Continental knitting is a popular knitting technique that originated in continental Europe and is known for its efficient and fast style. In continental knitting, the yarn is held in the left hand, making it easier to pick up and handle the yarn.
One of the main advantages of continental knitting is its speed. The yarn is easily controlled by the left hand, allowing for quick and smooth movements. This makes it a great technique for large projects or for those who want to knit quickly.
Another advantage of continental knitting is its efficiency. The left hand holds the yarn, which means less movement and tension on the right hand, reducing the strain and fatigue often associated with knitting. This can be especially beneficial for knitters with arthritis or other hand and wrist problems.
There are several techniques used in continental knitting, including the knit stitch, purl stitch, and increases and decreases. In the knit stitch, the yarn is held in the left hand and the right needle is inserted into the next stitch from left to right. The yarn is then brought through the stitch and dropped off the left needle.
In the purl stitch, the yarn is held in the left hand and the right needle is inserted from right to left into the next stitch. The yarn is then brought under the right needle and through the stitch, and the stitch is dropped off the left needle.
Continental knitting can take some time to master, especially if you are used to a different knitting technique. However, with practice and patience, you can become proficient in continental knitting and enjoy its many advantages.
What is Continental Knitting?
Continental knitting, also known as German knitting or left-hand knitting, is a popular style of knitting that originated in Continental Europe. Unlike traditional English knitting, which involves holding the yarn and manipulating the stitches with the right hand, continental knitting involves holding the yarn in the left hand and “picking” or “scooping” the yarn with the needle to create stitches.
This technique is favored by many knitters for its efficiency and speed. By keeping the yarn in the left hand, it reduces the amount of hand and wrist movement required, allowing for a smoother and faster knitting experience. It also enables the knitter to maintain a more consistent tension on the yarn, resulting in more even stitches.
To get started with continental knitting, you will need a set of knitting needles and a ball of yarn. Here are the basic steps:
- Hold the knitting needles in your right hand, with the needle that has stitches on it in your left hand.
- Wrap the yarn around your left pinky finger and then bring it up over your left index finger, creating a ‘V’ shape.
- Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle from left to right, using the right hand. Keep the left hand holding the yarn in the ‘V’ shape.
- Using your left hand, scoop the yarn up and over the right needle, creating a new stitch.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each stitch, until all stitches have been transferred to the right needle.
- Continue knitting in this manner, always keeping the yarn in your left hand and picking the yarn with the right needle.
Continental knitting may feel awkward at first if you are accustomed to English knitting, but with practice, you will find it to be a fast and efficient method for creating beautiful knitted items. Give it a try and see which knitting style works best for you!
Benefits of Continental Knitting
Continental knitting is a popular knitting technique that offers several benefits to knitters. Here are some of the main advantages you can enjoy by learning continental knitting:
- Speed: One of the biggest benefits of continental knitting is that it allows for faster knitting. The technique involves holding the working yarn in your left hand, making it easier to pick and manipulate the yarn. This results in a smoother and more efficient knitting motion, allowing you to complete your projects more quickly.
- Less Strain: Since continental knitting involves minimal movement of the hands and fingers, it can be less straining on your muscles and joints. This can be particularly beneficial for those who suffer from conditions like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Even Tension: Continental knitting helps maintain a more even tension in your stitches, resulting in a neater and more consistent fabric. This is because the working yarn is held closer to the needle tips, reducing any excess tension that may occur with other knitting styles.
- Easier Colorwork: Continental knitting is also well-suited for colorwork projects, such as Fair Isle or stranded knitting. With the ability to hold a different color yarn in each hand (working yarn in the left hand and contrasting color in the right hand), you can easily switch between colors and create intricate patterns without much effort.
- Smooth Transitions: One advantage of continental knitting is the smooth transitions between knit and purl stitches. Since the working yarn is easily accessible in the left hand, switching between these two stitches is quicker and more fluid.
Overall, continental knitting offers a range of benefits that can enhance your knitting experience. Whether you’re looking to speed up your knitting, reduce strain on your hands, or improve your stitch consistency, continental knitting is definitely worth giving a try.
Getting Started with Continental Knitting
Continental knitting, also known as German knitting or left-hand knitting, is a technique that involves holding the yarn in your left hand instead of your right hand. It is a popular method among knitters who want to increase their speed and efficiency in knitting.
Here are a few steps to get started with continental knitting:
- Hold the yarn in your left hand: Instead of wrapping the yarn around the right-hand needle, hold the working yarn in your left hand. You can either drape it over your left index finger or hold it between your left index finger and thumb.
- Insert the right-hand needle: Insert the right-hand needle into the stitch as you normally would, from left to right.
