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cast-on
Warming Up

USA
60 Posts

Posted - 04/11/2002 :  5:02:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit cast-on's Homepage Send cast-on a Private Message
I have always knit the English method but wanted to learn Continental with the hope it might speed me up a bit and would make knitting with 2 colors easier/possible. I took a workshop at a local knitting shop this past weekend. This teacher actually shared a different method to purl that is easier than the "thumb hook thing" but it requires you do your knit stitch thru the back loop to uncross the stitch. I have to finish the project in progress in English method so as not to screw up the gauge but I will try an easy project with the Cont. There is a theory that because you are not passing back and forth when switching P & K, you use an equal amount of yarn and that is why stitches on every row in stockinette st. would be more even.

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Alissa
Seriously Hooked

USA
632 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  4:12:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alissa's Homepage Send Alissa a Private Message
It sounds like an interesting idea. Let us know how it works out for you? I can't imagine it using less yarn, a stitch is a stitch. Knit is only the reverse side of purl. Unless you are combining knit and purl stitches in the same row which does use more yarn than flat stockinette. Or garter which just EATS yarn!

Keep us posted!

Alissa
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2002 :  7:45:45 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
What is "thumb purling?"

Fran....who knows she purls wrong but doesn't care.

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Alissa
Seriously Hooked

USA
632 Posts

Posted - 04/15/2002 :  7:12:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit Alissa's Homepage Send Alissa a Private Message
Thumb purling is where the yarn is fed from the floor around your neck ( or through a pin at the shoulder) and down the left side of your body. The yarn is manipulated with the thumb to form the purls. Since my thumbs work much better than the rest of my hands this is a very good idea! The bummer? Only works for purls that I discovered. They don't work knits. Only purls with the wrong side constantly facing, always in the round. Can you say STEEK? (eek!)

I can't argue with the beautiful results though. These folks are Incan descendants and are very used to working with what they have. Their knitting needles are sharpened bicycle spokes. When offered some of our "fancy" knitting needles they are amused then prefer their own. We counted one hat at 16 sts/inch (nope, no typo there! 16 stitches to the inch!). They even take commercial yarns when then can find them, unply them and spin them finer.

Silly me, I used size 3 needles and sport weight. Works well for me and my little purse.

Happy Knitting,


Alissa
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knitkitty
Chatty Knitter

USA
161 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2002 :  09:46:05 AM  Show Profile Send knitkitty a Private Message
Hi, I am new to knitting and new to this forum. I am an active sewer and use a forum daily about sewing. I see a new daily addiction coming on ;-). I have enjoyed meeting you here and learning a lot about knitting.

My first knitting magazine purchase was the current Family Circle Easy Knitting and they have an article on page 22 called "A Need for Speed" that explains Continental knitting. Since I only started trying to knit a week before I saw this, and had not learned to feel comfortable yet, I decided now was the time to switch.

So, I am learing contenental from the start. Forming the stitches seems the same to me, the hardest part was learning to hold the yarn at some tension to get a consistent guage. But I'm improving, and not dropping stitches anymore - probably because I have to pay good attention to what I am doing!

I decided to learn knitting because I wanted to have something creative to do while still in front of the TV with my DH during the evenings.

Next is to learn how to increase, then decrease - then I will attempt to knit a simple boatneck shell for my first project.

So glad to have found this place (heard about it on the sewing board) where I can learn and share with new friends about a new passion.

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Patience
Permanent Resident

USA
1080 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2002 :  6:44:47 PM  Show Profile Send Patience a Private Message
Knitkity,

I just bought that magazine too and read the article to pick up any hints that could help. I taught myself how to knit continental style for use in my fair isle sweater so I could use both hands. The purl stitch seemed so awkward to me when done continental though, but the illustrations in the magazine make it look alot less so. I think I need to knit something exclusively with continental because it takes practice to get the tension right, as you said.

This forum is such a good one and all the people on it are the friendliest in any you'll visit (of course, I am a bit prejudiced when it comes to Knitters Review). Anyway, welcome to KR and glad to have you join us.

Regards, Patience
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knitkitty
Chatty Knitter

USA
161 Posts

Posted - 04/18/2002 :  09:16:05 AM  Show Profile Send knitkitty a Private Message
Thank you, Patience. I whole heartedly agree!

