The main difference between Continental knitting and English knitting is that the yarn is held in the left hand, instead of the right. This therefore cuts down enormously on hand movements, eliminating the need for the right hand to be constantly swinging over and over the left needle (do you ever get a tired arm from this? Maybe it's just me..). The actual knitting feels like a mirror image of the English method - quite a challenge to get the brain around the first time!
Right now I'm smack bang in the middle of knitting up my homespun Bluefaced Leicester into a sweater and have been practicing knitting every other row in the Continental method. I'm not quite there yet with the pattern side...this I'm finding a little tricky. Plain and purl are just fine though. Below are a couple of pics for my own reference, as well as yours if you are interested in trying this technique..
(If you are after an in depth tutorial, scroll down for a youtube clip that I found most helpful when needing a 'real life' demonstration)
Steps involved for a knit stitch:
|I've been holding my yarn like this. Through the pinky and the ring finger, then|
up over the index finger , wrapped around twice.
|The right needle is inserted into the knit stitch as usual. The yarn in the|
left hand is then wrapped around the right needle just as
it would be in a regular knit stitch...
|...and pulled through to form the stitch.|
|The looped stitch is then able to slide over to the right needle..|
|..thus completing the action. Now time to do it all over again!|
|Slowly, slowly, it will get there.|
As I mentioned, this clip is super helpful when a moving demonstration is just what is needed:
Happy knitting out there!
Do you knit the Continental or the English way? Who taught you?