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View Full Version : Switching from English to Continental? Recommended?


boo1
11-19-2007, 11:21 AM
I love to knit but I hate the slow pace. (I'm used to crochet, that, while boring, moves much faster).

Wondering if anyone has switched and how difficult it was to do so.


Thanks!

knitncook
11-19-2007, 11:41 AM
I can knit both, but do a sort of combination of the two. I still hold my yarn in my right hand but I pick at it rather than wrapping. It's easier to show than write about. I'm much slower with continental, but only because I've been knitting English for so long. If you are a fairly new knitter you may be able to pick it up faster without all the built in memory of 30 years of English knitting holding you back :) You also build up speed the longer you knit.

boo1
11-19-2007, 11:54 AM
I am a fairly new knitter. I spent years crocheting, and that is supposed to make it easier to knit continental. But I haven't found very much *easy* about knitting.

I ordered a DVD, I'll see how it goes!


thanks again,
Laura

MomofAlex
11-19-2007, 12:34 PM
I switched a little over a year ago after a long hiatus away from knitting, and feel that I knit much closer to gauge knitting continental. It just took a little concentration in the beginning but wasn't difficult to adjust, and the results are definitely worth it.

alleusion
11-19-2007, 12:42 PM
I am a fairly new knitter. I spent years crocheting, and that is supposed to make it easier to knit continental. But I haven't found very much *easy* about knitting.

I ordered a DVD, I'll see how it goes!


thanks again,
Laura

I crocheted for years and years and taught myself to knit about 9 years ago, but didn't really do anything with it until a year ago. I took a sock class and the instructor knit continental and offered to show how it was done. I agree that in the beginning it takes some concentration and it's slow and awkward at first. However, if you have someone that can show you, or you can learn easily off of videos, then I highly recommend it.

I knit much much faster and the tension is more even than it is when I knit English. Purling is still a struggle for me though. I switch back and forth between continental and English for when I have to purl. You'll find the style that suits you best, but no harm done if you try it and find you don't like it.

Wanda Witch
11-19-2007, 01:10 PM
I am so glad to read the above replies to the question of switching from English to Continental style of knitting. I began knitting the English way many years ago and years went by before very recently I decided to take up knitting once more. I am going to 'try' and learn the Continental style - after my current project (a sweater/jacket) is completed. I saw a video of the Continental knitting,Finnish, and it looked easier - but did not see one for the purl stitch. No harm in trying and maybe this old dog can indeed learn new tricks. I will be interested in reading how 'alleusion' fares with the Continental method. Good luck.

aprildavis99
11-19-2007, 03:54 PM
I crocheted for years before I decided to learn to knit. I found that knitting was so hard because it required me to hold the yarn in my right hand whereas I held it in my left hand to crochet. After 2 years of struggling on and off with learning to knit, I found knittinghelp.com and found out you can knit holding the yarn in the left hand (it even had a name---Continental) After finding that out, I taught myself how to knit almost over night!:yay:

I wouldn't say Continental is quicker than English...I've seen some English knitters who are blindingly fast, but I would say that I definitely learned quicker using Continental. I think knitting is always going to be slower than crochet no matter which style you use. I do find that if I need something made quickly or if it's a rather large piece..like an adult sized afghan...I'll use crochet. Smaller, more intricate things, I use knit. ;)

Jeremy
11-19-2007, 04:02 PM
Here are some helpful threads:
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=68541&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66643&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63757&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=63348&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62684&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=62193&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61694&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61575&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=58050&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=54554&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=49753&highlight=Continental+knitting
http://www.knittinghelp.com/forum/showthread.php?t=48630&highlight=Continental+knitting
These are just some of the threads from the past year. We like this topic, a lot:)

Limey
11-19-2007, 06:02 PM
Hiya Boo

I knitted the English method for a few years and then thought I'd try knitting Conti.

It took a little while but I can knit Conti if it's something circular like a baby hat but the Conti purl I found awkward.

Anyway, I thought I'd try knitting a small cardigan using Conti Knit and English Purl. I don't like the result at all - the surface looks uneven on the right side.

If you go to my post lower down - Purl Pick-Up with Pix - you'll see a photo of a button band. Look closely at the knitting to the right of it, it's very uneven.

Serves me right for trying to get the easiest of both worlds! :frog:

I think it's a good idea though, to try and learn to knit both ways, you're using different sets of muscles, instead of just the same movement over and over again and not changing at all.

Good Luck!

All the Best

Mayday
11-19-2007, 06:08 PM
I made the switch about a month ago. I am really glad I did. It was so slow and ackward at first, but now I am much faster than I coculd have ever hoped to be english style knitting. I still bind off the old english way though. Ribbing is so fast now! I love it.

mayday

Becky Morgan
11-19-2007, 06:52 PM
Try it. If you don't like it, the knitting police aren't gonna come get you:teehee: I crocheted first, too, and it's just easier for me to knit with the yarn in my left hand. If you want to make stockinette go really fast, knit continental in the round and keep your stitches mounted so you're knitting tbl and not twisting them. Your hands barely move and it makes the rows fly off the needles.

Miley384
11-19-2007, 07:33 PM
I switched from English to continental two days ago! It is a lot faster and easier, I think. I do both though; It depends on my mood which style I want to do. I have noticed that when I knit continental style, my stitches are even! I am happy about that. You should learn continental. I think you would like it! ;)

swamp_deb
11-19-2007, 07:49 PM
I think you have to find the style that you like the best, any change will feel strange in the beginning so take your time to explore what works best for you. I started out with crochet, taught myself to knit around 30 years ago and didn't like it too much. Since picking it up again a couple of years ago, I'm having a ball. I always hold my knitting yarn in the right hand and have recently been knitting combination ala Annie Modesitt and love how it's looking. :woot:

wholycow
11-19-2007, 08:03 PM
Where can I find out the difference between the two? Havn't a clue what form I'm using...However knitting for me is a way to slow down,and be more patient,so the speed isn't the issue,it's harmony,zen like ommmmmmmm.cloud9

Howdovely
11-19-2007, 08:26 PM
I started knitting about two years ago and was taught the English way. After about a week, I found knittinghelp.com videos and saw that Continental might be faster. I immediately switched and haven't looked back. Since I was still in the awkward phase of the English way, I didn't have to 'unlearn' it. I was awkward either way! Now, it goes so fast even the woman who taught me English is AMAZED and wants to switch over.

auburnchick
11-19-2007, 08:59 PM
I switched...oh, I guess it was late spring, or so. I tried last year but gave up. Then, for some reason, it clicked the second time. The first project I did was a dishcloth...simple pattern. Then, I made the Black Sheep booga bag. It was so repetitive that it gave me time to get used to the rhythm of Continental. Plus, the felting helped hide the difference in my tension along the way.

Good luck to you!

wholycow
11-19-2007, 10:19 PM
Found the two styles on the video...should have looked before I asked..I really need to visit here more often with the wealth of info.

Mayday
11-20-2007, 09:03 AM
Don't worry about asking before you had a chance to look around. So which way are you? Did you find out?

mayday

Howdovely
11-20-2007, 01:52 PM
I switched...oh, I guess it was late spring, or so. I tried last year but gave up. Then, for some reason, it clicked the second time. The first project I did was a dishcloth...simple pattern. Then, I made the Black Sheep booga bag. It was so repetitive that it gave me time to get used to the rhythm of Continental. Plus, the felting helped hide the difference in my tension along the way.

Good luck to you!
Good idea about doing a felting project while learning to knit!

kemp
11-20-2007, 02:07 PM
I am a fairly new knitter. I spent years crocheting, and that is supposed to make it easier to knit continental. But I haven't found very much *easy* about knitting.

I ordered a DVD, I'll see how it goes!


thanks again,
Laura

I knew how to crochet before knitting and continental definitely seemed easier to me when I was learning. Just try it and see what you think!