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MindySue19 01-06-2011 01:23 AM

continental/english do I knit?
How do I know if I knit the "continental" way, or the "english" way? After only three weeks of knitting-do I even have a "specific WAY"? I didn't think it mattered too much. But when I went to look up some various increases, the video's show a distinct difference!

As Always! :aww:

Jan in CA 01-06-2011 02:27 AM

Continental knitters keep the working yarn in their left hand.

English knitters keep the working yarn in their right hand.

Both ways work and both are equally good to know. So do what feels comfortable for you now especially while you're learning. :thumbsup:

MindySue19 01-06-2011 03:47 AM

Thanks Jan! That is good to know. I guess that means that I am a "Continental" knitter-for now. but if it's good to know both then I think I'll give that a chance. Maybe I could add it to a project I started a few days into learning to knit, too!

My Gramma's here from Ont for 6 wks (for the holiday season). This is how knitting came into my life. I've never had an extremely close bond with her as I did/do my faternal G-ma. I wanted to forge one seeing as we're not to have too much more time with her :( ... So I tried to take intrest in something she LOVES, as I do now, as well.

But as she'd teach me something new, I'd practice 'til I "got" it, then undo it & learn something new.

She had an idea how to make SOMETHING while learning new things. Such as; basics (ex. knit, purl, yfd...) & stitches (ex. garter, stokinette, seed...) even diff stitch patterns (ex. stokinette <aka.*1 row K, 1 row P...repeat>, 2x2 & 4x4 Ribs, basket weave... ) and GAUGES (ex. by playing w/diff sizes of needles & yarn).

I was NOT to "frog" (?) my work, but instead I was to BO & save it. BUT these were to be CLOSE to the same LENGTH as possible. Since I was JUST (3 days) learning to knit, making them equal widths was near impossible! Then She explained what we were going to do with them & taught me how to "patchwork"! ...w/KNITTING!!! :)

She had the idea for me to do this so I'd have a reminder of how far I'd come, the various things I'd learned, & maybe save it as a "keepsake". ...For MANY reasons it IS NOT going to be a great-looking blanket by ANYONE'S standards (it was made with diff types, weights, colors, & textures of yarn!). So I used everone's "scrap" yarn. My G-ma gave me some, my mom gave me a lil, and a friend of mine gave me TONS! ...Like, AT LEAST, 30 Skiens!!!

*As she always does, she WISELY said to me not to waste my money on yarn when your just starting out! Save that for when you make your first project from a pattern! ...besides you'll be spending plenty of $ on needles, as most do when they first start out! Different: ~sizes (mms), ~lengths, ~materials (wood,metal, plastic...), ~DPN's, ~circulars, ~etc... ~EVEN Brands!

But, it WILL have TONS of sentimental value! :) ...little does she know that I'm making it FOR HER! I <3 her to pieces & it'll remind her of all the MANY hours! ...No, DAYS! ...No, WEEKS! Yup, that's it! ...many, Many, MANY WEEKS of time I put into it (most of it WITH her!).

Plus, I figure it will bring her comfort as she begins to deteriorate even more rapidly. Since I cannot be there with her all the time, she can feel like she's getting a great big hug from me just by wrapping it 'round her! 'Cause I'm REALLY gonna miss her when she flys home next week! :'(

Anyhooo... I just thought I'd through that out there. Not only is it a nice story, but it helped build an, EVEN MORE, beautiful relationship between the two of us! PLUS, I think It'd be a GREAT project for a learner! My Gramma calls mine "Mindy's Practice Blanket"! :)

All you do is: when learning something new, just keep doing it until it's "burned" in your brain! BO. Put it away in a shoe box. Decide on a length (something semi-short is best, if you need MORE practice for that st or W/E ur learning more than 1!), Make all ur "learning squares" approx the same length. Once you have a bunch of them-sew them together! In strips, though. Since they're the same length, the length'll make up the "sides" of the rows. When it's a good length, just stop. Put that one away. And begin again. Repeat, until you have enough to reach the width you want (to check, just put columns side by side), then sew the columns tog. and TA-DA! A blankie! Not a very pretty one, but it'll be fun to look at after 30-40 years of knitting, you can always look back at what your knitting looked like when u first began! ;)

Oh! & Jan? Do the knits look diff? Or is it STRICTLY how u hold ur yarn, that's the ONLY diff.?

...Just Curious. :) ...Good thing I'm not a cat! ;)
...BAD things happen with curiousity and the cat! :P


trvvn5 01-06-2011 10:27 AM

You generally won't notice a difference in your stitches. A knit stitch is a knit stitch, unless you're knitting combined knitting, which I doubt you are. You will notice that your gauge is probably different from one to the other. I know much more loosely when I knit continental than when I knit english.

Jan in CA 01-06-2011 02:07 PM

Aww that's so sweet that you can learn with your grandma, Mindy! :hug:

The stitches are the same with either method.

I started off learning english, but I learned continental when I wanted to learn to do stranded knitting. Stranded (aka fair isle) can be done by keeping both yarns in either hand, but I find it easiest to to use two hands and that they get less tangled. Learning continental was also beneficial for a ribbed scarf I made. Now that I know both methods I still find my go to method is english knitting. It's the most comfortable for me so I only use continental for specific situations.

TrueIconoclast 01-07-2011 12:08 AM

I don't have an answer to your question, and it appears that it's already been answered, but I just wanted to say how sweet it was for you to bond with your gramma by having her teach you. It's a great tradition to pass down to your kids, and to have passed down to you by a woman in your family. I always felt like it's something for women to pass down to their daughters, because they don't often get to pass on their family name. So, you're keeping a bit of your gramma alive after she passes.

Thanks for sharing with us!

MindySue19 01-07-2011 04:32 PM

Jan and TrueIconoclast;

Thank-You both so much for your kind words. They really made my day. :) It was really nice to get to do that with her, as we've always lived on diff sides of the country and I don't get to see her too often. It was so special to me staying up late nights with her learning a new pattern or whatnot, and then getting to see how proud she was the next day when I showed her that I'd mastered W/E it was she taught me. I know these days/nights with her will ALWAYS be some of my fondest memories. Not only of her, but also in general. Again, Thanks to the both of you!


hyperactive 01-07-2011 04:43 PM

it really is just the holding the yarn. You make the same stitches with English and Continental.
I did learn knitting from my grandma, and that is over 30 years ago. I do think of this event frequently when I knit. And that is a very sweet bond.

By the way: you put "frog" in quotation marks. We really say that. It is because you rip it, rip it, rip it.... and that sounds like frogs, doesn't it?

Brings me to a question: How deep is a frog pond? --- kneedeep, kneedeep. :)

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