There is no wrong way to knit.
Some hold their yarn in the right hand, dropping after every stitch and then wrapping, or “flicking” the yarn over the needle. While others hold the yarn in the left and manipulate the right hand needle to wrap the yarn with very little movement of the yarn carrying hand.
Personally, I believe that whatever keeps you knitting is the way to go.
Monday is the day I get caught up on household duties and prepare for the week ahead by making bread, taking meat out of the freezer for this weeks meals, and taking care of setting up appointments or making other phone calls. This week, I was not so accomplished.
The dishes were done and the bread made, but every other task I tried had me in circles. I could not complete one before I was forgetting what I was doing and moving on to another. Finally, I decided my energy would be better spent knitting.
I was also in the mood to try something new. Why not? The other two million projects I already have on needles can wait right?
Since I have started teaching others how to knit, the wise thing to do is to be prepared to teach all manner of methods. The goal is to have all that try, succeed. I wouldn’t want a friend to give up because western knitting wasn’t working for her or continental made her fingers cramp up.
I have tried continental before, but I didn’t have a real purpose to learn, so why fix what ain’t broke?
Now however, I have motivation. Not only to have the ability to teach others, but I would enjoy being more efficient when knitting certain items, and I hear that it makes color work easier.
I am happy to report that I CAN knit continental! Wooho!
Just for fun I decided to time myself knitting a row the American (or english) way, holding the yarn in the right hand, against Continental, holding the yarn in the left hand. I got some interesting results! The project was two cotton dishcloths that have 40 stitches, as pictured above.
Knitting American style (which I have been doing for 10+ years: 1:55 (one minute and fifty five seconds).
Knitting Continental style (which I learned 3 days ago): 1:46 (one minute and forty eight seconds).
I was shocked! Imagine how efficient my knitting can become if I practice Continental more. It is important that I insert here: speed is not always my goal. I am all for relaxing. Knitting is a kind of therapy for me and I want to enjoy myself. But there are times when doing row after row of garter or stockinette, having the ability to speed that up would be great!
Watch me in action: On YouTube!
*note: I found using a combined method (which means I purl different than routine continental instructions show) to work best for me.