What is the Most Important Technique/Lesson You have Learned?


What is the most important technique/lesson you have learned? I am looking for the one that had the biggest impact on your knitting.

For me it is the Continental Combined style. For those not familiar with what Continental Combined style is, have a look at this video that someone made:

Since I finally fully grasped the combined style, I have had a complete different understanding about all stitches and why they are done in a certain way.

It also changed my knitting speed, especially for ribbing. Now I am able to knit any ribbing really fast. This also means that any other stitch switching between knit and purl, for example seed and moss stitch, I am able to do fast.

Direction to wrap yarn in knit stitch

Hi @engblom

For me it was learning to use circular needles. I am left handed but knit the right handed way except that I would have the right needle (straight needle) tucked under my armpit - not very comfortable if the needle had a large end! - and I would move the left needle only but still have the working yarn in my right hand. I tried circular needles at a workshop at my local knitting shop (Wool On The Exe in Exeter, Devon) and loved them so much I managed to get my husband to buy me a beautiful set of interchangeable Knit Pro Symfonie needles which are pure heaven to use. I had high hopes for Continental knitting (also learnt at a workshop at WOTE) but although I can do the knit stitches I cannot do the purl ones. I think it is something to do with the way I hold the yarn. I have tried several You Tube videos so I know HOW to do it, but can’t make my finger work that way :frowning:. However, I will have a look at the video you posted, fingers crossed…

  1. Learning to read my stitches (knowing a knit from a purl for instance)
  2. Learning to knit both continental and english (for two handed fair isle and ribbing)
  3. Learning magic loop


For me it was learning to draw garter and stockinette stitch. That helps me see a pattern in my mind and understand it better.


interesting question. As a left hander, for me it was learning to knit right handed.
I learned at about 8 years old and because my teacher could only teach right handed that’s what I did.


I’ll never forget how exciting it was to discover that I could knit CABLES!!! And how beautiful they looked!!!

Also, it took me a loooong time to figure out how to do the purl stitch in continental. Figuring that out was a huge breakthrough for me!!!



I wanted to learn to knit so I could make socks. I was relieved to learn continental knitting since I have crocheted for years and holding the working yarn in my left hand is more than a habit. I gave up on socks after I figured out what a pain dpns are. When I finally took the dive and learned magic loop, that changed everything. I gave my dpns away and haven’t missed them a bit, so definitely magic loop is the most important technique I have learned.


Learning to use DPNs after the hundredth attempt!


Yes. Magic loop; beats DPNs every time. And so simple!


Saw a gal take her “unthreaded” yarn needle and insert it parallel to her yarn tail (tail next to the eye)…then thread the needle. Huh? Then…thread the needle!!

She had but a small tail to weave in. I was amazed; seriously. Some needles are ‘long’ and some are ‘short’,some tails are the same…problem solving gal, eh? I usually use a crochet hook, but she didn’t have one on hand…


I do this, too!


@Shintoga - so do I!


Hi engblom!

I knit using a kind of continental combined method also. When I learned to knit yarn in left hand I really liked doing knits and felt like it was quite efficient and comfortable. But I could never quite find a way to purl that felt right, till I learned about “combined” style. I actually prefer working knits with a western oriented loops, but purling is so much easier for me eastern style I still find it almost always pays off to work my purls that way even if I have to work around having stitches oriented differently in the next row.

My knitting journey has been so filled with fun “aha!” learning moments its hard to pick just one. maybe three:

1 Recently, Learning the twisted German/ old Norwegian cast on (so much nicer, I think than the typical longtail CO!)

2 learning to “load stitches” (push up a bunch at once and hold in place with little fingers) on the lefthand needle so that I can knit faster

3 and ok, yes, fine, I guess I’d have to add learning about the continental combined knitting method :slight_smile:



** Hi, thanks for the reply…was wondering if I worded it

Happy knitting/crocheting!



I know I’m late to the discussion, but, the most important thing I’ve learned, is being able to read my knitting! It helps when starting a new row, or tinking back🙄


I agree this is important. Some parts of it is still a bit difficult for me to do. For example to recognize exactly on which row I did a decrease when I want to do the other sock in a pair.


Although I’ve not made a pair of socks yet, the slippers, or any other I have made 2 of, I use a row counter, and take notes on my pattern. I am not confident enough at deciphering what row to be sure I am correct!


I do the combined continental, too…so smooth…and calming…compared to crocheting any stitch…I’m working on that, too. So, I use plain continental when doing lace patterns…having non-twisted stitches is most helpful for lace…it’s that Russian purl through the front that seems to twist my stitches.

Happy knitting/crocheting and ‘spring’!


I had trouble with the switch from E to C knitting, even CC and found if I used a ‘piano teaching technique’ that it helped me change the brain waves and hand/eye habits. ‘Repeat it five (5) times’. Seriously…if you try once or twice and bail out, you will probably convince yourself you can’t do it.

So, set up your knitting dedicated to just learning the technique you desire…pick it up daily and work five (5) repeats…or more if you desire…

I found one day as I picked up and started the teaching technique, not matter what it was, I automatically set it up…I had changed my brain, hands and eyes…such as the way the working yarn was held, in which hand as well…even how to tension the yarn.

Now, don’t mix the styles in one project…until you are retrained/trained…I found the differences in tensions are very apparent early on and will show up particularly in stockinette…then, when you do mix (English/Continental/Combined/ETC., them, check for differences in tension; redo as required.

Happy knitting/crocheting!


Great points!

If I hadn’t stuck with it for a while I never would have become a yarn-in-left-hand knitter (ie “continental”). When I first tried it out it felt like the most cumbersome, awkward, weird, unnatural thing in the world. Fortunately though i was intrigued enough by examples I saw of the mechanics in action and the testimonials of people who liked it that I kept at it through one whole funky, hideous, unwearably-shaped hat project, kept coming back to it and making small modifications in technique in a somewhat haphazard way as i found what was most comfortable and efficient for me. I’ve also messed along the way with Portuguese, Irish Cottage, and every other major style you can find online, giving each a fair shake. I tried enough different styles to know better than to casually dismiss any of them, because they all “work” very, very well. what the human hands can become fluent with is almost limitless. I’m inclined to think that In context, every legitimate style is “the best” (by legitimate, i mean one that has been developed and adopted over time by numerous knitters and is practiced with skill and ergonomic awareness). What you practice most is what you will find most comfortable and easy—the endless “debate” over superiority of different knitting styles over others really amuses me! :slight_smile:

Anyway, sorry to ramble, I just thought it was an interesting topic.