- Wrap the yarn: Using your left hand, wrap the yarn around the right-hand needle from back to front.
- Complete the stitch: With the yarn now wrapped around the right-hand needle, pull it through the stitch using the right-hand needle.
- Practice the tension: One of the key aspects of continental knitting is maintaining an even tension with the yarn. Practice holding the yarn in your left hand and adjusting the tension until you find a comfortable and consistent grip.
Continental knitting offers several advantages, including increased speed and efficiency, as well as reduced strain on the hands and wrists. It can take some time and practice to get used to the technique, especially if you are already familiar with the traditional English knitting method. However, with patience and persistence, you can become proficient in continental knitting and enjoy the benefits it brings to your knitting projects.
Remember to take it slow and practice regularly. Experiment with different yarns and needle sizes to find what works best for you. Before you know it, you’ll be knitting up a storm with your newfound continental knitting skills!
Choosing the Right Needles
When it comes to knitting, having the right tools is essential for a successful project. One of the most important tools you’ll need is a pair of knitting needles. When choosing knitting needles for continental knitting, there are a few factors to consider.
Material: Knitting needles come in a variety of materials, including metal, bamboo, and plastic. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. For continental knitting, metal needles are often preferred due to their smoothness and ability to slide easily through the stitches.
Size: Knitting needles are available in various sizes, typically measured in millimeters or US sizes. The size of the needle you choose will depend on the type of yarn you’re using and the desired gauge of your project. Thinner yarns require smaller needles, while thicker yarns require larger needles.
Length: Knitting needles come in different lengths, ranging from short to long. The length of the needle affects how many stitches you can comfortably fit on it. For continental knitting, shorter needles are often preferred as they allow for better control and a more compact grip.
Type: There are different types of knitting needles, including straight needles, circular needles, and double-pointed needles. For continental knitting, circular needles are often recommended as they allow for knitting in the round and can also be used for flat knitting. They provide flexibility and reduce strain on the hands.
Price: The price of knitting needles can vary, depending on the material and brand. While it’s important to choose needles that are within your budget, it’s also worth investing in a good quality pair that will last long and provide a comfortable knitting experience. Test a few different needles to find the ones that work best for you.
In conclusion, choosing the right knitting needles for continental knitting involves considering factors such as material, size, length, type, and price. By taking these factors into account, you’ll be able to find the perfect needles to enhance your knitting experience and create beautiful projects.
Holding the Yarn
When knitting continental style, the way you hold the yarn is slightly different from the way you hold it when knitting in the English style. In continental knitting, you’ll hold the yarn in your left hand, which allows for a quick and efficient knitting process.
To hold the yarn in continental knitting:
- Begin by making a slipknot at the end of your yarn and place it on your left-hand needle.
- Hold the right-hand needle in your right hand and the left-hand needle in your left hand, as you would in traditional knitting.
- Take the working yarn (the yarn attached to the ball or skein) and loop it around your left index finger, creating tension.
- With your remaining fingers, grip the yarn lightly to keep it in place.
Once you have a good hold on the yarn, you’re ready to start knitting. The tension created by looping the yarn around your left index finger allows for smooth and even stitches.
It may take some practice to find a comfortable position for your hands and fingers while holding the yarn in continental knitting. Experiment with different grips and tension until you find what works best for you. Remember, the goal is to hold the yarn in a way that allows for a fluid and efficient knitting motion.
Overall, holding the yarn in continental knitting is a key technique to master in order to knit quickly and smoothly. With some practice and patience, you’ll soon become comfortable with this holding method and be able to create beautiful projects using continental knitting.
Basic Continental Knitting Technique
The continental knitting technique, also known as German knitting or left-handed knitting, is a popular method used by many knitters. With this technique, the yarn is held in the left hand, making it easier to pick up stitches and work quickly.
Here are the basic steps to get started with the continental knitting technique:
- Hold the yarn: Hold the yarn in your left hand. Use your pinky finger to secure the end of the yarn against the side of your hand.
- Knit stitch: Insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, going from left to right. With your right hand, use the needle to pick up the yarn and bring it through the stitch, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
- Purl stitch: To purl, insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle, going from right to left. With your right hand, use the needle to hold the yarn in front of the work. Bring the yarn through the stitch from right to left, creating a new stitch on the right needle.
- Continental knitting tension: Tension is an important aspect of knitting. With continental knitting, the yarn is typically tensioned by using the index or middle finger of the left hand. Practice finding the tension that feels comfortable for you.
Continental knitting offers several advantages such as quicker speed, reduced hand movement, and better ergonomics. It is especially favored by those who suffer from repetitive strain injuries or arthritis.
