Continental Knitting

OK... this is a totally random post, but I had to share nonetheless. When I first learned to knit 3 years ago, I was taught the continental knit stitch. Super easy. Alas, when it came time for purling I sucked as it, as many others before me have, and decided that I would try the english method. Purling in the english method was a piece of cake, and I knit all of my projects throwing. However, I've come back to continental numerous times with zero success.

Once again, last night, I decided that as I was in between projects I should give it another go. For some reason beyond my understanding it totally clicked last night. I am now officially a continental purling mahine. My gauge is a little wonky but I think that if I just buckle down and make a little hat or something, it will totally work itself out.

In the words of Rhino the hamster, "Fully AWESOME!!!". ;)


TheKnittingMill's picture

I experienced that "totally clicked" moment when I first learned to knit. I had been a crocheter for years and picked up a lone set of needles once in a blue moon to only get frustrated after about 20 minutes. They'd inadvertently end up back in a drawer for a few more months. One night I pulled them out and for some reason the awkward feeling was absent and it felt familiar, fluid. I've been knitting ever since. I'm a devout thrower, however. I never got the same feeling attempting continental...not yet anyway.

glorydays's picture

Glad to know some other guys went thru same phase, always thought it was all about me :)
New here and looking for some friends sharing same interests.

crmartin's picture

Just a little practice and the tension should even out, the hardest part for me was to get the yarn wrapped around my fingers evenly.



i think you're right. when i hold my yarn when I throw it's a little cavemanish. you don't really get to fool around with that in continental. Once I find that balance i think i'll be good to go.

Chris Vandenburg's picture

Nick, I knew that if you laid off that Sunmaid swill you could do it!

You Smart@$$! Now I have to try and match that! Another gauntlet thown at my feet.

Take care bud,


"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

Did you know that "sunmaid swill" is also known to cause premature wrinkling? ;) har har...

Chris Vandenburg's picture

Nope, didn't know that pruneface.... but now I do.

Thanks for the info.

"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

Tom Hart's picture

Not random at all. Bit of a developmental jump if you ask me. There are a lot of us beginners in the group and it’s helpful to hear tales of the learning process from someone a little farther down the road. Thanks for posting about that. It’s helpful.

continental knitting is what I do. This was a great series of free videos on You Tube that helped me to get started.



I always see people with so much slack coming of of their finger. I keep everything pretty close. i'll have to take a look at this video to see if there's anything I can do to get more efficient. Thanks for sharing.

Thomasknits's picture

The most efficient way to do it is to have less slack, and have your fingers as close to the tips as possible. Check out videos for Miriam Tegels online...she's the fastest knitter in the world, and see how she holds her yarn. It's genius.
I also had to try Continental a couple times, but it clicked overnight.


TheKnittingMill's picture

I keep my fingers very close to the needles and position both fore fingers actually on the needles. To me it feels awkward trying to manipulate the needles with my second finger. I actually "throw" with my middle finger kept in the bent position (sort of like a yo-yo). It's more efficient for me by expending less kinetic energy.

scottly's picture

I had to learn to let the needles do the work on a purl, at first I was trying too hard. Like most things once you relax into it, it becomes much easier. My knitting was transformed when I swtiched from English to Conteinental. For some reason it made it much easier to learn new stitches and follow patterns.

DeceptiveCookie's picture

I realy need to learn continental. It's just frustratingly slow when I try to do it, and my tension always goes to hell. I hope it just clicks for me one of these days.

KilgoreTrout's picture

One week of knitting ONLY continental for 20 mins everyday, with no switching back to throwing, should do the trick! Just be strict with yourself....!

If wishes and buts were clusters and nutes we'd all have a bowl of granola.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Congratulations. Sometimes taking a break from a thing will give your mind a chance to catch up with your fingers. [And vice-versa.] -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

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