Continental Knitting

gemini40March 13, 2009

I was watching some videos on you tube about continental way of knitting and I tried it for a little bit. What surprise as to how fast you can knit doing it this way. I am going to continue to practice and I think I will eventually get the hang of it. Do any of you prefer this to the traditional way of knitting?

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I am not sure of the name of what I do, but one hand is starting to hurt a little, and I was thinking maybe I should try another way.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 6:29PM
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I can knit continental if I have to. It's great if you can do both, because that way if you do two color knitting, you can hold one color in each hand. Or in Socks's case, switch styles to relieve your hand. Just not in the same project if you are doing something special, because your gauge will probably be different.

Continental is holding your working yarn in the left hand, throwing the yarn with your (usually) left fore finger. English or US is holding/throwing with the right hand.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:32PM
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I can do both. As Tami said, it comes in really handy for two color knitting. I don't usually use it when I am making ribbing, because I do that much faster the "other" way. But for garter stitch I usually knit continental. If I am doing a straight piece in stockinette, I will use continental for the knit rows and another method for the purl rows. Whatever works, right?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 9:42PM
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Thanks, Tami. I'm US/English.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 9:07AM
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I was taught to knit the continental way, by my
Grandmother who had had a German nanny that taught her to knit, and I'm SO glad the nanny wasn't English....the Continental way seems, to me, much the quickest way to hands scarcely move....just a slight and quick turning of the left hand which wraps the yarn around the needle.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 9:56AM
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I always thought I knit wrong because I didn't "throw" my yarn..then I found out I knit continental. I can knit English...but only if I want to knit "backwards" on strait needles for a garter stitch and not purl. My only problem is that on socks I hold the yarn so tight I sometimes get cramps. I can't imagine knitting any other way, as "throwing" the yarn seems to be such a waste of time.


    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 10:22AM
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Moni was going to show me how to knit continental when we were at Sandy's last gathering, until she saw me knitting socks! Give me some good conversation, or some good bluegrass music (or any other fast beat that I like) or some kind of noise that is rythmic, and I go pretty fast for using the "right arm exercise" English method! I do sort of wish I had had her show me anyway, as I apparently purl backwards using continental. My stitches always get twisted.

I also find that if my hands start to bother me, if I change projects to something that is using a different size needle, say from a size two on socks, to a size 8 or 9 for a sweater or dishcloth, it helps. We belong to a local ethnic club, with a bar. Drinks are cheaper, especially since I drink mostly tap water! and the atmosphere is much, much nicer than a typical bar. I take my knitting with me. If I don't, I get yelled at! Everyone wants to know what I am knitting this time, is something else finished yet, ect. In fact, I am teaching a young lady to knit there, who saw me knitting socks last fall. She finally said I needed to teach her, but she doesn't have time. She works about 80 hours a week between two different jobs. She is almost always there on Sat. nights. Two weeks ago, I got her started. In an hour, she had about a four inch wide piece done about 1/12 inches long! Her stitches are a bit loose yet, and she was still holding her needles side by side, instead of one behind the other, but was improving by leaps and bounds! After she got the hang of it, I pretty much ignored her and talked to those around me until she had a question or a comment. Then I would look at her work, encourage and make suggestions and off she would be again. I found that if I did it that way, she wasn't as flustered being watched. Her mom kept standing behind her watching to tease her, and it drove her nuts! So once she figured out what she needed to do, I quit watching on purpose. If I needed to, I showed her something else, or thought of a different way to explain it to her, as I talked to others. She was really doing great. I think her goal is to learn socks. I know she will get there. And it won't take her long, either! But she better hurry, cause summer is coming and I won't be here as much to help her! If she wants to start socks before winter, I'll teach her to do a mini sock, so she learns to turn the heel and everything before I go.

Tami...who is teach english method!

    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 12:32PM
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I do. When I first learned, I tried the English method first. But it never clicked. Continental clicked almost immediately. I do still want to work on English though, so I can do both well.

I wonder why the children's kits that you see everywhere are all English style? My friend has a daughter who just got a scarf kit. They can't figure out how to do it, so she asked me to teach her daughter. Wondering if I will anger the "teach kids English style" Gods if I teach her "picking" instead of "throwing."

It took me a while to get the hang of purling as easily as knitting. I finally found some great youtube videos, and now I can pick my purls just as easily as the knits. I just had to figure out an efficient way to hold the yarn. (I also learned to purl while keeping the yarn in back. Fun! Though I don't use it--it involves a lot of figure 8 twisting. But so fun to try new things!)



    Bookmark   March 14, 2009 at 8:25PM
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I just saw someone knitting this way over the weekend and didn't know how she was doing that! I don't like to knit the "traditional way" so I think I may give this new technique a try. Thanks for educating me. I usually crochet.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 8:49AM
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One other thing about learning new techniques - it keeps your mind sharp! At a baby shower recently, where my gift was a knitted toy animal and I was wearing the first pair of socks I had knit and talking about learning another method to knit, a friend told me it sounds like better brain exercise than crossword puzzles!

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 5:33PM
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Oh yeah, that is what I will tell my husband when I knit hours on hours. I am exercising my brain!

Rebecca (who likes to throw her yarn)

    Bookmark   March 16, 2009 at 6:39PM
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for me, the traditional way to knit is continental. ;)

Learned it in 3rd grade.

Tami, you need to put the yarn around the needle the other way from what you are doing now, if your stitches come out twisted.

Do you have a web cam?

We could skype or MSN, and I show you. :)

Email me, through my page, if you lost my other addy.


    Bookmark   March 17, 2009 at 8:57PM
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Moni, I don't think I ever had your other email. I will have to try to set up my old web cam. I'm not sure it will work on this computer, tho. It's really old. If I can get it to work, I'll let you know. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:53AM
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does your addy have 427 in it? I mailed you. ;)


    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 1:31PM
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Yep, got your email, replied & got a reply!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 5:01PM
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