Knitting and purling Continentalstyle

How a knitter goes about holding the yarn and needles while working stitches varies. Some knitters hold the yarn in the right hand and wrap it around the RH needle as they create stitches. This style, called wrapping or English, is the one the majority of knitters in the United States learn, and it's the method we explain in the preceding sections. Other knitters hold the yarn in the left hand and pick the stitches through each loop. This style is called Continental.

How do you decide which method to use? If you know a knitter who's willing to be your knitting mentor (and we've never met a fellow knitter who didn't love to show off his or her techniques), do what that person does. If you plan to knit color patterns, know that being able to knit with one color in the right hand and the other color in the left hand makes things quicker and easier.

Both methods, Continental and English, give you the same result — loops pulled through loops to make knitted fabric. The most important things are that knitting feels comfortable to you and your stitches look even.

Holding the yarn and needles

When you knit Continental, you hold both the yarn and the needle with the stitches in your left hand. The trick is keeping the yarn slightly taut. To accomplish this, you wind the yarn around your left pinkie and over your left forefinger, as shown in Figure 4-12.

Figure 4-12:

Carry the yarn in your left hand for Continental style.

Figure 4-12:

Carry the yarn in your left hand for Continental style.

Your left forefinger should be close to the tip of the LH needle, and the yarn between the needle and your forefinger should be a bit taut. The yarn strand is behind your LH needle, as shown in Figure 4-13.

Figure 4-13:

Start a Continental knit stitch.

Figure 4-13:

Start a Continental knit stitch.

SwiVeling to catch the yarn

When you knit Continental, you don't wrap the yarn as you do in English knitting (refer to the earlier section, "Knitting know-how"). Instead you have to pick up the yarn and pull it through the old stitch. To do that, you execute a little swivel movement with your RH needle. Envision the needle as a chopstick with a cup on the end that you scoop into the stitch in order to pull up the yarn. (If you're a crocheter, this motion should be familiar to you from working with your hook.)

Knitting the Continental Way

To knit in Continental style, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the RH needle through the stitch on the LH needle from left to right and front to back (see Figures 4-14a).
  2. Swivel the tip of the RH needle to the right and under the yarn strand, scooping up the yarn from your left forefinger (see Figure 4-14b).
  3. Pull the yarn through the loop (see Figure 4-14c), slide the old loop off the LH needle, and let it drop (see Figure 4-14d) to complete the stitch

<y? W (Figure 4-14e shows a completed stitch).

[Coil To make Continental knitting a little easier, try the following:

I Put the tip of your right forefinger on each new stitch made on the RH needle to secure it while you insert the RH needle into the next stitch on the LH needle.

I After you've inserted the RH needle into the next stitch to be knitted, slightly stretch the loop on the LH needle to the right, opening it up somewhat, before you scoop the strand of yarn.

Joining yarn

Balls of yarn are finite. When you're knitting away and you least expect it, you'll run out of yarn. Time to start the next ball of yarn in a process called joining yarn. When possible, start a new ball of yarn on an edge that will be enclosed in a seam, but try not to start a new ball of yarn on an edge that will be exposed.

To join yarn at an edge, knit the first stitch of the next row with both ends held together, drop the old strand, and carry on. Or knit the first few stitches with the new yarn only, stop, and tie the two ends together temporarily in a bow to secure them. Either way, leave the ends at least 4 or 5 inches long so that you can weave them in later (see Chapter 16 for finishing instructions).

If you run out of yarn in the middle of a row, your options are the same: Tie a temporary knot with both yarns, leaving 4- or 5-inch ends; or knit the next stitch with both strands, drop the old one, and continue knitting from the new ball.

Figure 4-14:

Complete a Continental knit stitch.

Purling the Continental way

To purl in Continental style, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the yarn between your LH needle and forefinger is in front of the needle.
  2. Insert the tip of the RH needle into the first loop on the LH needle from right to left (see Figure 4-15a).
  3. Slightly swivel the RH needle tip to the right while the pad of your left forefinger brings the yarn between the needles from right to left and down between the needles (see Figure 4-15b).

Figure 4-15:

Set up for a Continental purl stitch.

Figure 4-15:

Set up for a Continental purl stitch.

  1. Bring the tip of the RH needle with its wrap of yarn through the stitch on the LH needle to the back, away from you (see Figure 4-16a).
  2. Slip the old stitch off the LH needle, tightening it on the RH needle with the left forefinger (see Figure 4-l6b).

Figure 4-16:

Complete a Continental purl stitch.

Karma Crash Course

Karma Crash Course

Finally, The Ultimate Guide To Changing Your Life Forever. Get Your Hands On The Ultimate Guide For Improving Karma And Live A Life Of Fortune And Certainty. Discover How Ordinary People Can Live Extraordinary Lives Through Improving Their Karma.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment