Continental of Engllish (Throw) method of knitting

Which method do most of you guys use: Continental (left-handed knitting) or English (throw knitting)? I am just starting and at a LYS they only teach Continental. Continental is a little confusing for me. At Jo Ann Fabrics and Crafts they teach English. I also signed up for Knittting 101 class. Please let me know your thoughts.



YarnGuy716's picture

I knit Continental. When I learned how to knit in the 80's that way the method that everyone was teaching. The best thing she did teach me was that knitting is 2-handed, there really is no left or right handed knitting, just which hand holds the yarn. Personally I think people should be taught the method they are most comfortable with. Good luck with the classes at JoAnn's.

NonStopAndrew's picture

Then again, I have a friend that knits left handed (as in, a mirror image of what normal people do.) She knits from her right hand needle onto her left, and I have no idea where she learned it. I am teaching her new things (cables and so forth) and I have to sit across from her and she flips my insturctions in her head to make it work.

MY mother was a left-handed knitter and I started like that as well. However, whilst my mother remained a left handed knitter, somewhere down the line I gradually taught myself to knit 'conventionally'.

Thomasknits's picture

My personal opinion is that it is easier to learn English knitting...but once you get going a little bit, you should learn Continental, because it is about 4 times faster usually. It's totally worth learning continental before you get locked into English style. Also, it's good to know both because the easiest way to do stranded colorwork, or to do double knitting, is to use both types simultaneously.


montanason's picture

I now use Continental. I think it uses less energy and is more efficient. My right arm used to get tired and sore from throwing the yarn and dropping the needle. Now I can knit like the wind and very comfortably. You will find your own comfort zone. Just have patience and a whole new world will open to you. Knitting makes me feel relaxed and creative. There is nothing that you can't do and don't be afraid to ask for help. It is a learning process that never ends. I love to discover new things in knitting, new challenges. Have fun learning.
Phillip Rolfe

Buck Strong's picture

I started English but went to Continental. I think the knitting flows better. Also, I like stranded knitting; so, it's sorta a necessity.

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Christopher Charles's picture

I use English because it's so much easier for a beginner like me. I have seen and heard that Continental is faster, but I just can't get the hang of it just yet. Hopefully someday I can get the hang of it.

albert's picture

I prefer English. I use continental when I do two-handed stranded, but English feels more natural to me.

rc_in_sd's picture

If I could start over again, I'd learn the Continental style. I knit using the throw method and from what I've seen and read, Continental is a lot faster. I keep telling myself that I just need to force myself to re-learn, but that hasn't happened yet.

Britisher's picture

I'm an English-style knitter in England. It was what my great grandmother taught me when I was a kid. Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen anyone knit continental style here until recently. I've no doubt continental is actually faster, but I haven't yet found the incentive to go though the learning curve necessary to pick it up.

Buzzboy's picture

I started kitting english style and switched to continental. I have enjoyed doing both ways but I think continental is quicker.

Bear Hands's picture

Just watched a great video introducing knitters to Continental Style knitting. Lorilee Beltman does a great job at demonstrating knitting in purling in the continental method. I know I will definitely try using this method on my next project, it makes knitting much easier.

Here is the link:

Thinman's picture

That's a great video - thanks for sharing! I guess I kind of do a combination of continental and English. I hold the yarn in my right hand, but wrap it the same way she does in the video. I don't let go of the yarn and wrap like traditional throwing. Works pretty well for me, but I can see how full continental could be faster and looser. I'll have to give it a try on a future project.

hrypotter's picture

Because I learned how to crochet years ago, I was already used to holding the yarn in my left hand. I am comfortable doing both methods but have to say that continental is my prefferd...much faster.


drmel94's picture

Continental is much more natural for me, though I'll do both for stranded colorwork. Could stand to improve my English technique, though. My partner knits Continental and purls English. It's really a matter of finding what works best for you. Technique isn't as important as consistency of result.

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

chipsir's picture

I use the throw method as I can not get the hang of purling continental, a few people I work with knit continental and I can keep up to them so speed isn't a factor for me, I have noticed when I knit continental my tension changes completely, I agree with everyone who said do what is comfortable, there is no right or wrong way!!!! Dennis

I started using English, then learned two handed knitting. Once I mastered this then I could practically knit with my feet. However, I've settled on Continental as it's quick.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Hey everyone - Joining this one late but want to put in my quarter's worth. I am a left- handed knitter and have taught myself to knit right-handed to be able to mentor others. Even before that, though, I taught myself to do both Continental and English so as to do strandwork and now go back and forth - sometimes in the same project - as my whimsy dictates. (Or my arthritis.) When it comes to gauge, all I can say is to keep practicing until it comes out even both ways. It is well worth it. As Dr. Mel wrote, it's the end result that is the main thing. Take care - Joe Books, knitting, cats...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Aaronknits's picture

I am an English knitter. I have tried Continental, but like everything I've tried that requires any amount of dexterity or coordination with the left hand, I've failed. It's not that my left hand is COMPLETELY useless. It's just differently abled.

bkeith's picture

I started English, but now knit Continental. When I was trying Continental out, I thought I was going to have to abandon it because I just couldn't get the purl. My tension got all weird, and I tied myself up in knots trying to make it work. Then I stumbled onto Norwegian purl at, and I haven't looked back.