Helsingin yliopisto, Helsinki 2006
Oikein, nurin - miten Suomessa kudin.
Tutkimus neulonnan työotteista.
Pro gradu, toukokuu 2006.
Knit, purl - how people knit in Finland: a study of working grips of knitting
The aim of this work was to study what kind of working grips people use to knit in Finland and decide if one grip is superior to others. I investigated how knitters have adopted their grips and how they experience their knitting. I also explored whether it is possible to change one's grip. To provide a theoretical basis for the research I observed knitting in terms of culture, skill and ergonomics.
The first part of the study material comprised video recordings of the grips of 95 knitters together with background information collected via a questionnaire during the education of craft teachers at the University of Helsinki in spring 2004, 2005 and 2006. Using the data obtained I focused on three knitters, whose grip of the knitting needles clearly differed from the ergonomically good grip. In addition to them I interviewed one student, who had changed over to more ergonomic way of knitting after participating in the first part of this study. In this respect my study is a several events' case study. In order to analyse my data I used both qualitative and quantitative content analysis methods to complement each other.
Most of my research participants had learned to knit in first years of elementary school or comprehensive school. Almost everyone had adopted the basics of knitting by imitating, and many of them had corrected "incorrect" positions from verbal instructions. Through practice the imitated position had gradually become the style unique to each knitter. The findings showed that students' background in knitting is quite varied due to the diverse level of craft teaching. This is reflected in their knitting grips and their interest in knitting.
Students do not think that there is one right working grip. The most important thing is that working seems as fluent and relaxed as possible, at which point knitting is easy and flows freely. They often consider their own style so pleasing and well-functioning that they do not think there could be any room for improvement. This study pointed out that, while it is possible to change a knitter's working grip, there is a bigger challenge in acknowledging weaknesses in one's know how.
According to the results of my research, the most common working grip among Finnish knitters' corresponds with the grip that has been described as ergonomically good. Over one third of all participants knitted this way. Hands keep the knitting firmly but without tension. The forefinger that guides the yarn from the ball rests gently against the knitting needle, and the yarn goes in front of the first joint of the forefinger. The position of the hands and loops is the same as in the ergonomically good grip, i.e. the fingertips of both hands and the loops are near the tips of the knitting needles, so that the fingers only have to move small distances. When knitters purl and plain, they commonly pick up the yarn from the back of the knitting needle in the same way as when knitting. While researching the common features of working grips I have learned what abnormal grips are like. Although I recognized many different ways to knit, all the peculiar grips were modifications of the continental way of knitting. The results of this study give a clear picture of those points knitters should focus their attention on in order to gain a good hold of the needles.
Julkaisu on tekijänoikeussäännösten alainen. Teosta voi lukea ja tulostaa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.
© Helsingin yliopisto 2006
Viimeksi päivitetty 14.06.2006