View Full Version : Continental vs English for beginner
02-07-2010, 02:43 PM
Hi - I'm wanting to learn to knit. I am an avid beader and I want to make knitted purses with beads, make knitted shawls that have beads, and oh, I have many ideas of knitted items I'd like to make that inclulde beads.
My question is this - since I'm just starting out, is it better for me to learn the Continental or English method since my plan is to add beads? Is either better for additing beads?
02-07-2010, 03:58 PM
Neither one is better for anything, it's all knitter's preference and which is easier or better for them. Try both and decide which seems better for you, and know that either way is going to feel awkward at first.
02-07-2010, 06:36 PM
Suzeeq speaks the truth. Whatever style you find that makes it easier for you to knit, use it.
Jan in CA
02-07-2010, 08:33 PM
:doh: No matter what you hear - one style is NOT better than the other. It's personal preference all the way. All the stitches can be done either way.
It also doesn't matter if you're a crocheter first..I was, but I knit english mostly because it felt more comfortable for me to knit that way.
Now...it IS helpful to know both ways for things like stranded (fair isle) knitting, but to learn try both and see what works for you. It's more important that you feel comfortable so you'll continue to practice. :thumbsup:
02-07-2010, 10:49 PM
I agree with everyone else. When I was first learning to knit, the teacher insisted I learn English. She said I would have problems understanding the pattern if I didn't learn that way. I could not get it. As I continued to knit, Continental was the way it seemed most natural to me. I would like to knit English for certain things, but it just doesn't work for me. Do what seems more comfortable for you.
02-07-2010, 11:35 PM
I recently learned Continental, and I use both, depending on which wrist is hurting, or which thumb is numb that day! LOL. But I haven't managed to do everything in continental yet.
02-08-2010, 01:17 PM
If you ever wish to visit the Dark Side of knitting, look at the videos for Combined Knitting. MWAAAAHAHAHAHA. It's certainly made my knitting journey an adventure. :)
02-08-2010, 01:25 PM
When I went to knitting classes my instructor taught only English style . So I am a thrower . I am always trying to teach myself Continental knitting because I have trouble with my hands sometimes plus it always looks so much faster then English style. I always end up going back to English style because I guess it is what I know and I feel more in control of my work using it.
But I've heard that it is good to know both.
02-08-2010, 03:25 PM
I started out learning with English, and moved to Continental. I must say that I find Continental much easier. But English was probably easier for me to learn on. However, I just taught a friend of mine how to knit and tried teaching her English first and she couldn't get it. Switched her to Continental and she doesn't seem to be having a problem.
I also learned English then switched to Continental. For me Continental is both easier and WAY faster. Play around and see which you prefer. No reason you can't learn them both :)
02-10-2010, 03:29 PM
I learned English & switched to Continental because it is faster. But I don't think one style is better than any other. As long as the tension is even & you like the look of the work.
I switch out styles. I firmly believe the more way you know how to knit, the more options you have. It's all good.
02-10-2010, 04:26 PM
I learned to knit continental and its the only way I know. It was easiest for me since I knit left handed. Various people had tried to teach me to knit throughout the years and couldn't. I am guessing this is because they were all right handed and knitted that way. I write with my right hand but that's all, everything else is done with my left.
02-11-2010, 05:39 AM
Crocee, I'm left handed also, but a couple of people have told me that I'm crazy to think that it makes it easier to knit Continental. I believe Continental is faster also, but can do both with equal ease.
02-11-2010, 02:03 PM
I think the best way is the one you are comfortable with. It's already been said that learning both ways is great but then you decide what works best for you.
I do alot of Fair Isle and carry yarn in both hands. So I've learned both english and continental but, for me, english is much faster and more comfortable.
Occasionally I run into "continental snobbery"; people who think their way is the end all be all. I definately think you should learn both ways then chose the one YOU like, or go back and forth. You might find that one works better than the other for certain projects.
But one is not inherently "better" or "faster" than the other. The worlds fastest knitter (found on You tube awhile back) knits English!
02-11-2010, 02:13 PM
I first learned english right off this site (<3) and then recently tried to get into continental.I hated continental, even after doing a few projects that way.Could not for the life of me see why it was faster than english.But that's the way I am.It takes me about a minute to learn anything and once I do, I develop "my way" of doing it so it becomes kind of mechanical.(Gotta love O.C.D. lol!)
It's important to know that while "English is waaaay better than continental" is 100% true for me, it might be the exact opposite for someone else, and they aren't lying; it really is true for them.The argument has been going on forever.Problem is, they're both right.
I'd say the best "test" for finding out which to start would be just trying to hold the yarn as if you were going to knit just to get your tension.Because each way makes a different hand dominant, you really have to test it to see which hand does a better job in your own body at holding the yarn where it needs to go.My "english is better" advice does you absolutely no good as I've had no experience in any body but my own XD
02-11-2010, 10:00 PM
I'm still a n0ob and only continental/german style works for my brain. My mother knits continental, as did her grandmother. Weirdly enough, her mother, my grandmother knits english style!
02-12-2010, 01:31 PM
I think you should learn both. I know I sound like a cruel task master, but when you start to do 2 (or more) color work, you're going to be glad you know them. Neither is superior, btw. Just different. I think maybe (most people) go faster with Eastern or Continental, but the fastest knitter in the world knits English. (She isn't listed in Guinness, she didn't compete that year, but she beat the one that IS listed - a continental knitter - in 2008 at the Minnesota Mall of America contest.) So English can be fast indeed.