I'm having so much fun reading and trying to catch up on the topics that I am not getting anything else done.

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cec
New Pal

USA
24 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2002 :  06:46:02 AM  Show Profile Send cec a Private Message
Hey Cast-on--
I'm interested in the "easier" method to purl that you learned (the one that requires you to knit thru the back of the stitch to untwist the stitch). Can you describe what you do to make the purl stitch?
thanks....

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e_looped
Seriously Hooked

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2002 :  6:43:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit e_looped's Homepage Send e_looped a Private Message
As irritating as it may be the best way to learn continental is to knit and purl a big swatch. It could be a scarf or a dish cloth but it's the best way to learn. From my personal experience - don't practice on a project. I made a pair of socks with the Regia sock yarn. The socks were two different sizes. The first one had a big calf (knitted on size 2s) and I had to knit the foot in size 1 needles. The second sock I knit on 2s the entire sock and it looked so much better. I ended up ripping out the first sock and have yet to finish the pair. It took me a while to get my knitting even continentally, but after a while it looked great. I now knit more evenly continentally than I did knitting English.
I think the article in Family Cirle Easy Knitting was a good article, I enjoyed reading it. I think it will spark a lot of people's interest in continental knitting.
One thing about knitting in general - I tell my students that there is no right way to knit. I've seen people who knit extremely fast continentally and those who knit extremely fast using the English method. I think it's all about what feels more comfortable to you.

erica :)

Life is like knitting sometimes it's smooth, sometimes it's bumpy and sometimes it's the ultimate frustration.
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knitkitty
Chatty Knitter

USA
161 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2002 :  9:33:52 PM  Show Profile Send knitkitty a Private Message
Here is my newbie progress report:
I have found that purling is easier for me then knitting using the continental style. It seems more natural to lower my left finger for tension in the front of the work and easier to scoup the yarn onto the right needle in purling. When knitting, I kept dropping off my yarn from the tip when trying to draw it through the loop. Also, it seemed much tighter on the knit. By consentrating on what I was doing on the purl, and trying to mimic it (backwards) on the knit, I was able to correct my movements. I found that I needed to make sure the cast yarn was clear of the left side of the loop before I tried to draw it through (that was what was dragging it off*) and that I needed to swing the right needle more. Little victories, but they add up to more enjoyable knitting.

*this could be because I am working with 1824 cotton and it is a little nubby. However, this helps to mask any uneven stitches.

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knitter2568
Chatty Knitter

Germany
146 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2002 :  8:53:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit knitter2568's Homepage Send knitter2568 a Private Message
Hi all,

I knit continental style as well but recently learned American style because it's so much easier to knit a color pattern using both styles at the same time. However, I would like to add that there's no wrong way of knitting, there's no proper way of purling and don't listen to people saying you're doing it wrong just because you don't do it their way. If the results looks right to you, it does't matter how you got there.
I remember my grandma telling me over and over how I did this and that wrong when I first learned to knit (she's a left-hand knitter), it eventually drove me away from knitting and I didn't pick it up again until I was an adult.

Happy Knitting,
Knitter2568
knitter@newsguy.com
http://www.geocities.com/knitter2568
http://www.picturetrail.com/gallery/view?username=knitter2568
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e_looped
Seriously Hooked

USA
712 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2002 :  10:50:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit e_looped's Homepage Send e_looped a Private Message
I might have mentioned this somewhere before. I was on the train about six months ago and a woman walked by me. She said, "you knit the same way I do." It caught me off guard and I said, "Oh, I'm making a baby sweater." She said, "You knit the same way I do with your yarn. My mom and friends all told me that I was knitting wrong but it felt more natural to me. I am so glad to see that someone else knits the way I do." It was so interesting to hear this from a woman who was in her 60s. I was getting off at the next stop and she was looking for a seat, so our conversation ended after she told me that what I was knitting was beautiful.


erica :)

Life is like knitting sometimes it's smooth, sometimes it's bumpy and sometimes it's the ultimate frustration.
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kodea
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 05/23/2002 :  12:50:14 PM  Show Profile Send kodea a Private Message
Hi! Knitting yarn off my left hand has earned me the title, "Speedknitter." If you want some real fun, try knitting one strand off your right hand and another off your left to create your two colored pattern. Added benefit is the double thickness and warmth your piece will have.

