Monday, May 18, 2009

Knitting Continental - A Feux Pas?

As many of you know, there are a couple different ways to knit and get the same results.

The first is the throw method, in which you hold the yarn in your right hand and actually "throw" the yarn around the right needle before drawing it through the loop. On most knitting TV shows, this is how you'll see people do it.

Second is the combination method, something that I'll never actually understand. I've watched people do this and still can't grasp what's happening, but you knit into the loops a little differently and almost switch back and forth between two different methods and gah - there's a reason I drive an automatic. Too much going on makes it hard for me to focus.

And third, the way I learned, is the continental method, in which you hold the yarn in your left hand and scoop it up with the right needle. This is how my oma taught me to knit when I was 12, and it was only a couple years ago I discovered there were other ways. I stuck with continental, though, because everyone said it was just so easy and fast (and it really is). People tell me I like this method because I also crochet, and the motion is very similar to crocheting, but - it's just what I know.

Recently, I was "picked on," I guess, for knitting continental. And I use that term loosely because no harm was meant by it, haha. And I have to admit that at the time, I was holding the needles oddly because I was working on a small amount of stitches on a pair of circulars, and it was just being really clumsy for me.

After I came home that night, I decided it was time to learn the throw method - oddly enough, it came super easily to me and I enjoyed it. I threw my knitting for a couple days... and got nowhere with my pattern. I think I was able to accomplish a couple inches on my earflap hat (I never said I was a fast knitter).

So now... I'm back to my continental and whizzing through. I should say I had absolutely no problems with the throw method, either - continental is just that much faster. That said, I've started holding my needles more comfortably, as I was doing with the throw method, so it all worked out.

But, I would just like to know... what's the big deal? Why does it matter how someone knits? The result is honest-to-God the same, and I'm just getting there faster. Before, I thought the "fighting" between knitters and crocheters was ridiculous, but this is a whole new realm :) How do you guys knit? Which is most comfortable? Do you judge others by how they knit? (Seriously on that last one, I judge the way people crochet, so it's okay if you say yes!). I'm not offended - just curious :)

And PS: I signed up for a Plurk account today. Have any of you guys checked this out? It's like Twitter on Speed with a totally cool user interface. Let me know if you sign up :)

4 comments:

Claudette said...

I actually knit using both Continental and English (or throwing) styles. It depends on the project for me. My speed is about the same for either one, so I've never had a need to pick with one and stick with it, lol. Plus, I can write with both of my hands so I guess I never noticed that it was not the norm to switch between the two styles.

I don't judge other people for how they knit. I figure as long as they're doing something they are the most comfortable with, it's all good. The only time I've ever gave any advice was when I hold someone holding a crochet hook really wrong. I have wrist issues and I know that holding your hook or needle in an awkward position could cause pain.

JennyHats said...

I think I throw when I want to relax my way through a shorter project, and I knit continental when I'm getting down to business, haha. Just because it's so much faster.

Has anyone ever commented to you about the way you knit? I personally don't see what the issue is, considering the result is the same :)

tiffany said...

I don't knit at all, yet, but when I was trying to learn, the Continental way seemed easier to me.
I think it's ridiculous how some people get so serious about something that's supposed to be relaxing! lol

erica said...

I get "picked" on all the time! I have always crocheted, and self taught myself how to knit. So When I was learning it seemed like WAY to much of an effort to throw. Every time I need help with a stitch, people try to teach me the "right" way to knit. I finally took a knitting class and the instructor told me that I just pick instead of throw and everything was going to be just fine!
Thanks for the opportunity to vent!

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