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Topic: need a new approach for my toughest student...  (Read 832 times)
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diosaperdida
« on: October 20, 2006 06:45:01 AM »

My Husband.
Bless his heart, he is INTO it!
He has diligently tried to learn to knit( even went with me to a guild meeting last night!)...and does great, except for one issue. He is having a very very hard time with controlling the tension of the yarn. I know most have that problem, but every single way that I have showed him for regulating his tension...and for handling the working yarn in general has not worked!
Here is a bit of relevant history.
He is older and in his childhood, lefties were switched.
He has discovered through the years that things his Mom normally wouldn't show him how to do, his brain takes over and does it left handed.
I myself am left handed and knit kind of reversed continental...
I hold the working yarn in my right hand...my working needle is in my left hand.
So he says he wants to knit left handed.
We have gone through holding the yarn in the left hand, holding it in the right...nothing seems to be working out.
Also he thinks he has to grasp the yarn tightly in order to keep it from falling out of his hand!
The only thing that seems to work somewhat is for him to brace both needles on his thighs and then hold the yarn between the thumb and index finger and wind it slowly around the needle.
Fine...
and he may even somehow learn a rhythm like that...but I doubt it.
I would really like him to find a way to hold the yarn so he can develop an easy flow.
I have taught a lot of people to knit...adults, children...right handers...left handers. ( I CAN knit right handed...but I don't love it.)

He has pr oven to be the toughest case ever!

Has anyone has similar problems learning to knit..or while teaching someone...?
Does anyone have any insight a not awkward way to hold the yarn.
I'm always aware that there a bunches of ways to do something that I know nothing of, and would really like some insight.

I also think his larger hand size could be a factor, in him properly feeling the yarn...could be...not sure.
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crnaofca
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2006 06:59:03 AM »

my sister had same issue. she just can't keep the tension... so now she knits continental, but it looks bit like english method, yarn is normally in her left hand, but she uses her left hand to wrap yarn around needle.. something what would you do in english method with right hand... it looks weird, but it works for her:)
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emilymildew
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2006 08:05:43 AM »

The fact that he thinks he needs to grasp it very tightly makes me think that maybe he just needs time to get used to how the yarn goes through his hands. Like, give him something to knit on that he can have crazy tension on that doesn't matter so he can work on it.

I knit from the left needle to the right (I'm left-handed but learned this way and am somewhat ambidextrous in some ways) and hold the yarn in my left hand. I wrap the yarn around my pinky finger so that the tension holds and I can purl without having to hold the yarn between two fingers. (I can post a picture if that doesn't make sense.)

I say give him time. Would it be too confusing for him to learn to crochet, even just single crochet, to get him comfortable with the yarn? Sometimes dealing with the two needles AND yarn tension can be a lot all at once.
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diosaperdida
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2006 08:51:18 AM »

I have indeed thought about crochet to get accustomed to the yarn.
He really does seem to have the idea that his hands are in some kind of life or death situation...and if he drops that yarn bedlam will be the result.
But them Bill approaches everything that way...


Also..he has crocheted before...looong ago...lol..he help a former wife make a lace table cloth!...with thread!
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http://www.diosaperdida.net  - My website
http://knittingbare.blogspot.com/ painting, knitting, whatever...it's all art
http://painting.craftgossip.com/  decorative painting techniques, projects and product info.
diosaperdida
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2006 08:57:30 AM »

my sister had same issue. she just can't keep the tension... so now she knits continental, but it looks bit like english method, yarn is normally in her left hand, but she uses her left hand to wrap yarn around needle.. something what would you do in english method with right hand... it looks weird, but it works for her:)

Yes..that is how I personally would define knitting english...by holding the yarn in the same hand that the working needle is in...but so many people call that continental when the person is left handed that I just sort of spell out how I do it instead of labeling it.
To me continental is holding the yarn opposite to the working hand...but so many define it as holding the yarn in the left hand regardless of which is the working needle....
I too have seriously thought that might be an option for him...but he wont stick with it more than a few seconds then switches his yarn over.
More and more I think crochet might be the key...the way the yarn is held is similar ( at least for me) and could be the transitional step he needs to move to holding two slippery needles.
I sure wish also he would use a pair of bamboo! He drops alot of stitches too!
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http://www.diosaperdida.net  - My website
http://knittingbare.blogspot.com/ painting, knitting, whatever...it's all art
http://painting.craftgossip.com/  decorative painting techniques, projects and product info.
cupcake-girl
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2006 02:30:20 PM »

I saw a yarn guide thingy in the store somewhere. It fits on the end of your finger, and the yarn loops through it. The thingy controls the tension, and it's sold for knitters and crocheters.

Good luck to your husband. Maybe he just needs a drink.
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diosaperdida
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2006 08:03:02 PM »

OMG! Thank you!
It's a knitters thimble!
I totally forgot about those.
And yeah...maybe he does need a drink..I know I sure do by the time our lesson is over.
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http://www.diosaperdida.net  - My website
http://knittingbare.blogspot.com/ painting, knitting, whatever...it's all art
http://painting.craftgossip.com/  decorative painting techniques, projects and product info.
artteacher
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2006 05:04:02 AM »

I'm American- but, was taught to knit by an Australian friend- so, I knit a bit differently than most people.. (never knew it- since, it was all I knew how to do- but, many people 'who knit' have commented on it) and also the way that I hold my yarn is just loosely clutched in my right hand.. (not looped over any fingers or anything) maybe have him do that- to 'loosen the tension' up a bit.. Huh?  *My Australian friend had her yarn looped over her fingers but, I just decided to hold my yarn the way that I do and it works out best for me...

I use this method to help those who 'tend to knit too tight' too and it does seem to help them.
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I've got a brand new blog:  *I'm one with the masses now!

*Life and adventues of an American living overseas who finds time to knit every now and then.
http://iwouldratherbeknitting.blogspot.com/
diosaperdida
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2006 05:54:09 AM »

art teacher...I tend to hold the yarn like you do at least 60 percent of the time...when he does it it falls off his hands.
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http://www.diosaperdida.net  - My website
http://knittingbare.blogspot.com/ painting, knitting, whatever...it's all art
http://painting.craftgossip.com/  decorative painting techniques, projects and product info.
artteacher
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2006 07:09:00 AM »

Poor thing.. had to laugh.. but, it was funny. Cheesy

GOOD luck.. I think just some time and let him get used to the movements of knitting.. making the stitches and then .. hopefully, once the brain connects to the hand movements- maybe it will get easier?  Right now, he's probably having to do too much worrying and thinking about what he is doing???

AS for the way we hold our yarn.. don't you agree that it's faster and easier?  I find that I rarely have to let go of the yarn to feed more yarn into my hand for knitting.. (you know what I'm trying to say- I can knit for longer periods of time w/out having to adjust the yarn in around my fingers for tension)

Good luck.. Love it when we con convert another person to the 'knit side.'  Cheesy
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I've got a brand new blog:  *I'm one with the masses now!

*Life and adventues of an American living overseas who finds time to knit every now and then.
http://iwouldratherbeknitting.blogspot.com/
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