Thursday, 15 July 2010

Knitting Technique

All my knitting 'career' I've been an English Knitter, throwing my yarn over the needles. It's how I was taught by Mum and Nana (who also taught my Mum, no doubt.)

But one of the girls in my spinning group gave me a crash course in Continental Knitting recently, and now I've switched right over. It's faster, and I have alot less tension in my hands and arms. I was finding my hand cramping up the English way!

I use this knit technique (and the second method of holding the yarn):

And after some you tubing around found this tutorial for purling, which I found the easiest to do:

I now find my hands are relaxed as I knit, and almost have that flowy crochet feeling. It was awkward to start with, but only because I had been doing it the other way for so long. I'm glad I persevered and made the switch.

I started with just the knit stitch, on an 'in the round project', or maybe a garter stitch project would be good. Then I attempted the purling on a k1p1 project, which was a little wonky and uneven, but my second k/p project had found me with more even tension. Now I don't think there's any difference, except maybe I'm a slightly looser knitter a good thing as I always used to knit too tight!

Which way do you knit?


  1. I'm just struggling through learning. I finally managed more than 1 stitch yesterday only to realise after about 5 stitches that I had somehow started knitting with the tail. I don't know how people can say knitting is relaxing!

  2. I'm not faster at Continental style yet but I wish I'd learnt it as a child as I agree it is alot more comfortable. I reverted to English style for the rib gloves I make for sale and a knitting competition in which I came 2nd equal, but I plan to spend spring practicing my Continental technique because I can see it will be faster in the long run. I teach my daughter and our neighbour the Continental technique.

  3. Now I'm going to have to make a video of how I knit. Left to right, left handed, always knitting back backwards, continental style but yarn in the right hand knitting with the left. It goes turbo fast and the only downside is you have to reverse the cable patterns. I find reading charts is easier because everything is left to right.

  4. Thanks for this. I've been reading Elizabeth Zimmerman's "Knitting Without Tears" and she recommends the Continental/European method, and also that looser is better than tighter. I don't think I understood her written instructions and diagrams but that video has sure clarified it for me. Cheers! :o)