I Learned to Knit English Style!

After I finish off some UFOs, I want my next project to be a Fair Isle sweater. I’m a continental knitter, and I’ve tried Fair Isle carrying both yarns in my left hand, but found it awkward. So I decided to learn to “throw” so I can carry one in each hand.

It was slow and awkward at first (flashbacks to my first scarf - a nightmare of mysterious dropped and added stitches) but I got the hang of it pretty quickly! I am a lefty so I’d like to think it presented an additional challenge! :mrgreen:

May I present, the Fair Isle Dishcloth in Progress~

Actually it’s finished but I don’t have a pic. The design is a little crazy, but I can now successfully knit and (haltingly) purl in the English style! :woohoo:

Looks Good!

Well done! I knit combine, but I throw stitches like English, only with my left hand. One of these days I am going to finally get my act together and my knitting will look good. Honest, you would think I’d taught myself to knit.

Angela -

As long as the finished product is knitting, who cares if it looks weird? :mrgreen: I learned to knit and purl Continental from the videos on this site, but after a while found I could purl much faster if I do it slightly differently (instead of using my middle finger to push the yarn down, I hold the yarn a little more tightly and kind of flick it down with my index finger) than is shown in the videos.

Starting off, I’m doing the English style knits and purls just like Amy shows them, but I will probably develop my own method after a while. :knitting:

I mostly knit english, but I can knit continental for ribbing or fair isle. You do develop your own method which is why I always say do what works for you! :thumbsup:

BTW…I’m pretty fast at english knitting. I kind of move the needles down and my right hand very slightly so there isn’t near as much movement as some people say. :yay:

I am at the point where my “throwing” motion is pretty exaggerated. Bystanders have been punched. (Just kidding). As I improve on the economy of that motion, I’m sure I’ll get faster.

I was surprised to find that purling isn’t really all that different from knitting English style. Both have the throw and a CCW direction. I always assumed since people talk about “ways to avoid purling” or that someone knows how to knit but not how to purl, that it would be vastly more difficult in the English style. :shrug:

My biggest problem is my purls are loose. I have developed the habit of giving the yarn a little tug to even out my stitches when kntiting Continental style. It’s difficult for me to do that tug when knitting with 2 colors, and my purls (both styles) are looser. The tug thing is probably slowing me down, but then again, I’m not in a knitting race. I just want to be able to knit smoothly and make nice stitches. :thumbsup:

I am at the point where my “throwing” motion is pretty exaggerated. Bystanders have been punched.

XD Just sit next to someone you don’t like.

Punching by-standers sounds more like ‘dangerous knitting’ than ‘English knitting’!
I hold my right needle under my armpit (I’m right handed) - would this help free your hands up more? It helps to make me a fast knitter.

(Best wishes from England) :thumbsup:

I like to watch people knit english when they use the almost pison like throwing technique. I’ve tried it and I can’t do it. I don’t usually knit english anymore unless I’m doing fair isle. I just find that I am significantly faster with continental. Plus I hate having to remember to move the yarn from front to back depending on the knit or purl.


I don’t know about you guys, but I’d buy tickets. :rofl:

If you ran a poll I think you will find that a majority of us do the index finger flick to purl.

I’ve always knitted this way. My mom taught me. I’ve tried the other way but it is always too lose.

I taught myself to knit English-style from a book. Then, a German lady at my church tried teaching me Continental-style, and it was the awfulest mess you have ever seen!! LOL At that point, I was really good with the English-style, and could go at a pretty good pace. But when I tried to do the Continental it was a nightmare…I dare say a three year old could have done much better! :roflhard:

:woohoo: Looks great!

I’ve been looking at the title of the thread wondering why anyone would want to learn English (assuming you already had another form that worked).
I could understand English to Continental because it’s thought to be faster (it isn’t).

Today I saw it and thought, “knitting with both hands”, sure enough.

I do double knitting 2 fingers left hand and I think 2 hands would be the better way to avoid tangles, twists and confusions.

I tried a bunch of different ways, including the ‘under the armpit’. Having quizzed some knitting mates, I developed this way (see attachments) of holding the needles and yarn to ‘throw’. It is by far the quickest. You don’t ‘drop’ the right needle while you throw, so you’re in more control, both of the needles and the tension. The key bit is resting the right needle in the crook of your thumb.

Works just fine for purling too, you just use your index finger to throw the wool round to the front side before doing the purl stitch.

I have seen people do this and have tried to learn and I just can’t get that method of doing things.

Practice, practice, practice :knitting:

Thanks for this tip! I knit English style and it has made my knitting much faster. Easier on my hands, and the tension is perfect. :muah: