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Old 06-01-2011, 07:10 AM   #1
Lisa R.
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Has anyone switched from English to Continental?
I've heard so many good things about how continental style knitting is so much better for avoiding repetitive motion injuries, and since I have a tendency toward tendonitis, I thought switching would be a good thing.

I took a class at Stitches and *love* the ease of the continental knitting....but I'm actually finding my "knitter's elbow" to be worse, not better. I realized I was still very tense because it was all new to me, but I'm beginning to relax more now.

I believe the logic that less movement should be a better thing, but just wondered if anybody found they perferred sticking with English even if you're having repetitive motion issues.

Maybe it's just because I'm working on a Moderne Baby Blanket and that's just so much garter stitch it doesn't matter what style you use!
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:52 AM   #2
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I don't see that one style or another would be better at preventing RSIs. Switching back and forth may be a good idea, but they both have repetitive movements even if not the same ones.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:56 AM   #3
Jan in CA
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I taught myself continental for things like stranded knitting or making a ribbed scarf. I find it's harder on my hands than english though. There is less movement of my hands using english and less stress on the joints. English is my method of choice for most things.

I don't like it when people say continental is "better" or "faster" than the english because it's just not true for everyone. One size does not fit all so do what works for you personally.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:08 PM   #4
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I have to agree with Jan. I tried continental style, after much practice, and found I used my hands/fingers a lot more than with the English-style knitting. I watched very closely to see the movement(s) with both and English is far less stressful than the other. However, what works for one doesn't necessarily for another. BTW, I do have carpal tunnel syndrome and I don't move my wrist or fingers with English nearly as much with the afflicted (working) hand.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:29 PM   #5
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Part of the reason English gets a bad rap about hand movements is that most learn how videos show exaggerated wrapping motions and most of us don't actually knit that way, but keep the hands close or on the needles.
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Old 06-01-2011, 07:04 PM   #6
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I tried and failed. Bah!

So I stick with what works for me. English.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:57 AM   #7
Lisa R.
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Thanks, ladies. I was thinking that it would be better because it seemed like less movement...but for whatever reason, it's either not really less or just different than what I was doing before. I've been switching back and forth from one to the other to see what works better. Haven't fully decided, but am thinking I do better the way I've always done it.
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Old 06-02-2011, 02:38 PM   #8
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I switched many years ago from English to Continental. I use the English for two handed color work. I get a little trouble, with of all things, my left thumb which does absolutely nothing as far as I can tell. I guess it helps hold the work.

Every body is different so nothing works for everyone, but I find it much easier on my hands, not sure about elbows. Sometimes I think I will try knitting English a while for a change up. But I can't stand doing it for very long. My right fingers always feels so tensed up. I probably have a bad way of holding things or something, but this is what happens for me.
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Old 06-03-2011, 05:18 PM   #9
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Continental video...
Hi!

Even though I've gained lots of knitting experience over the last few years I still go back and review this video on continental knitting. It answered all my questions and truly launched me into a method I absolutely love!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuRLF...eature=related

I switched from English to Continental and haven't looked back, but am very happy that I can knit both methods easily. Sometimes changing to the alternate style can help relieve stress and perk up the interest level in a plain project with expanses of basic stitches. After a couple of large baby blankets done with the Grandmother's Favorite pattern (LOTS AND LOTS OF KNIT STITCHES! ) I was happy to have more than one style option!

Good luck with your projects whatever they are!

Happy knitting,
Ruthie
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Old 06-03-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
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When I took my first knitting class, the teacher insisted on teaching us English. I could not get it. I was slow and my brain just could not wrap itself around it. Then as I started knitting more, I just fell into Continental. I wasn't sure what I was doing, but knitting really became enjoyable to me. I occasionally try to knit English, but I still haven't been able to become proficient in that style. I think you knit in whatever style suits you. Most importantly, it should be fun and not a chore to do it!
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