Tips for increasing speed with continental knitting

hi - i’ve been knitting english style for over 20 years, and decided to give continental a whirl. it was a little awkward at first, but it’s feeling more comfortable. i’m still practicing and practicing, but does anyone have tips they use to go faster with continental? special finger placement techniques? needle placement? holding tension tighter? less tight?


I keep my yarn holding finger very close to the needle and I make very small movements. I also hold the needles in a way that looks kind of like a T, with the left hand needle being the top bar. This way the yarn comes from the right needle and falls right in line with the next stitch I’m doing, that way all I hve to do is put the needle through the stitch, and make a really small circle to catch the yarn.

Purling. You’re on your own there. The only thing that I have done that makes purling a little faster and a little less awkward is to use my thumb to purl. But I only use that when I have a line of purls that need to be done.

I started out with English and switched like you, after many years. I find there are so many different ways to handle things Continental. I knit very much like the CK video here at KH. I use the middle finger of my left hand to push the purl stitch yarn down. I also like to keep my left index finger out a little like Amy does to facilitate “grabbing” it with the needle. It works for me, but there are many ways to do things.

Like trvvn5 said, try to keep movement to a minimum, but I don’t get how some people can purl when they hold their left fingers too close to the needle. Holding the yarn out a little makes it easy for me to purl and move the yarn back and forth effortlessly for the switch from knit to purl and back.