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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1492 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  10:00:47 AM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I consider myself an advanced intermediate knitter (I don't design patterns or work without a pattern). I have been reading knitting books from the library, and wonder, should I develope my Continental knitting? I knit English, very well. I can knit Continental, but not well. Knitting Daily TV sells Continental as being better to avoid hand injuries, because there is less movement.

So, should I force myself to learn Continental (I just forced myself to learn long tail cast-on - I usually use cable or provisional crochet) because advanced knitters usually use Continental, and it usual makes color work easier (I usually use cables, not color)?

Do you knit both ways? Which do you use for which techniques? Am I just thinking too much about this, and I should go in and block the bow-tie sweater?

marjotse
Permanent Resident

Sweden
1018 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  10:17:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit marjotse's Homepage Send marjotse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm an "english" knitter and I have never considered to go over to continental... I knit quite fast and even more importantly with a very even tension even when knitting with cotton. I like to purl just as must as to knit and these can be the biggest hurdles to go over (get again an even tension and do an easy purl). I don't have huge movements, I pin one of my needles in my side to steady it and my fingers do most of the work (flipping the yarn). I think it is called "lever-style" and it is just as efficient as continental.

If you do not have stress feelings in your hands and your comfortable with your knitting, there is really no reason to change....Just do what you like, that's what is most important!

Marjolein

http://kantajour.blogspot.com
my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98299499@N00/
On Ravelry: Marjotse
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1262 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  11:20:00 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm interested in learning to knit not only Continental style, but also in Combination and Portuguese. I'm taking some classes at the upcoming Stitches West. I want to learn the different styles for several reasons. 1) I've heard you can get different gauge knitting with the same needles and yarn, but in different styles. Might be fun/interesting/helpful to be able to fine-tune my gauge. 2) Being able to trade off styles is ergonomically healthy. I'd like to be able to give my "English" muscles a break. 3) Different styles have different strengths, and it would be fun to adjust my knitting style to the project.

Of course, this may all be hooey. I may try the different techniques and just really find myself drawn to one of them and never use the others. But taking the intro classes will be fun, nevertheless.

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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lella
Permanent Resident

9714 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  11:56:59 AM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was going to learn continental style but changed my mind because I'm a natural lefty who knits right handed. Because my left hand is more involved with the yarn wrangling, I already can knit PDQ, with the lever style throw. Purl's never been a problem. My hands don't suffer much because the left hand does a lot of the work anyway, so less movement. The computer is what's done the damage. lol

Lella

Zippiknits

"Life is good if you don't weaken." Calvin Coolidge
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hillstreetmama
Permanent Resident

USA
3448 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  12:42:34 PM  Show Profile Send hillstreetmama a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I keep practicing continental, but usually knit "English", as it's the way I learned and am most comfortable with.

I'd love to take classes in different styles - Portuguese, combination, whatever. I just like to learn new things, and who knows what I'll end up doing with the new skills?

Jan
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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1492 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  3:34:13 PM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Marjotse, I am like you. Very even tention, knit and pearl. But unlike you, I throw the yarn, so there is a lot of movement. But that keeps my hands from cramping.

I'm watching baseball, and knitting a vest in the round. Since it a novelty yarn, an uneven guage won't be so noticeable.
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Ditzy Girl
Permanent Resident

USA
4723 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  4:11:29 PM  Show Profile Send Ditzy Girl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm with lella, how I knit is how I knit. I have very even tension
purling and knitting is one in the same for me. I don't need to
learn another way of knitting as what I do works for me. That is what
I care about. Just do what feels right for you.

Zola, Seattle, Wash.

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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1492 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  4:20:48 PM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, and I can do plain knitting without looking, but my attempt at Continental stockinett while watching the game is not working out very well.
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Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2049 Posts

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  6:58:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just do what you feel most comfortable with, don't worry about the style. I can do both Continental and English but do prefer Continental. I have a vague memory of holding the left needle stationary, under my left arm. That was before circular needles. I think our knitting styles change over time, we make adjustments. Who knows, maybe next year I'll try the needle under the arm thing again.

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!


