Stitch Sizes

Does anyone know whether there is a BASIC DIFFERENCE in tension between English and Continental knitting?

I’m an English knitter (no kidding) but have been trying out Continental Knit stitches for about six months now - each time I do a tension swatch, (using the same wool and 4 mm needles) the Continental comes out exactly a half-inch longer and a half-inch wider than the English.

Is this usual? or does it mean that I haven’t quite got the Continental knitting down pat yet?

The English knitting is usually smack on with the pattern tension but I use 3.75 mm if I decide to knit Continental.

Anyone enlighten me, please?



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I think that tension with different methods depends on the knitter, not the method. I’ve tried English a few times, unsuccessfully, I know it would take a lot for me to get the hang of it and achieve the tension I’m used to. Maybe others have different opinions, though!

And I’ve tried continental and can’t get the hang of it for using all the time. The only time I use it is when I’m doing fair isle.I think when you are switching it’s only natural that it would take time to build good tension again. Each knitter is different.

Hi Knitqueen and Jan

Many thanks for your reply. You’re probably right that it will take some time to get the tension just right.

I was at a Woolfest last week, where a Norwegian lady was doing Continental knitting on a pretty long but very narrow circular needle. She made it look so fast and easy that all us Limeys gathered about the stall were really beginning to turn green!

Thanks again for your replies and please tickle Marshmallow’s ears for me, would you Jan?

Best Wishes


:smiley: I sure will! :lol: