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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2001 :  4:39:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
I taught myself from a book how to knit - using the continental style, which is apparantly more rare? I have a hard time finding help when I need it, because most of my answers come for the standard style... I still don't know if I'm purling properly - I had to sort of make it up based on watching someone purl standard!

I'd love to have resources of people I could call on when I need help!

(btw... anyone can contact me if they need to - RoseByAny@hotmail.com!)

Kristin
Seriously Hooked

USA
606 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2001 :  7:14:09 PM  Show Profile Send Kristin a Private Message
I knit in the continental style as well. I was knitting on the train one day and this lady kept insisting that I was knitting "wrong" and that I knitted "like a crocheter". You know, as long as the finished piece looks the way it should, who cares how we do it? LOL

I must admit, I haven't met any other continental knitters. I tried the English method but it's easier for me to hold the yarn in my left hand and work the needle with my right hand. As my grandma likes to say "all mixed up & backwards"!
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Smock7
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
491 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2001 :  7:53:40 PM  Show Profile Send Smock7 a Private Message
HI RoseByAny! I'm also a Continental Knitter! I first learned to crochet and a friend suggested that I learn to knit left handed because it would be easier than knitting right handed. Well, what I thought was left handed knitting turned out to be continental knitting! It actually goes much faster than regular knitting. With continental knitting I have to watch out because I tend to make my purl stitches looser than the knit stitches. To make a purl stitch, pull the thread to the front between the needles (to make sure you are entering the loop in the right direction-put the needles tip to tip and slide the right needle toward your left hand and into the loop from that direction) pull the thread over the right needle from front, over the top to the back and back down, pull the loop through. Does this make sense? Anyway, my email address is JPRVW@msn.com if you need any more help!

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PaulaZen
New Pal

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2001 :  8:29:44 PM  Show Profile Send PaulaZen a Private Message
Add me on to the list of continental style knitters...
I didn't realize that the method even had a name until I came across it in Leisure Art's Booklet: "The All New Teach Yourself to Knit" by Evie Rosen. I just remembered doing it the 'funny' way from my mother teaching me.
Anyway the booklet is very helpful, it has excellent photographs and instructions for both English and Continental style knitting and purling.
Glad to know that there are others out there!


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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2001 :  03:44:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Elizabeth Zimmermann's knitting videos, especially the Knitting Workshop and Knitting Glossary demonstrate both types of knitting. She is really not very good at the English/american style of knitting, but she demonstrates the basic moves. But for explaining the continental purl, which way is "right" and which way is "wrong", (My emphasis, not hers)the videos are very valuable. They are priceless for their other gifts.

I taught myself to knit continental style this summer after watching her daughter Meg Swansen, who's hands looked like they were having so much fun.

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e_looped
Seriously Hooked

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2001 :  1:25:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit e_looped's Homepage Send e_looped a Private Message
I was taught to knit the American/English style, but a fellow knitter showed me how to knit Continentally and I've knitted the same way ever since. It goes much faster for me and I have found that my stitches are more even this way. I don't like to think that there is a "right" way to knit and a "wrong" way. I've talked to several people on the train who knit the American way and they are very confused by how I knit. I did meet one woman who was suprised to see someone else knitting continentally, since that's how she was taught 30 years ago by her grandmother. I thought that was really neat. :) I tell my students to hold the yarn in the hand that is most comfortable for them.

erica :)

Life is like knitting sometimes it's smooth and sometimes it's bumpy.
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Admin
Forum Admin

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 12/12/2001 :  4:34:53 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage Send Admin a Private Message
Count me in too! And I also had to fudge my way though purling, trying to follow pictures in books and not understanding why it looked so different. I didn't even know my knitting technique was "weird" until just a few years ago, when someone pointed it out.

It's weird how you instinctively go with whatever technique feels right - or at least that's my theory. I'm very right-handed, and yet it feels totally backwards to hold the yarn in my right hand.

Just today I taught a very good friend how to knit. In itself, it was a totally beautiful experience. But the amazing part was that although she did her first few rows with the yarn in her right hand, at some point the yarn found its way into her left hand, and that's where it stayed. She didn't even realize she'd shifted, it was just instictive.

Another convert for our side!

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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KathyDoughty
New Pal

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2001 :  12:53:00 PM  Show Profile Send KathyDoughty a Private Message
Hi all!

I started out knitting English (and left-handed), and eventually taught myself Continental (also left-handed). For myself, Continental is MUCH faster. The owner of my LYS is always teasing me by telling me to "stop clicking " since my needles apparently make a rather rhythmic racket when I get on a roll . Given the amount of free knitting time I have these days, I have to squeeze out every extra stitch I can! (Just 12 more knitting days to Christmas...Yikes!)

Kathy in Santa Barbara


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Admin
Forum Admin

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2001 :  2:57:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit Admin's Homepage Send Admin a Private Message
ACK!! Did you say 12 knitting days until Christmas?! This can't be! I only have 1 1/2 socks done! Maybe I'll skip this week's newsletter so I can finish my projects.

Just kidding!

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/13/2001 :  4:12:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
12 Knitting Days... Funny you should say that... I remember when I was worried about shopping... now I'm just worried that I've got enough yarn in the same dye lot! <click click click>

Good to know I'm not the only "Continental Beauty" out there... and hey! I was purling wrong (doing some sort of YO contortion of it) but now I can do it (much easier than what I had done!)

Thanks!

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Hello Knitty
Permanent Resident

1069 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2001 :  12:35:21 PM  Show Profile Send Hello Knitty a Private Message
Count me in too! I never actually saw anyone knit "the other way" until very recently. Everyone around me knits Continental style. Let me look for the video link I found once online that shows various stitches knit our way. It's really helpful if you don't have anyone around to show you. I haven't found any good books about Continental style. Has anyone found any?



Edited by - Hello Knitty on 12/18/2001 12:36:24
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RoseByAny
Permanent Resident

USA
12598 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2001 :  12:58:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit RoseByAny's Homepage Send RoseByAny a Private Message
When I learned to knit it was out of one of those book sold in A.C. Moore - called something very close to "10 - 20 - 30 Minutes to Knitting" - and it offered both styles, which being new and wanting multiple options, I liked. Of course, not knowing anyone else who knit, I thought surely I was picking the more recognized version since the other seemed so awkward. The illustrations left a bit to be desired when it came to purling, but it did a good job of explaining the cast on, knitting, and definitions of garter, seed, stockinette, etc. and also included some simple patterns (another pro for me - I had some things to do with these skills I had aquired!)

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Patience
Permanent Resident

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2001 :  8:44:07 PM  Show Profile Send Patience a Private Message

I learned to knit American style with the yarn in my right hand and I knit that way until I watched EZ's video "Knitting Workshop" and she suggested learning Continental. I easily picked up the knit stitch, but the purling I just couldn't seem to get. However, I did want to learn how to do Continental, because I wanted to attempt a fair isle sweater and carry the 2 colors with 2 hands. I purchased a video on Continental Knitting by Nancy Wiseman and I learned the purl stitch so easily from following her instructions. She made it seem so much easier and spent alot more time showing it, since that was the whole theme of the tape.

I don't actually knit with Continental though unless I am doing my fair isle, which I did start and I'm on the 2nd sleeve. I'd like to knit something completely in Continental but I don't have very good tension with it-----very loose. Any suggestions on what I might make would be great???

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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2001 :  03:49:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message
Hi Patience.

Your name is the perfect answer to your question. that plus practice. I too, began knitting continental just this summer and found it very addictive but my tension was pretty rough. I've knitted a lot the past 6 months and just within the past 2 weeks I began to notice that my tension is getting at least as smooth as it was when I threw with my right hand.

In the summer when I was tryng to master the purl stitch I began to understand why someone might hate to purl but I am slowly gaining on it. The only times I have trouble now are when I am doing cables, especially basket weave types that require you to cross two knit stitches over two purls and then two purls over two knits right away. If the knitting gets at all tight I find the yarn back in my right hand.

My toughest problem with tension is on sock heels where i'm knitting blythely along on the cuff and then i have to go back and forth on this heel flap, which suddenly blossoms like an airbag exploding out of your steeringwheel then the whole sock narrows back into a foot again.

well - there is only practice for it.

good knitting to you.

