Continental purl

Hi everyone, I am fairly new to knitting but in the short 2 months I am able to do English style knit and purl very well along with Continental knit stitch. I have practiced other stitches as well such as increases and decreases and are ok with those as well. I have tried several ways to try to purl Continental style but so far it is not satisfactory to me. I have gave up on purling Continental style because it puts too much stress on my hands and have been practicing Norwegian Continental purl stitch for the whole day. I am able to do it quite easily but the stitches are far too loose. I just can’t seem to get them tighter. The finished rows are about 3 mm apart. When I do a few rows just in a plain Continental Knit stitch they are fine with little to no space. Does anyone have any other suggestions as to how I may tighten the purl stitch up a bit? I am thinking that I may just have to stick with English style knitting when it comes to patterns where knit and purl are exchanged frequently. The only one I think I haven’t tried yet is the Combination knitting. I have been avoiding this as I have read that patterns need to be adjusted when using this method but I have no idea what adjustments would need to be done. I have trouble just interpreting some patterns without having to decipher something new. Is is difficult to alter a pattern to suit Combination knitting? If anyone has any further suggestions as to what I can try and/or hand/thread,needle placement I would love to hear them.

Thank you

Practice should help, you need more than a day with it I think. You can try to find another way to hold and tension the yarn, look at youtube for many different ways to do that. Or you might have to use a smaller needle on the purl rows for a while so your gauge isn’t as far off as your knit rows.

With combination knitting there’s really not a lot of adjustments to be made. When knitting the next row, you just knit into the back leg, or the one closest to the tip of the needle, rather than into the front leg. The decs would need to be swapped - do k2tog for ssk and vice versa. And that’s about the only changes that need to be done.

OH thank you. I will have a look. I am also thinking that it may be looser because I am using a cotton yarn. I like ti idea about swapping a smaller needle. Thank you

I’ve found that combination knitting is much easier for me, and I get more even tension using this method. However, I usually just use it for miles and miles of flat stockinette stitch. You might also try wooden needles (if you haven’t already). They’ve really helped me even out my tension no matter what knitting method I use.

There are lots of ways to knit, so don’t give up. There’s even one method (can’t remember what it’s called) where you don’t hold the yarn at all; instead, you loop it around your neck or through a pin on your shirt.

As Sue suggested, look on YouTube and see what you can find.

Portuguese knitting has the yarn around the neck or through a pin. It’s mostly like purling all sts, even the knit ones, you use a thumb to move the yarn around the needles.

I think the reason you’re having all the problems with purling is the Norweigan purling. There are so many rotations in that particular purling that it would be an ergonomotrist’s nightmare. Every time I see videos of it all I can think of is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Rather than learn Combination knitting, you might want to try Eastern European knitting. The yarn is always in the back for knitting and purling. In Eastern European and Combination, the only adjustments you would have to make is for increasing. The Kfb for us is a Kbf just the opposite. The k2tog and SSK decreases need a little adjustment but not bad. Those are the only real adjustments I can think of. English and Continental knitters have their stitches facing to the left. Combination and Eastern European knitters have stitches that face to the right. English/Continentals would say our stitches are backwards. Here’s an Eastern European video. Check it out. Feel free to PM me if you’d like. Sometimes you have to try a few styles to see which one suits you.

I’m an Eastern European knitter

English and Continental knitters have their stitches facing to the left. Combination and Eastern European knitters have stitches that face to the right.

Ummm, that doesn’t compute for most of us - I have no clue which way stitches ‘face’ . It’s a little easier to visualise to say the Western knitting has stitches with the leading leg (closest to the tip) in front of the needle, while eastern knitting has the leading leg in back of the needle.

I will give that a try. Thank you. I was originally taught that type of knit stitch but throwing the yarn like in English style. I will try to purl that way as well to see how it works for me. I have English style knit and purl down pat and Continental knit. I enjoy that Continental is so much faster so I am determined to find a purl method that works. Hopefully this is the one.

We call it left and right orientation. The stitches are on the needle like upside down horse shoes. They slant at an angle. An English/Continental knitter’s stitches will slant at a 45 degree angle to the left. An Eastern/Combined/Russian knitter will have their stitches slanting at a 45 degree angle with the open face to the right. If an English/Continental knitter had a stitch like this on their needle, they would say it was backwards and would turn it around or maybe knit it in the back side of the stitch to get it to face the correct way. In the video link I gave, the first part is all about how these stitches face in the different styles. Knitting is like trying on a couple of hats. You have to experiment and see which style you like the best.

Well I finally found a system that works for me. I hold the yarn as in Continental style but hold the needles as in English style except maybe even more tilted like and X that is rotated to the right. Then I use my right thumb to push the yarn down and into the side of the needle while picking it up with my right hand needle and pulling it to the right. It is not as tight as English style but seems fine.

Thank you to all those who provided feed back. I really appreciated all suggestions.

I’m glad you’ve found a method that works for YOU!!! That’s really THE most important factor in knitting! Really, there’s no “knitting police” out there who are waiting to pounce and shout that that’s not the “right” way to do it!!!

I started out with the English method and eventually switched to Continental, my own version of it. As long as the stitches are turning out OK whichever method you use is FINE!!!

Glad you’ve joined the ranks!!!:woot: :woot:

yeah I seem to do a bit of everything. For 100% cotton I find I do mostly continental purl but with the mercerized wool there is enough elasticity to do Norwegian purl. For the rows that I have to use a cable needle I do English Style. Also sometimes English after I have made an error and am in the process of correcting it. It seems to be good for me as my hands are not always in the same position. I think though when I come to a pattern that I will have to swatch to check guage I will need to take this into consideration. I am not sure what to do but maybe make the swatch using mainly the stye I would use given the pattern and the type of yarn? I am not sure, or throw a couple of rows of English style. Does anyone else do different methods for 1 pattern? If so how do you do a swatch? I am guessing that my continental style is a tad looser that English. I have tried to remember that when switching to English

Try a swatch in each method with the same yarn and needles and see if the different methods really give you a different gauge. In general, I would do mostly the same technique throughout a pattern just to ensure an even gauge but see if there really is a measurable difference.

that is a good suggestion. I will do 2 swatches. If there is a difference then I will just use one method or the other for the project. I am just finishing the cable scarf and so far the knitting seems fairly even even though I mixed the style up. I am not sure if that is because of the type of yarn or because my stitches are even tension between English,continental and Norwegian.

i cannot even describe how my mother taught me to purl. I’ve never seen anybody else do it but I can purl a row that way faster than i can knit a row. but it involved me switching yarn between my right and left hands for knit vs purl

I finally FORCED myself to do the continental by doing a baby blanket so it wouldn’t make any difference how uneven my stitches were. By the end of it, my stitches were even and I was so used to it that I don’t even pick up the yarn in my right hand any longer.

I too had and still am experimenting with the purl. the way I do it, I twist my left wrist forward and yeah that aches after a while. Lately I’ve been trying to just catch the yarn by moving the right needle more but I need more practice at it.

the best video i’ve seen showed somebody tensioning the yarn with their middle finger and then dipping their pointer finger down to form the purl. I’m going to try that this weekend. starting another baby blanket :slight_smile: