Continental or English?


I’ve been having a little adventure with Continental knitting!  For you non-knitters out there, there are basically two types of knitting – Continental and English.  I started with English, holding the yarn in my right hand as I knit.  In Continental, you hold the yarn in your left hand.  Each of these methods require different hand motions to make a stitch.  Most knitters are very partial to the one they started with and can’t imagine doing it any other way.  However, if one intends to knit  a two color design which is not stripes, a situation arises because you have these two (or more for the really intrepid souls) colors of yarn to deal with at the same time.   The best way to do this is to – take a deep breath here – knit with one lovely color in each hand which means………you end up knitting using both methods.  

I took a class several weeks ago to learn how to do this and I’ve been practicing.  You see those knitted pieces in the picture?  They have been painstakingly knit using mostly the Continental method.  I did have to switch back to my preferred English when my right hand started to hurt – probably from having a death grip on that needle because I was using the muscles in that hand in a new and unusual way!  I can do it, though!  Even my knitting guru told me she had issues purling with Continental and I can do it!  So can you!  I feel quite uncoordinated and certainly don’t want to try it on something that someone might be expected to wear – but it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  I know that the more I practice the better I will get and I have just the project to practice on.  I’m hoping that since only part of it will be in two colors and since only some of the stitches will be with my left hand (Continental) then it will turn out quite satisfactorily!  It’s a cowl and I’d better get going on it because there’s only a little bit of time left before winter is over.  But wait, I was going to make my niece Allegra’s fingerless mitts next………..decisions, decisions!

Do any of you knitters out there switch back and forth between the two methods?

One Comment, Comment or Ping

  1. Angela beves

    Brilliant Jenny. live knitting but don’t think I could knit continental style. Very impressed with the wrap.

    February 18th, 2014

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