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Old 06-09-2010, 03:52 AM   #11
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To answer hyperactive, I wrap the yarn once around my pinkie finger then run it up and over the back of my other three fingers...this way I can "grab" it between my pinkie and ring finger to control the tension...once again practice is the key here I guess...
Sounds like you have spent time thinking about it. That is good. As I said: Everybody needs to find their own way to hold the tension. And it depends on the yarn of the day. Maybe just try around some, if you keep being unhappy with the tension!
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:03 PM   #12
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I knit both ways. I am way looser when doing continental but consistent. It takes some practice; I knit dish towels to practice because they don't have to a specific size and don't have to be beautiful. Having both is great for doing stranded knitting (fair isle). Continental is a bit faster perhaps but I find the major advantage is ergonomic. I use english for lace because I find the yarn flying around if I don't and somehow I can't see the knitting quite well enough.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:26 PM   #13
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Well I started as an English ish knitter and I moved to continental but I found my tension horrible and I couldn't do purl. But I have practiced a lot now and I switched to Norwegian purl and life is much better! I have to say this is my perfect and easy on the fingers
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:00 PM   #14
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And there you have it!
For as many knitters as you ask, you will likely find each has there own preference and even variation upon the standards.

Learning other techniques or methods is good simply for expanding your own abilities. One may not know that the favor a different style until they try that style.

I started with continental/German and I learned English/American to do two handed fair isle color work.

In a pinch, I can switch hands if my left hand needs a rest, but I find continental to be more comfortable. I believe it is because I was first a crocheter, so I find my left hand better able to control and provide a consistent tension.

Try new things until you get them technically correct or it becomes too frustrating. Sometimes a different teacher, set of instructions, or a different set of eyes is needed to help you over a stone in your path of learning. Don't count it as a failure if you can't quit get a different technique perfect at first or long, frustrating practice. It just may not be the right time to learn it yet.

Good luck in your expansion of skill, may it be enjoyable in the end.
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Old 06-14-2010, 01:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by hookedonknitting View Post
Well I started as an English ish knitter and I moved to continental but I found my tension horrible and I couldn't do purl......

I, too, had difficulty with purling continental until I saw this video and found that I wasn't holding the yarn in my left hand properly. Once I made sure that the yarn wrapped around my pinky and then lay across all three remaining fingers the purling just skyrocketed. And it was much more comfortable than purling had ever been before.

Happy knitting,

In progress - designing, knitting and writing a knitting book, "Design Your Own Gourmet Kitchen Cloths and Accessories".
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Old 06-14-2010, 08:23 AM   #16
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Hi Ruthie!

this video was very interesting to me. I knit continental for 30 years, as I said. Various places of picking up ideas, techniques and help, but mostly just knitting by myself or teaching others.

So I was wondering....

my hand position for left hand is different than in that video as I wrap the yarn as I described above.
I do not have my yarn over the 3 fingers (and even before I wraped my own way, I learned to hold the yarn on the inside of my hand, running through my fist. So the result is that this method of purling in your video looks like something I have DONE before but do not favor.

My purling works by pushing the yarn towards me with my middle finger. I hold my knitting mostly with my ring finger and push the yarn forward. That seems to me as even more economical, since I keep my yarn finger (index finger) in the same position and do not tamper with the tension or the slack. I also do not have to dive the needle through that much.

I am just not near any of my knitting (lunch break) but I dare say: My purl is almost as economic as my knit. It IS a little slower but I dare say by a minimum fraction. Ribbing, seed and moss stitch and the like become no-brainers.

Nonetheless it was very interesting to me to see the video. I never tire to learn new ways. It also helps me when helping beginners and intermediate knitters, because I can help them on their way instead of twisting their brain.

And it will help me myself when my finger gets tired of pushing the yarn. I do not think that pushing that yarn endlessly in the same way is ergonomically good. Neither way.
So knowing this as a "different method" now, I can switch when I want to and that will be helpful.

No way looks better to me, just knowing them is good! Find your own style.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:43 AM   #17
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Ok, well I think I've got my style down now for the foreseeable future...

I've done a lot of practice with continental and I now feel much more proficient with it...I've found for myself that I find it much easier to knit and rib (and do seed/moss stitch) with continental but I will continue to use english for purling when I have long rows of it ( ie stockinette stitch)...I've now got a fairly even tension with continental and am really appreciating how much quicker it seems to feel...for some reason it still doesn't feel quite right purling with continental and I am certainly much quicker and more even purling with english so I am sticking with that when I can...

Thanks again for all your tips folks!
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Old 06-21-2010, 05:41 AM   #18
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I have taken this thread as a reason to look up different videos on how to do a purl stitch. And you know what? NONE had my way yet. So I will make a video and hope that someone says: Oh, yes, I do it like that, too. :D

I'll let you know.

I really thought I would find a video just easily with this method, but so far: really no luck.
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