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how do you knit?

damascusannie | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

I recently saw a video on the internet showing how to pick the yarn when knitting as opposed to throwing the yarn with your finger. It looks so efficient, but again, as a lefty I’m having trouble reversing the technique to work for me. I throw the yarn and I’m a fast knitter anyway, so maybe it’s not worth the effort. Any “pickers” (what a DREADFUL term!) out there?



  1. starzoe | | #1

    Are you speaking (writing?) about Continental knitting where the yarn is held in the left hand? I'm a C knitter, find it fast. I also knit backwards for bobbles, buttonholes, anything that needs the needles turning around for a number of stitches but am pretty slow at that.

    1. rodezzy | | #2

      I knit continental.  It's fast and efficient.

    2. damascusannie | | #4

      Continental! That's it. I knew that there was another name for it. And the throwing the yarn with a finger is English? Yes?Annie

      1. Bionerd | | #5

        I could never figure knitting out, but when living in Sweden the women in the lab taught me to knit and Continental just was so logical and easy. If you are lefty a mirror may help-there are some books out there that are directed towards left handed knitters, but like playing the violin etc. most people just do it the right-handed way even though that seems discriminatory.

  2. katina | | #3

    I generally knit in the "English' manner - yarn in the right hand, but I do stranded colour work with a yarn in each hand. So much quicker and easier to 'throw' one color and 'pick' the other.


  3. GailAnn | | #6

    I knit Contenental Style, having been taught by my Danish grandmother.  It is not only fast and effecient, but thrifty with expensive yarn.  There is one less twist each stitch, so in a project as big as, say, a sweater, it CAN amount to as much as ball of yarn.

    When out in public, posing as a lady, English Style Knitting is more Elegant to watch.  My niece knits English Style and it always looks to me as if she is doing a ballet with her hand.  She is a lovely girl, anyway.

    When in Gordon, don't forget to stop at Kunarts Knit Shop, the crossroads of "Y" and "53", across "53" from the ICO.  It looks like a house, but it's not.  They always have some wonderful yarns and frequently famous knitters sitting in the kitchen.  Maggie Johnson has been there from Ireland twice that I know of.  Gail

    1. damascusannie | | #7

      Is that the shop that has quilt fabric, too? It's worth a trip for the yarn, but if there's fabric it becomes a MUST stop location! We drive right past on our way to Duluth to see our daughter and son-in-law and have never had time to stop. annie

      1. GailAnn | | #8

        Oh, yes do stop, please! 

        Liz and her granddaughter run the shop!  They do have some fabric, but mainly for quilting, a little fleece, and several pieces of really fine quality flannell.  I brought two pieces back for pajamas for our daughter.

        Liz is "allergic" to small knitting needles, so she is not much for the knitting of socks, but her granddaughter IS!  They are lovely!

        Catch them in and knitting, on a good cold day, and plan to stay a few hours!

        This is Liz's second carreer, her first was as a furrier!


        1. damascusannie | | #9

          They do have some fabric, but mainly for quilting,
          ~~That makes it even BETTER! I should probably try and schlep some of my patterns to them, I suppose. I hate the sales part of the pattern business...Are you familiar with "Pine Needles" south of Cable? They have a knitting group that meets every Thursday morning. One of these days when I go up to visit the parents I want to time it to join the knitters for an hour or two.Annie

          1. GailAnn | | #10

            No, I don't know about "Pine Needles". 

            I have about 5 or 6 good friends living in the Gordon, WI area, others are in the Douglas County Cemetary.  My Dad was raised by and in the house next to the church there.  I have a very soft spot in my heart for the church and the town.  I owe them a huge family debt.

            If you have time after Memorial Day, take half an hour and visit the little museum on the South side of County "Y".  Very Interesting.  Wonderful little town.  Gail

  4. Teaf5 | | #11

    I am more of a crocheter than knitter, but I learned the Continental method to take some of the pressure off my right hand in at least one craft.  It turned out to be much faster and more efficient for me, even after only a few hours of practice. 

    For a lefty, the "righty" instructions for Continental would work just fine; you'd only have to reverse them if you, too, wanted to give your dominant hand a break.

  5. user-60627 | | #12

    I'm left-handed and I knit 'English' style (throw) with my right hand, but that is perhaps because I was taught by my right-handed grandmother. And Contintenal style was pretty much a rarity in the US in the '70's when I learned.

    If you like how your knitting is looking and you are comfortable with the process you use, why worry about it? Just because it looks more efficient, doesn't necessarily mean it is always faster, some English-style knitters have been clocked at over 200 sts a minute.

    And maybe this is worth some discussion, but I have heard some Continental knitters complain about carpal tunnel syndrome, which I wonder if it might be caused by their too-efficient knitting style.

    If you want a really good discussion about the differences between Western (Continental and English styles), Eastern and combined knitting, take a look at 'Knitting in the Old Way', by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson.

    1. damascusannie | | #13

      Yeah, I'd be working harder to learn Continental if I were genuinely unhappy with my English style either for appearance or speed, but I'm not really. My socks look machine-made and I don't really need to knit any faster than I already do. I sort of like the way "throwing" looks anyway--sort of like a shuttle in a sewing machine. It's very hypnotic and I can knit and read at the same time, so it's pretty accurate, too. I just finished the first of a pair of woolen knee-high socks and am looking forward to starting the next tonight.Annie

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