Some tips to keep in mind while practicing the continental knitting technique:
- Keep your movements relaxed and fluid.
- Practice maintaining an even tension throughout your work.
- Experiment with different ways to hold the yarn until you find a technique that feels comfortable for you.
- Take breaks and stretch your hands and wrists to prevent strain.
Continental knitting may take some practice to become comfortable with, but with patience and persistence, you can master this technique and enjoy the benefits it offers.
Advanced Continental Knitting Techniques
1. Combination Knitting:
Combination knitting is a technique that combines elements of both English and Continental knitting styles. This technique creates fabric that is twisted and can help improve tension and speed while knitting. To knit in the combination style, hold the yarn in your left hand and use only the tip of the right needle to pick up the stitches.
2. Norwegian Purling:
Norwegian purling is a technique used to create a neat and even purl stitch. To do a Norwegian purl, insert the right needle from right to left into the front of the stitch, wrap the yarn around the needle, and pull it through the stitch while holding the working yarn in the back of the work. This technique can be especially useful when working with colorwork patterns.
3. Portuguese Knitting:
Portuguese knitting is a style that involves wrapping the yarn around the neck or a knitting pin to create tension. This technique is known for its efficiency and can help reduce strain on the hands and wrists. To knit in the Portuguese style, hold the yarn in your left hand, wrap it around your neck or a knitting pin, and use your right hand to move the right needle through the stitches.
4. Continental Lace Knitting:
Continental lace knitting is a technique used to create delicate and intricate lace patterns. This technique involves working yarnovers and decreases with the left hand, while maintaining a constant tension. To knit lace in the continental style, use your left hand to create yarnovers and decreases, and continue knitting with the right hand as usual.
5. Twisted Stitches:
Twisted stitches are created by knitting through the back loop of the stitch instead of the front loop. This creates a twisted appearance and adds texture to the fabric. To knit twisted stitches in the continental style, insert the right needle from right to left into the back of the stitch and knit as usual.
6. Stranded Knitting:
Stranded knitting, also known as Fair Isle knitting, involves working with multiple colors in each row to create patterns. In continental style stranded knitting, hold one color of yarn in each hand and use both hands to work the stitches. This technique requires practice to maintain tension and prevent the floats from becoming too tight or loose.
7. Continental Cabling:
Continental cabling is a technique used to create cable patterns while knitting in the continental style. To knit cables in the continental style, use a cable needle to hold the stitches in front or back of the work, and then knit the stitches in the desired order. This technique can be used to create intricate cable patterns with ease.
8. German Twisted Cast-On:
The German twisted cast-on is a stretchy cast-on method that is ideal for projects such as hats and socks. To do the German twisted cast-on, hold the yarn in your left hand and use the thumb and index finger of your right hand to create a loop. Insert the right needle through the loop from the back to the front, catch the yarn with the needle, and pull it through the loop. Repeat this process for the desired number of stitches.
9. Continental Double Knitting:
Continental double knitting is a technique used to create a double-sided fabric with two colors. This technique involves holding one color in each hand and knitting each stitch with both colors simultaneously. Continental double knitting can create beautiful reversible patterns and is often used for items such as scarves and blankets.
10. Continental Garter Stitch:
Continental garter stitch is created by knitting every stitch on every row. This creates a fabric with ridges and is often used for scarves, blankets, or as an edging for other projects. To knit garter stitch in the continental style, simply knit every stitch on every row, maintaining a consistent tension.
|Tip 1:||Practice regularly to improve speed and tension control.|
|Tip 2:||Experiment with different knitting styles to find what works best for you.|
|Tip 3:||Take breaks and stretch your hands and wrists to prevent fatigue.|
|Tip 4:||Use smooth and lightweight needles for easier knitting.|
|Tip 5:||Join a knitting group or take a class to learn new techniques and get feedback.|
Purl Stitch in Continental Knitting
The purl stitch is one of the fundamental stitches in knitting and is commonly used to create texture and patterns in knitted fabric. In continental knitting, the purl stitch is worked using a slightly different technique than in other knitting styles.
To purl in continental knitting, follow these steps:
- Hold the working yarn in your left hand, also known as the Continental or German knitting style.
- Insert the right needle into the front of the stitch on the left needle, going from right to left.
- Wrap the working yarn counterclockwise around the right needle, crossing over the left needle.
- Using the tip of the right needle, push it through the center of the stitch on the left needle, catching the wrapped yarn.
- Pull the slipped stitch off the left needle and let it drop, leaving the new stitch on the right needle.
Repeat these steps for each stitch you need to purl.
The purl stitch in continental knitting creates a smooth and even appearance on the front of the fabric, similar to the knit stitch. However, the back of the fabric will have a different texture, often referred to as “reverse stockinette stitch” or “purl ridges.”
