Combination Knitters?

Any combination knitters out there? I just learned today and I love it! I saw Annie Modesitt on an episode of Knitty Gritty and was inspired. Since I already know how to do Continental knitting, it was very easy to learn combination knitting.

According to Annie, combination knitting produces more even stitches. I did several swatches and found this to be true for my knitting. I can tell the tension is improved. Since you knit and purl using basically the same motion, the knit and purl stitches are more even.

And speaking of purl, oh my, it is so smooth! I like to purl Continental, but I like it even more with combination knitting.

I’d like to hear your experiences with combination knitting. Are there any bumps in the road that I need to be prepared for? I’ve heard that increases and decreases need to be adjusted, but I haven’t tried those yet. How does this affect circular knitting, fair isle, intarsia, etc.?

I’ve just learned how to combination knit, too! I’ve been practicing while knitting up some projects to felt and I’ve used the Magic Loop method without any problems. I’ve not tried circular knitting using this method yet.

I never could purl while continental knitting but with combination knitting, yet I have not had any trouble adjusting to combination knitting while purling.

I think Annie said it doesn’t work so well in the round. You can certainly knit stockinette with the combi knit, but you need to not knit in the back loop. Not sure how working a pattern st like ribbing in the round would come out. And the knit decs are opposite - k2tog is left leaning, ssk is right leaning. Her website has some tips.

I will probably experiment more with combination knitting since I like it so much, but I do try to knit in the round as much as possible (that whole seaming thing) so I’m not sure if I’ll use it a lot for the types of projects I’m currently working on.

However, combination knitting would be great for scarves, blankets or other projects that don’t have increases & decreases. And I’m finding it to be even faster than Continental knitting.

It sucks in the round. Tried it… :?

When you work in the round, or when you have any pattern worked in the flat that calls for a knit stitch to be purled or a purl stitch to be knit, then you will have to knit through the front loop and purl through the back loop. Conversely, if you are working in the round and a knit stitch has to be purled or a purl has to be knit, then you will work the usual combined. Just keep a sharp eye on how your stitches are seated. It takes some effort to get used to purling through the back.

Here is a video that shows how to do eastern style purling through the back loop. You don’t even bring the yarn to the front.

Eastern style purling

I don’t find it hard to work in the round or to increase and decrease. To work a lot of stockinette in the round, try holding the yarn behind the needle so it “scoops” counterclockwise as you’re looking toward the needle point. The stitches mount facing you, which means you barely have to move your wrists to knit a whole bunch fast. (Works on garter stitch worked flat, too.)

I DO love that Eastern purl, though. That’s going to save me a lot of aggravation.

i am a combo knitter…

[B]i think combo knitting is

1–mentally harder.[/B]

you need to be able to read your knitting…
you need to know when to work into front of the stitch, when to work into back
you need to adjust your decreases to get matched pairs

[B]2–physically easier[/B]

purls are easier to work
binds offs are easier
picking up stitches is easier, because you don’t care how they are mounted on needle
its easier to get even tension (and reduces tendency to “knit out”

[B]Knit how ever you want! [/B]

i am just so happy to see combo knitting acknowledged! so often people act as if English and Continental are all that exist!

Can you explain what combination knitting is?

Combination knitting combines eastern knitting, which wraps the needle clockwise, on the purl stitch, with western knitting, which wraps the needle counter clockwise, on the knit stitch. The reason people use it is because it is easier to wrap the purl stitch counter clockwise when you knit continental, with the yarn in the left hand. People who have trouble with stitches being looser when they purl often find their tension is more even with combined knitting.

This is all a matter of what works for each person. I have no trouble purling western continental style, but I had to practice quite a bit to get proficient at it, and now I am so used to it that it is as easy, if not easier, than the knit stitch. A beginner will probably find the eastern style easier.

I’m going to have to play with this. Since I learned to crochet when I was very young, it felt so much more natural to hold the yarn in my left hand when I starting learning to knit. I struggled and struggled with it until one day as I was watching Knitty Gritty (for the umpteenth thousandth time) that I was wrapping my yarn “wrong!” That’s why I was struggling so badly - my stitches were seated in the opposite direction but I was still trying to knit in the front leg. I have seen instructions telling you to purl through the back leg but never knew how … so THANKS! Something else for me to play with. :slight_smile:

If you watch amy’s video on combined knitting, she tells you how to do combined knitting in the round.

Amy shows how to do eastern knit stitch by wrapping the needle clockwise, which makes it so that the knit stitches are seated with the leading edge in the back. It is probably just as easy to knit all the stitches the usual way but knit them through the front when you knit in the round. The advantage of this is that when you do any pattern that calls for knitting into purls then you do it by purling into the front, but if you like purling into the back better, then you should do the eastern knit.

Hi Jen17

Grumperina has a good intro to combination knitting and gives the background to it.

I tried combination knitting because I thought the purl would be easier than the regular Conti purl - it is - but it played merry hell with my wrist. :sad:

I think the more ways you can learn to do things, though, the better.

Yours with the WD40 spray.


This is a very interesting way to knit and I enjoyed reading your posts. I’ve been knitting for almost 3 yrs. and learned English/throw first. A few months ago I learned Continental, and just recently I learned Combination.

I love to knit and I love to learn new things. I find it fascinating that there are so many different ways to knit and thought I’d explore as many as possible. Knitting is so cool and so much fun!

I taught myself to knit. According to the woman at my LYS, I taught myself “wrong.” I did some investigation - I’d taught myself combination knitting. I like my fabric, I knit quickly and it’s easy on my wrists and I don’t hurt anybody - so :stuck_out_tongue: to the lady at the LYS. :slight_smile:

I’m a big fan of knitting in whatever way works for YOU - as long as you like your product, you’re doing it right. I <3 Annie Modessitt. I friended her on Ravelry, too, and sent her a note telling her how much I appreciated all of her combination knitting advocacy and the increasing awareness she’s brought to the topic and she was such a sweet person in her response. I really, really like her.

I usually just knit regular. If I have miles and miles of stockinette to do with no variation, I will do the knit side continental and the purl side regular (I would do both conti, but I can’t seem to coordinate my left hand/yarn/needle). Is this combination knitting? My sts aren’t twisted … should they be? Or would they only be if I also combi-purled? And how would that be different from what I do now? I read those links and watched Amy’s video (can’t seem to watch Grumperina’s here at work, will have to do it from home tonight), but I can’t tell.

All I know is that before I started doing it, I “tested” to make sure that I was wrapping the yarn exactly the same no matter where it was coming from.

This method is especially helpful when doing two-on-one in the round, since the front piece is worked with the right hand and back is worked with the left hand.

Try Annie’s site for description of combination knitting -

It’s more than knitting conti and purling english; you have the yarn in your left hand for both and the purling is not at all like continental purl.

I taught myself to knit, and came to realize early on it was combined knitting. I’m really glad I learned this way, because it taught me to “read” my knitting right away, so that I wouldn’t twist my stitches.
I’ve since learned to knit the regular old english way, and that is the way I prefer, mostly because I didn’t want to go to the trouble learning the differences with the decreases, etc. And I wanted to learn lace, and it was causeing no end of trouble!
I tried combined again the other day, just for fun, and it felt all strange to me, I’ve become set in my english knitting ways, I guess!

I was watching my sister knit the other day, and realized that she knits combined continental style. She’s a very fast knitter, and makes some lovely things.