The Knit Stitch (Combination) Continental Method

also known as Combined Knitting

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The more I learn about Combined Knitting, the more I like it. It requires more thinking to read patterns not tailored to its quirks, but for the thinking knitter it has some impressive advantages:

—Combined purling is as fast as Continental purling, if not faster, and yet it is far easier to execute.
—Combination knitters report a more even tension and resulting fabric.
—Knit and purl stitches are oriented differently on the needle, making it possible to work knit-purl patterns “by feel,” without looking. (Handy if you’re knitting in a dim room, or have poor eyesight.)

What’s different about this method?
—The purl stitch involves wrapping the yarn around the needle the opposite way as other methods, resulting in a stitch oriented differently on the needle. That’s really the only distinction of this method. All modifications revolve around adapting to this. The end fabric is the same as with other purl methods.

If you knit this way, your “knit two together” decrease (which you’ll do through the back loops as you would to knit) will actually create a left-leaning decrease, so use this when a standard pattern calls for SSK or SKP. See Annie Modesitt’s website for a clear illustration of this, and also for a substitute right-leaning decrease as well as other information for Combined knitters:

One note on my video: I was still learning about Combination knitting when I shot the video, as evidenced by my attempt to demonstrate “English Combination knitting.” I doubt such a thing exists! Truth be told, I’m still learning about this method, but I think this video covers enough aspects about Combined knitting for you to give it a go and make the method your own!

Category: knit stitch