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Kristin
Seriously Hooked

USA
606 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2001 :  07:45:31 AM  Show Profile Send Kristin a Private Message
When knitting in the Continental style, I've always found that my purl stitches naturally are looser than the knit stitches. So, on purl stitches, I make sure to keep the tension tighter and I find that my knitting comes out even.

I think the way we hold the yarn when purling is the big culprit. It's too easy to pull a purl stitch too far and making the stitch come out too big. It's especially noticeable when I'm knitting on big needles with light yarns like mohair.
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FibersFan
Warming Up

USA
53 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2001 :  11:31:19 AM  Show Profile Send FibersFan a Private Message
I have knit the American method for all of my 30+ years of knitting but I am trying the Continental method whenever possible, particularly on Fair Isle type knitting. So far I'm really only able to master the knit stitch Continental style which is great when knitting in the round. Love both ways and think they work great together!!!

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mom.inc
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2001 :  8:24:59 PM  Show Profile Send mom.inc a Private Message
I learned to Continental knit over 40 years ago. My instructor was a beautiful, white haired German lady whom we called "Grandma" in our apartment house. I had tried to learn English knitting earlier, but each time I tried to learn it, the hair on the back of my neck began to crawl and I totally "lost it!!" However, when "Grandma" offered to teach me to knit, it clicked and my needles began to click nicely.

Interestingly, my Mother picked up Continental knitting after learning the other style, but could never learn to purl that way, so would Continental knit across the row and English purl back. My daughter had and has no success with Continental knitting, but finds it easy to English knit. Of course, I tease about her knitting "the wrong way" and she replies that I am the "wrong way" knitter.

With no time left for those Christmas projects, it is my hope that you have all accomplished those hand-knit items you promised yourself you'd have completed. MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and and a happy knitting New Year!!!!!

Marian Kinkead
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jwray
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2001 :  9:19:26 PM  Show Profile Send jwray a Private Message
good to hear from the continental knitters. I live in an area of crocheters and find teaching them how to knit -continental works very well. I like continental knitting as I don't like to have my hands off the needles as one does in the "english" style. Janet

jwray
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Emily
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 12/21/2001 :  11:15:14 PM  Show Profile Send Emily a Private Message
Hi, I am so glad that I found this list. It has been helpful already. I would like to learn to knit the "wrong" way, the Continental method. I have knit since I was the 6th grade (eons ago) and always feel my tension is not as it should be. Feel I would do much better using the Continental method. Please suggest some good videos or books that I may learn from. All of my friends knit the "right" way. Maybe there are even some links online that could help me. Thanks so much.

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RuthiesMom
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2001 :  08:19:05 AM  Show Profile Send RuthiesMom a Private Message
Hello to everyone,
I learned to knit continental first (at age 16),then picked up English/American in order to work as a knitting instructor at a department store (in my early 20's). That was 30 years ago, and I haven't looked back since. I have found another method of knitting (some people call it Norwegian) where you hold the yarn in your left hand and knit thru the front of the stitch like in English knitting, and make the purl stitches with the yarn looping from the top of the needle downward (this makes the right-hand part of the knit stitch come out "in front" as with English style). I use all three methods because of arthritis in my hands, changing to whichever one irritates less at the time. I am left-handed, and crochet with either hand (more often with my left hand) depending on whether I'm doing something for myself or trying to help out a "rightie". I think that someone else mentioned the fact that it doesn't really depend on how you get there, that it's the end product that matters.

There are really more Continental style knitters out there than you might imagine. I have worked in four different yarn shops since 1972, and was often the only person who could help a Continental knitter, but we ARE definitely a presence to be reckoned with. I work in a hair salon as a massage therapist and knit between clients and on slow days. People coming in see me knitting and usually strike up a conversation. It's a really neat way of meeting people.

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kamikaze
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2001 :  10:00:59 AM  Show Profile Send kamikaze a Private Message
Hi folks. As a male knitter let me add my two cents worth. August 2000 was when I started knitting. Learned English style, my mother was watching me knit and told me that I could be faster knitting her way, continental (she's european). That took three weeks to make the switch. Now, I am teaching knitting and I only teach continental because of its speed. Knowing how to knit both ways makes jaquard knitting easier. kamikaze in still too warm atlanta

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