I really don't remember learning to knit, I know it was before starting school because my first real memory about knitting is my Grandmother's amazement at the way the school had shown me as the way to knit - I know now that they were teaching the English throwing method - she dismissed it as rubbish, new-fangled and worst of all the method lack tension. She wasn't a lady to argue with so I immediately forgot the teacher's instructions and continued knitting my way.
At school once I had established that I could knit and didn't need the attention of the teacher I was left alone to my method of knitting and churned out cotton dishcloths by the dozen. Having mastered knitting, purling, increasing and decreasing my Great Aunt took over from my Grandmother as my knitting guru.
She was a maiden aunt, she'd had offers of course but none ever came up to her exacting standards, so she lived a relatively free life, driving around Hampshire in an open topped car and playing bowls for the County. A sort of lady of leisure except for the hundreds (or was it thousands) of pairs of socks she knitted for her father's business. Great Grandfather was a master tailor, just has his father, before him and his father's father for time immemorial - literally! I have researched my family history and for at least ten generations the family had been tailors in Oxford, generally marrying the daughters to cordwainers (shoemakers) thus keeping most of the under-graduates warm and well shod!
Once I had proved, to her satisfaction, that I was fairly adept at knitting she taught me to knit socks - not fancy ones, but plain socks top-down with a neatly turned heel, finished off with Kitchener Stitch. Perhaps because she was such a good teacher that I have never feared that stitch and can happily join any number of stitches.
That was it really, I knitted in a certain way and never gave a thought to the whys and wherefores until I became friends with the Swiss wife on a Austrian chef. Her method of knitting was so different to mine - she held the yarn in the left hand, I held mine in my right, she knitted from left to right, I went from right to left - this meant that we couldn't share patterns and as neither of us were prepared to try the other's method we agreed to differ and spent many happy hours chatting and producing yards of knitted fabric. I realise now that she was a continental knitter of sorts. Over the years I saw many other knitters but none knitted as I did until I met Sarah - total amazement!
She told me that I 'lever knitted' which is sometimes called pivot knitting or Irish Cottage knitting! I had thought my method was a form of English throwing, but apparently not - this was a style all of its own and was/is/had been used by those who knitted to survive - the English throw was designed by 'ladies' who wanted to show their skill but didn't need any speed.
Since this revelation I did some research into the different forms of knitting and found that nearly everyone was accrediting my way of knitting to an American women who based her style on her Irish grandmother - but in every case it was referred to as her style. But strangely she held her index finger out at angle that look so uncomfortable I can't imagine wanting to knit for very long like it!
There are numerous videos on YouTube (just Google 'lever knitting') and you will what I mean - there you will see women gasping in amazement at a style of knitting that is as old as time and not some innovative method that will transform the world of knitting. But I can understand why some continental knitters are amazed - picking or continental knitting is fine if you knit in round and only do knit stitches, the purl stitch is a nightmare and if you want to purl into the back of a stitch be prepared to spend lifetime perfecting it! I even found a video of lever knitting the continental way - why?
In fact if you look into the history of knitting you will find that there are nearly as many ways of making a knotted fabric (for that's what knitting is all about) as there are people, no one way is right, but the world's fastest knitter knits my way!
My advice - don't reinvent the wheel, its already been done!