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Old 06-08-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
OffJumpsJack
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Tips
Originally Posted by badboy1cdx View Post
So, when I first started knitting, I knitted in a "somewhat english" style. Not quite classic english, but close enough that when I tried to learn how to do formal english knitting, it was easy enough to pick up. I've recently started trying out continental knitting, mostly for the speed benefits, but also to make intarsia easier...

...And I'm beating my head against the wall now because it's so darn frustrating! My fingers don't want to move like they should and the tension is all over the place! And while I can see that once I really get it down it might be quicker, it is waaay slower than my english knitting right now...

Has anyone else had similar issues trying to switch between styles? Any tips you can give me for making the transition easier?

Practice. That means swatching in an easy yarn (rips out easily and with little damage, and one that doesn't split easily) Alternately you may choose a simple garter stitch dish cloth or scarf pattern for such practice. Then you get something usable while developing you new skill.

Start with simple repetition of one stitch (knit or purl); start slow and after several correct repetitions increase your speed. Repeat with the other stitch and again with a mix of these stitches. I you have 20 to 50 stitches per row then in just 50 or 20 rows you will have mastered the stitch and be well on your way to getting consistent tension.

If you hate to waste yarn on swatches and don't want a dish cloth, make it larger in a plastic yarn (acrylic) and use it to wash your car.

If you plan to rip it out and reuse it:
You might want to use a braided ply of cording that is about worsted weight yarn. Less splitting and easier to FROG (one of the terms here for ripping out your work because when you say "rip-it, rip-it" it sounds like a frog croaking.)

Time and patience are rewarded. Good luck.

Edit to add after reading Hyperactive's post...:
Continental is often call German knitting.

I'll add that if you crochet, the direction you wrap the yarn may trip you up because crochet wraps in the opposite direction from western knitting. (I use western to include both continental and American/English styles that wrap both the knit and purl in the same direction.) Combined knitting is generally used to refer to the method that wraps the yarn for purl sts in the opposite direction from knit sts. I
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