I read an interview this week with a very famous knitter. She said that there was a certain thing which knitters do which drove her nuts, to the point of accosting people on the Underground and correcting their mistake.
Now, I wouldn't normally take issue with this. We all need a little guidance on occasion, and there are certain basic things you need to get right when you're knitting. Like how to make knit and purl stitches. However, other than casting on (in any of about 10 zillion different ways) and casting off, that's about all there is to it. So what was winding this esteemed lady up so much?
Knitters dropping their right needle to wrap the yarn.
Huh? The world is full of monstrosities, injustices and people who don't let you knit on planes, and this lady is throwing her toys out over how you hold your yarn. This lady stated in her crochet book (I don't have her knitting books, and I won't be buying them now either) that "There are no crochet police."
Well guess what? There ain't any knitting police either. No-one is going to come and take away your first-born because you can't work an SSK, or a P3tog involves swearing, strong drink and putting the stitches on the needle with a crochet hook. You can't understand why anyone in their right mind knits socks? That's fine. Don't knit them. Can't knit on DPNs to save your life? Cool, don't worry about it. Ribbing turns into moss stitch? Yep, it happens. Rip it back and have another go, no big deal. Sweaters take 12 months to knit and the darn sleeves are still too long? Roll 'em up. Who's looking? Love knitting in 100% acrylic? Yeah, go for it. It washes in the machine. Can't see the point in knitting a clapotis? No worries.
So, you hold your yarn in your right hand, in your left hand, round your fingers, hanging loose, wrapped round a pinky, round your neck, in your teeth, wrapped round a chair leg or has the cat run off with it again? Does your knitting look like you think it should? Yes? Cool, you're doing it right. Do you hold your needles like pencils, like dinner knives, like you're going to stab someone with one, under an arm, tucked under your belly or a boob, under both arms, stuck in a belt, waving all over, lever action, or tucked up close? Great. Carry on.
Anyone tells you you're doing it wrong, tell them where to get off. Knitting is all-inclusive, and it's a big world. There's plenty of room for everybody. If you're comfortable, and happy with the outcome, carry on regardless. Whether you drop your needle to throw the yarn or not.