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Mayday
10-12-2007, 09:07 AM
Has anyone ever sucessfully made the switch from English to Continental? I'm trying. After 10 years of knitting english, I want to learn continental, because it is faster in the end. But now it is sooooo ackquard! Has anyone done it and felt comfortable and it made their knitting fasater? I am just hoping if I keep up with it it will get better!

mayday

HamaLee
10-12-2007, 09:18 AM
Yep, I did. And I had the same problem switching but now knitting English feels very awkward for me. But then I'm left-handed so Continental just feels more natural for me.

I also mostly knit combined, b/c a traditional Continental purl is very clumsy for me. So I tend to purl combined, and knit tbl when doing stockinette. I knit combined with just about everything except involved lace and adjust increases/decreases as necessary when I approach them.

Good luck, just keep practicing! You'll find a way that works for you. If it helps, when I started making the switch I found the Norwegian purl to work much more smoothly for me than a traditional one. :thumbsup:

mrslevite
10-12-2007, 09:20 AM
Yes! I have! I used the Knitting Help videos. (Great website!) I caught on to the continental knit stitch pretty quickly. I thought I would never get the purl and even gave up on it for a while. Then I went back, looked at the video again and I could do it! Now I'm working on a pair of socks with a ribbed cuff and I can go back and forth with the knits and purls in continental style with no problems. I'm loving it!

Sheridan
10-12-2007, 09:22 AM
I lasted about two rows. The purl was my downfall. I still think its a great method and now that I am crocheting more I might find it easier.

If I ever have a daughter I think I will teach her continental from the start.

wandersfar
10-12-2007, 09:32 AM
Yup. I switched a couple months ago, and I have been noticing that my speed is increasing, especially when I don't have to purl. ;)

Mayday
10-12-2007, 09:42 AM
Wow you guys are fast to reply! I posted my question, got my daughter on the bus and came back and here you were! Thanks for the encouragement. Funny for me, I find the contintntal purl much easier then the knit. I will keep practicing and hopefully get at least as fast as I was with the english if not more! I also will make sure my kids learn continental knitting from the start. I have never heard of anyone switching from continental to english have you?

mayday

zkimom
10-12-2007, 10:32 AM
Wow you guys are fast to reply! I posted my question, got my daughter on the bus and came back and here you were! Thanks for the encouragement. Funny for me, I find the contintntal purl much easier then the knit. I will keep practicing and hopefully get at least as fast as I was with the english if not more! I also will make sure my kids learn continental knitting from the start. I have never heard of anyone switching from continental to english have you?

mayday

I didn't switch but I made myself learn how to knit English so I can eventually teach knitting -- I want to get certified as an instructor by the Craft Yarn Council.

My kids both learned English at school and I thought I'd give it a go so I sat in front of the computer and watched Amy's videos and made my dd sit with me and we knitted away til I got the hang of it -- didn't take me long.

I like knitting English especially if I am gartering. For some reason my garter comes out more even than when I knit Continental (go figure.) However, doing a rib in English is very awkward to me, having to pass the yarn back and front all the time. The first time I tried I ended up with yarnovers until I figured out what the heck I was doing wrong. I'll stick to Continental for that.

I am MUCH faster knitting stockinette in Continental but I do find knitting English relaxing. My gauge is tighter knitting English and that can be an advantage at times.

I like being able to knit English, Continental and Combined. I get to choose how I want to approach a pattern and the flexibility is nice.

I also realize that it does not matter which way one chooses to knit -- the important thing is that there is enjoyment in the process.

Best,
Susan

Mayday
10-12-2007, 10:38 AM
I also realize that it does not matter which way one chooses to knit -- the important thing is that there is enjoyment in the process.

Amen to that. Your post was very interesting to me. It's nice to hear all sides of the knitting story.

I was workng a alinen stitch in the english method when I realized that if I learned continental, this may go alot faster, as linen stitch is so slow anyway.

I'm excited to see which way I end up! At least I can say I know how to do both.

mayday

wandersfar
10-12-2007, 10:44 AM
As for learning English if you knit Continental, it's good for two-handed Fair Isle-ing (can hold one yarn in either hand).

That's why I learned Continental in the first place -- didn't want to deal with two yarns in my right hand.

Ellieblue
10-12-2007, 10:52 AM
I have knitted Continental forever but I thought I would try Amy's method for purling but I just couldn't get myself to pull down the thread with the middle finger. When I purl I just flip down the finger holding the yarn and pi9ck up the thread from there. I usually do a double wrap over that finger too. But you find your own way to purl and you'll do fine.:sun:Ellie

Ginnyb
10-12-2007, 10:58 AM
Yes I did and I am so glad that I did. I find it so much easier, especially to go from knit to purl in ribbing! It took a little practice, but once your hands get used to it it's easy!

