Learning continental is killing me!

I’m an english knitter trying to learn contenintal. This is harder than anything I have done in a long time! I feel like I am the most uncoordinated person in the world!!! Aggggh!

What method did you learn and what method do you use?
Any tips for me would be greatly appreciated.

Just keep doing it. It’s awkward because you haven’t practiced… lol sorry I don’t have a more profound tip, but it’s true

I started out knitting English but after some time passed, I still felt very frustrated and not comfy…so I watched Amy’s videos on Continental…it does come in handy to know both when I’m doing colorwork and English no longer feels weird to me…I would just keep practicing :thumbsup:

Also, for the continental purl I would suggest looking at Amy’s Norwegian Purlingvideo…:thumbsup:

I also find it awkward, but do use the technique when doing stranding. It does feel a bit more natural the more you do it, but I do still mainly knit English.

You don’t [B]have[/B] to learn continental if you’re doing okay english style. One isn’t better than another, just different, and you should use whatever’s more comfortable for you.

Still, I would give it a fair chance before deciding you definitely like one better than the other. I tried knitting Continental for like, just a couple rounds of something and was like Nope, don’t like it, it’s slow. But I was just not used to it. I forced myself to make a pair of socks in conti just so I would really give it a fair shot, and I ended up loving it way more.
Anything is going to feel awkward when you’re doing it for the first time. I’d say the same thing to people who knit English. :happydance:Might as well give it a shot, you might like it. If not, then just use English.

I have tried several times to knit “Continental” (well, I do carry my yarn in my right hand but I throw it and I wanted to learn to pick it). Then one day I just decided that there is NOTHING wrong with the way I knit, I knit really fast even if it looks weird and it works for me. So I’m not going to change.
But I did give it a fair shake, and I watched lots of different people and tried all their ways before I gave up.

I learned English first but wanted to try Continental b/c ribbing took me so flipping long to do and Conti just looked faster all around. I watched Amy’s videos and just couldn’t pick it up for the life of me - I’m far too uncoordinated.:pout: Someone on KH linked to thisYouTube video and it helped me out. It still felt really awkward for a while, but I kept at it and now I prefer it. I can be pretty dang speedy if I do say so myself. That being said, stick with whatever you’re comfy with. It’s not a contest, it’s purely for your enjoyment.

I knit English, recently learned continental and was feeling quite comfortable with the method after practicing for quite some time, and yes, it felt very awkward at first. However, began an afghan, bulky-as-all-get-out yarn (using two at the same time) and just did not feel ‘right’ using the continental - so back to the throwing. I think it is the size needle, 17, along with the bulky yarn giving me the problem with the continental. I won’t give up, it took too long to feel good with what I was knitting with the method but will stick it out on this project with the original way.


However, began an afghan, bulky-as-all-get-out yarn (using two at the same time) and just did not feel ‘right’ using the continental - so back to the throwing. I think it is the size needle, 17, along with the bulky yarn giving me the problem with the continental.

Yeah, I would think heavy yarn and large needles would be more difficult continental. I wonder… do most contis use thin yarn and small needles more than english knitters do?

I learned English first, then Continental, then Irish Cottage (YarnHarlot’s method) and I’m sticking with the Irish Cottage since it feels the most natural and doesn’t cause hand pain (Continental purl hurt my index finger from pivoting so much)


I only started knitting 6 weeks ago. The dvd I got shows both, but I only use English. I tried to do continential but it just wasn’t happenin’.

I’m going to stick to english…Good luck

I just wanted to “pile on” here–it’s always worthwhile giving things enough time to really see.

I was learning entrelac, and was taught to knit backwards, so as not to constantly be turning to purl–tried it, and thought it was ridiculously slow. So, I kept turning and turning my scarf while the rest of my class learned to do it backwards. Finally, when the scarf got to a certain bulkiness, the turning really was awkward…so I decided to practice for an entire pattern repeat. Bottom line…I got the hang of it and it was a really great skill to learn. I love it now.

By the same token, I gave dpns a short trial and wasn’t too sure about them. Recently, I had opportunity to really use them again, and decided, in fact, I was right–I’d much rather use two circs. But I can use dpns, and I know rather than assume that dpns aren’t my favorite.

I haven’t made any decision on magic loop yet because I only tried it for a short time (couple of rows). One day, I’ll give it a go for real and see.

BTW—<said with sheepish grin>I haven’t actually learned continental yet, so I may need to take my own advice and give it a go!

Exactly. I started continental and then went to english because it was faster and easier for me. I do use both hands when stranding though and it works fine for that.

When I originally taught myself to knit I used the English method. That said, I didn’t knit very long (only one project) and when I picked it back up twenty something years later and a couple weeks ago Continental feels more comfortable. I will also offer that I’ve yet to find a way to hold the yarn that feels comfortable so I hold it in my palm and throw it over the needle similarly to the way that it is done in English.

I wonder if Continental feels more natural to me because I’ve crocheted for my whole life.

I like continental, was english knitter before as well, and at first it was awkward as well to me, but learned continental and now I’m happy I did. It flows more quickly for me.

I started out with Continental and have recently been teaching
myself English to use with two color knitting. I can not for the life
of me figure out purling with the English method but doesn’t really
matter! :slight_smile: Just echoing what everyone else is saying…need to
give it a bit of time and practice and just use whatever method you
feel most comfortable with!


I can not for the life
of me figure out purling with the English method but doesn’t really

I taught myself continental purling, because I was not happy to have to switch back to english knitting when doing something that involved knitting and purling.

It’s really just a matter of comfort and preference. I was happy with English until I noticed my right wrist getting REALLY sore from it, so I tried to learn Continental. It was kind of hard for me since it didn’t feel right to hold the working yarn wrapped around my finger the way the videos all show…so I kept playing around until I found a hold that kept my yarn tension even. What I do now that is super easy and comfortable (for me anyway) is to wrap the working yarn around my left middle finger at the knuckle (instead of all the way up by your hand) and then wrap it over the second finger again by the knuckle. Hope that makes sense.

Really, just do whatever you enjoy most and gives you the most comfort. It’s all good! :muah: