Is there an advantage?

I am teaching myself how to knit, and have been experimenting a little bit with the English and Continental methods. Neither of them feels natural to me, and they are both at the same degree of difficulty to me. Should I learn one over the other, or first?

I am doing Double Cast-On for Casting-On, I chose it because it’s easy and for both types of knitters.

We have a mix of knitters here. Some swear by Conti, some by English. Try both and see which is more comfortable for you.:shrug:

There are at least half a dozen ways to knit and none of them feel natural at first. It takes quite a few hours of practice before you can do the knit stitch without thinking about it, and more hours until the same thing happens with the purl stitch. After a while, you reach a point where your fingers, not your mind, are doing the work and the whole thing feels much more natural.

Neither English nor Continental is better or easier than the other. They both have advantages. Some people take more easily to one; most people just stick with the one they learned first.

Try making something simple – say, a simple scarf or dishcloth. Use the English method for the first half, Continental for the second. Decide which half felt better to your hands, and which half looks better to you.

Actually, it’s a good idea to learn both English and Continental. It will come in handy when you start doing multi-colored knitting.

I vote Contiental because of the ease of moving back and forth from knitting to purling. Both are right, and either can become second nature, but doing ribbing, seed or any stitch that moves from knit to purl all the time is easier IMHO with Continental. That is, if you do the Continental correctly. It can be done so that it is just as hard to move from knit to purl as in English. Amy Finlay’s video’s show a good way.

Knowing both is good.

I only know how to knit the english way as that was the way my mum knitted …but I wish I had also been shown the continental way as I have been told that it is easier and kinder to your hands and wrists. You just have to do which is comfortable for you…I hold my needles different to anyone else I know but it’s comfortable for me.

You really have to pick what’s easiest for you. I’m a thrower (English method) because that’s how I learned. However, I have tried continental (I’ve heard this described as picking just like English method is throwing) and it’s just more comfortable for me to throw. I will tell you that alot of knitting instructors teach in continental style - so if you’re a newbie and plan to take classes, continental style might be easier for you. Good luck! Knitting is so addictive!

Both methods are hard as heck until they get easy. I didn’t take to knitting very easily at first. I kept hearing people talk about how even small children were skilled knitters in the past, and I kept thinking I was the one poor soul who was going to be too uncoordinated to ever make a decent looking stitch.

Try both English and Continental a lot. I expect you’ll gravitate to one or the other, but maybe you’ll be bi-knitual, which would be just grand if you ever do any Fair Isle knitting.


Hi where can you get this video?
sorry, I’m new here and didn’t phrase this right,lol!
Marigold in WA, can you tell me more about this video?

Just look at the top of this page - see the tabs? click on either Getting Started, Basic Techniques or Advanced Techniques. You’ll see a list of the videos for the various techniques.

I learned English, but watching the videos here, have been able to learn Conti for the knit stitch. The purl conti stitch is still kind of awkward for me. Since I’m knitting mostly socks, I don’t need to purl often so I’m not getting to practice it much.

Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll be like Annie Modesitt and take advantage of Combination Knitting. I saw her at The Great LAkes Fiber Show and she was amazing! She will truly knit anything, anywhere in any methods.

I’m a “thrower” and have been knitting since I was a little girl (and I’m not going to tell you how long ago that was!). I’ve been thinking about trying conti style. I understand about the ease of moving from knit to purl but wonder how this relates to cables? Any harder or easier than English or is it all what you are used to?


With cables all you’re doing is knitting the stitches out of order, and you do the cable twists all on one row, usually every 4th or 6th or 8th row, depending on your pattern. I can’t say it would be harder or easier to do either way.

I don’t think cabling is any different between the two methods. Most people find English easier to learn initially, but Conti is faster, and I think I would agree with that. In English, for single ribbing, or moss/seed stitch, you are moving the wool once between every 2 stitches, so it requires TWICE the number of movements for the same number of stitches (compared to Conti).
If you genuinely find both equally easy, I would certainly recommend Continental (check that you are not twisting your stitches though as in combined knitting).
Being able to do both is handy for knitting with 2 colours though.