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knitnut
New Pal

30 Posts

Posted - 12/22/2001 :  3:21:22 PM  Show Profile Send knitnut a Private Message
I was taught to crochet by my grandmother 25 years ago but decided recently to try knitting (more versatility). I am now totally converted. I must admit that I wouldn't be so enthralled with knitting if I wasn't a 'continental knitter'....in fact I may have gone back to crocheting if I hadn't figured out the continental style. Being a crocheter first, it just seemed like a much more familiar way to hold and maneuver the yarn FOR ME.

I do secretly chuckle in my monday knitting class when I notice others trying to figure what exactly I am doing....I guess until another continental knitter joins my group it is my little secret.
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Doing_the_Continental
New Pal

17 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2001 :  05:35:46 AM  Show Profile Send Doing_the_Continental a Private Message
How wonderful to find others who knit the way I do! My mother taught me to knit Continental. When I tried to pick up knitting again as an adult I was told I was "wrong" just like Kristin. Recently a friend offered to help me knit with out insisting on changing my style. I have finished my first sweater and have made several small projects for Christmas gifts. I am having trouble with decreasing right and left slant like at the shoulders of a sweater. I'll check out some of the books and videos suggested in this Forum. I live on an island so I hope they are available over the internet. Nice to meet all of you.

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Doing_the_Continental
New Pal

17 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2001 :  05:55:44 AM  Show Profile Send Doing_the_Continental a Private Message
.....By the way....my daughter wants me to teach her to knit "our way", any suggestions for good beginner books with Continental style explained? Thanks.

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EdieC
New Pal

USA
22 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2001 :  09:41:25 AM  Show Profile Send EdieC a Private Message
My mom taught me to knit when I was about 8 yrs. She was european born so she knitted continental. I never knew what kind of knitting I was doing until I started going on the internet knitting sites. I tried to teach myself the other way but found it very awkward. To me continental seems much easier that american but I guess which every way you knit as long as the finished product comes out that the important part...

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Hello Knitty
Permanent Resident

1069 Posts

Posted - 12/24/2001 :  07:43:20 AM  Show Profile Send Hello Knitty a Private Message
I think it depends where you live and the ethnic background of your area, and your own family's background that determines how you knit. I really didn't see people knit English style until recently. Everyone I've ever met from Europe,UK excluded, knits Continental. I grew up surrounded by people from Scandinavia and Eastern (former ) USSR and they all knit Continental and taught us kids that way too so for us , it's the normal way to knit.

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Big Sur Cowgirl
New Pal

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 12/26/2001 :  10:44:41 AM  Show Profile Send Big Sur Cowgirl a Private Message
Great to find this site! I learned English knitting as a child, but didn't knit much. I took up knitting again in 2001, and the owner of the local yarn shop showed me the Continental style, which I much prefer, due to its speed. However, I find it hard to hold the tension on a double knitting weight yarn, especially when purling, so I revert to English style for these lighter weights. I tried wrapping the yarn around my left hand pinky twice, but the yarn doesn't move as well. Any suggestions?

Big Sur Cowgirl
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Kel
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2001 :  09:03:52 AM  Show Profile Send Kel a Private Message
Hi everyone,

I started knitting about 3 years ago, because I was really sick (flu) and needed something to do while I was lying in bed wishing my mom would come and take care of me. I had bought a booklet, some needles, and some yarn the year before, and since nobody I knew was a knitter, I didn't know where to go for help, and couldn't learn and got frustrated. So while sitting in bed, I picked the yarn up, read the instructions, and learned to knit. Must have been feeling more patient then! I just knit the way the book taught me to, not even realizing that there were other methods of throwing the yarn. As I learned more, and read more, I realized that there was a whole other way of knitting, but when I tried it, it just seemed unnatural to hold my hands and the yarn and needles to do the American/English way. I thought I would try it on a scarf, just to expand my skills, but my work comes out all deformed and I knit so slow! So Continental it is! I don't have any problems knitting this way, but I'm the only knitter I know, so I don't know if I'm doing anything wrong, but I really don't care-- it all comes out looking the same anyway, right?

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Smock7
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
491 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2001 :  09:11:15 AM  Show Profile Send Smock7 a Private Message
HI Big Sur Cowgirl!

If your purl stitches are coming out too loose you might try working with two different size needles. Use the correct size needle when working your knit rows and use a needle one size smaller to work your purl rows. I know this sounds crazy but this was the advise given to me until I got much better and it works! I was told of one knitter that actually had to go two sizes smaller on the purl rows to get a perfect, even gauge. Give it a try on a swatch and compare it to a swatch done on the same size needles. To me it was easier to knit with the odd sized needles than to try to knit American style.

Vanessa

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KanDeeLee
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2001 :  5:02:28 PM  Show Profile Send KanDeeLee a Private Message
Greetings from the Colorado Rockies! It was some where here in a mountain retreat during the 1970's that I saw and copied a knitter that was using her left hand to control the tension because it was clearly less tiring and faster. It also helped me shift my multi-colored work to the two handed "stranding method" that controls floats and makes continuous fairisle much faster. At first, the most confusing part was "Do I insert the right needle to the front or back of the knit or purl stitch"? Practice helped me discover that consistently inserting the right needle to the front to pick up the new stitch, purl or knit was best. Then I learned from my Norwegian relatives that picking purl and knit up in the back gave 1x1 or 2x2 rib a nice tight twist. So... the rule I go by now is that unless I am knitting ribbing that needs some extra tightness, I ALWAYS pick up the new stitch from the front. After several years of shifting to left hand tension control I experimented with doing right hand tension control the same way it is done with the left; that is, using the left needle to lead in making the new stitches, transferring the newly knit or purled row to the left needle, rather than the right needle. Would any knitters reading this care to guess what interesting problem came of this when switching back and forth from left to right?

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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2001 :  3:31:43 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
I too, taught myself to knit and stumbled onto the Continental method by accident because I could not figure out the directions but knew what result I wanted to achieve. I was knitting for 25 years before a yarn shop owner told me that there was a name for the way I held my yarn. It is sometimes also called German knitting. The tension is more difficult to control but really worth learning. I can knit at lease twice as fast this way as with regular knitting. I finally mastered the tension of knitting both ways in the same piece only 10 years ago and it has made a big difference in what I am now able to do. I highly recommend it and the only answer is practice, practice, practice. Now when I teach children to knit, I allow them to hold the yarn any way they wish at the beginning, until they understand the knit stitch and reach the point of complaining that it is too slow. Then teach them how to hold the yarn in the American method and then finally in the continental method.

fran
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KanDeeLee
New Pal

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 12/28/2001 :  4:37:35 PM  Show Profile Send KanDeeLee a Private Message
In reading my post I noted that my description of learning the Continental or German method was misleading so I will try again from a different starting point. What most knitting methods have in common is that the right needle is used to make and hold each new stitch row. The difference between the English and German method as I see it, is which hand controls the yarn making those new stitch rows. English methods use the right hand while the Continental uses the left, just as if you were crocheting. The right needle still makes and takes the new stitches in the same way, regardless. When I was experimenting I completely stopped using the right needle to make and carry new stitch rows and used the left so that I could keep a rather complicated knit/purl Gansey pattern always to the front. Leading-with-the-left, as I call it, does accomplish the goal of always working from the front, but it has a nasty little effect on the knitted fabric that I have yet to figure out!

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Big Sur Cowgirl
New Pal

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2002 :  08:53:43 AM  Show Profile Send Big Sur Cowgirl a Private Message
quote:

HI Big Sur Cowgirl!

If your purl stitches are coming out too loose you might try working with two different size needles. Use the correct size needle when working your knit rows and use a needle one size smaller to work your purl rows. I know this sounds crazy but this was the advise given to me until I got much better and it works! I was told of one knitter that actually had to go two sizes smaller on the purl rows to get a perfect, even gauge. Give it a try on a swatch and compare it to a swatch done on the same size needles. To me it was easier to knit with the odd sized needles than to try to knit American style.

Vanessa




Hi, Vanessa! It took me almost a month to find this Forum again, so sorry for the delay. What a great idea, using two different sized needles! I will definitely try this on my next "fine yarn" project. It sounds like it might do the trick until I get more experience.

Mary

Big Sur Cowgirl
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martyfrey
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 01/19/2002 :  8:27:31 PM  Show Profile Send martyfrey a Private Message
I am also a Continental knitter, learning from my Swiss grandmother between age 8-10. In my 30's I took lessons to learn the English or American method. I then signed up for a class at a community center where the teacher was German, and I returned to my Continental method. I am delighted to be able to do both methods. However, the Continental method gives me much more pleasure than the American method. Could it be that is because I learned Continental knitting first?



