Tension and continental knitting

For those that started out knitting English style but have changed to continental style knitting, have you noticed any difference in your tension? I’d like to try to start knitting continental, and I’m hoping that a nice “side effect” of it will be that my tension improves and becomes less tight. Also, continental looks like it would be faster, and I’ve heard that it is…what is your personal experience? It is really faster?

Hi! I’ve always been an ‘English’ knitter but a few months ago I started trying Continental. At first I thought it was just too hard, didn’t work (esp that first and last stich) but now I jump over to it when I want to go really fast. It requires more concentration. I go back to English when I want to relax. I do both in the same item. When it’s all knit (no purls) like on a afghan or something big Continental really flies. BUT. If the yarn is tricky, like 3 ply or something that catches on your needle then I stick to English.

I think the tension is more loose, you certainly have to loosen up to do Continental. Hope that helps.

I did the same thing Vic is doing when I 1st switched to continental knitting from English, I would go back and forth! but, now that I am just a conti knitter, my knitting is not as tight as it was when I was an English knitter, I think that I unconsciously gave a tug to the yarn when I was throwing.

My tension was really tight with English knitting too! Good lord, I remember that - not being able to really even stick the tip of the needle into the stitches. Quickly after I learned how to knit, I switched to continental and learned more about tension and it vastly improved. I know knit somewhat loosely.

my tension is definitely more loose with conti knitting. I’m still a wicked tight knitter, though.

I am way looser knitting Continental. Just to give an example, using English I usually have to knit with one size bigger needle to achieve gauge, with Continental I had to go two sizes smaller.

Wow–that’s quite a difference in tension between the two styles! See, it’s the same for me English style…I always know (even though I do a gauge swatch anyway) that I have to go up a size in needles, even though I’ve tried really hard to not be such a tight knitter. That’s why I was wondering if it would make a difference in tension to be a conti knitter.

I rarely knit projects where I need to worry about gauge, because I’m lazy and don’t like to worry about it. However, recently I knit a baby hat, and the pattern called for 4st/in on size 7 needles. My size 7s were AWOL, so I took out my size 8s and did a small gauge swatch, knowing that I’m a tight knitter anyways.

I got 5st/in on size 8s. :doh: I didn’t go up to size 9s, I just messed with the stitches instead, but yikes! I’m going to start paying more attention to that stuff, I guess. :verysad:

It took for me to mess up one project on gauge and to have to frog the whole thing and start over to do a gauge swatch on everything I do now. Typically, I’m not one to do stuff like that before I begin projects, but when knitting, I’ve learned the hard way that I have to. I’ve found that spending the time knitting that little gauge swatch winds up saving me a lot of time and trouble in the long run. But I have to learn everything the hard way! :oops: