Holding my needles

Hi everyone!

I’ve been knitting for a few years, and when I was taught how to knit, I didn’t feel right until I held my needles in a way that is different to both the English and the Continental methods. To me, its very comfortable, and I seem to knit fine as I am. I’ve tried to knit via the English and continental methods, but it just doesn’t feel good to me, and I always end up going back to my way! My stitches seem to be fine when I knit - neither too tight or too loose, and while I might be a bit slower than other knitters, I get there in the end! :oops: :wink:

But, what I’m wondering really is, whether in order to knit ‘properly’, I should try to hold the needles in either the English or the Continental method – or is it fine to have your own little style (that is different to the textbooks) of holding them?

As long as you’re happy with what comes off of them, you go and hold your needles any old way you want! :thumbsup:

Thanks Ingrid! :smiley:

props one needle under arm and starts knitting again :XX: :thumbsup:

I’ve heard of the ‘needle under the arm’ method. In fact there was a French woman on TV recently (the one that got the new face) who held her needle that way.

The only time that the way you hold your needles maybe an issue is when you are learning a new stitch or pattern that has a complicated set of instructions. Then you may have to play with the way you wrap the yarn or such in order to achieve the same results. I have the same problem, because I knit left and hold the yarn in my left, so I have to re-interpret even the left-handed directions a bit to accomodate my unusual style.

For example I just learned a twisted drop stitch and had to play with wrapping the yarn for several rows in order to achieve the correct look to the stitch. It is doable, just requires you to be able to think outside of the box.

Hello everyone.

I am new here. I was reading this thread with interest… I knit with one needle under my arm as well. I think you have much more control, and it’s very fast. I’ve never been able to master short needles…

I’m working on Violets by the River shawl.
You can see it here… http://www.blackberry-ridge.com/viosilk.htm

I’ve always knitted with a printed ( written pattern) which this is.
However, a gal asked me to make a shawl for her for her wedding in August,and I have the pattern and the yarn arriving probably tomorrow.
The only problem is, that it’s a CHART…and simple from what I was told, but I have had no experience with charts…sigh

I was wondering if I needed some help with it, would y’all be kind enough to help me with it?

You can see the shawl here:

Anyway, I am pleased to meet you all.

Happy Knitting! :XX: :XX:

Adriana–once you get the hang of charts, you won’t want to go back to written instructions. Of course we will be happy to help.


Sooooo nice to meet you. Thank you so much for volunteering!
I’ll be so ever grateful for any assistance.
The only charts I was comfortable with, was when I made an afghan ( afghan stitch) and had to embroider over the stitches, and that was 30 years ago!
I’ve attached a photo of the afghan, which was supposed to be made in 3 strips… I hate doing things that way…I made it in one piece…
In fact, when I knit I make both sleeves at the same time as well as both fronts at the same time if it’s a cardigan, and if it’s a pullover, I make both front and back at the same time.
I find charts confusing…l

:inlove: That is gorgeous!!!

Wowzers! That is an awesome afghan!

Awww… thanks. In my many moves, I lost the pattern.
It would be a task now to duplicate it. I would have to count rows and stitches and probably graph the whole blanket. The yarns came from France… and it was a very expensive project.

I’ve made several of this quick to make shawl for gifts I keep one or two on hand for emergency gift giving. :XX:

I :heart: the shawl. Is that from your own pattern, or is it available online? I’d love to try it :smiley:

P.S. – what weight of yarn is that?

I’ve made this on straight needles…
It’s a free pattern from Lion Brand.

Easy Triangle Shawl

2 skeins 790-343 Homespun®: color of your choice
1 Lion Brand Crochet Hook - Size K-10.5
1 Lion Brand Knitting Needles- Size 13 [9 mm]
1 Lion Brand Stitch Markers
1 Large-Eye Blunt Needles (Set of 6)
Lion Brand® Homespun®

8 sts = 4 inches (10 cm) in St st (k on RS, P on ws)
1 pattern repeat = (Rows 5-12) = 2" (5 cm). BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR GAUGE.


ssk (slip, slip, knit)

  1. Slip the next 2 sts as if to knit, one at a time, to the right needle.
  2. Insert left needle into the fronts of these 2 sts and kn them tog

Slip Slip Knit

Shawl is worked beginning at the center top and worked out to the point and corners. Stitch counts are noted at the end of increase rows for each of 10 pattern repeats. For ease in counting mark right side of work with yarn or safety pin.

Cast on 5 sts.
Row 1 (RS) K 2, yo, k 1, yo, k 2–7 sts.
Row 2 Knit.
Row 3 K 2, yo, k 1, yo, place marker (pm), k 1, pm, yo, k 1, yo, k 2–11 sts.
Row 4 Knit.
Row 5 K 2, yo, k to marker, yo, slip marker, k 1, slip marker, yo, k to last 2 sts, yo, k 2–15 (31, 47, 63, 79, 95, 111, 127, 143, 159) sts.
Row 6 K 2, p to last 2 sts, k 2.
Rows 7–8 Repeat Rows 5–6 once – 19 (35, 51, 67, 83, 99, 115, 131, 147, 163) sts.
Row 9 K 2, (yo, k2tog) to 1 st before marker, yo, k 1, yo, slip marker, k 1, slip marker, yo, k 1, (yo, ssk) to last 2 sts, yo, k 2–23 (39, 55, 71, 87, 103, 119, 135, 151, 167) sts.
Row 10 K 2, purl to last 2 sts, k 2.
Row 11 Repeat Row 5–27 (43, 59, 75, 91, 107, 123, 139, 155, 171) sts.
Row 12 Knit.
Repeat Rows 5–12 for pattern 9 times more (10 repeats total) – 171 sts. Do not fasten off.

Leave all sts on circular needles. *Put crochet hook through the next 3 sts and slip off needle, yo hook and draw through all loops on hook, then chain 7; rep from * to last 3 sts, put crochet hook through the last 3 sts and slip off needle, yo the hook and draw through all loops on hook. Cut yarn and pull through remaining loop on hook and tighten. Weave in all ends.

Thank you! I think I’ll give it a try. Your pic didn’t look like homespun - or was it?

Homespun is the only yarn I’ve used for that particular shawl…
The color used was Colonial… dark blue…s
I’ve done it in Prairie, Edwardian, Ranch, Sierra…and Colonial. It’s lovely in any color… :XX:


I think if the final product looks like it’s done properly then you’ve done it corrctly. I don’t do English or Continental. I’m self taught from a book 40 some years ago and am of the drop and wrap school. :wink:

Whatever keeps your needles clicking! :thumbsup: :XX: