Knitting barged into my life nearly six years ago now. Though a large portion of that first year or two was taken up crocheting, I still knitted occasionally and since then I’ve knitted almost every day. When I learned, I learned English – not surprising as I lived in England at the time. Now, after six years, I’m thinking of switching to Continental.
What’s the difference? For my readers who don’t know, a quick explanation.
English knitting is also called throwing. You tension the yarn in your right hand and ‘throw’ the yarn around the needle for each stitch.
Continental knitting is also called picking. You tension the yarn in your left hand and ‘pick’ the yarn with the needle through each stitch.
There are dozens of videos online about how to do both, so it’s easy to learn if you feel like switching. I wish I had learned Continental to begin with; it’s quicker and kinder on your hands, or at least it is for me. My right hand once had a severe RSI as a teenager (believe it or not, from making pixel dolls) so knitting English is sometimes a strain.
When I knitted the obscene mitts, I knitted two-handed. One hand English, one hand Continental. That’s how I learned Continental, though not on that project. However I can’t seem to get into the habit of knitting one-handed when doing Continental.
After finishing those mitts and the baby sweater (pictures coming soon!) I started getting hand pain again. Fed up, I decided to try a project completely Continental. I picked up the yarn I bought a few days before and cast on a stockinette cowl for a friend. Easy, rhythmic, and perfect to practice. It’s so much faster and because the movements are so small and confined it’s not nearly as hard on my tendons.
English knitters, I highly recommend trying it.
What method do you use when you knit? English, Continental, other? Is that how you learnt or did you make a conscious choice to switch?