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CognizantAmiga 01-31-2008 05:08 PM

Continental vs English Style knitting
Hello All-

I am trying to teach myself to knit in the continental style. I learned in the english style. My question is this... Have you found your contenintal style to be a tighter knit than your english? If so, (or even if not) is there a secret to getting a looser knit?


knittingymnast 01-31-2008 07:12 PM

i knit both but no

KitNKnitN 01-31-2008 07:14 PM

Hi! I knit both in Continental and English. I use either for different reasons. I have a bad right wrist so obviously knitting for long lengths of time using English get uncomfortable and even downright painful with all the work my right hand has to do to feed the yarn and work the stitch so I switch to Continental which more equally distributes the workload to both my hands.

I find that certain patterns and situations are easier for me to work in either Continental as opposed to English and vise versa. Example:

* It's easier for me to work with multiple DPN (double-pointed needles) like knitting the crown of a hat or small cuffs using the English method.

* It's easier for me to work knit stitches with the Continental method so if a pattern is worked in mostly knit stitches I'll use Continental. I can pick up some hardcore speed using Continental.

* Working in 1x1 or 2x2 ribbing it's easier for me to use the English Method. It's easier for me to move the yarn from the front (for purl stitches) to the back (for knit stitches) using this method.

I've noticed that I knit slightly LOOSER using the Continental method. In order to compensate, I wrap the thread around my index (pointer finger) TWICE instead of once (as illustrated on this website in videos). It helps to pick up the slight extra slack.

So I would suggest in order to get tighter knitting, simply wrap the thread around your index finger one more time and conversely if you want looser stitches only wrap the thread around your index finger-- you can loosely thread the rest of the yarn over and under your other fingers but don't WRAP them. works well for me.

Good luck! :)

McKnitty 01-31-2008 07:24 PM

You might try using one size larger needle if you knit tightly. However, experimenting with holding the yarn different ways for tension is good too. You have to find what is the most comfortable for your style of knitting.

I knit a little looser with Continental knitting. I am comfortable with the way I hold my yarn, so I sometimes just go down one size of needle and it works out fine.

shortnsweetly 01-31-2008 07:28 PM

tension, tension tension! All my problems with switching styles have had to do with how I'm holding the yarn and adjusting my tension. I still struggle but if you can master both you're a talented knitter in my opinion!

linknit41 01-31-2008 07:50 PM

i find that i knit looser continental--i can't seem to get the yarn wound around myfingers at correct tension. maybe if you wrap the yarn more loosely?---liinknit41

sparkei49 01-31-2008 08:59 PM

I've just started knitting continental. In fact I did it in the middle of a scarf I'm making and I see no difference in tension. :knitting:

Knit4Fun 01-31-2008 09:07 PM

I first learned English and am still coming up to speed on Continental but I have to agree with many of the knitters I know who say that knitting Continental is faster.

My main problem initially was that when I knit Continental, it was MUCH tighter than my English knitting...especially when I purled. I think it all has to do with the tension on the yarn really.

Once I started holding the yarn a different way (I hold it in my left hand with it looped loosely around my middle finger and then over my second finger which is held straight instead of looped around the pinky or pinky and middle finger or some other combo like I've seen done elsewhere), it changed everything and now as long as I make sure I have enough loose yarn from the skein so it doesn't pull the tension too tight, my knitting is pretty even.

Hope that helps a little! :-) :hug:

CognizantAmiga 02-01-2008 03:46 PM

Thanks everyone. I guess I will just have to really work on that. I will finish my current glove with the same hold, but then really consentrate on loosening my tension.

I'm glad to hear that others switch between the styles. I have found that english works much better for ribbing for me, but I like contenintal for knitting and purling.

Thanks again for the input.

annomalley 02-02-2008 01:17 PM

I've tried to knit Continental, but I find that my stitches are looser because I have a more difficult time controlling and maintaining my tension with my left hand. I'm right handed and I have an easier time maintaining consistent tension knitting English style. I tried to purl continental and gave up on that.

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