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Ratran 11-10-2010 11:44 PM

Newbie - Knitter Question - English or Continental?
I am just starting to knit. I started today. There are 2 different types of knitting I learned.

I am right handed.

Which is the easiest and the best to use, the Continental or English?

I tried both, but of course I am all thumbs right now. So I can't tell which would be best for me.


suzeeq 11-11-2010 12:36 AM

Well, work with one for a few days, then work with the other. You're right, they're both going to feel awkward at first, so just keep trying. Many right handers knit continental (with the yarn in the left hand) and many left handers knit english (with the yarn in the right hand), so handedness doesn't really matter. We really can't say what's best, or easiest for you, it's a personal preference.

Jan in CA 11-11-2010 01:11 AM

No matter what anyone says one is not better than the other either. It's personal preference and you should do whichever one makes you feel comfortable.

That said... knowing both ways is really beneficial for some types of knitting especially stranded (fair isle). It'll be a while before you're ready for that, but thought I'd throw that in there. :thumbsup:

Ratran 11-11-2010 02:08 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. Now I just need to practice practice practice.

RuthieinMaryland 11-11-2010 12:29 PM

Hi! :waving:

Here's a link to the best continental instruction video I've ever found.

It'll give you a great introduction to continental style knitting, but as Jan says, it's great to know both ways!

Good Luck,


MerigoldinWA 11-11-2010 02:27 PM

I originally learned to knit English style. Years later I switched to Continental. I have taught quite a few people to knit and find different things work for different ones. Some people, even if I try to teach them English, want to get that left hand involved, so I decide to show them Continental. Others I've started on Continental and they got it right off and some couldn't get the Continental purl so I switched them to English and they found it comfortable. They both work well as far as the knitting stitches themselves go. Both are nice to know and you'll learn which works best for you personally. Try them both, not necessarily right off the bat but eventually.

Donna C 11-12-2010 11:49 AM

I learned to knit in the Continental method a few years ago to see if it helped my right shoulder rotator cuff pain and it did! I have trouble using this method when knitting complicated patterns, so switch back to English for that.

hyperactive 11-12-2010 01:17 PM

personal preference.

mine is Continental. I have fumbled around with English lately and am not happy with it. And why should I switch?

Maybe to start, consider who is teaching you - if there is a real life teacher you have. It may be easier to follow that way first.

And: it is helpful to know both methods. But with each you can do it the hard way or the easy way. I know several people that think English is slow. But then I see really fast English knitters or really slow Continental: it is all personal again. Same with ergonomic thoughts. FOR ME Continental is better in that respect. But that may not be true for you.

Pick one and start for a while. Then try the other. Then you will know at some point.

Ratran 11-12-2010 04:01 PM

Thanks for all your input. No one is teaching me, I am learning from watching videos on You Tube and this site.

I am finding that I am most comfortable with English, but I do find I use the continental for the stitch at the end of a row, the knit isn't so loose then.

weedygardener 11-15-2010 06:29 AM

I first learned basic knit (nothing as clever as purl!) at school by watching someone face to face. So I guess I do the mirror of whatever they did? I have yarn in my right hand and tend to hold only yarn not needles as I make a pass. I don't know how to correct this, as I suspect if I ever get onto more complicated patterns I may drop everything and have to start over. Any suggestions??

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