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Continental Knitting



Why Continental Knitting?

Remember those old cartoons of granny knitting away, how she just moved her needles and the scarf just grew from her needles, like magic? That’s why I like Continental knitting.

It’s Really Fast

Now, there’s no denying that some American-style knitters are faster than some Continental-style knitters. In fact, the Guinness World-Record Holder for knitting speed is a “thrower,” or an American-style knitter.

But in my experience, “pickers” (so-called because they use their needles to “pick” loops of yarn, as opposed to “throwers,” who “throw” the yarn around the needle) knit much faster and more efficiently.

Continental knitting requires much less hand and arm movement to make each stitch, making it a very efficient way of knitting.

This efficiency is doubled when doing ribbing, because not only does the knitter not have to wrap the yarn for each stitch, she only has to move her finger to move the yarn to the front or back for each stitch. Watch the following videos and see the difference.

American Knitting vs. Continental Knitting

Notice how much less my hands have to move when I use the Continental style.

Knitting - American vs Continental
Knitting - American vs Continental

American Ribbing vs. Continental Ribbing

The speed advantage is multiplied when doing ribbing.

It’s Ergonomic

Not having to use your right arm to wrap your yarn means that you can sit up straight and you don’t start tipping to one side, as many people do when using primarily one arm to do a task.

Your hands and shoulders relax, you can move around easily, and even knit more inconspicuously (boring lecture, anyone?)… all because of the small and subtle movements required for Continental knitting.

Knit Without Looking

My favorite reason to knit Continental is that it opens the door to being able to knit without looking, a must for watching movies and reading books while knitting. Yep, reading books! The movements made by a Continental knitter can be practiced by touch, just like typing.

With so many reasons to learn, let’s get started.

❤️ Learning to Knit Again ❤️

Please remember to be patient with yourself as you watch these videos and try out Continental knitting on your own.

Remember when you first learned to knit, how awkward it was? It will be the same now, only this time you already have “knitting instructions” in your brain that you will need to override.

The fact that you are completely switching hands will help the override happen, but try to just live with the feeling of not being very good at it yet. Most people never make the switch, because they just don’t like not being good at something that they “already” know how to do!

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