Ginny

mrslevite
10-12-2007, 11:11 AM
I have knitted Continental forever but I thought I would try Amy's method for purling but I just couldn't get myself to pull down the thread with the middle finger. When I purl I just flip down the finger holding the yarn and pi9ck up the thread from there. I usually do a double wrap over that finger too. But you find your own way to purl and you'll do fine.:sun:EllieThat's what I do, too. On the video, the continental purl looked terribly awkward. I hold the thread at the end of my index finger and it's easy to push the thread down and then purl the stitch.

MrsDavis3
10-12-2007, 12:00 PM
Even Elizabeth Zimmerman, who knitted a la continent, said that purling was more difficult than knitting. Wiith English, I find both easy. I can knit continental if I need to, as with two color work, but the purling is IMPOSSIBLE!

Meg Swansen fascinates me because she can work the fingers of her left hand as if each one of them has its own brain! It's amAHzing to me!

Mayday
10-12-2007, 12:58 PM
I will have to try the purling method of just putting down the finger holding the yarn. It does feel weird to let go of the needle with my middle finger as my ring finger and pinky are so weak.

I also will try to wrap the yarn twice around my finger. I have a hard time holing the yarn the tension I like. Maybe that will help.

I haven't tried fair isle knitting yet. I'm glad to know knowing both methods of knitting will help if I ever make the leap!

I love all the tips here! Thanks for everyones help and encouragement! What an awesome forum this is!

Songbirdy
10-12-2007, 01:35 PM
I switched from English to Continental this past winter (I believe in January).

I was already fast... but now I find that I am producing a lot of FO's.

And I have to say, totally off topic, someone gifted me with an Option needle to try... now that is super slick! Wow! :yay::yay::yay::yay:

Knitting cables are fun on the Options!

Mayday
10-12-2007, 01:41 PM
Songbirdy,
How long do you think it took you to get a good pace going with continental after switching? I'm a fairly fast english knitter, but you can only get so far with having to throw the yarn over. I'm really hoping to get a good stride going soon witht continental.

Oh, and WTG with the new needles! Have fun with your cables!

mayday

rissa
10-12-2007, 02:08 PM
My dad taught me continental when I was a wee little one. It was difficult for my little fingers on my left hand to hold the yarn, the needle...and push those stitches to be knit up so close to the end I was afraid they'd fall off. I remember I was knitting a sweater in 2nd grade and I took it to school for show and tell...people were looking at it so much that there were several dropped stitches. Dad tried to fix it, but I just gave up...for over 20 years!

So, when I retaught myself to knit, I taught myself english style. And it worked for a while, but I started to get pain in my right shoulder from throwing the yarn. I complained to my dad and he retaught me to knit continental. And now I can knit so well continental I'll not go back to english, unless I do a fair isle project.

For a while I did my purls incorrectly, twisting the stitches and it created such a tight fabric, thus making it quite difficult to knit. Amy's videos helped me catch what my problem was there. I admit, her style of purling took a little while, but I was determined to figure it out, now my purls are just as quick as my knits. :woot:

wingem
10-12-2007, 02:29 PM
I learned English from my mother, I have tried continental because I was told It was faster, but I didn't find it faster, I thought it was quite akward and hard to switch from knit to purl. I will stick with english. I have viewed the videos and I don't drop the needle when I wrap the yarn. the needle rests on my thumb and I throw the yarn with my index finger, it is very easy to go from knit to purl. I have watched others knit and the only one that knits like me is my sister, go figure, my mother taught her also! My projects have always been even and smooth.

Songbirdy
10-12-2007, 03:09 PM
Songbirdy,
How long do you think it took you to get a good pace going with continental after switching? I'm a fairly fast english knitter, but you can only get so far with having to throw the yarn over. I'm really hoping to get a good stride going soon witht continental.

Oh, and WTG with the new needles! Have fun with your cables!

mayday

I think it probably took me a month.

One thing I found is that I really do have to hold my yarn a lot looser than I am used to as I tend to have to knit a needle size larger when knitting English style to hit gauge.

With my Continental I am pretty much bang on gauge with the recommended needle size.

But the whole 'feeding' of the yarn bit drove me bonkers.

So I simply cast on a number of "stuffie" blankets and knit off as much as I could a night. Stuffie Blankets are what my children use for their stuffed animals. Each stuffed toy requires a blanket... Naturally they must be knitted by Momma. I tried to pass off some machine serged fabric squares but they don't get used.

Anyhow. They are great for learning a new technique, cast on about 30 - 45 sts and just do whatever! Cast off when the blankie goes around the stuffie for whom it is designated!

I started by doing 1 blankie a night and ended after about 10. But I had finished two in that night so I figured I 'got' it.