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NyteKnit
New Pal

USA
16 Posts

Posted - 01/20/2002 :  06:42:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit NyteKnit's Homepage Send NyteKnit a Private Message
You got me interested now in the continental and I did a search and found a site that shows both english and continental ways for knit and purl.
http://www.wonderful-things.com/newknit2.htm
Heres a link to check out for anyone interested in trying it as I am going to try it out today! Looks so much easier and makes sense to me

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CatherineM
Permanent Resident

USA
3363 Posts

Posted - 02/02/2002 :  5:06:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit CatherineM's Homepage Send CatherineM a Private Message
Continental knitter here, but I didn't know what was what I was doing until a couple of years ago. It's just how I do it, I cannot even remember if I was taught to do it this way or picked it up on my own. I don't think I purl "properly" - I devised my own technique involving my left thumb - but hey, if the stitches turn out right, you're doing it right. I have never knitted in a group so I didn't know I was doing something unusual by American standards. Though I did have a total stranger tell me, "You knit funny," once.

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Chrys
Chatty Knitter

USA
212 Posts

Posted - 02/07/2002 :  2:14:49 PM  Show Profile  Send Chrys a Yahoo! Message Send Chrys a Private Message
Hello, also a continental knitter here. I taught myself from a book, fairly recently. Initially I was trying to teach myself the English method, although I did briefly look over the section in my book that described Continental. I honestly have no idea when I switched over, I do not remember making a decision to change the hand that I was carrying the yarn in. But this is the way that is easier for me. Of course if you have read my posting in the General Techniques section, you know I just recently figured out that I was twisting the stitches as I knitted and purled. Now that I have figured that out it is even easier for me, not as tight. If not for this forum I would not have realized that it was the less common method.
Christy

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fiper
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2002 :  07:24:22 AM  Show Profile Send fiper a Private Message
HI , My name is Fred and I am a left handed knitter . I love to knit but I am having problems with the purl stich , It shows in the books how to make it but it is confusing. I am new to knitting just started about 2 months ago . I have finished several dish clothes , they turned out great. Anyone out there that can help me please do. thanks,

regards,
Fred


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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2002 :  09:50:02 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
Dear Fred,

When you knit, do your stitches start on the left needle and move over to the right, or do they start on the right needle and move over to the left?

You can follow the pictures of right handed knitting and convert them to left handed by looking at them through a mirror, just hold it up to the picture, but there are several types of left handed knitters, those whose work is the same as righthanded knitters but done with opposite hands and those whose work is reversed comopletely. You have to first determine which type you are. Also, a lot of left handed knitters find that learning to knit right handed is a plus because the left hand is dominant in right handed knitting. You might consider trying it and see if it works for you.

Fran

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schoolmama
Permanent Resident

USA
2310 Posts

Posted - 04/06/2002 :  9:42:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit schoolmama's Homepage Send schoolmama a Private Message
Just for grins, I tried to knit continental the other night while working on a sock. I was only doing knit stitches, and it worked ok, except for the stitches coming out loose. I already knit loosely, so but maybe with practice I could get it to be tighter. I usually use smaller needles for my regular knitting. Hey, Kamakaze, we used to live in Forsyth County in a log house we built ourselves. Loved it, but had to sell it for dh to get a job after a big company buyout...Now we are in New Mexico, in the High Desert, which means it is 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix in the summer! Did you all change your clocks if you live in the USA?? Bye, Barb

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Alissa
Seriously Hooked

USA
632 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2002 :  9:32:59 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alissa's Homepage Send Alissa a Private Message
Hi all,
I am a right handed knitter who usually throws her yarn. I learned to knit continental several years ago on a dare. Now I can knit two colors with one in each hand But I have always had trouble with purling in my left hand. If I were working a two color rib I always arranged the colors so that I purled with my right hand and knit with the left.

This weekend I took a course in Peruvian knitting from Cheryl Oberle. What fun!!! She taught us "thumb purling" which is a Peruvian/Brazilian technique. WOW! I can purl with my left hand now! Amazing. My son has a Brazilian girlfriend who's mom tells me that I knit wrong. Now I know what she meant, she was used to seeing people knit with the yarn in the left hand, working on the "wrong" side and purling with their thumb! No wonder I looked like I was backwards to her. I can't wait to show her that I have learned the "right" way! We have quite a language gulf between us but a well worn Portugese/English dictionary gets us through most of the time.

Not that I think I will work this way all the time but it is so much fun to learn a different way to do something. Now I have another trick to add to my bag of "knitting parlor tricks" to amaze my friends and relations.

Happy Knitting,


Alissa
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