PDA

View Full Version : Chaning Method


Norman
03-18-2009, 11:08 AM
Hello Ladies (and gents)

I gots a quick question for you all.. now that we have our house rebuilt and we have time to just "relax" I'm going to get back into my knitting..

Question is.. I was talking to a few folks that knit and found that when I learned to knit (which was partially my dad telling me and pictures on the internet) that I learn.. the hard way..

These folks I talk to now say that I should learn continental because it will 1) loosen up my stitching (I have a problem being kinda a tight knitter) and 2) be faster..

It currently takes me a very long time to make anything, which kinda takes some of the fun out of the hobby you know what I mean..

So I've been pursuing the awesome videos by Amy, but having a hard time "tackling" the continental method.. Is it too late.. as I've already learned a bad habbit? And as they say it's hard to unlearn something?!

knittingincarolina
03-18-2009, 11:49 AM
I used to knit European style (throwing the yarn with my right hand) and saw someone knitting Continental style, and asked them to show me how and I've never looked back. I find my tension is much better, and I can knit faster. Keep at it, it will come to you, just keep watching those videos.:thumbsup:

Jan in CA
03-18-2009, 11:49 AM
:doh: - Continental vs English knitting is kind of like Mac vs PC, or Canon vs Nikon. One is NOT better than the other, they are just a little different, but the end result is the same. The choice really comes down to what you are most comfortable with. It can be a little slower, but that's not an absolute. Take Stephanie Pearl-McPhee for instance..she's blazing fast! Some continental knitters are slow.. Sooo...

That being said- knowing both methods has its value. I use both hands when I knit fair isle for instance. There are tight and loose knitters in both camps. It kind of depends on how you tension your yarn and hold your needles.

So I say go for it if you want to. It's fun to learn something new and a handy skill to have even if you only use it for certain things.

Norman
03-18-2009, 11:52 AM
I would tend to agree with both of you.. I've heard that with the way I knit, I grip to tightly too and some have said it will help with my hands.. :) I love to knit.. I just don't want it to feel like a job :) Last time I did a hat, it took me like 3 days.. :) I'm hoping to cut that by a third.. but you know.. frustration sets in and you put it down..

I need to try this continental method of which you speak ;)

of troy
03-18-2009, 12:29 PM
why just limit the either/or to european methods?
what about eastern (crossed and uncrossed? or combo?

what about portuguese? or norwegian purls? what about true left handed knitting?

there are many ways to knit.

ALL OF THEM are RIGHT!

the best method of knitting is the one that works best for you.

learn them all (or stick to the style you now know)
(and lets vow to kill all the knitting police on site!)

OffJumpsJack
03-18-2009, 12:36 PM
I think Jan and I have something in common; we both started with crochet then picked up knitting. Then I think we each followed opposite methods. For all I know she may hold her crochet hook wrong like a pencil instead of like a knife. ;)

I don't use the right hand throw because it looks to me to be more time consuming. I'm slow enough at knitting as it is without extra movement to make it worse. :doh:

When I started knitting, I naturally picked up the yarn in my left hand because that is how I did it for crochet. I followed the videos and picked the yarn with my pinky finger, then turned my hand and wrapped the yarn to the back of my fingers and began knitting.

It was very tight. I don't crochet tightly so I asked myself, "what's up?" Eventually I decided to pick up the yarn in my left hand just as I did for crochet, woven between my finger and not wrapped. Spread your fingers palm toward you with thumb up, draw the yarn in front of the pinky finger, behind the ring finger, in front of the middle finger, and behind and over the index finger. Once I did that, I was no longer knitting tight stitches (unless I wanted to do so between DPNs or at the selvage edges).

You've already identified one cause of your tight stitches: holding the needles to tight. Holding the yarn too tight might also be contributing to it. It may be easier to learn a new method than to re-learn your current method with a looser grip on both the needles and the yarn.