Otherwise, I know what really taught me English knitting was making a large simple poncho knit in the round for my mother. The simple repetition is great and you don't have to put it down so once you are happy with your gauge you can knit until your bladder is a critical error stage... :teehee: This would be a great option to knitting blankies if your not in a position to have a use for these wonderful knitted items!

Best of Luck! :thumbsup:

Braden
10-12-2007, 03:12 PM
I made the switch a few months after I started knitting, and I have to say it was the best decision I ever made.

chrislt8
10-12-2007, 03:59 PM
I made the switch too, and found learning to purl the hardest - I had the darndest time learning to control tension with the purl. But, the more I did it the easier it became. I am about 3/4 through the IHS and that has been the best project to really solidify the skill for me. So much changing back and forth between knit and purl on each row - now it just feels natural and I don't even think about it anymore. I do like knowing how to do both, but often find when I am learning something new I revert to English for some reason - maybe because it slows me down and allows me to think/see the stitches before I am flying into them :shrug:

Mayday
10-16-2007, 09:57 AM
I just wanted to let you all know that I have officially made the switch now! thanks for all the encouragement to keep me going. I can now do it at least as fast as i was English knitting. I still drop a few more stitches that before, but that is getting better too! Anyone out thtere deciding if they should make the switch i say go for it!

mrslevite
10-16-2007, 10:02 AM
Congratulations! :yay:

meearnol
10-16-2007, 10:34 AM
I tried a few months back, got crazy frustrated, and gave up. I think I'll try again. I probably already know the answer to this, but I'm assuming if I've started a project in English, I should finish it in English, right?

cindygster
10-16-2007, 10:57 AM
My mom advised me to learn how to knit from this site as she had, and I only know how to knit Continental. I looove it because it seems like it goes so much faster than the English style I've seen in the videos here. I don't think I'll ever want to switch! :cheering:

merchgirl
10-16-2007, 11:18 AM
i too learned english style, last december. i kept trying to do continental, because i wanted to be faster and it just seemed it would be more comfortable, but i just couldn't get it. i kept trying though, and FINALLY about a month ago i was able to make the switch. i notice that i too knit a little tighter with english style, but i think i knit too tightly anyway, so continental helps me with that.

i wasn't able to do it the way amy does it in the videos on here; i use my pointer to do everything instead of my middle finger, but it's working better than english for me, so i'm happy for now. maybe eventually i will graduate up to using my middle finger for yarn control. and like others, i still feel a little clumsy switching back and forth from knitting to purling, but i tend to do a lot of stockinette and garter stitch, so i think i just need a bit more practice. it's still easier for me to purl continental than it ever was in english!!!

best of luck in switching over, i know it's made me a happier knitter!

~heidi

merchgirl
10-16-2007, 11:22 AM
oops, i just realized that i didn't see half of these posts before i replied! i am new to using forums, and i forget that you have to go to the last page to see the most recent entries. :wink:

congrats on successfully making the switch over!

~heidi

astonh
10-16-2007, 11:52 AM
I started out doing English knitting cause that was what the book I learned from showed. Still use that every know and then when I want to mix things up bit, but I moved over the Continental method and love it so much more. I knit a little faster (not much though...I'm just slow), seem to have a more even stitch and just plain like it.

Best of luck in your adventures to the Continental method of knitting.

mrslevite
10-16-2007, 01:17 PM
I tried a few months back, got crazy frustrated, and gave up. I think I'll try again. I probably already know the answer to this, but I'm assuming if I've started a project in English, I should finish it in English, right?Yes, finish with the style you started with. Tension will be different and it will be obvious . . . says the voice of experience. :roll: :mrgreen:

meearnol
10-16-2007, 01:28 PM
Thank you, Mrslevite. :)

Songbirdy
10-16-2007, 01:36 PM
Oh! Congratulations Mayday!

:yay::yay::yay::yay:

McKnitty
10-16-2007, 01:55 PM
All of the instructors at my LYS can knit either way, but prefer Continental. So, I took a Continental knitting class about a year ago, but it didn't 'stick'. I didn't feel the need to change, so I dropped it.

However, I recently was working on a 6' scarf, all ribbing, and half-way through the project my hands & wrists got so sore that I had to stop knitting for almost 3 weeks! I had pain in my fingers, hands, and wrists all the way to my elbows.

I had read or heard somewhere that Continental knitting is easier on your hands because there isn't as much movement. I decided to switch and found it to be true for me. There is less movement and stress, and my hands don't tire as quickly.

If you want to try Continental knitting, there are so many different ways to do it that surely you will be able to find a way that works for you.

(P.S. I now actually LIKE to purl!)

Mayday
10-16-2007, 02:38 PM
Thank everyone! I really have liked it. I would have done it years ago if I thought that I could break old habits. I just had to try it when it came to my linin stitch I was working on when it was just all about the back and forth, back and forth! It got really old in the english style. It is much faster with continental.

mayday