I struggled on. I am much encouraged by your comment, scifiknitter – and especially in the fact that you’ve stuck with the Stephanie Pearl-McPhee method since taking her class. Despite my announcement 48 hours ago that I wasn’t going to intellectualize this thing, I did just that yesterday.
Here are my sources: Pearl-McPhee and Hazel Tindall. The latter is a Shetland knitter who posted a little clip on her blog to demonstrate the use of a knitting belt. You wouldn’t suspect it from the link I’ve provided, but she is the fastest knitter in the world. I mean, literally. She wins competitions. She has slowed herself down considerably to demonstrate the belt.
The first thing one notices is that the two tension the yarn quite differently. In Tindall’s case, it goes directly from the current stitch over her right index finger and then disappears into the palm of her hand. The great thing about a flesh-and-blood lesson from such a person is that you could ask her to open her hand and show you exactly where the yarn goes next.
(She’s taking part in Shetland Wool Week at this very moment. Too late now.)
And she keeps her right thumb on the rigid needle.
Whereas Pearl-McPhee tensions the yarn around the third and fourth fingers, as you say, scifiknitter. I think one could discover its exact course from the video link I’ve given. And she keeps her whole hand free of the needle, except for that pressure from the heel (if that's the word).
The essence of my problem is that my right hand wants to drop-and-throw – to move back and forth with each stitch from the tip of the needle to a place further down. And I’m never going to get up any speed if I can’t teach it to move less.
I tried for a while yesterday to do it Tindall’s way – to thread the yarn across my index finger as she does, and to keep my thumb on the needle so that the hand couldn’t get away, so to speak. I think for the moment, that may be the way forward. But it’s interesting that the two are so different.
When I cast all this aside and sink back with the Milano, I wrap the yarn around the middle finger of my right hand. So the Pearl-McPhee method ought to be easier?
I got the Relax pattern out yesterday. It and the Milano have virtually the same number of stitches, so I’m free to switch patterns in mid-stream.
Thank you for the equestrian observations. The position of a sword on the left thigh makes good sense as a reason for mounting a horse from the left. Right-handedness by itself won’t do – you have to put your left leg in the stirrup and use it to heave yourself up (unless your butler is handy to give you a boost). One is not often aware of it, but the left leg shares the left hand’s weakness.
I always mount a bicycle from the left, but I think that is because my teen-aged self fancied herself on horseback.