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View Full Version : Contintal purl - What is this madness?


Susan1006
08-09-2008, 07:12 PM
I am an English Knitter or maybe more correctly American knitter, but I am always up for new things and I have been trying to learn Continental Knitting. However... I can knit, but I can't purl. Any suggestions? Stay well, S.

auburnchick
08-09-2008, 07:18 PM
Hi Susan. Welcome to the forum!

I switched from English to Continental last year and found purling to be difficult at first. Here are some links that helped me:

http://explaiknit.typepad.com/contpurling.pdf

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVxnSpFJl6s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVxnSpFJl6s)

The best advice I can give you is to keep at it.

Good luck!

Susan1006
08-09-2008, 08:42 PM
Thanks, Nathalie. I am having yarn overs, dropped stitches, and all kinds of horrible occurances that don't happen to me in EK. I will keep trying, because I can see that it will be more efficient and I want to be able to do it, but my knitting is sloppy again :( Stay well, S.

Spikey
08-09-2008, 11:36 PM
Hi Susan! Let me add my welcome.:hug:

I knit continental, and purl in a manner similar to Amy's continental purling video here on KH. She pushes the yarn down in front of the left needle with her middle finger, but I use my index finger.

Hang in there! It is always hard to change your technique, and it will feel horribly awkward at first, but you'll get the hang of it and come to love the speed and ease of conti knitting. :knitting:

Mike
08-09-2008, 11:57 PM
http://explaiknit.typepad.com/contpurling.pdf


There's that picture of the thumb method.

That's what I do if it's going to last for more than 6 stitches.
K1P1 I do the finger method but it took a washcloth of moss stitch to get me used to it.

suzeeq
08-10-2008, 12:10 AM
If you still have trouble with the purl, don't worry about it. Some people knit continental and purl english.

Jan in CA
08-10-2008, 01:05 AM
That's why I switched to english. I just struggled with the purls. There are times though I wish I could do continental...like when I'm ribbing. :doh:

Knit4Pie
08-10-2008, 06:55 AM
I'm incredibly lazy, and when I couldn't learn Continental "right now", I gave up. I wanted to do projects, not practice LOL. However, lately I've been doing a lot of k1p1 ribbing, and boy do I wish I'd stuck it out! Maybe after this current pair of socks I'll give it another shot -- if I can make myself put my projects aside for a while.

SBG
08-10-2008, 08:29 AM
I started off English, but I wanted to go faster so I switched to continental. Purling was hard at first but I kept with it. I found what worked for me after a little while and for me it's way easier than English now and definitely faster :) You'll get it.

Wanda Witch
08-10-2008, 06:23 PM
I had only used the English method of knitting, but l also wanted to try something new. I found the continental in the Finnish Method in both the knit and purl to be easier on my fingers and hands. It just takes a lot of practice and more of the same. It is really nice being able to do English and continental though. Good luck. :thumbsup:

Debkcs
08-10-2008, 06:31 PM
Don't worry too much about your knitting being 'sloppy', like Elizabeth Zimmerman said, after soaking and blocking the stitches even out on their own.

laikabear
08-11-2008, 04:49 PM
I learned to knit Continental since I am a lefty. At first I was slow with purling and had to pinch the yarn each time to wrap it, but now that I have better control of the needles, I just leave the yarn over my index finger and pull it around the needle. As long as there is enough tension on the working yarn, I can purl pretty fast.

I thought English knitting was usually faster though. All those "speed knitting" videos on You Tube usually are knitting English...

Mike
08-11-2008, 06:04 PM
I learned to knit Continental since I am a lefty. At first I was slow with purling and had to pinch the yarn each time to wrap it, but now that I have better control of the needles, I just leave the yarn over my index finger and pull it around the needle. As long as there is enough tension on the working yarn, I can purl pretty fast.

I thought English knitting was usually faster though. All those "speed knitting" videos on You Tube usually are knitting English...
Not all of them. The one for the Guinness holder is Continental.
There are also a few that are neither style.

laikabear
08-12-2008, 08:31 PM
I watched the English knitting videos again last night and tried to do a few stitches English style. I don't ever remember knitting feeling that awkward. I think it is the whole left-handed thing. I can barely get my right hand to do the necessary parts for Conti-knitting as it is! :teehee:

Ya know what? I think I am going to post a video (can we do that?) of me purling Continental style. I realized when I looked at Amy's video again that my style has evolved to be different from what she is doing, and maybe my way would be easier for the OP.

I learned to knit from Amy's videos just last year, and I re-watch the technique videos often. I find them so much more helpful than a book. I have to go to work right now, but that will be my project for tomorrow. If I can't post a video here (probably can't) I'll just put it on my blog and link to it. I am doing a kkp pattern scarf right now (Scrunchable Scarf) and it is just zipping along.

Now my socks, on the other hand... Can you believe I left them sitting on the end table for over a month and they aren't a bit longer than when I last worked on them? :mrgreen: They are very naughty (the Jaywalkers).

McKnitty
08-14-2008, 09:17 AM
I switched to Continental knitting about a year ago when I was doing a project in ribbing. I had heard that ribbing was easier and faster using Continental knitting, and I found that to be true for me. Just a small movement with your finger moves the yarn from the front to the back of the needle so smoothly - it's wonderful!

I agree that the purling is awkward at first, but now (after much practice) I feel that I have better control of the yarn when I purl.

GirlChris
08-14-2008, 01:53 PM
I learned continental and have never really considered changing. I saw a friend knitting and was totally confused as to why she was moving around so much until I realized that was the "other" way to knit. LOL So I can't compare continental purling to it since I have no idea how to do that but can say for me purling can occasionally be tight if it is small needles or bamboo needles. I much prefer slicker needles.

laikabear
08-14-2008, 09:57 PM
AHA!!!!!!!!! As promised, I made a short video and posted it on my blog. :happydance:

I am not sure if it will be much help, but it was the best I could do without a tripod. Anyway, check it out if you like. The yarn I used for the demo is Mmmmmmalabrigo. I also have some yarn pictures in the same entry that I bought this week. Including more Malabrigo...

Blog link in the sig!

laikabear
08-14-2008, 09:59 PM
PS, now I have even more respect for Amy. It took me about 8 tries to get that video as good as it is. And it still doesn't come close to how clear hers are! And I wasn't even narrating!!! I can't imagine making ALL the videos on this site. :thud:

laikabear
08-15-2008, 03:43 PM
OK, someone else posted this video in another thread and it is way better and so clear!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuRLFl36tDY&feature=related


You know you want to come over to the dark side! Muhaha!!

RuthieinMaryland
08-16-2008, 10:19 PM
[QUOTE=laikabear;1141921]OK, someone else posted this video in another thread and it is way better and so clear!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuRLF...eature=related

Hi, Maureen, Thanks for forwarding the video I put on Knit Tips & Tricks over here! When you mentioned there was a thread about continental, especially the purling, I came looking for it so I could put in the website. Thanks for doing that! :muah:

A word about continental knitting. When I started knitting again last year I was knitting English. I read about continental and thought I'd give it a try. I had difficulty with the purling and worked out a way to do it so it wasn't too awkward, but when I saw the above video it all fell into place. I already loved continental style, but getting the purl stitch right was the cherry on the sundae! Now I absolutely ROCKET when I knit, and it's very smooth and efficient.

Too bad, really. I was already hooked on knitting - now I'm fanatically obsessed with it! Oh, well - at least it's not going to rot my teeth! :)

Have fun with this. I hope it helps all of you as much as it has helped me!

Ruthie :waving: :knitting:

RuthieinMaryland
08-16-2008, 10:27 PM
That's why I switched to english. I just struggled with the purls. There are times though I wish I could do continental...like when I'm ribbing. :doh:

Hey, Jan! :waving:

Pleeeeeze pick up the continental for your ribbing. It's awesome! Check out this website for a truly clear, effective demonstration of continental knitting, knit and purl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuRLFl36tDY&feature=related

Once I saw this, my slowish, kinda creaky continental purling got wings! It really cleared up a misconception for me that was holding me back from a smooth transition between knit and purl. This is fantastic! I completed the ribbing on a pair of socks last week so fast I was amazed! I hope you'll like it, too!

This is such a great site! Everyone on it likes to share and help each other. What a great group!
:yay:

Ruthie

Ronda
08-19-2008, 02:15 PM
Believe it or not, I just got the continental purl! I've been trying off and for a while, and thanks to the links you guys provided, the light finally clicked!

Limey
08-20-2008, 06:51 PM
Hi

I'd been battling with the cursed Conti purl for quite a while and had looked at most of the videos floating around.

It's this one that finally cut the mustard - it's the easiest way I've come across, plus it demonstrates what can happen with some methods of purling, losing tension, unnecessary finger movement, etc., and all the other related joys of tying your left hand up in knots and/or cutting off the circulation.:help:

What cracked it for me was taking a good look at where exactly the yarn was positioned on her left index finger :thumbsup:-

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cQTWDz7-1FQ&feature=related

All the Best
Ellie
http://www.countonknit.com

Ronda
08-21-2008, 07:59 AM
I like the way she does it! Thanks!

Since I finally just got the hang of this one, I decided to do a quick dishcloth in basketweave. Maybe it's the cotton yarn, but I'm having a hard time keeping my tension. The yarn seems to slide up my finger and get really loose, and I have to keep readjusting. Still, I'm getting some practice in!

GinnyG
08-21-2008, 03:19 PM
If you want to learn it "to learn it" that's fine. But really, continental isn't the "end all be all" of knitting. Knit the way you enjoy knitting!!!

RuthieinMaryland
08-22-2008, 10:02 PM
I like the way she does it! Thanks!

Since I finally just got the hang of this one, I decided to do a quick dishcloth in basketweave. Maybe it's the cotton yarn, but I'm having a hard time keeping my tension. The yarn seems to slide up my finger and get really loose, and I have to keep readjusting. Still, I'm getting some practice in!

Ronda, Dahling! :waving:

I had somewhat the same problem. Try wrapping the yarn a couple of times around your left pinkie and then pulling the thread over the other three fingers, as shown in the video. If I don't wrap the thread enough times around that pinkie I have the same problem you describe. Experiment with however many wraps you need to be able to maintain your tension without stress.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuRLFl36tDY&feature=related

Lots of luck!

Ruthie :)

gingerbread
08-23-2008, 11:32 AM
Oh I love the way she does her continental. I have been doing it now for about 3 months and it is wonderful. I have arthritis in my right hand and wrist.:ick: So I started looking for a new way to knit. By no means was I going to stop knitting. I found that video and I haven't looked back.
It does take time to get gauge but once you get it wow, I won't say I am the fastest knitter in the world, but I get the job done.
So keep trying and it will come in time. I have to wrap my yarn a few time and that is the way I do it. I can't do the one wrap like she does. I lose it and then the rest goes with it.:roflhard::roflhard: I do like continental this way the best.


:waving: