Question for continental knitters

Did anybody out there start out as an English knitter and “convert” to Continental knitting? I have a question. I was trying to learn how to knit Continental, and while I finally learned how to hold the yarn and maneuver the garter stitch, I noticed that my right needle was really going up and down like a seesaw! This doesn’t happen when I knit English. My needles will move, but not exaggeratingly so. Was it just that I was trying to master the technique so I was really trying to move those needles around?

Also, do you find yourself knitting more off the tips of the needles Continental style than you did English? When I knit English, I make sure I push my stitches down the shaft of the needle a bit so I don’t have too tight stitches.

I don’t know how to knit english-style, so I can’t really give you a comparison…but I do know that my needles fly all over the place when I knit. Straight needles become especially dangerous in my hands, but circular needles aren’t so bad. :teehee:

Also, I knit off the tips of my needles, but I make sure to push them all down so I don’t get super tight stitches. :slight_smile:

I learned english a long time ago but then I stopped knitting - I didn’t like it… then when I picked it up again I automatically started doing it continental (because of my previous experience with crochet) and that’s what I stuck with.

I think my working needle does move up and down a little more with continental than with english, but not a lot more. Besides that there’s not a lot of difference as far as I can tell.

I would guess that a lot of the difficulties you’re having will probably go away as you get more comfortable with the continental style…

This will seem very strange but here goes. When I’m knitting, I liteterally have the bottom of my left needle rest on my left leg. I move my right needle a little but I’m mostly knitting around the ends of the needles. I use my left hand to do all the yarn work. Can anyone picture this or I’m I too vague? Really, I’m a super-duper fast knitter. I don’t actually hold the left hand needle at all. It rests on my leg the whole time.

Weird, huh? :?? Hey, as long as it gets the job done.

I started on english for a week then switched to continental and stayed with it ever since. Yes it does seem a bit more movement with the whole needle (wrists) rather than your index finger. To me it seemed easier and faster to knit continental and my index finger didn’t lock up as much :pout:

And I knit off the tip of my needles which probably contributes to my tight knitting :?? but I prefer tight knitting than to loose

I never noticed any see saw motion with the needles. The only thing I noticed was that my knitting was looser which, for me, was a good thing.

I switched from English to Continental over a year ago. My right needle moves much less than it did before, and my speed has increased so dramatically that my mom asked me to show her Continental (she’s been knitting English for probably over 50 years). My purling keeps getting faster, but still not as quick at the knit.

I also make sure to push the stitch down the right needle once it’s made so that my stitches are not made on the tips.

It depends, but not usually. Most likely you’ll figure out more efficient ways to move your needles as you get more comfortable. It’s like learning DPNs, when they feel like they’re all going to reach out and poke you in the eye- you get the hang of it, and suddenly everything feels much more graceful. :slight_smile:

I learned to knit with the Continental style, but I just thought I was doing it “backwards” cause I´m a leftie! The girl who taught me keeps the left needle under her arm, and so do I, and yes, I have noticed at times, a see-sawing motion with my right hand. I do find knitting “easier”, quicker, and quieter than purling, and also tend to have to push my stitches down every now and then.

It´s good to know I´m not the only one doing these things! Still learning… :teehee: Karen

PinkRoses – i prop the left needle on my leg as well! Especially the variety I’m using currently, 'cause they’re super long, and my DH is afraid I’ll poke out his eye(s)… :teehee:

cookworm – it seems to me that conti knitters move the needles a bit more, and perhaps english knitters move the yarn a bit more (the whole ‘throwing’ action).

just my .02 after numerous observations. :?? :hug:

oh, and i do tend to knit on the tips (though i’m TRYING to break the habit). :shrug: and, like everyone else, it makes my stitches way too tight…

I never really got the hang of English style. I learned to crochet when I was very young so conti felt more natural to me. Both the right and left needles seem to move the same amount for me, kind of like a see-saw! I really don’t do much yarn work with my right hand, but my left index finger really gets a work out though. This is the way that feels most comfortable to me, and I can really zip through, even when purling.

I started english but knit continental and yes my needles move more as opposed to my thread moving more. I also knit more or less off the tips but if anything I have a problem with things being too loose at times :shrug:

i know what you mean, i do the opposite cuz i knit english style. i push the right needle against my leg to move the stitches.

I do the same except I rest my left needle on a couch pillow :happydance:

I tried to initially learn how to knit English but it wasn’t happeneing for me. It seemed very awkward, I did immediately click with Continental style and haven’t gone back.

My right needle on mimics a seesaw when my stitches are too tight and I have to really get in there, otherwise I just slip them in, pick up the yarn on the other side, pull it through and slide it up and off at a 45 degree angle. It works for me :slight_smile:

I only knit Continental now, but the cabling on my Fetching was not going as easily as I would have liked. I switched to English and zipped right through it! Sometimes you need both!


I started English, and knitted that way for about 1 week, and I switched to Continental. I like it so much better, and it is faster (in my opinion)