Having problems with Continental method

Hi everyone…I’m new here and I’m so glad I found you all because I sure could use some guidance.

I am a long-time knitter but I’ve always knitted English style. I discovered the continental way on this site and I am determined to use it. I am having fun doing the knit stitch but purl is a different story. I’m just cannot seem to position my left thumb and middle finger so as to “grab” the working yarn and push it down and around the needle. Is it me or does this take a lot of practice and will I ever be able to do this? Anyone else have this problem at first and also who prefers the Norwegian method for this reason?


Nope, purling conti takes lots of practice. I’ve heard norwegian purl is easier, and there’s combination knitting too. This site explains how to do that - http://anniemodesitt.com/ - it’s much easier than traditional continental.

I totally know what you mean. It took a while to get the motions down for the purl stitch continental. I find I don’t need to grab it with my thumb and middle finger…I just kinda push it where it needs to go with my middle finger, no thumb involved. Amy’s video [here](javascript::wink: shows it well. My father grabs with both thumb and middle finger. I find that I go faster with just pushing it with the middle. But…whatever works best for you. I’d try both ways working on a practice swatch.

I don’t push my yarn either, just scoop it with the needle.

I don’t think purling continental is any more difficult that knitting continental. You are just scooping the yarn in a different direction. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll be a breeze.

My problem with continental anything is keeping my index finger lifted. That’s why if I do switch to the yarn in my left, it hurts. I prefer the combi method.

I tried the combi method and it definitely is easier. but don’t you have to follow instructions on a pattern differently?

A little, if you’re working flat, you don’t need to make changes except the decs are reversed. Where it says SSK, you would k2 tog; k2tog you do more like ssk. And you have to maneuver if you need to knit tbl. In the round if it’s just stockinette, you don’t have a problem, just knit the regular way. I think the site addresses most of these differences and how to deal with them.

I’m an English convert, too. (Been knitting Continental for only a couple months.) I had a hard time getting the hand of purling Continental, also.

How are you wrapping the yarn around your left-hand’s fingers? For me, I found that though I could get by easily with a little slack when doing just knit stitches, I need more tension when I do my purls.

So if I’m working plain stockinette in-the-round or garter flat, I sort of loosely weave the yarn between my left-hand fingers (more comfortable that way) but if I’m working anything that requires me to purl at all, I tighten up my tension by wrapping it around another finger. That gives me more leverage when “pushing” the yarn down behind the needle when doing a purl.

I still find it a little awkward though. I think knitting is just more comfortable than purling in Continental…

The way I wrap the yarn is that I wrap twice around the pinky, go under the ring and middle fingers and up over the index and that’s where I take my working yarn from. It’s trying to positon my hand so that it doesn’t let go of the yarn when I push down with my middle finger on the ‘wraparound’ to make the stitch. Drives me bananas!

Try wrapping so that instead of just going over your index finger, the yarn goes over the top of at least 2 fingers (but I prefere 3 - so I wrap around my pinky, then bring the yarn up and over the next 3 fingers). Then, when I purl, I simply push my index finger down. Like a previous poster said, I need more tension, but I get it by squeezing my pinky tighter to my ring finger.

Now, I’ve only been knitting a month, so take any/all of this with a (big) grain of salt!

OH, and there is a youtube video that shows how I’m doing it…let me see if I can find it, brb! Drat, not finding it :frowning: