falling back into the trap of "different=bad." I need to grow up.


Julie said...

I knit like that for several years after I learned; I finally switched over to the 'proper' way of knitting (more like the one everyone agrees on) simply because it was easier to read patterns that way. Twisted stitch patterns in particular get tricky to figure out if you're taking the stitches off like that. But, hey, if you aren't having problems with it and your knitting isn't unraveling, it's done right.

There is no 'wrong' in knitting, unless it unravels. (Even then it's okay if you meant to do it.)

I was deathly sick for seven months while I was pregnant - I do know just how good food can taste. (I gained thirty pounds AFTER I had the baby. I actually LOST weight while I was pregnant.)

Brewgal said...

Thanks! So far I haven’t had trouble – then again, I haven’t tried any fancy twisted stitch patterns. Maybe someday I’ll relearn.

My complete sympathies on your 7-month bout with sickness! I got an infection after #2 was born (on top of the root canal problem) and it took about a year to resolve. When it was finally over it, I felt so much better it was as if I had come up from underwater.