Learning to Purl Continental

OK so a I have been knitting for several years and I learned to knit English style.

Last year I tired to learn Continenal and I can knit (although it still slow compaired) but I couldn’t get purling…

Well I just tired again and using my middle finger is just VERY awarkward. I can do it now :), but I found that I want to use my thumb instead. I don’t want to keep doing it that way if it’s going to make problems for me later… what do you think?

if your stitches lay correctly, i say go for it! i recently discovered i was knitting wrong. i was wrapping the yarn the wrong way, which actually allowed the needles to do all the work, but my stitches were tilted. it looked fine for most everything, except stockinette. well, who wants stockinette that looks like a pattern? the whole idea is that it is smooth! gah!

I knit continental and I watched Amy’s video to make sure I was doing it “right” cause I used to knit combination style and changed over the last couple of years.

I don’t use my fingers at all to push the yarn down. I just scoop it with my needle and it seems to work fine for me. So what ever is comfortable for you as long as you are wrapping the yarn in the right direction and not twisting your stitch.


I couldn’t figure out the using fingers to push down either - the way I do it is kind of like what is linked to on the techniques page as ‘an interesting take on purling by a Finnish knitter’ or something.

I was doing the same thing yesterday: trying to refine my purling. I usually grasp the yarn between my index finger and thumb and sort of throw it around with my left hand–almost an English style but in the wrong hand. It goes very quickly for me. I found I was able to push the yard fairly easily with my middle or index finger. Yet, I still seem to want to use my original method. It turns out the same, so… I don’t know if it matters as long as the results are what you want. But I could be wrong! I’m a new knitter–6 months–relatively speaking!

I watched someone knit continental for 20 minutes and then went home and taught myself to do it. I did and do purl the “wrong way” but I found that if when I knit I insert the needle into the back loop Stockenette looks as it should. I can purl the other way but I prefer to scoop up my purl stitches it is so much easier.
One thing though: If you are doing wrapped stitches do purl with the yarn coming over the top.

Nothing wrong with what you’re doing. You’ve figured out how to knit Combined style, one of several perfectly valid alternatives to English and Continental. Many people find it gives them more even results, and the purl is certainly easier. There are several other methods besides English and Continental and all of them are fine as long as you are getting the results you want.

At some point (when knitting lace, for instance, or doing elaborate shaping), you may prefer regular Continental purl to get your increases and decreases going in the right direction. Or you can make adjustments to your Combined knitting by doing what you already know how to do: “read” your stitches and figure out where the needle and wraps go. There’s a good conversion chart from Continental to Combined at www.grumperina.com

THank you all so much! I am so glad that this site (the forum and the videos/help section) are here… I have learned so much here!

I think I’m going to make some ribbed dish clothes to practice… :thumbsup: