Knit Tips & Tricks


Hi! I came across this link in an earlier post in this thread and found it helpful. I knit continental, learned crochet first, and also have had problems with my hands getting tired. I’m currently working with sock yarn and haven’t tried holding the yarn as she does in the video with worsted weight, but it is much easier for me to maintain even tension with the sock yarn holding it as in the video.

So I think I’m obligated now to share a tip or 2.

Don’t be afraid to try something new or different. You might find you like it. I have, more than once.

When knitting in the round I wrap the first and last stitches on the needle backwards to twist the stitch, it helps prevent laddering for me. I make sure I knit into the back leg when I come back to it, wrapping the yarn backwards to twist the new stitch.


Hey Grumpy - I was taught to knit “English style” by my mother, many years ago, but just this week, was shown the continental way by a man who’s a member of the Sutherland Shire Spinners and Weavers (a group I’m Secretary of). It’s a great way of knitting really and I’m amazed why more people don’t adopt it. I’m certainly going to try and reprogram my brain.


Knitting continental is easy, wait till you get to the purls…


I can knit both ways and do so for fair isle and ribbing, but my go to, comfortable method is English. It’s faster for me, too. Contrary to popular opinion continental isn’t always faster. It’s worth knowing both methods though IMO.


Learning something new is so cool and it sounds like you had a great teacher. I don’t have a problem purling Continental, haven’t got the hang of it English. Someone here knits Eastern European (?) and others knit Portuguese style. I want to try both at some point. I have a great deal of respect for those who knit English comfortably and well. For me, it is just really hard, I think because I crocheted for 20+ years before knitting and I tried it more like crochet before I found out there is a real way to knit like that. It’s great you have two knitting styles now. Even if you only ever do ribbing in Continental, it’ll be handy for that, and if you get into 2 color knitting you can use it there. As for purling, there is a link somewhere in here that I checked out and looked at how she holds the yarn; I reposted the link. I don’t do the rest as she does in the video but I find holding the yarn like that works better for me than anything else I’ve tried and makes purling easier. So…try different ways of holding your yarn and find what’s comfortable for now and try something else later on, you might like it better then.


I use magic loop for my toe-up socks, but I get tired of moving the marker (the height of laziness, right?). I can use the tails to tell where I am, but as the sock gets longer, I’ll get tired of turning the toe inside out to see where the sock #1 tail is (especially after I stuff the ball of yarn into the toe). So I used a darning needle and pulled that first tail through to the right side, about an inch up the side of the toe. That inch on the WS will make it easy to grab the tail and pull it back through to the WS when the socks are finished and I want to weave in any tails. Here are a couple of pics in case it’s hard to visualize. (The yarn is curly because it’s recycled from a thrift-store sweater.)


I’ve had the same problem. I just put a coil-less safety pin on my socks, Carol. :wink: Either way works though!


Me too. I’m glad we can all do what works best for each of us. Carol’s idea is great especially if there isn’t a pin handy. Nothing to lose, either!


I’ve been hesitant about leaving something metal in a project that takes a while. Regular pins sometimes leave rust marks.


Oh, yeah, metal pins can be bad. I have some of those coiless pin stitch markers. When I stop in at JoAnn Fabrics and have coupons, I hit the aisle where they have things like that and use 50% or 40% off coupons. Good thing I can because they like to get lost.


That’s where I get them, too! In the beading section.

I’ve never had a problem with them myself. I like that they don’t have the coil that can get caught in the yarn.


I’m the one that knits Eastern European. Here’s a link if you want to learn this. It’s mainly getting used to the stitch orientation. This is an older form of knitting from around 200 a.d.

Some claim to be Eastern European, but they’re really combination knitting. In true Eastern European knitting, the yarn is always held in the back of the work for both knitting and purling.


Hm, Eastern European knitting is a new designation for me. I do Russian knitting, which some people confuse with combination knitting and whose purl stitches do produce twisted stitches, so you have to knit into the back loop on the next row.

Darn, I don’t know how to insert a video directly.


I had no idea I knit "Russian style"
A German friend of mine taught me to knit a few yrs back.

Up until recently I have been watching knitting YouTube videos as well as other instructional videos. I could not find anything thing that resembled my kind of knitting style until a few minutes ago that the Russian style was mentioned, I clicked on the link given and I KNIT Russian style.

