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Tamar Dohel
03-23-2013, 08:00 AM
Dear knitters,

I'm not sure if I should post this here or in the Lounge but I want to share my story with as many knitters as possible.

While I've been away a lot from this forum I've been busy knitting, learning and practicing a new skill - continental knitting.

I am writing this to encourage all the English knitters out there who want to master continental - it's possible! I've done it! It may take some time and practice but most of all persistence. Don't give up and have plenty of hand rests between. Do little and often.

I still use my right hand for knitting 2 together, binding off, eyelets, increasing, etc. but for straight knit or purl rows I can change hands whenever I like.

Best advantage: seed stitch and ribbing
I now actually enjoy ribbing or seeding!

However, I must point out that none of this could have been achieved if it wasn't for Amy, the videos and all you supporting knitters. Thank you.

:muah: :cheering: :hug: :heart:

salmonmac
03-23-2013, 08:18 AM
Good for you! That's great to learn continental and to be able to do english too. I think that you'll find it very useful when you do colorwork as well.

AH1OZ
03-23-2013, 08:38 AM
yay!

I can't purl continental - i am a "combination" knitter... so while i purl with my left hand, i twist the stitches... i just can't figure out how to do it the proper way and do it as fast as I can!

my knitting speed doubled when i switched from english style to my combination style

Lizars1735
03-23-2013, 05:46 PM
Good for you. I also recently taught myself continental, but I can only do it with the Norwegian purl. I've managed to do a regular continental purl with a p2tog, though.

Also, as a note into my first venture in colorwork using both English and Continental I noticed that my English stitches were much tighter than my continental stitches, and I'm not sure what to do about it other than to practice and get the English looser. It is something to watch out for.

Jan in CA
03-23-2013, 05:55 PM
I learned both with the Noro striped scarf because its k1p1. It does make ribbing easier. I still use English primarily, but I use two hands for color work (fair isle) which makes that way faster and easier, too.

Good for you for learning another method. :thumbsup:

GrumpyGramma
03-23-2013, 06:27 PM
:thumbsup: Tamar!

I'm a Continental knitter who has learned English. My English stitches are looser than my normal Continental ones and that makes for less than satisfactory results with color work. I'll keep practicing and learn to hold the yarn English style so that I get better tension. There's a project I have my heart set on doing in Fair Isle. It was almost impossible for me to learn to purl English and haven't yet managed the Norwegian style.

offgridgirl
03-23-2013, 07:31 PM
I am also a continental knitter and have learned other techniques. I wear gloves which help. There are called handeze. I buy them smaller so that they are tight. They loosen as you go. I have learned to be a two hand-knitter but find it harder to do ribbing. I guess it's just what you get used to. :yay:

Marina1109
03-23-2013, 08:28 PM
I'm a Continental knitter.
I have tried English style but it seems so hard, and it seems to require more steps than Continental.
Last time I tried it (several weeks ago) it slowed me down so much,
and it seems like my hands had to work harder.
I gave up..... but I do occasionally try.
Maybe one of these days I'll have to patients to stick with it.

GrumpyGramma
03-23-2013, 08:38 PM
Marina, that's how I was! My motivation was wanting to be a"2-fisted knitter". I want to do the 2-hand color work. I've still got a lot of practicing to do before I can take on my special project. I know what you mean about more steps. Wrapping the yarn English just seems...I don't know, an unnecessary motion or something. I've blamed it on crocheting before knitting. Thank goodness we can each knit the way we feel most comfortable.

ABC's Mom
03-24-2013, 07:11 AM
I am an English style knitter. I'd like to learn the continental style, but am leary of it messing with the tension when I go back to English.
I naturally picked up the English as being a lefty and learning to crochet before learning to knit, holding my working yarn in my right hand comes more natural to me. I know it's much faster to knit the other way but I don't want to take the time away from all the things I want to make to learn the Continental style.
Maybe some day!!

Antares
03-24-2013, 09:58 AM
I normally hold the yarn in my left hand--whichever method that is (I can't ever remember and telling me won't help 'cause I'll promptly forget again); I learned crochet first, and so this method feels the most natural. However, I'm right-handed. When doing colorwork knitting and holding a strand in each hand, I often find it amusing that my usual brilliant right hand hasn't a clue what it's supposed to do. It's forced to humble itself and take a cue from the (normally STOOOOPID) left hand. (I think I've even caught my left hand making mocking, obscene gestures at my right hand--it has to get even somehow, you know!)

