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Old 12-01-2008, 01:14 PM   #51
LadyFirelyght
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
do most contis use thin yarn and small needles more than english knitters do?
I don't. I use a lot of bulky weight yarns and big needles. My first afghan was made with SUPER bulky yarn and size 19 circs!
Originally Posted by Lisa R. View Post
I haven't made any decision on magic loop yet because I only tried it for a short time (couple of rows). One day, I'll give it a go for real and see.
Magic loop is AWESOME. I'm making my first pair of socks with it and it is so easy to do.
Originally Posted by Knit4Fun View Post
What I do now that is super easy and comfortable (for me anyway) is to wrap the working yarn around my left middle finger at the knuckle (instead of all the way up by your hand) and then wrap it over the second finger again by the knuckle. Hope that makes sense.

Really, just do whatever you enjoy most and gives you the most comfort. It's all good!
Yeah, I can't stand the way it shows in the video. Maybe it's because I have really small hands or something, but my left hand is always cramping within minutes! Bottom line: Do what works for you!
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:55 PM   #52
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For magic loop, I really like the technique because it only requires ONE circular needle... and I almost only have circs... (Better for my wrists and the train passengers)

And, I use thin yarn with thick needles. At the beginning (I can remember) it was quite ... strange... I thought to myself, how can one knit such thin yarn with such big needles, but now I've grown accustomed to it, and I really like working lace works....

My technique for holding yarn is the same for knitting and crochet, I put the yarn over the index finger, below middle finger, above ring finger and below pinky, ... that gives me a good tension....
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Old 12-02-2008, 07:50 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by blueygh2 View Post
My technique for holding yarn is the same for knitting and crochet, I put the yarn over the index finger, below middle finger, above ring finger and below pinky, ... that gives me a good tension....
Thanks for sharing that. I might try it.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:13 AM   #54
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Had learned to "throw"as a child. Took a class from an amazing knitter who taught continental and I love it!. I crocheted for many years and it was a natural for me. But, like everyone has said, if it doesn't work....just be happy and knit away.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:07 AM   #55
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Efficiency.
Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
You don't have to learn continental if you're doing okay English style. One isn't better than another, just different, and you should use whatever's more comfortable for you.

What? Well, I guess if you are fast as an English style knitter then you don't have to learn continental.

Learning is just setting up a muscle memory pattern. When you have an existing muscle memory pattern, it is 'twitching' to do it your old way. Learning a new pattern first requires a thought to stop the old, instinctive twitch and then another commanding the new movement pattern. It take longer because you need to do double duty until the new pattern becomes instinctive to the muscles. Sometime you need to jog the old pattern out of the muscles before you can set up the new pattern of 'twitches.'

I first learned to crochet; the left hand holds and tensions the yarn while the right hand hooks the yarn, draws up the loops, and pulls through the stitches. I can not recall ever seeing anyone crochet in an English style.

Originally Posted by blueygh2 View Post
My technique for holding yarn is the same for knitting and crochet, I put the yarn over the index finger, below middle finger, above ring finger and below pinky, ... that gives me a good tension....

Yes, my technique is the same; though I'd also say I use the 'knife grip' on the hook which is much like how I hold the needle too.

Perhaps if you crochet for a time, then again practice the continental knitting you may jog the English habits enough to unseat them. Half the battle of learning a new technique is to unlearn or at least set aside the old habits and patterns that you've programmed into your muscles. You will find it easy to recall either method (English or Continental) once you have them both mastered.

Once you've mastered both English and Continental, you'll be all set for two-handed Fair Isle.


I was introduced to the idea of muscle memory when learning Tae Kwon-Do. The principle idea was that it required three correct repetitions to 'erase' each incorrect movement. Only when you had completed 1000 correct repetitions without error was it considered a beginning to mastering the movement.

Got any projects that require 3,000 knit stitches? How about 3,000 purls? It isn't that big; it is just 75 rows of 40 (garter) stitches or 150 rows of 40 st st. You'll get a nice scarf out of the practice.

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Old 12-02-2008, 11:18 AM   #56
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I didn't read all the posts here so I don't really know what has been said.

But my opinion is; if continental doesn't feel right DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!! There seems to be a silly "myth" that real knitters knit left handed. BALDERDASH. Some of the best knitters I know knit english.

I had a knitting teacher this fall who said that the "fastest knitter in the world" knits right handed. I don't know who that is and can't verify it but some of the students got into a discussion about knitting and the belief was you weren't a "real" knitter unless you knitted continental. As the only right handed knitter in the group I was greatly offended.

The class was a color stranding class and interestingly enough I had no trouble holding two colors; the main in my right and the second in my left. I was the only one to finish the project and in the end it was quite clear that my stitch tension was much better than the "real" knitters.

So I say, Do what feels good. The Zen of knitting is the process and if you aren't enjoying what you are doing WHAT IS THE POINT?
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:20 AM   #57
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Yes, I learned about muscle memory from yoga and tai chi, and it does take some repetition to get your muscles to memorize movements so you can do them without thinking.

It isn't so much about which style is `faster', but which is easier and more comfortable for the individual knitter to use. I crochet too, I think I learned about the same time as knitting, but I realize they're different ways of manipulating yarn and I hold it in my left to crochet, and my right to knit.
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Old 12-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #58
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Comfort.
Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
Yes, I learned about muscle memory from yoga and tai chi, and it does take some repetition to get your muscles to memorize movers so you can do them without thinking.

It isn't so much about which style is `faster', but which is easier and more comfortable for the individual knitter to use. I crochet too, I think I learned about the same time as knitting, but I realize they're different ways of manipulating yarn and I hold it in my left to crochet, and my right to knit.

Yes, comfort and ease are the key. I also like the "Zen of Knitting" comment by GinnyG.

I also think comfort comes with practice, so if you want to learn another way of holding the yarn while you knit or purl it will take consistent practice. Start slow. Get comfortable with it, and then improve upon it with smaller movements and the speed will come. If the comfort doesn't come, don't try to force it.

Having alternate methods can open possibilities, but I think comfort is essential to the enjoyment and relaxation (is that the Zen?) of woolcraft.

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Old 12-02-2008, 01:38 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by OffJumpsJack View Post
Having alternate methods can open possibilities, but I think comfort is essential to the enjoyment and relaxation (is that the Zen?) of woolcraft.

--Jack
YUP!

There are two kinds of knitting; process knitting and product knitting. We are all a bit of both although one may outweigh the other.

Product knitting is knitting purely for the end result. I am doing alot of "product knitting" at the moment. The holidays are coming and I have items to finish for gifts. While I always enjoy knitting I do not enjoy product knitting as much as process knitting.

Process knitting is knitting for the sake of knitting. Knitting because you love the color and feel of the wool, the smoothness of the needles, the sound they make as you knit. Process knitting is the only true path to knitting ZEN, it is a meditative act that does not care how long it takes to complete an object but takes joy in each stitch.
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