Help with continental purl

with the help of amy’s videos, i am happily and successfuly knitting continental, but purling, not so much. i can do it, but it’s awkward and uncomfortable, and has been for weeks. My problem is getting the yarn down. In the videos, Amy uses her middle finger to push the yarn down and her forefinger goes down with it in a smooth movement. I can’t get my middle finger involved for some reason. I don’t know if I lack the coordination or if it’s my big fat hands, but regardless, does anyone have any other hints or different ways to get this step accomplished? I’m able to do it kinda pushing the yarn down with my thumb and also by grabbing the yarn in between my thumb and forefinger, but the awkwardness factor and time involved has me purling English still.

thanks so much!

Forget the middle finger.

I just use my pointer to bring the yarn down.

It does take a while, took me almost 3 months of continental style knitting to get it comfortable :smiley:

well here is where i learned before i found this site (if you want to truly appreciate these forums check out THEIR forums!! :shock: ) They give some different methods for continental. maybe watching her will give you another view point? the continental part of the purl starts at about 2:15



I knit goofy to begin with, but I too just use my forefinger to manipulate the yarn whether I’m knitting or purling. I would say just do what’s comfortable to you. As long as your stitch ends up the right way, does it really matter that much how exactly you do it?

As a side note, I think your new avatar is great. I roared at your “holiday greeting” in your sig line… I :heart: LOVE :heart: that commercial!!! I think it’s one of the best politically {in}correct ones I’ve seen in ages. :roflhard:

thanks, all!

i guess i’ll stick with the pointer finger thing or just never purl again… :wink: we’ll see. the pointer finger actually works pretty well, though, it’s nice that when you lift it back up, the yarn is just waiting there to be held by your finger again. magical! i think it just gets me because i can knit continental just like the video. as much as i enjoy the continental knitting, i almost get bored not throwing, so maybe i’ll stick with the English purling for some variety for a while. :wink:

Nicole, check out the carols here :slight_smile:

Brendajos, thanks for that link! I might give those other methods a shot, as well! Those videos sure are… different than what I’m accustomed to from Amy! we are totally spoiled!

I push the yarn down with both my pointer and middle finger at the same time. I made a hat for dh with a fairly large seed stitch band at the bottom- that helped me go from knitting to purling much better due to the repetition.

If you’re really having trouble with the continental purl, you might want to try the Norwegian. No pushing down of the yarn and the yarn stays in back rather than bringing it forwad…especially handy when switching back and forth between K and P. Amy has a video about it in the Purl section.

I purl Norwegian, and Amy is right. It DOES make purling fun!

i’m going to try it right now! i’ll be back in a bit with an update :wink: thanks again!!!

ok, cancel. i’m finding that a bit fiddly. i need more time to play with it, but will update soon anyway. :wink:

aidan…do you find your purls with norwegian are a bit looser? I think that might be the only “downside”. I really loved doing purl that way, but my tension was ending up uneven so I switched back to continental purling.

I very much wanted to purl exactly as Amy does in her video, but simply could not just because my fingers are not long and graceful like hers are. Mine are sort of thick and stubby.
Thought I’d never be able to do it, but guess what? I use the index finger instead of the middle finger, and all is well.
You’ll get it. Sometimes we have to break the rules a little.