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Fri Jan 6, 2012, 09:03 AM

Decided to try and learn to knit Continental.

I have been an "English" knitter since I learned at age 12 (once saw it described as "angry thrower" style-- LOL), but recently decided it might be time to acknowledge my aging fingers and learn the less strenuous Continental style. I am also getting into lace knitting and I think it will be easier when dealing with all the YOs and constant switches fron knit-to-pearl.

Thank goodness for YouTube. Much easier than hanging out at the yarn store all day to learn. And I found a great "alternate" Continental purling style called "Norwegian" where you don't have to bring the yarn to the front. Looks complicated at first, but I think it will be a great time-saver eventually:

[youtube] [/youtube]



Anyone else ever tried to switc their knitting style? Can my old brain learn new tricks??

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Reply Decided to try and learn to knit Continental. (Original post)
beac Jan 2012 OP
woodsprite Jan 2012 #1
surrealAmerican Jan 2012 #2
NEOhiodemocrat Jan 2012 #3
shanti Jan 2012 #5
shanti Jan 2012 #4
beac Jan 2012 #8
JDPriestly Jan 2012 #6
beac Jan 2012 #7
HeiressofBickworth Jan 2012 #9
beac Jan 2012 #10
HeiressofBickworth Jan 2012 #11
beac Jan 2012 #13
Tansy_Gold Jan 2012 #12
get the red out Jan 2012 #14
SheilaT Jan 2012 #15
eShirl Jan 2012 #16
beac Jan 2012 #17
pipi_k Jan 2012 #19
pipi_k Jan 2012 #18
2banon Feb 2012 #20
JDPriestly Feb 2012 #21
ge26252se Feb 2012 #22
HopeHoops Mar 2012 #23
beac Mar 2012 #24
Warpy Apr 2012 #25
Grey Jun 2012 #26
beac Jun 2012 #27

Response to beac (Original post)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 12:32 PM

1. Thanks for posting the video. I never thought to check YouTube for that.

I *LOVE* sweaters and would love to learn to knit well enough that I could make myself something eventually. I really love intarsia sweaters, but I don't think I'll ever be able to do anything like that. Right now, even my scarf stitches aren't consistent.

I wish you luck in switching your style. If I've tried to learn something new like that, I tend to talk myself through it. Then when I'm doing it I can hear the instructions in my head. Eventually I get so I don't need to do that.

I crochet some, but mainly afghans. I can handle one needle at a time. When I try to knit, my projects always seem to go to hell in a handbasket. I have an old Brother knitting machine which has cards for intarsia. I bought it off Ebay, but some of the needles seem to be slightly bent or misaligned. I couldn't knit anything more than a few rows before it resulted in tangles and broken yarn. It came with extra needles but I have to find someone who knows how to realign and replace them on an older machine. Maybe I'll put that request for repair on my xmas list for next year!

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Response to beac (Original post)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 08:59 PM

2. I've tried a few times, but failed.

I taught myself to knit as a child, and have what could generously be called a "unique" style. It's not at all efficient, but it gets results. The few times I've tried to change to a more traditional style of knitting, I can keep it up only as long as I am concentrating on just the style. As soon as I switch to thinking about the stitch pattern, my hands revert to the way I usually knit. I may try again sometime if I can find a style that looks more like what my hands seem to want to do.

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Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 6, 2012, 09:21 PM

3. My daughter taught me to knit

She had learned from someone in college. Unfortunately I either misunderstood or she got it turned around and I have a "unique" knitting style also. I was knitting at a basketball game and some woman asked if I was knitting the English way, I had no idea, first I found out that I didn't knit like everyone else. Still don't know exactly what I do, but haven't been able to change to a more conventional style. It seems to work for me except for the problem of following patterns. So I just make up my own and adapt until I get a reasonable clone of what I am trying to create. For me once it is in my brain it seems to be unchangeable. Hopefully you can make the switch, let us know if you do, maybe I will try again to work more conventionally.

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Response to NEOhiodemocrat (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 09:11 PM

5. self-delete

Last edited Mon Jan 9, 2012, 01:25 AM - Edit history (1)

on second thought...

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Response to beac (Original post)

Sun Jan 8, 2012, 09:07 PM

4. english knitter here

since 1965. m-grandma taught me and she knit english, and just the basics at that. she enjoyed crocheting more. my p-grandma also knit and crocheted (beautifully), but she lived 2 states away and i never saw her actually knit, just saw the results.

and yes, i have also tried to make the switch to continental, but have been unable to get it to work for me. the knit part is fine, but purling....ugh! also, i can't seem to be able to get the tension right with continental. i knit very loosely continental, but english is tight. however, when i do two-handed colorwork, my left hand is continental, and right english. it feels natural.

i think the answer is just lots.of.practice.

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Response to shanti (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 09:10 PM

8. Definitely a HUGE tension difference in my English vs. Continental stiches so far.

Following JDPriestly's suggestion (below) to knit the first few rows English before switching the yarn to the left hand has helped, but I need to figure out how to manage the Norwegian purl (MUCH faster once I got the hang of it) so the twisting of the stitch doesn't make my purls loosey-goosey.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 04:05 AM

6. I knit in English and in German.

Germans hold the yarn in the left hand. It's much, much faster.

For the perl stitch, be sure to have the yarn wound around your little finger. If you don't do that, you have to stop and grab a new length of yarn.

I strongly recommend that knitters learn both ways to hold the yarn. I like to hold the yarn in my right hand when I do the first couple of rows and then I switch so that I hold the yarn in my left hand.

Holding the yarn in the right hand gives me a better view of my work and a little stronger hold. Holding my yarn in my left hand goes faster.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 9, 2012, 09:04 PM

7. I found doing the first few rows "English" really helps.

Thanks for the tip!

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Response to beac (Original post)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 04:30 AM

9. Didn't know what it was called

Many years ago I was taught to knit by my Landlady (I lived in the house behind hers in a small town in Germany). I knew it was different than what I saw people do in the US but it seemed so much easier. One holds the yarn in the left hand very similar to crochet. I don't knit often but I still retain this style. I recently learned Tunisian crochet -- made an afghan and it turned out ok -- not perfect, mind you, but definitely usable.

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #9)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 01:49 PM

10. Tunisian crochet is on my "to learn" list.

I love some of the pieces I've seen done in it. Never turning the work must take some getting used to.

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Response to beac (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 10, 2012, 08:31 PM

11. Like anything new

it takes a bit of getting used to. Not only don't you turn the work, you leave the stitches on the hook until the end of the row and then go backwards and take them off. It's a special crochet-type of hook but it is about a foot long and has a knob at the end to prevent the stitches from falling off the back end. It's like knitting sideways. I have finished one afghan (3 X 3 rows of 18 inch squares) and am currently working on another (stripes). In both cases, I've found that the work tends to curl up from the bottom. I steamed the first one and then washed it and put it in the dryer. It came out soft but not fluffy. Tunisian doesn't leave any holes like some crochet stitches so it's more "blanket" type. Just the right thing for these chilly evenings. I learned the Tunisian stitch from a TV program Knitting for Today which was on the Create network (I think). It seemed easy to do and I was in the mood to do something different. Good luck!!

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 11:31 AM

13. I wonder if picking up stitches along the edge and knitting a few rows of rib (k2p2) would

solve the curling?

ETA: Did some Googling on this and found a page with several solutions to Tunisian curling:
http://www.crochetkim.com/curling.html

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Response to HeiressofBickworth (Reply #9)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 10:23 AM

12. Tunisian crochet is also called Afghan stitch

Just another name for the same thing.

And yes, it does tend to curl up from the bottom, rather like stockinette knitting tends to curl around.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Wed Jan 11, 2012, 03:07 PM

14. YouTube has taught me to knit

I could never learn to knit at all as a child, I had no one to teach me, I learned to crochet with a book and did that for years. Finally I approached a lady who I know that is a wonderful knitter and mentioned my desire to learn, finally, to knit. She told me it might be easier for me to learn Continential style since I had crocheted for 30 years and that I could find all I needed on YouTube. I told her I thought YouTube only had frat boys lighting their farts and such, but she opened me up to a great knitting resource and a few years ago I learned and it has become a passion for me.

Yes, and old dog, or middle-aged dog, can learn new tricks! My favorite sweaters are now ones I've made, and hand-knitted socks are just wonderful!

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Response to beac (Original post)

Thu Jan 12, 2012, 04:12 PM

15. The only person I know who

 

tried to switch knitting styles didn't stick with the new one. By the time she was trying to switch, I think what she'd been doing all along was too ingrained.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Fri Jan 13, 2012, 05:08 PM

16. there's a Continental-style "beginning knitting" class for crocheters starting today at Crochetville

unfortunately it's not free, so I probably won't be taking it myself
link if anyone is interested: http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=134887

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Response to eShirl (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 14, 2012, 01:53 PM

17. Amazing what you can learn on the internet.

How did we ever get on without it?

If you really do want to learn, try YouTube... I swear every little detail about turning yarn into fabric is on there somewhere.

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Response to beac (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 09:31 AM

19. I know...

Twenty or 30 years ago if someone had predicted what we'd all be doing on the Internet, I'd have yawned and said...yeah, OK...whatever.

But the reality is way better than anything I could have imagined.


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Response to beac (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 09:28 AM

18. Yah, I've tried

changing both my knitting and crocheting styles.

I'm an "angry thrower" too

Have tried the Continental style, but my fingers, which have minds of their own (as I imagine is true for all long time knitters anyway) are resistant to being told what to do.

As for crocheting, I have sort of a...unique...style because I taught myself to crochet at 13 and never learned the "proper" way to do it. Have tried doing it according to the book, but no...

So, back to doing things my way.

Let us know how your transition works out...

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 9, 2012, 02:01 AM

20. me too..

 

I hold the yarn between my index middle fingers! I simply cannot get my pinky involved at all, nor using index finger as guide in the proper way. but, I manage the job just the same..

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Response to beac (Original post)

Tue Feb 21, 2012, 07:15 PM

21. I knit both ways. I love the German style of

holding my yarn in the left hand. It's just a matter of practice.

For some things like casting on for which you need a tight grip, I hold the yarn in my right hand. I also hold it on the right for things like some of the cable stitches and then switch right back to the left hand.

Holding the yarn in the left hand is faster.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Wed Feb 22, 2012, 04:16 AM

22. interesting

 

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Response to beac (Original post)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 02:49 PM

23. Wouldn't that take a lot of space?

 

(bad joke, sorry)

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Response to HopeHoops (Reply #23)

Fri Mar 2, 2012, 10:57 PM

24. Nah, you'd be amazed...

the Buick I crocheted last year folds up small enough to fit in my handbag.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 03:20 PM

25. I switched and never looked back

I learned how to knit out of one of those silly Red Heart pamphlets and they favored English style. With two sweaters under my belt (and on my back at the time, Boston is cold), I tried a colorwork sampler and the instructions suggested carrying the dominant color in my right hand and the two colorwork colors in my left. I just found out picking was a lot more efficient for me than throwing had been and that was it, I never knit English style again.

Continental knitting only feels clumsy for the first project, then it becomes second nature. While I know English knitters who are every bit as fast as Continental knitters, I am not as fast when I do English style.

ETA: I find that one loop around the index finger allows me to do all but the tightest tensions. I just raise and lower the finger to increase or decrease tension as I knit along the row.

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Response to beac (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 07:31 PM

26. At age 67, I changed.

I'm as happy as can be with the way I now knit.

Knittinghelp.com and Ravelry.com have all the help I needed for learning to knit the Russian method I wanted to learn. I can't make my old fingers do the 'purling dance' that is called for in continental. The knit stitch is the same for both, however, the purl stitch is really simple for Russian (often called Combined knitting) If you join Ravelry there general groups that will talk you through any problems.

There also hundreds (maybe thousands) of youtube videos to show the different ways to knit or purl. I say --- go for it.

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Response to Grey (Reply #26)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 07:47 PM

27. I love Ravelry. But it can be a total time suck b/c I

get absorbed looking at everyone's projects and saving more patterns thatn I could ever knit in three lifetimes.

I'll have to look into Russian knitting too. I've been amazed at all the knitting instructions I've found so far on youtube. Much easier than trying to learn from printed directions.

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