I just returned from taking a class at the knitting national conference, and noted that the rest of the class were continental (and extremely fast) knitters. I use English (right hand thread) knitting/purling. I looked on your terrific web site and learned continental knitting, three different kinds of purling and made a swatch. However, now my purls are bigger than my knits (using either continental or norweigan purls), and so I get that unattractive ridging on my stockinette swatch. First question- should I persevere? just for speed? and 2. how do I reduce the size of my purl stitches so everything is smooth again.
If you like English style knitting, and it’s plenty fast enough for your tastes, then there’s no reason to switch just because “everybody else is doing it.” - We have lots of English knitters on the boards.
The only way I’ve found to even up my flat stockinette in Continental is to actually use the Combined method of purling where you wrap the yarn clockwise instead of counterclockwise (Counterclockwise is the way you ordinarily wrap the yarn) and then when you go down your knit row, you knit through the loop at the back of the needle because all of your stitches are twisted by the Combined purl and the Combined knit is meant to untwist them. The only thing about combined knitting is that you have to adapt all the increases and decreases because of the twisting and untwisting of the stitches - It causes the decreases and increases to lean differently.
All of this is quite a headache for me, so I prefer to knit in the round whenever possible or use garter stitch which Elizabeth Zimmerman was so fond of.
I’m a continental knitter and depending on what yarn I’m using, my purl stitches are looser. What I do is, I wrap the yarn one extra time around my pinky when I’m purling. So if I wrap it once when I’m knitting, I wrap it twice when I purl. This does wonders to even out my tension.
I’d say, stick with it for a little while, but if it doesn’t click, then don’t sweat it.
It’s a matter of practice… my tension is now pretty even with my purling (I’m a Conti knitter)…