Thanks for posting the links!! :thumbsup:


It looks like you still go into the stitch like a standard (American?) purl, but bri g the yarn under rather than over. I only do that if I’m trying to tighten the purl in ribbing or next to a cable though.


When I first tried learning to knit I simply couldn’t do it. The only instructions I could find were for English throwing. I wanted to throw yarn alright! I started trying to do it more like crochet and decided I could do it that way. It wasn’t until I got to watch videos online that I found out it’s a “legitimate” way to knit and it’s called Continental. Funny, it shouldn’t matter if we do it “right” or “wrong” as long as it works but I have it in my head that I must do it “right” and can’t get rid of it entirely. It is nice to know someone else does it the same way. I have since gotten so I can make knit stitches English but the purl still eludes me. :teehee: And I read on here and other places how hard it is to purl Continental! Thank goodness there are no knitting police and if it works, it works.


Yep. But what makes the style distinctive is the figure-eight twist in the wrists. There’s a Russian knitting group on Ravelry, and they have stuff on their home page that explains it in greater detail.


A few months ago I tried knitting again (when I was in mid 20’s a friend tried to teach me and it was a disaster - if it was two thing that had to be same size like booties or sleeves for sweater or slippers they were never the same size) and trying to teach myself because no one really I know that can help me with it so I have had a lot of disasters and taken things completely out, I just was on last ten rows of a shawl and saw I missed a dropped stitch about six rows down, in process of unraveling it stitch by stitch with needles I dropped more stitches (didn’t know about life lines at all - read about them on here after the fact). I’m best at doing small projects right now like scarves for people and for dolls, did some simple shawls for people and dolls, dishcloths. Going to stick with small projects until I get really good at knitting.

What I first learned was my yarn was traveling all over the place and getting dog hair on it (we have a long hair dog that sheds a lot) and if in plastic bag would “crawl” out of the bag and wander away. So my husband got a large plastic heavy duty bucket (the kind with a team logo on it that he won filled with goodies at a raffle) and brought it in from his work shop shed and it was clean. I had a plastic bag that fit real well inside it and held tight around the top. There is a Ziplock gallon freezer bag sitting down in it with scissors, smaller straight needles (only a few straight ones), circle interchangeable needle set, markers, cable needles, measuring tape, ruler, mechanical pencils, pad of paper, etc so they are not all over the place. Also a clipboard to hold the pattern or pattern book and sheet of paper to mark the rows I’ve done. The yarn sits down in it and not crawling all over and picking up the dog hair plus I don’t have to think about where I am sitting if it is free of his hair too. If I have to take my work with me I have a quilted bag that the clipboard, freezer bag, yarn with needles and what I’m working on, also the pattern and mechanical pencil. I was for a while going to a knitting hour only to find the lady that could have helped a lot moved away, the rest are about my level and/or crochet a lot so not real helpful so I quit going for now.

The first things I knit using two strands didn’t seem to be a problem with strands tangling just using them off the skeins, then the trouble began. I had a sudden problem with the yarn getting so tangled up I had to either cut the yarn or give up and unravel it. A friend told me she avoided that problem by rolling the two strands together in a ball and no more tangling and if it did it was much easier to untangle it. After a real mess last night and some cutting and tying strands to go on I just stopped and undid what was left of the skeins and from the ends started rolling them together into a ball towards the tangled mess that happened again, cut it out and started second ball just so I can go on with this project. I have learned the very hard way that if I’m going to use more than one strand then I will be rolling them into a ball and have a better knitting experience.

I found with site by accident and learned a lot, but seems when I typed in cables there weren’t any videos coming up with them. I tried to do a scarf with cable in center and the right side of the cable was great and the left side had wide “spaces”. I used cable needles, tried knitting from that needle, tried knitting by placing stitches back on left needle to knit the left half. Are there videos on this site for cable knitting? If so, can you link me to it?

Thank you for all the tips I’ve already come across here and the videos for the basics.


There are some videos here for cables under Advanced Techniques, about halfway down the page.
And here is one from Eunny Jang that may be helpful too.

Cables do create holes because of the way you’re switching the order of the stitches. Not pulling the yarn too tightly may help make them less noticeable.


Thank you for all the tips I’ve already come across here and the videos for the basics.

I think the best tip is keep coming to knittinghelp! I’m far from an expert but what I’ve learned, I’ve either learned right here or by learning enough to know what it is I want to try to track down.

Your bucket and bag setup sounds very effective and efficient. :thumbsup: Thanks for letting us know.