Either way, it will be best to be very deliberate in your movements. If you feel your grip get tight, relax and figure out if there is a cause (like yarn slipping off the needle). Maybe a switch to wooden needles would help overcome that "slipping" feeling. It will take time to unlearn the tight grip. Speed while re-learning is not helpful, but repetition is the path to learning.

Complete 3 correct repetitions to wipe out a tight one. Complete 1000 correct stitches with out a tight stitch and you've made it.

Sounds like a Rx for a scarf project to me. :)

Good luck with what ever method you choose.

I'll be betting on the continental, Crossed Fingers

suzeeq
03-18-2009, 12:41 PM
Then basically you need to learn to loosen up. That's what's causing your hands to hurt, not the method. You'd probably hold the needles too tight if you switched to continental too. Neither is faster than the other, it's just whichever you prefer and get more comfortable with.

I agree with Jack that the exaggerated throwing motions will slow you down, and you don't need to knit english style that way - I don't and neither do many others. Here's a couple videos that show other ways to hold and move the yarn -
I'm a Thrower (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCO8qALs4-w&feature=related)
Knitting english (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxuKeg3PQJw)
English Style knitting (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xSRqavicgc&feature=related)

Norman
03-18-2009, 12:47 PM
Okay let me just start out with saying, I'm not trying to start a "Style" war.. and I don't take the "Your are doing it wrong" to heart at all.. I know, being a developer, there is more than one way to do it..

What I'm trying to figure out, which is why I asked, is if continental would be a logical next step to try.. And yeah.. I lost all of my metal needles in our flood, so I'm needing to re buy all my straights .. I'm thinking of getting bamboo..

I'm open to all styles.. I am just trying to find something that's comfortable.. and with what I'm doing now, my hands cramp up.. And learning a new style, I know, can be frustrating.. but can also be fun.

Thanks for all the info guys.. I'll see if I can get comfortable with the left handed style. I've always been interested in the "picking" method that is continental.. it has always intrigued me..

And for those of you who know me, I'm still working on my HP Scarf.. been a few years now :)

Jan in CA
03-18-2009, 12:48 PM
I think Jan and I have something in common; we both started with crochet then picked up knitting. Then I think we each followed opposite methods. For all I know she may hold her crochet hook wrong like a pencil instead of like a knife. ;)



:roflhard: For the record I hold my hook like a knife when I crochet.

I tried knitting continental for the same reasons most crocheters do, but I could not get the hang of it and was frustrated. Then I saw that I could do it with my right hand and it went like a charm. Now I see value in knowing both methods. It's also handy if one hand hurts and you still want to knit. :thumbsup:

imrachel
03-18-2009, 01:19 PM
If you're going to have to re-buy all of your straights, I would highly recommend the Harmony ones by knitpicks. They are wood but very smooth, fairly light weight and very pretty! http://www.knitpicks.com/straight+knitting+needles_NL300304.html

Norman
03-18-2009, 01:24 PM
If you're going to have to re-buy all of your straights, I would highly recommend the Harmony ones by knitpicks. They are wood but very smooth, fairly light weight and very pretty! http://www.knitpicks.com/straight+knitting+needles_NL300304.html

Awesome .. Thanks.. I've bought from them before.. I enjoy that site.. I'll take a look at those seriously.. :woot:

OffJumpsJack
03-18-2009, 01:28 PM
Oh! Style war? I guess we could throw balls of yarn at the computer screen if you like, Norman. LOL :)

I found that the bamboo chopsticks I get from our local Chinese takeouts are a good base for making needles of about sizes 4 to 6 (3.5 to 4 mm). All my DPNs are such bamboo needles. Now that's a cheap source of needles. ;)

I have several British friends, so I am not sure why Sue is so eager to "throw English" for knitting... :roflhard:

If you learn to loosen up with continental then go back to throwing/English you may find it easier to loosen up that side as well. And with both methods learned you can enjoy two-handed Fair Isle.

:waving: to Sue

suzeeq
03-18-2009, 01:32 PM
I have several British friends, so I am not sure why Sue is so eager to "throw English" for knitting... :roflhard:

Heh, and I'm partly English myself. But I don't throw my yarn around, either on the needle or at the monitor....

And Norman, if you're going to rebuy all your needles, consider a set of circulars. You can knit flat on them, as well as in the round and larger items such as blankets. You also just might loosen up a bit as you don't have to hold up the ends like you do with straights. Buy just one and see how they work for you.

Norman
03-18-2009, 01:46 PM
And Norman, if you're going to rebuy all your needles, consider a set of circulars. You can knit flat on them, as well as in the round and larger items such as blankets. You also just might loosen up a bit as you don't have to hold up the ends like you do with straights. Buy just one and see how they work for you.
Actually I have 2 sets of interchangeable circs.. I have a NeedleMaster Set and a Denise Set..

I like straights for some other things..


If you learn to loosen up with continental then go back to throwing/English you may find it easier to loosen up that side as well. And with both methods learned you can enjoy two-handed Fair Isle.


Actually my "Knitting Goal" is to be able to do Fair Isle knitting.. I'm a long way from that t ho.. :)

YarnKitten
03-18-2009, 05:40 PM
My mother is left handed naturally (forced to be ambidextrous by the teaching system back then) and she knits with her right hand holding the yarn so far as I've seen. Continental could definitely be faster just because you don't have to let go of the right hand needle, but if it doesn't work, it doesn't work and it's not faster in the end. :P

I tried it out and I just could NOT get my yarn to get picked up by my needles. I found the ability to give a little tug and get it in tighter between them worked so much easier.

linknit41
03-18-2009, 07:07 PM
i taught myself to knit 'Engish' style, because that's what the book i had showed. after knitting that way for years, my daughter 'converted' me to Continental style. it's not necessarily that one is *better* than the other,but it's nice being able to do both. because the hand movements are different, if my hands get cramped or just tired when i'm knitting one way, switching to the other style can relieve the ache and i can *keep on knittin'* which is a bonus!! in other words, don't give up.linknit41

suzeeq
03-18-2009, 10:02 PM
But you don't have to let go of the right needle to knit 'right handed', aka english. That is what slows people down, but it's not necessary. Look at the video links I posted in message 7.

Norman
03-19-2009, 09:32 AM
Alright everyone.. I tried to do the left handed style last night, and quite literally I tied my fingers together.. after trying a few times and failing miserably. I flipped back over to my other style and seems I got about 8 rows done pretty quickly.. so maybe I was a little too critical about my knitting abilities..

bambi
03-19-2009, 10:10 AM
Hi Norman!

I started continental and after a long while of being very comfortable with it, I tried English for doing Fair Isle knitting. I managed but I'm more comfy with continental. It's just a matter of comfort, I think. It took me years to get relaxed hands and shoulders when i knit. I used to get terrible hand cramps and I had to teach myself how to hold on loosely.

I am just a slower knitter, whichever method I choose. I like to do a few projects with really chunky yarn sometimes, just to finish a project in a few nights. :)

Hope you got those fingers untied! It would be rather inconvienient to have them tied together still! :teehee:

Bambi

Norman
03-19-2009, 10:20 AM
Hi Norman!

I started continental and after a long while of being very comfortable with it, I tried English for doing Fair Isle knitting. I managed but I'm more comfy with continental. It's just a matter of comfort, I think. It took me years to get relaxed hands and shoulders when i knit. I used to get terrible hand cramps and I had to teach myself how to hold on loosely.

I am just a slower knitter, whichever method I choose. I like to do a few projects with really chunky yarn sometimes, just to finish a project in a few nights. :)

Hope you got those fingers untied! It would be rather inconvienient to have them tied together still! :teehee:

Bambi

Yeah I noticed when knitting last night I kept, sort of turning to the right.. so my left arm was semi out stretched and my right arm was relaxed.. you know kinda what you do when playing a driving video game and you try to turn the car by turning your body..

I need to just try and get that a little more relaxed.. :)

Thanks EVERYONE for the help.. I do appreciate it and I love that I have a place to ask stuff like this.. :)