GrumpyGramma
03-24-2013, 11:19 AM
For me, my Continental tension hasn't been affected by learning to knit English. As for speedy knitting, there are English knitters who go really fast. So, if you want to learn Continental one day, great! If you don't, no problem! Enjoying knitting is what matters.

AngelaR
03-24-2013, 12:17 PM
I still rely on Amy's videos when something is just not going well for me. They have saved many a project from me. And no, that is not bad grammar.

IslandTime
03-24-2013, 12:30 PM
I learned, English style, from my Mom before I started school. Years ago I used to knit, and my mil knit continental style. She was like a darned machine!! I'd never seen it done before and couldn't believe my eyes. Her fingers just flew! She used to crank out fo's like her needles were on fire lol. She thought my way was slow and had a lot of unnecessary "flopping around". When I returned to knitting last year, after more than a 20 year absence, I decided it was a good time to change to continental, since I could hardly remember how to k or p anyway - great opportunity, right? :p Ha! No way were those left fingers going to participate. I did give it a pretty good try, but their job apparently is to hold the left needle, nothing more.... English seemed so easy, after I stopped batting my head against the continental wall. Congrats to all you ambidextrous knitters - I think you should have some kind of exclusive club, or badge or something ;)

Jan in CA
03-24-2013, 02:00 PM
One method is not better than another. Whether you're fast with either method depends on how you wrap and tension the yarn, plus your natural speed. I've seen continental knitters throw the yarn rather than tension it. I've seen English knitters super fast. I was a crocheter who found English was easier so it's personal preference. Now I can knit both ways.

Paulaque
03-24-2013, 03:37 PM
ROFLMAO no kidding, obscene gestures, roaring with laughter!:roflhard:

GrumpyGramma
03-24-2013, 05:27 PM
I normally hold the yarn in my left hand--whichever method that is (I can't ever remember and telling me won't help 'cause I'll promptly forget again); I learned crochet first, and so this method feels the most natural. However, I'm right-handed. When doing colorwork knitting and holding a strand in each hand, I often find it amusing that my usual brilliant right hand hasn't a clue what it's supposed to do. It's forced to humble itself and take a cue from the (normally STOOOOPID) left hand. (I think I've even caught my left hand making mocking, obscene gestures at my right hand--it has to get even somehow, you know!)


I want a ROFL button!
I understand. You know, I bet thre are English knitters who hold the yarn in the right hand sometimes feel similarly about trying to knit Continental. Obscene gestures...:roflhard: So glad there really are no knitting police!

Lizars1735
03-24-2013, 05:42 PM
Definitely ROFL, Antares. I totally hear you though. When I switched to continental, my left hand had no clue, and now I think my right hand has no clue.
And I just came back from a visit with my niece and nephews where my right handed 11-year-old niece has learned how to knit, kinda backwards (through the back loop). I didn't say anything. Figured if all the stitches were that way it works out.
I then proceeded to attempt to teach my left handed 7 year old nephew how to knit, left handed, English style. I'm right handed. I still don't know whether we were wrapping the yarn in the right direction. I couldn't think of how to do it, I could only do it. Even though I can theoretically do it with both hands.
So, I've come to the conclusion that as far as knitting goes, it really doesn't matter if one hand knows what the other is doing. As long as it works, go with it!

ArtLady1981
03-24-2013, 06:16 PM
:cheering: Congrats! It's always a wonderful thing when we broaden our skills!

Jan in CA
03-24-2013, 07:20 PM
Lizar, I think I would have told the 11 yr old what she was doing. It is a stitch, bit it twists it and if she continues she'll have to do the purl differently which will be combination knitting.

It's great they are learning!

GrumpyGramma
03-24-2013, 08:06 PM
Lizar, I think I would have told the 11 yr old what she was doing. It is a stitch, bit it twists it and if she continues she'll have to do the purl differently which will be combination knitting.

It's great they are learning!


Yeah, I think so too. I wouldn't say they're doing it wrong but point out it is different and gives a different result, that it's good to know how because sometimes that's the way you want to do it but it twists the stitches and usually you don't want that.

Lizars1735
03-24-2013, 08:44 PM
Lizar, I think I would have told the 11 yr old what she was doing. It is a stitch, bit it twists it and if she continues she'll have to do the purl differently which will be combination knitting.

It's great they are learning!

Yeah, I think so too. I wouldn't say they're doing it wrong but point out it is different and gives a different result, that it's good to know how because sometimes that's the way you want to do it but it twists the stitches and usually you don't want that.

You both have a really good point. Unfortunately, my niece lives across the country, and I'm not sure when I'll be getting together next with her. I'll probably send the link to the knit stitch video from this site to her.