And while I've knitted in public since, it wasn't in situations where anyone would watch me knit - filk rooms and panel rooms at cons, or on the bus. I couldn't even tell you who among the fannish knitters knit continental or, um, the other way that my hands simply won't do. So, I really had no idea.
For that matter, I wasn't in a position where I could see I was doing it wrong and correct it myself.
Then I was reading Grumperina's knitblog and she wrote about the binding off process she used for her father's socks. And it included a wholly unfamiliar abbreviation - TBL. So I looked that up on Google. It means "through the back loop" - and I looked at that, and I thought, "But that's how I do it!"
That is, I inserted the right needle into the back of the loop on the left needle when I knit. That's how I did that entire scarf. The stitches looked just fine - my mother saw it and was only positive. Logically, though, if there's a special abbreviation for that technique, it's not the standard one.
So, back to the net. And the net is such an amazing, useful tool. I found what I needed very quickly.
Apparently, the correct way to knit - it gives, I suppose, the correct twist to the loop - is to insert the right needle left to right in the front of the loop before knitting the stitch.
Now, as it happens, I was making a swatch because I had to rip the sock back and I wanted to start again using the proper needles - the bamboo size 0s that arrived while I was away, as opposed to the metal size 1s. (It feels like I'm knitting with toothpicks, but it's an improvement anyway.) I finished purling the row I was doing (and apparently I was doing *that* correctly - I checked) and started knitting the eensy weensy stitches according to the pictures on about.com, and it came quickly enough that I believe I had been taught correctly and had forgotten. I maybe should have practiced using worsted and larger needles, but, you know. This was already available.
I got my gauge (8 st/inch, just as Wendy says. Loose knitters of the world, unite!) and instead of ripping the swatch, I just snipped it off. It's already been ripped two or three times, and I don't think the wool can handle more. The toe is taking shape, and I think knitting correctly has made a difference. We will see.