When following a knitting pattern, the purl stitch is often denoted by the letter “p” or the abbreviation “purl.” For example, if the pattern says “p2, k2” it means to purl two stitches and then knit two stitches.
With practice, purling in continental knitting will become second nature, and you’ll be able to create a variety of beautiful stitches and patterns in your knitting projects.
Increasing and Decreasing
Increasing and decreasing stitches are essential techniques in knitting that allow you to shape your project. Here are some common methods for increasing and decreasing stitches in continental knitting:
1. Make One (M1):
- Insert the left-hand needle from front to back under the horizontal strand between the stitches.
- Knit this strand through the back loop to create a new stitch.
2. Knit Front and Back (KFB):
- Knit the stitch as usual, but do not drop it off the left-hand needle.
- Insert the right-hand needle into the back of the same stitch and knit it again.
- Drop the stitch off the left-hand needle to create two new stitches.
3. Yarn Over (YO):
- Bring the working yarn to the front of the work, as if to purl.
- Move the working yarn over the right-hand needle from back to front.
- Bring the working yarn to the back of the work, ready for the next stitch.
1. Knit Two Together (K2tog):
- Insert the right-hand needle through the front loops of the next two stitches on the left-hand needle.
- Knit the two stitches together as if they were one stitch.
2. Slip, Slip, Knit (SSK):
- Slip the next two stitches one at a time from the left-hand needle to the right-hand needle without knitting them.
- Insert the left-hand needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches.
- Knit the two stitches together through the back loops.
3. Knit Two Together Through the Back Loop (K2tog tbl):
- Insert the right-hand needle through the back loops of the next two stitches on the left-hand needle.
- Knit the two stitches together through the back loops.
Remember to read your pattern carefully to determine which method of increasing or decreasing is required for your specific project. Practice these techniques to add shaping and design elements to your knitting projects!
Colorwork in Continental Knitting
Colorwork, also known as stranded knitting or Fair Isle knitting, is a technique that involves knitting with multiple colors at the same time to create a pattern or design. Continental knitting, with its efficient hand movements, makes colorwork projects more enjoyable and easier to manage.
When working colorwork in continental knitting, there are a few key techniques and tips to keep in mind. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Carrying Yarn: In continental knitting, the working yarn is held in the left hand, making it easier to carry multiple colors of yarn. The unused color yarn is carried along the back of the work, held loosely and not pulled too tight to avoid distorting the fabric.
- Yarn Dominance: One important consideration in colorwork is yarn dominance. Yarn dominance refers to the visual prominence of one color over the other in a colorwork pattern. Generally, the color that is carried on top appears more prominent. However, this can vary depending on the individual’s tension and knitting style. It’s important to swatch and observe how the colors interact to achieve the desired effect.
- Stranding: Stranding refers to carrying the yarns not in use across the back of the work. When switching between colors, the working yarn and the unused color yarn are held together in the left hand so that the unused color is ready when needed. It’s important to avoid carrying the unused yarn too tightly to prevent puckering or pulling of the fabric.
- Tangling Yarn: To avoid yarn tangles when working with multiple colors, it’s helpful to twist the yarns around each other every few stitches. This prevents the yarns from getting tangled and makes the colorwork process more smooth and efficient.
- Swatching: Swatching is especially important when working colorwork to ensure correct gauge and to see how the colors interact. It’s recommended to swatch in the round using the same needles, yarn, and colorwork pattern that will be used for the project. This helps to accurately assess the fit, tension, and color combination before starting the main project.
With these techniques and considerations in mind, you can confidently explore the world of colorwork in continental knitting. Whether you’re creating intricate geometric patterns or playful motifs, the combination of color and technique adds a beautiful dimension to your knitting projects.
What is continental knitting?
Continental knitting is a method of holding and tensioning the yarn in knitting that originated in continental Europe. It involves holding the working yarn in your left hand and using the right-hand needle to pick up the stitches.
What are the advantages of continental knitting?
Continental knitting is often faster than other methods because the hand movements are more efficient. It also creates a looser and more even tension in the stitches, which can result in a smoother fabric.
How do I hold the yarn in continental knitting?
In continental knitting, the yarn is held in the left hand. To hold the yarn, loop it over your left index finger, bring it under your left middle finger, and hold it with your left ring and pinky fingers. This allows the yarn to be easily tensioned and controlled as you knit.
What are some popular techniques used in continental knitting?
Some popular techniques used in continental knitting include the long-tail cast-on, the knit stitch, the purl stitch, and various increases and decreases. These techniques can be easily mastered with practice and can be used to create a wide variety of knit items.