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socks4all
Permanent Resident

USA
1461 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2011 :  06:10:38 AM  Show Profile Send socks4all a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't think you have to knit continental to be an advanced knitter. Learn it because you enjoy learning new techniques or because you want to knit fair isle type with a yarn on each hand. Some of my most accomplished knitting friends knit english.
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
549 Posts

Posted - 10/10/2011 :  10:45:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I taught myself Continental knitting in hopes of preventing an injury to my right wrist, and guess what, I eventually had repetitive-motion/carpel tunnel surgery on my LEFT wrist! So much for that idea.

I usually prefer to knit English style; I watched some videos and it seems I knit "lever" style, which is what I always thought IS English knitting. But I guess it's a bit different from actually "throwing," which looks clumsy and slow to me. I always assumed those videos were made by someone wanting to play up Continental knitting as being more efficient. I used to worry that I was knitting "slowly" by sticking to the English method until I watched a video of that woman from Scotland who knits so fast (English style) and who won that competition in Minneapolis a few years back.

That said, I really am glad I know Continental knitting for doing stranded colorwork. No tangled yarn and it seems to go really fast.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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Janettoo
Warming Up

65 Posts

Posted - 10/15/2011 :  8:21:54 PM  Show Profile Send Janettoo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I go both ways. I started as an "English" knitter, but in the late 1970's taught myself Continental. Continental is my preferred knitting style, and English is my preferred purl style. However, depending on what I am doing, I might purl correct or backwards continental, and then do the stockinette side combined if needed. I can also purl Norwegian, but don't see the need.

I do a lot of circular Fair Isle with yarn in each hand. I've done a bit of double knitting the same way. I adore lace knitting. If the reverse is purl, I'll do it English so the stitch mount is not changed, unless there are tons of ssk, in which case reversed stitch mount is a bonus. Ribbing I do combined, since stitch mount doesn't matter there. It's a lot easier to switch yarn forwards and backwards in Continental.

I've played with the Portuguese/Eastern thumb purling and knitting. This gave me perfect tension with a challenging fiber, but made my thumb ache. I know that I'm not doing something right. One of these years I intend to watch more You Tube and refine this method.

I figure that using a variety of styles keeps my hands in better shape. It also makes knitting a bit more interesting, and gives me the option of using the most efficient technique for any given project.

Janet in TN
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robinstephanie
Permanent Resident

USA
1262 Posts

Posted - 10/16/2011 :  09:37:03 AM  Show Profile Send robinstephanie a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Janettoo--I really enjoyed reading about the different pros/cons/uses/requirements of the knitting styles you talk about above. Reading about that kind of intimate knowledge of knitting is interesting and inspiring. Thanks!

Robinsteph

Different is good. ~Matthew Hoover
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BessH
Permanent Resident

3095 Posts

Posted - 10/17/2011 :  04:14:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit BessH's Homepage Send BessH a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also "go both ways" and most of the time purl 'backwards' combination style, because my continental purl stitches tend to be a bit looser leaving that shadowy stripe on the front of flat stockinette.

I think the more ways you can manipulate your stitches the better but I don't think you should ever 'force' yourself to do something when it comes to knitting. Practice a difficult movement, yes, but force? no.

Bess
http://likethequeen2.blogspot.com
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Wen
Permanent Resident

Australia
3244 Posts

Posted - 10/30/2011 :  1:22:10 PM  Show Profile  Visit Wen's Homepage Send Wen a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knit both ways, RH english and LH continental. I can't tension the yarn on my left hand, nearly 40 years of practice with my right hand has made my tension very consistent if I tried to swap hands I would be going back to beginner status and I'm not doing that.

I can't use both at the same time for fair isle but I can knit back and forth without turning the work. Its great for complicated patterns where I need to see where I am in the row.

Wen


http://www.flickr.com/photos/wen1965/sets/72157623175907664/show/ 2010 FO
http://wenswoolgathering.wordpress.com/ My blog
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arlinem
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
442 Posts

Posted - 11/04/2011 :  7:47:54 PM  Show Profile Send arlinem a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sorry I'm a bit late to this thread. "Continental as being better to avoid hand injuries". Partially true that. Some people (I'm told by my hand surgeon) are simply pre-dispositioned for it. Of course, knitting being my passion/addiction/obsession for more than 30 years probably has a bit to do with it as well I think. Knitting for excessively long periods of time as one can do when you are "on a buzz" is simply going to cause a bit of a problem after a while. Doing anything would I imagine.

There are some sound reasons for learning how to do knit Continental, combined, eastern, western, throwing your yarn, knitting backwards, purling the South American way. You just never know when knowing that stuff will come in handy and when you can use it to your advantage. Do you get really consistent tension when you knit one way only - absolutely. But, I get the same tension if I purl by throwing and knit Continental. Haven't a clue why but it has to do with the tension. When I make socks I knit in the round throwing the yarn but I always work the heels by knitting backwards because I want to see the right side of the fabric and how it will look. But knowing how to knit backwards or rather learning how, comes in handy. Eastern knitting for example adds a scoche more yarn making the lace (think Orenburg knitted shawls) even stretchier. I find it more time consuming but you can't beat it for stretchiness.

Knitters adapt their world of knowledge and skills to solve the challenges each knitted piece presents. You know you're a knitter when you do that. After that, it really doesn't matter how you worked the fabric because once it's off the needles, you're not going to be able to tell how you wrapped the yarn and whether you knit one way or the other because the knitting will still look like knitting. Personally I think it's pretty cool.
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Coolj
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
428 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2011 :  07:49:47 AM  Show Profile Send Coolj a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I learned Continental many years ago. Then I learned English in order to knit with both hands when doing colorwork. It really does go much faster.
Juanita
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lella
Permanent Resident

9714 Posts

Posted - 11/07/2011 :  11:13:01 AM  Show Profile Send lella a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, Juanita, there you go. Colorwork is still the reason I want to learn Continental style. I knit fair isle sweaters a coon's age ago, and remember all that one handed yarn wrangling/twisting just about made me crazy.

Maybe this is the year it happens for the colorwork.

Lella

Zippiknits

"Life is good if you don't weaken." Calvin Coolidge
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lori1551
New Pal

Canada
46 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2011 :  06:40:31 AM  Show Profile Send lori1551 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used to knit English for about 40 years,,, then I started watching the forums and 1st learnt about Continental knitting, so I looked it up on You Tube and sat with my knitting in front of the computer till I 'got' it. Now, when I pick up my yarn, my hand automatically goes to knitting Continental. It is funny how an old way can soon be awkward. The mind is a complex thing. I also (because of the forums) decided to learn Portuguese Knitting, I can do it well but personally do not do it often, as some of the different styles of knitting (eg:kfb, etc) are more difficult to do in Portuguese. Also, I found there is not a lot of 'how to's' out there that are free. I could purchase a DVD from Andrea Wong's website, but the way I look at the crafts is we should be trying to teach one another for FREE. The crafts are fading away in my opinion and we should be trying to promote 'hand made' more. Now don't jump on me for my dislike of paying for DVD's etc. as I do know this is a career for many, many people. I just won't pay. With yarn the price it is crafting has gotten to be too expensive. I can buy a pair of mitts for a lot cheaper than I can make them, but, I love the satisfaction of making it with my own hands. I think I have gotten off topic here so I will shut up.... sorry

Lorraine

http://www.ravelry.com/people/lori1551
http://s1100.photobucket.com/albums/g420/lori1551/
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draymer
Permanent Resident

USA
1492 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2011 :  1:07:42 PM  Show Profile Send draymer a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What great responses! Thanks to everyone
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1846 Posts

Posted - 11/08/2011 :  5:33:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You DO realize that these various methods produce slight differences in fabric, don't you? And I don't know about Continental meaning less movement. Maybe....I'd say it's a different kind of movement.

I used to knit English and switched to Combination almost five years ago. A scarf I started in English and ended in Combination tells the tale: The end feels more "fluffly" than the beginning.

It was hard making the switch. Habit is so familiar! But I'm glad I did. My knitting speed tripled, and ribbing speed quaded. I like knitting a lot more now because things don't take quite the "forever" that they did before. But I would advise being aware that the feel and look of the results changes with each method; in my experience with the methods I've worked with, they are not interchangeable within the same project. A stitch here or there, yes, but not massive sections.

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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