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curlykitty
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2002 :  09:49:46 AM  Show Profile Send curlykitty a Private Message
I just started knitting about 2 months ago. I currently knit the American way but find that I am just not comfortable and it always feels awkward. I stumbled onto a link yesterday that demonstrated the German way and it looks so much less awkward. I have been desparately combing the net looking for information. I am looking to find some video instruction on the German/Continental way but so far haven't found anything. Can anyone help steer me in the right direction?

Curlykitty
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digknit
New Pal

USA
0 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2002 :  11:46:02 AM  Show Profile Send digknit a Private Message
Curlykitty - you should have a look at the learn to knit videos at http://www.fiberartshop.com/knclbg.htm
They show both the continental and English methods of knitting and you can play the videos over and over until you get the technique you want to learn. I've been trying to learn continental from that video as well as from the explanation in the Knitter's Companion book. Haven't gotten very far though because I haven't practiced much yet. My dh keeps asking why I don't knit continental if it's so much faster, but I don't want to stop working on my WIPs to practice. Good luck!

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knitkitty
Chatty Knitter

USA
161 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2002 :  3:52:26 PM  Show Profile Send knitkitty a Private Message
I just got back from visiting my 101 yr old Grandmother. I brought my first sweater shell to show her (the one I was working on above). I cast on a few stitches and asked her to show me how she held the needles and knitted. She apologetically said that she knitted the 'old fashioned way' and proceeded to whip out the row Continental style. I said that was the way I just learned how to knit because I thought it looked more efficient (hand movement - wize). She said, "I've seen knitting on TV and don't understand all that throwing of yarn." LOL!

I love having knitting as a connection with her.

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curlykitty
New Pal

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 06/28/2002 :  06:18:00 AM  Show Profile Send curlykitty a Private Message
Thank you so much Digknit!! I am going to check it out now. I bought a book that shows both styles. I tried it out last night. Knitting is very easy and fast but purling is going to take alot of practice. :-)

Curlykitty
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achrisvet
Permanent Resident

USA
5986 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2002 :  7:04:54 PM  Show Profile Send achrisvet a Private Message
I taught myself to knit using a little green book years ago. Then I didn't knit for years. I just picked it back up in January to make squares for a charity afghan and now I am hooked. I knit Continental. The only difficulty I have is with cables. It's hard holding the cable needle, and the straight needle and the yarn and trying to manipulate the yarn at the same time. Any suggestions?

Anita
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BLN3320
Permanent Resident

USA
3808 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2002 :  7:24:37 PM  Show Profile Send BLN3320 a Private Message
Have you tried the hook shaped cable needle that hangs down? That is what I suggest. The needle doesn't slip out the stitches. Years ago when my mother was still alive and I discovered that needle her comment was, "This is the best thing since sliced bread!" You guys are too young to remember when sliced bread wasn't the norm. I remember when it was there--but not always. You had to get to the store early before it was gone. Some time I shall tell you of wedge sandwiches. Tee hee. Beverley

"Be kind to your neighbor, he knows where you live!"

Bev
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ajar
Chatty Knitter

USA
174 Posts

Posted - 06/29/2002 :  11:17:51 PM  Show Profile Send ajar a Private Message
I have to admit that I didn't read every post under this folder, but after a quick glance I didn't see anything similar to how I hold the yarn for purling.

I hold the yarn between my left thumb and index finger and wrap the yarn over the needle going from front to back of the needle. For rows that have both knit and purl, I keep the yarn wrapped around my index finger. When I come to a purl stitch, I pull my index finger up to give me more yarn length between the index finger and the needles. I can then hold the extra length between the thumb and index. I think this way is different from what is described in books because my purl rows are never larger than the knit rows. If anything, they're tighter.

I didn't even know continental knitting could make the purl stitch wrong until I read part of the intro in Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns published by School House Press. There were a few paragraphs about how to make the purl stitch correctly. It said to make a swatch of stockinette. After a few rows have been knitted, knit half the stitches and turn the work. The stitches on both needles should be facing in the same direction. Meaning the right side of the loop (one stitch) should be facing you and the left side to the back. If one needle has stitches with the left side facing you and the other needle right side facing, then the purl stitches are being made incorrectly. Whooh, I passed the test! She never talked about both needles having the left side facing.

By the way Barbara Walker knits continental.


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