I’m an unconventional knitter. I learned when I was like 11 or 12 from my mom and a bunch of old ladies in an abandoned woolen mill, where we’d gather every week in a room that for some reason had booths and knit. My brother and sister and I would sit at one booth- John doing something, Colleen and I both working on scarves for our American Girl dolls, and my mom and her septuagenarian friends would work on more advanced projects (like scarves for real people) at another booth.

If there was a moment in my life that you could most accurately hashtag “homeschooled,” it would probably be that one.

Also, I pretty much only learned to cast on and do the garter stitch in a row. So I could make squares AND rectangles, guys. Only one color. I hadn’t figured out stranding or even how to change skeins yet. Or binding off. I had to give my completed “projects” to my mom to finish them for me. But hey. My dolls were never cold again.

Anyway, I loved those mornings. It was before my mom was sick, before we started thinking about going back to school, before all of that. We had to stop going abruptly because of the first of the shots across the bow of our lives that signaled GUYS IT’S NOT 1999 ANYMORE, but anyway.

(I know 1999 wasn’t a picnic either for us. But it’s all hazy and cozy in my memory.)

I love the physicality of knitting. I picked it up again a few years ago because I watch a lot of TV with my husband and I need to be doing something while I’m doing that and my preferred method of hand occupation is eating or drinking but, well, I like being able to fit through doors and having a liver. So knitting! Thanks to google, I figured out most of the other things I was supposed to know how to do.

But none of them came easily. I couldn’t imagine why. I’d picked up knitting perfectly easily when I was little, and even watching knitting videos on YouTube- it just wasn’t the way I held the yarn. And so the stitches didn’t really make sense to me. I figured I was doing it wrong. COULD THOSE LADIES IN THE ABANDONED MILL HAVE LIED TO ME????

So last night I was researching fair isle patterns because Squeaks wants a blanket for her doll that is pink and white. And, like every time I’d researched stuff before, both English/American style and continental style came up. Well, obviously I knit English, because everyone does that and I’m right handed and continental is crazy hard and fast and whatever. But maybe it would help me learn the other stitches and techniques that I want to incorporate into my own little Just Say No to Alcoholism crafting. So I clicked on the link.

And guys….I learned how to knit continental style. I literally hold the yarn in a different hand than every person I’ve always tried to emulate. I thought I was doing it wrong, that it was just comfortable and because I LEARNED IN AN ABANDONED MILL I just did what was comfy and made the stitches.

But no! I’m not wrong! I’m just European.

This is gonna revolutionize my doll scarves, guys.

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