Continental/eastern method

Does anyone knit using the Continental/eastern method where the back of the working stitch leans forward toward the right and the front of the same stitch is a bit left. A knit stitch is created in the back of the working stitch. Purl in the front of the working stitch but the yarn is scooped up differently. Even my cast on stitches come out in the opposite direction of anything I have seen. My stitches are not twisted, but trying to follow a pattern is difficult. Before I have to learn to knit the Continental German way (that’s what they call it in some of the books) I would appreciate any suggestions where I where I may find knitting resources using this method.

Welcome georgette!

The name I’ve heard for this method of knitting is the “Combined” method. I do cover the basics of it in the Knit and Purl pages. There’s a link to a site there that has more info on it.

Happy Knitting!

Thank You. I reviewed your combined videos and found them excellent. I originally viewed the Continental method, tried it, and was able to execute the stitches as you demonstrated. Being an “old dog” I was more comfortable knitting the way I learned a lifetime ago. I purchased your CD and now I will be able to view the demonstrations from the comfort of my couch instead of the computer. I also visited the site you recommended and found that helpful. You have given me the tools to embark on a lifetime ambition. I am going to start on the Irish hiking scarf I found through a link from your site. If I am sucessful I will send a picture. Thank You sooooooo much. Keep up the good work.

Hi georgette,

I am really curious about eastern knitting! I only came across the term “eastern crossed” (aka combined) knitting the other day and I was totally intrigued!

Were you taught this technique? Are there specific patterns written to be used with this technique (I am just wondering). Apologies if these are silly questions!!! :oops:

Hi Georgette,

I’m also working on the Irish Hiking Scarf, and I found the link through Amy’s Pattern page! Let me know how you get on and what wool you use, I’d love to see other examples!

If you want to have a look at my work in progress check out my blog

Good luck!

I was taught combined English knitting when I was a little girl (maybe 4?) and never knew there was another way. I had a heck of a time following patterns and learning new stitches because it never occured to me that I was knitting differently than other people. When I tried to learn continental knitting to do Fair Isle work, I had so much trouble that I went back and read the “learn to knit” section of my books. Boy was I surprised to learn I’d been doing something less common.

When trying to find help with Fair Isle knitting, and not understanding Continental style at all I stumbled across this site… SUCH a help with German style. It’s been said a hundred times, and I’ll say it again, THANK YOU Amy for this site! The FREE videos to show us tips, tricks, techniques, etc is an amazing gift to the self-taught and mostly self-taught.

Now I only knit Continental style. It took me a weekend of knitting swatches and experimenting to really get the hang of it, but I’d never go back. It’s faster, easier, way more efficient, more graceful, more logical… should I go on?

I’d teach someone un-combined knitting English style so they’d get the idea of where the yarn goes, then switch them over to Continental for actual practical knitting…

In the mean time, Continental is the way to go!

I just bought a sock book (sock addict me) by Priscilla Gibson Roberts. This lady is apparently a huge fan of “eastern knitting” (combined). This style of knitting is used in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia! That’s why it makes me so curious. It’s like there’s a world of knitters and knitting techniques to be potentially discovered! :smiley:

If you look up some of the ethnic sock pattern books on amazon, the images of Turkish socks and Eastern European socks are just awesome!!! Look at this:

It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, :wink: but I just think it’s beautiful. :smiley: I’m not sure how you would wear a sock like that, but wow, it’s a gorgeous piece of artwork!

Hence my newfound fascination with this style of knitting. :smiley:

Combined knitting produces the same resulting fabric. It twists the stitch in the purling process, but un-twists it in the knitting process.

I think it’s a very practical, intelligent way of knitting, just as good, in it’s own way, as our standard western methods. The only “problem” with it, is that western patterns are not written to accomodate the twisted-on-the-knit-row stitches, so it can get confusing if you’re following a standard western pattern. There are short-cuts to working certain decreases, but you have to know how to do them. Otherwise, you can always re-orient (untwist) the stitches on the left needle to work a decrease or whatever, in the standard western way.


I think it’s a very practical, intelligent way of knitting, just as good, in it’s own way, as our standard western methods.

Yes exactly. You can do it “continentally” (left-feeding the yarn) or “English-style” (yarn from the right). It’s just the stitches end up mounted opposite to the western way. But what really interests me is the techniques.

Like all over the web there are Gibson-Roberts references to how her short row heel sock wraps are “eastern crossed” and I read somewhere that she feels that it’s better to wrap eastern-style because it uses less yarn than a western wrap, and therefore makes the joins at the heel and toe less holey than western wraps. I am a bit dubious about the truth of this, but it’s an interesting take nevertheless. It makes you wonder how traditional eastern knitters do other things and whether there are traditional techniques that come from those knitting cultures that might also be interesting.

I think all those combined/eastern knitters out there should be proud that they knit differently. :smiley: Don’t ever let people make you feel that it’s “the wrong way” or whatever. The people that taught you to knit combined-style could probably teach us all a new knitting trick or two! :smiley:

Just yesterday I found out that I’m a combined knitter too. I was trying to knit a sweater and got confused on the neck part of it. Although someone on another board told me how to decrease correctly and watching the video here for decreasing, I couldn’t do it right.
Than looked at the video of the knit stitch…hmm my knit looks different… Then I saw the combined method and that was the way I always knit. I taught myself how to knit, cause my mum couldn’t remember knitting. I guess I changed from continental to combined when I learned how to do the purl stitch.
That also explains why my mum thought I knitted strangely…
Anyway I now have tried to knit continental and I don’t think there’s much speed difference betwen the two methods.