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TrueIconoclast
01-04-2011, 09:18 PM
I am an English knitter, but I've been thinking of learning continental knitting as well. But before I invest my time in learning something new, I have to ask, what are the benefits to continental knitting over English knitting? And vice versa? Is it good to know both, or is it more for novelty?

Also, I know I've been posting a lot of threads and asking a lot of questions. I hope I haven't been over-doing it. (P.S. - I also ran a search through the forums to see if anyone had posted this before me, I didn't find any recent ones, but I'm sorry if this question is redundant.)

Jan in CA
01-04-2011, 09:46 PM
There are tons of posts about english vs continental. They both equally good and it's good to know both for things like stranded knitting. Some people claim continental is faster and it may be for some, but I've seen english knitters knit like the wind, too. Do what works for you.

CoolWool
01-04-2011, 11:40 PM
Also, I know I've been posting a lot of threads and asking a lot of questions. I hope I haven't been over-doing it. (P.S. - I also ran a search through the forums to see if anyone had posted this before me, I didn't find any recent ones, but I'm sorry if this question is redundant.)


Never apologize for posting new threads, Silly! It's a forum. GO FOR IT. Besides, it gives me new posts to read. :wink:

I do English and have no desire to learn the other method. I can't think of how it would be beneficial to just confuse myself further. ha But if you're curious, give it a shot. You can always change your mind later, and go back to the RIGHT WAY. heh heh J/K

knitcindy
01-05-2011, 10:43 AM
I know how to do both methods. I enjoy using Continental for 90% of my projects and it works GREAT. However, I use the English way when I'm teaching someone new to knit AND when I'm using plush or chenille type yarns.

Those types of yarns are harder (for me) to use in my left hand because they don't move as smoothly through my fingers.

I would NEVER say one way is "right" or "wrong" or better than another way. It all depends on what each individual is comfortable with. If you're at all curious about it, go ahead and investigate it. Try it out for about 2-3 weeks. If it works, GREAT. If not, go back to English.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained!!!!!
knitcindy

Jeremy
01-05-2011, 11:59 AM
I have taught Continental to people with repetitive motion problems who have pain with English style. There is more economy of motion in Continental and less wear and tear on the wrists.

TrueIconoclast
01-05-2011, 04:11 PM
I think I'll officially learn (or at least try) the Continental method, at least to see if it's easier. I don't get pain in my wrists from English method, but who's to say that won't happen later on down the road?

Thanks everyone! :)

trvvn5
01-06-2011, 10:15 AM
I switched from English to Continental and I must say that I like it a lot better. I think its realy good to know how to do both though.

crazykntter83
01-06-2011, 11:22 PM
I've always used the continental method, before I even knew what it was. For me, it just flows a lot better. I really don't know why, it just does. Just give it a try whenever you feel like you'd be comfortable trying it, and if it works for you that's great. If not, just go back to the method that is most comfortable for you.

TrueIconoclast
01-06-2011, 11:40 PM
For me, it just flows a lot better. I really don't know why, it just does.

That's actually why I wanted to try the continental method - the videos I watched on KH seemed like the knitting was going a lot quicker, with fewer "finger acrobatics", and with less motion. It drives my boyfriend crazy when I knit in bed at night when he's trying to sleep; he says that when I really start to get into it the bed shakes like there's an earthquake from me throwing the yarn (I think that's what it's called - when I wrap the yarn around my right needle) lol. Continental method just seems more fluid, and maybe also easier on the joints. I never get joint pain (I'm 20), but I want to lessen the damage as much as possible so that I don't have to give up knitting when I get older from arthritis.

crazykntter83
01-07-2011, 02:37 AM
Well, it sounds like you should really give continetal knitting a try. With continental, you basically just let the needle do all of the work for you. To me, it's just what makes the most sense. It just seems odd to me to have the yarn in the same hand that you're holding you're knitting needle. But that's just me. :)

blueygh2
01-07-2011, 05:13 AM
I switched from english to continental as well, and I like the purling much better. Foremost, it's quite easier to switch from knit to purl,...

But as others said, it's good to know both.

As for me, I knit faster when doing continental.

hyperactive
01-07-2011, 06:13 AM
Just to add a voice:

I knit Continental. I LOVE it.
At first sight I thought that English knitting was awkward, strange and very slow. Then I looked closer: some people DO whip that yarn around. And yes, there are terribly slow Continental knitters as well. So what works best for you is your way.

For me, after having tried English but not becoming a good English knitter, no way, Continental is my choice still because if feels "right". But looking over the line to English has gotten me understanding better.

I think that for my way of knitting it feels ergonomic, effortless, fast, secure, done blindly...

So: Whatever you do: find YOUR way, even if that means that you constantly switch by mood. Some do that and feel happy.

trvvn5
01-12-2011, 05:20 PM
I switched from english to continental as well, and I like the purling much better. Foremost, it's quite easier to switch from knit to purl,...

But as others said, it's good to know both.

As for me, I knit faster when doing continental.

I knit ridiculously faster in Continental than I do in English. I would say that I go probably 2 to 3 times faster with Continental.

But thats just me. I've seen some English knitters that throw that yarn so fast they could easily beat me in a speed contest.

Woodi
01-12-2011, 06:03 PM
I was taught the English method in childhood, over 50 years ago (my has it been that long?!)....but lately, with arthritis setting into my fingers, I gave continental a try, just so my usual muscles and bones could move differently, get some rest.

I find the continental is more like crocheting, cuz you grab a loop, pull it through...it allows my right elbow and shoulder a rest. It's nice to have a choice, when arms and fingers get tired.

fatoldladyinpjs
01-27-2011, 11:41 AM
I think Continental is faster and puts less strain on the wrist. I used to be a Continental knitter but have now switched to Eastern knitting. This is used in South American, Eastern Europe, and Arab countries. What I like about it is that it gives you even tension. The yarn is always in the back of the needles, even for purling, so you always keep a steady tension on the yarn. There's not much online written about it. Here's a great site that I learned it from.
http://azazello.org/nataliaknits/

TekoaKnits
01-27-2011, 02:32 PM
he says that when I really start to get into it
the bed shakes like there's an earthquake
from me throwing the yarn...

I never get joint pain (I'm 20),
but I want to lessen the damage as much as possible
so that I don't have to give up knitting
when I get older from arthritis.

:roflhard: I've done that too! My poor husband... teehee.

I'm 23 and just now started having incredible pain my elbow and shoulder from knitting too much (RSI-Repetitive Stress Injury). I also knit the English way, "throwing the yarn", because it's easier for me. I've also tried Continental but it didn't stick because I was so used to the other way. I heard that the Continental method is easier on the joints. So after I finish my socks I'm going to change over. I've been knitting since I was 6, so hopefully I won't have to give up knitting - what else will I do in my spare time?

The Continental method is also more fluid and once you get the hang of it, takes less time to make the stitches.
Like others have said, take a few weeks and try it. You won't know how you like it until you've tried!
Good luck!

KatzKnitter
02-01-2011, 01:13 AM
I'm doing English, and I know it's inefficient. It really does take me twice as long as my friends who knit continental. I have a problem trying to purl. I go through all sorts of contortions and usually drop the stitch or purl it through the wrong loop and too tightly. I've watched any number of videos and tried to imitate them. Is it possible that short fingers would make continental difficult? And I'm not joking.

suzeeq
02-01-2011, 01:17 AM
Continental purling seems to be harder than english purling for a lot of people so it may not be easier for you. Try it and see if it works better for you, or try to watch a bunch of english purling videos to see if you're doing it the right way, or for ways to hold your yarn differntly.

crazykntter83
02-01-2011, 01:47 AM
I knit continentally and I had a really hard time learning the purl stitch. I finally got the hang of it about a month ago, and here's my method of it....hope it helps some...

First of all, I wrap the yarn around my pinkie and let it slide my index finger.
Next, I hold the yarn behind the stitch that I'm going to be working with my index finger, to make sure that it stays in place.
I insert my needle into the stitch, backwards from how I would have it for the knit stitch.
Last, I let the yarn "pop" from my index finger, and grab the yarn with my needle.

Hope this helps a little. I've though about making a video of my method, because it took me so long to understand it, and wonder if I could help anyone with the problems that I've had...

KatzKnitter
02-01-2011, 01:58 AM
Continental purling seems to be harder than english purling for a lot of people so it may not be easier for you. Try it and see if it works better for you, or try to watch a bunch of english purling videos to see if you're doing it the right way, or for ways to hold your yarn differntly.

I am absolutely doing English the right way, but it's obviously inefficient for most of us who are not speed knitters. You're dropping the needle, wrapping the yarn, then stitching, 3 processes.

KatzKnitter
02-01-2011, 02:00 AM
I knit continentally and I had a really hard time learning the purl stitch.... I've though about making a video of my method, because it took me so long to understand it, and wonder if I could help anyone with the problems that I've had...

I would gladly watch your video. :yay: Most of the videos are made by pro knitters who have been doing it forever, and they make it look so easy. But I wonder if it also depends on how dexterous you are with your left hand.

crazykntter83
02-01-2011, 02:32 AM
That could be it. I'll have to try making a video. I'm wondering if I could successfully do one with a webcam. I will have to try it when I get home....right now we're at my girlfriend's Mom's house waiting out the storm because we're afraid that we'll lose power. We also have a heater that doesn't heat our apartment too well. Her Mom's house has an excellent heater and a fireplace, so either way it goes, we won't be freezing to death! :)

KatzKnitter
02-01-2011, 02:52 AM
I will have to try it when I get home....right now we're at my girlfriend's Mom's house waiting out the storm because we're afraid that we'll lose power. We also have a heater that doesn't heat our apartment too well. Her Mom's house has an excellent heater and a fireplace, so either way it goes, we won't be freezing to death! :)

You'll have to stay through Wednesday. Plenty time to buy food, it's not supposed to hit till early AM. I guess you don't go barefoot in your apartment the way I do.

You're just north of my friend in Moore, OK.

Some people use a webcam, others find it's easier with someone filming them. The most important things are good lighting and good closeup shots. And I see most people use large needles and bright yarn to show each stitch, or even a new color to show the current row.

crazykntter83
02-01-2011, 03:10 AM
We're in Tulsa, and it's already hit. There's ice and all that lovelyness outside already. We're supposed to get at least a foot of snow, last I heard.
Oh believe me, I go barefoot in my apartment. I'm hot natured, and for some reason I like the feeling of my feet being free. They don't really like to be enclosed in things.
I'll definitely use bigger needles and bright colored yarn. I have plenty of it, because I love bright colors. :)

KatzKnitter
02-01-2011, 03:48 AM
Yeah, just hit NY, ahead of schedule, as it's 2:30 AM here. We've had 56" of snow since Christmas, and we usually average 22" for the whole winter. I hope your friend's house is cozy. Knit some socks today.

I wear socks all year round, crews and peds in the summer, knee socks in winter because I can't wear wool slacks. Today I bought a round needle for flat knitting just to get the feel of it, a #8 in 16". I think for English it's not any faster than straights. If I really hate it after a few days, I'll skip the socks before I invest in yarn.

Jan in CA
02-01-2011, 03:54 AM
I don't have a video of ME knitting, but I knit english like this one -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxuKeg3PQJw

I've gotten the motion down where it's really pretty fast.

suzeeq
02-01-2011, 10:31 AM
I am absolutely doing English the right way, but it's obviously inefficient for most of us who are not speed knitters. You're dropping the needle, wrapping the yarn, then stitching, 3 processes.

You'll get more efficient if you don't drop the needle. Watch some videos by different english knitters on youtube and find a way to hang on to the needle and wrap the yarn. Don't look at the How To ones, they're slow and awkward; the one Jan linked to is a pretty good one.

KatzKnitter
02-01-2011, 10:54 PM
Good.

How did you make out with the storm? It was icy here this morning, but mostly melted now.

Mazie
02-02-2011, 02:11 AM
Try the Russian type of knitting, simply perfect for those of us with short fingers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKO2iqdBPSU
Ravelry has a forum on Russian knitting that is slightly different than this but this is the video I used to learn this type of knitting and won't/can't knit knit English or Continental. Won't do one, can't do the other.
I find this is the fastest way for me and I want to share it with as many as possible.

KatzKnitter
02-02-2011, 02:19 AM
That looks like continental to me.

Mazie
02-02-2011, 02:30 AM
It is a form of continental, Gurmperina knits this way and calls it 'Combined' and Modeknit does a version, as well, that she also calls 'combined, but they are each slightly different. I do the Gurmperina version. She also has really good videos. There are maybe 8 or 10 ways to knit, even backwards..... ;-)

Adding video link for Grumperina's way of knitting....
http://www.grumperina.com/videos.htm

suzeeq
02-02-2011, 10:30 AM
Continental isn't just holding the yarn in the L hand. It and english style are called 'western' knitting because the sts are formed so the front leg is closest to the tip of the needle. Russian and combined are 'eastern' knitting because the purls are wrapped 'backwards' or scooped and the back leg is closest to the tip of the needle, so you have to knit into that leg to keep from twisting the sts. If you don't and knit into the front leg, it's called Eastern crossed because the sts are twisted. There's other markers that differentiate them too, but you can read about that on Annie Modesitt's site (http://www.anniemodesitt.com) or the link to Grumperina's.

KatzKnitter
02-02-2011, 05:16 PM
Wow, you're good!

I'm going to practice from Jan's video of Kelly (and the dog). I've done Western for years, and the Russian will just confuse me.

Ice here in NY last night, Suzee. And I hear you had 14" of snow there, most unusual for OK. :( Did you lose power?

suzeeq
02-02-2011, 06:13 PM
You've got me confused with another suzee, I'm in Wyoming. We got down to -20 this morning and yesterday morning, no snow. The most we got at any one time was 7-10" New Years Eve; otherwise we only get 2-4" at a time. I'm in the dry part of the state where storms seem to go either to the north or south of us.

KatzKnitter
02-02-2011, 06:42 PM
Just checked back in this thread. That was Crazyknitter, not you. Sorry.

crazykntter83
02-03-2011, 02:14 AM
Hi! :) Yeah I'm crazykntter, aka Jen. I think we got over a foot, but I'm not entirely sure. We haven't lost power, thankfully. We've, obviously, been stuck in the house for the past few days lol. Which is fine by me, because I've been working on my first sock, and playing on the computer. :)