Continental Tension

I’ve been using the English method since I started knitting (or at least attempting to knit :rofling:) but was curious about Continental as it’s supposed to be faster.

I was just trying it. Of course it was very slow as I am not used to it and it felt awkward, but my main problem was with the tension.

I find it easy to control the tension with my right hand using the English method, but with the other way I found it impossible to get any tension at all. Very loose. Holding the yarn with the same hand as the needle and not moving it I just couldn’t get any tension control.

So, for Conti knitters out there, what’s the deal? The trick? The skinny?

Mason, I am no help, But when I tried Coni knitting. I had the same problem. so I will wait with you on the secret.

I feel better knowing it’s not just me :rofling:

This may not be a help, but my continental tension is definitely looser than my English ever was…but I was a TIGHT knitter English style (anal-retentive much? is that hyphenated?:lol:)

My tension was uneven at first, but just like English after some practice and figuring out how I like to hold things…it evened up quite nicely on its own. And for me, the change allowed me to relax and loosen up my knitting. No more bleeding fingertips and teeth grinding!

So conti tends to be looser then? That may not be a bad thing really.

maybe I just need to practice it and figure out how to hold the yarn so that it works for me. I tried both ways Amy shows in her video but neither one allows me any tension control at all.


Did you see Madametj’s Continental KAL? I’ve been wanting to learn this method too, and even gave it a go a few months ago but gave up. I’m thinking of doing the KAL. There’s already some good information that’s been posted.

No I haven’t but will look for it. Thanks.

Should have posted the [COLOR=Red][B]link[/B][/COLOR] the first time. Sorry!

Great, thanks. I did find the answer I was looking for. I think I’ll stick to English as I like being able to have more control over the tension.

It is for me :shrug:

FWIW, I don’t hold my yarn the way Amy does either. It just didn’t work for me. I stumbled upon my own way to hold things through trial and error.

I don’t purl the way Amy does either, it was just awful and awkward for me–not sure why. If I’m doing stockinette or almost anything but lace, I knit/purl combined and I love it. If I need to purl in a fancy stitch pattern that I don’t want to deal with watching stitch orientation, I do the Norwegian method that Amy has under “alternative methods” for purling. It looks fiddily, but it was smoother, faster and easier for me.

Trial and error baby, good luck!

Continental is awkward for the first few weeks you start doing it. But, if you stick to it, you will get better.

As for the tension, it is definately looser than English, due to the fact that the wrap of the next stitch tightens up the previous one. With Continental, there is no wrap to tighten up the stitches, so your gauge will be looser.

It took me a while to get my tension straight, I had loose stitches and tight stitches, but, eventually I got more comfortable with it. The most important thing is [B]do not knit English while you’re making the switch, and for some time after! [/B]You will completely throw off what you learned. Ask me how I know. But, just stick with it, and you’ll get it!

Thanks Conti. I’ll give it a go at some point. Since I’ve started my current project English I’ll stick with it for now. I’ll try a whole project conti on the next one.

All right, Conti, I’m a sucker, how do you know that it’ll throw off what you’ve learned when switching? I have thought about knitting this way, tried it a couple of times, but without much luck, so yeah, Mason, yer not the only knitter out there having this problem.


Because just as I was getting comfortable with the Continental, I knit English for a few rounds, and then when I went back to Continental, it was almost like learning it all over again. But, once you’ve gotten better at it, you can comfortably switch back and forth (like for fair isle sweaters). When I’m knitting Fair Isle, though, I carry both colors in my left hand. It just seems more comfortable that way to me.

Hehe, I figured I’d be the sacrificial lamb to ask the stoopid question (I know there are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots)


been one all my life :rofling:

Me too. :rofl:

hehe, well I’d have to say that’d be me too.:roflhard:

I had the opposite problem most have with trying continental (knitting anyway). It’s too tight. So I just hold the yarn, no wrapping around fingers and it’s better. Still tighter than my english knit…