Knitting Masochism

I decided to teach myself how to knit continental-style today. I've got the knits down, but I think I'm twisting my purl stitches. Maybe I'm wrapping the yarn the wrong way... I'm using the videos at to guide me along.

Let's focus on the good! The strangest thing is getting my left hand to get used to performing fine motor-functions. This can only be a good thing, I'm sure. I notice my little finger doesn't get much exercise when typing, so perhaps knitting while allow it to join the ranks of useful fingers. I'm hoping that getting this figured out will lead the way to some fair isle work. I don't think I'll get the "reindeer in a tutu" sweater done this year, though.
The weather in Juárez has suddently turned very cold. While fumbling through the box of winter clothes, I realized that I have no scarves for myself; I gave them all away. No one ever told me it occasionally snows in the Chihuahuan Desert.
Moss StitchI've been going through my stitch dictionary to find something with an interested texture. I have been eyeing the staggard brioche rib, but I do love a moss stitch scarf (pictured left).
I've never knitted the staggared brioche rib before, but it certainly looks nice in pictures. When I knit up a swatch, I'll post a picture because I can't find one online to share.
In addition to something nice looking and warm, this scarf will also be the project I force myself to knit entirely continental style. I hope I speed up soon or I'm going to be a cold boy for awhile.  I also want an ear hat with flaps, something like this one, but I'm still searching through patterns to hack up.  I'm thinking of throwing in a motif or mosaic pattern to spice it up.
What I'd really like is for my knitting fairy to appear and make this all by morning... Brr!


     Since it is easier to purl Eastern Crossed (like Combo Knitters do), you might be doing that naturally for purling and thus getting the stitches twisted. try Annie Modesitt's Modeknit website for info on it. It might be easier to stick with Combination than try to learn to purl the other way. Less wrist strain at any rate! LOVE Moss. Good luck!

Darrel's picture

That's exactly what I was doing... It's definitely a bit more natural feeling, but I wonder about the caveats mentioned on, i.e. having to untwist stitches to increasing and decreasing. And I'm unclear as to how it affects reading a pattern... I so cunfoozed.

     It is not as bad as it sounds.Make sure when knitting flat you are working into the "back" leg of the stitch, it is still the leading leg, it is just positioned differently. For decreases, just do the opposite of what a pattern says. If you need to k2tog, instead ssk or skp. decreases on WS rows are the same, and increases are the same. When you work in the round, you will NOT be working this way, but in the same way you have before. Purling Combination style in the round is a BIG BAD IDEA. You will either have to purl into the back leg (rough) or purl like everyone else (akward).

     Good things: less likely to row out, nice even tension, nice speed generally, and usually the same tension flat as in the round. Defintely check out It is good to know alternate mathods at any rate, and Combination knitting does help with wrist strain. I felt more natural this way than with either English or Continental, which i can still do.
Gabriel's picture

Good for you......I have done both before....but am honestly addicted to the continental is sooooooo much faster!!!!! It does kill the wrist and fingers at first but you will get used to it......Congrats and Good luck!

Knipper's picture

I like the moss stitch also.  Getting ready to use it for the edging on a baby blanket I am knitting.  Using the Inca Cotton in the Oz colorway.  All infants should be introduced to the magic of Oz in any format.   I love experimenting with stitch definition - it can make working on a project much more stimulating, and even when it taxes the concentration, the end result is usually worth it.  It is quite a cold day here in Philadelphia, so the scarves have come out and getting put to the proper use.



I prefer to knit in the continental manner -- it just feels more natural to me. Noticed last winter that I always twist the yarn counterclockwise over the needle for both knit and purl stitches. My frind, an English knitter, throws the yarn clockwise for knit and counterclockwise for purl. But we both wind up with uncrossed knitting, so we are happy, each with our own method.

Brioche rib is fun and great for scarves. I imagine staggered brioche would be the same. The difference between moss stitch and brioche is that brioche is "fluffier" and appears to trap a bit more air in each stitch. So a scarf or hat done in brioche might even be a bit warmer than one done in moss stitch. 

knit1prall2's picture


I think you will find knitting this way a bit more interesting. As a newbie to the group this is the only way I knit. Thank you for the great Knitting site