I was knitting at Knitch the other night and sitting next to Kim, the owner of Knitch, and she happened to mention Annie Modesitt to me. I'm not really sure who Annie Modesitt is, but I do know she's a Knitting Goddess and Most Definitely a Big Deal. In particular, Kim mentioned that Annie was going to be teaching a class on combination knitting. Since combination knitting was what I was accidentally doing recently, I was pretty intrigued that a class was being taught on what so many knitters had told me I was doing wrong, and I finally remembered to go check out the class description. (It was a busy weekend. And by "busy weekend," I mean "lots and lots of video games.")
This is not the knitting you are used to! Learn to knit using the Combination Method -- easy to learn and quick to execute, this method is a combination of the Western or German/American/English style of knitting and Eastern/Islamic knitting. Easier and quicker than traditional Western knitting, this method, creates a very even tension with less "rowing out" less wrist strain. If this method is different than how you've been taught, give it a try and you may discover a new love of knitting blooming! If you're a first time knitter - enjoy! You can master this right away!
So I'm reading this and going WAIT A SECOND!!! I was doing this wondrous technique and people kept telling me I was doing it wrong! And now I'm not even sure if I remember how to do it now that I know it's the best thing since sliced bread!
So now that I know that combination knitting is actually a totally acceptable way to knit (and a technique people will pay a lot of money to learn), I'm determined to learn the tricks I need to know to use it. I was already planning to use it for dishcloths and such, but I'm going to figure out how to do the increases and decreases (which I haven't actually learned in any style yet because StringTheory2.0 believes in getting the basics down first) too. I really like combination knitting, for the simple reason that when you're combination knitting, purling doesn't suck.
I know that all the advice came from a place of good intentions, but I just wish someone had taken a minute to explain what combination knitting was (though in all fairness, Nell did explain about the orientation of stitches and how it would be problematic when I started trying to follow patterns) and how it wasn't necessarily wrong per se. I wonder if some people didn't think I knew anything about different knitting styles? I know I'm just a crocheter, but give me a little credit. Isn't it counterproductive to say "knitting must be done this way!" when everyone already knows about variations -- i.e., English vs. continental? A couple of people even implied the person teaching me didn't know what she was talking about, which really made me see red.
Maybe it's just that as far as I know, there's only one way to crochet, but I've never seen this behavior from crocheters. The most you'll get is a "oh, you hold the hook differently than I do," and half the time that's said because the speaker is considering trying that hold herself. One person (and I will not say who, other than to say it's absolutely not me and it's a knitter) surmised that maybe crocheters are generally nicer than knitters. I'm not making it up, folks, just reporting what I'm told.
Also, is it just me, or do some knitters seem to subscribe to a "it's not a real technique until one of the Knitting Goddesses approves it" theory? That doesn't seem to happen in crochet, maybe because we don't really have Crochet Goddesses. Except people who can crochet really fast, we like those.