Knitfreedom student Margaret recently asked, “Hi Liat, I notice that you are knitting the Continental way.
“I’m still doing what I learned as a child 60+ years ago :), wrapping the yarn around the needle with my right hand.
“Would this be a good time for me to learn Continental? Is there a benefit to learning to knit that way?”
My answer, and it applies to all of you, is, “Yes! I think this is a great time for you to learn Continental knitting.”
What is Knitting Continental?
With Continental knitting, you hold the working yarn in your left hand. All your stitches come out the same, you just use different movements to make them.
The movements are fast and streamlined (see examples in the video below).
Why Learn to Knit Continental?
Learning to Continental knit is a great goal, and something you can always come back to you when you feel like you want an extra challenge.
You also don’t have to do it all at once. You can learn how to do it, and start practicing bit by bit. Then when you’re on an easy project like a Garter-stitch scarf or slouchy hat you can practice your Continental knitting.
I originally learned to knit the American way, and I am really glad that I took the effort to switch to Continental knitting because for me it really is much easier and faster and more fun.
American Knitting vs. Continental Knitting
Notice how much less my hands have to move when I use the Continental style.
ARVE Error: src mismatch
src in: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/M5J2aSqjF5Q?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque
src gen: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/M5J2aSqjF5QActual comparison
src in: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/M5J2aSqjF5Q?wmode=opaque
src gen: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/M5J2aSqjF5Q
American Ribbing vs. Continental Ribbing
The speed advantage is multiplied when doing ribbing.
ARVE Error: src mismatch
src in: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/aRde0rWf4WI?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque
src gen: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/aRde0rWf4WIActual comparison
src in: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/aRde0rWf4WI?wmode=opaque
src gen: https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/aRde0rWf4WI
What KnitFreedom Students Have to Say About Learning Continental Knitting
I am now a continental knitter! Your course was exactly what I needed to learn how to accomplish it. I’ve tried several times previously but just couldn’t manage to do it and have it feel comfortable. Now when I pick up my knitting, I automatically start with the yarn in my left hand and it feels natural. My tension is perfect, and my speed has definitely increased, but more importantly, my arm and shoulder don’t hurt and my hand doesn’t go numb, so I can knit for much longer periods of time without needing to take a break. Thank you.
– Katherine B.
I came to KnitFreedom specifically to learn Continental style. I was frustrated with throwing because of all the movement and how slow it was for me. I fell in love with Continental and with Liat and I use my KnitFreedom access all the time.
– Melissa M.
I had been taught in a knitting class some other way that I didn’t like, and when I saw [your class on Continental Knitting], I watched, practiced, and it’s almost natural and much easier and faster.
– Janice G.
I never found knitting relaxing until I learned Continental from you and followed your instructions and learned how to RELAX while knitting!
– Polly V.
Your videos are how I learned to knit Continental, and it has been a revelation. It's the only way I knit now.
– Karen H.
I’m left-handed and learned how to knit English (throwing with right hand). I took the Super Star classes to perfect my knitting. Then learned Continental and was in heaven! So much more comfortable for me as a lefty and now purling is a breeze!
– Aida H.
I was very, very new to knitting when I found KnitFreedom. That's where I learned Continental, and it totally made all the difference.
– Liz P.
I made the switch [to Continental Knitting], and I found it considerably easier than I expected. The huge benefit is that I can now knit Fair-Isle Designs two-handed!
– Amy T.
I went from knowing nothing at all about knitting to making awesome garments (continental style!) just from your ebooks so thanks!! :) You seriously rock!
I'm a lefty. I tried for years to be good at knitting, but it was always a struggle. Then I found KnitFreedom and the video showing Continental style knitting was "spot on"! I am knitting and having a lot of fun now! Thanks Liat you are the best. BTW for anyone not sure: Liat's videos are done so well, there is no way you can't "get" what she's teaching. Absolutely the best!
– Deb L.
I’ve been trying to learn continental knitting for a while, but holding my left pointer straight up in the air (like so many vids on YouTube show) gets uncomfortable after like 2 minutes. Your way is so much better :)
Benefits of Continental Knitting
Knitfreedom Knitting Superstar Facebook group* members report that they find many benefits of learning to knit Contintenal.
When I recently asked them, in particular they mentioned:
- Ease of movement
- Less stress and tension
- Feels natural if you have crocheted before
- Economy of movement
- Lets you knit Fair-Isle with two hands
- Easier on the hands if you have arthritis
Featured Course: Continental Knitting
Continental Knitting is the art of knitting with the working yarn in the left hand. It is ergonomic, efficient, and the preferred knitting style of many European knitters.
I learned to knit the traditional way (for Americans), then switched to Continental-style knitting after many years because I loved how fast and easy it was.
Rainy Season Brings Smiles to Mexico
We are all smiles here in Sayulita, Mexico!
The rainy season has begun in earnest and today Milo danced and played in the rain with other neighborhood kids and adults. Everyone loves a “Mexican shower!”
We also got to get out of sleepy Sayulita for a few days and go to Guadalajara, the nearby capital of Jalisco and second-biggest city in Mexico. We tried “tortas ahogadas” (drowned sandwiches) and had a memorable scone and coffee in the fashionable Chapultepec neighborhood.
Milo also turned one year old yesterday, which made me and his father tearfully reflect on the tremendous day of his BIRTH. What an occasion a birth is in the life of one’s family! I love sharing pieces of my life with you. Thanks for reading.
Leave a Comment
I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions about Continental knitting. Have you tried it and had trouble? Have you always wanted to learn? Leave a comment and let me know.