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I have tried and tried to master continental, but I truly feel like I am trying to knit left-handed. I cannot maintain/feed with the appropriate tension. It is just incredibly awkward for me. :(
I throw Continental style. When I first started I didn't really wrap the yarn around my left hand to control the tension. I picked up and threw every stitch like you would for English, but with my left hand instead. If you try it like that for awhile it may help you get into the rhythm of doing it with your left hand. After about half a scarf of that I figured out how to wrap my hand to control the tension of the yarn. Now I don't really "throw" but pick up the yarn with the needle itself. So it's really the right hand that is doing all of the work.
Does that make sense? Now that I read it I feel like I just rambled around in circles.
BTW, I probably knit Continental because that was the first way shown on the DVD I learned from. She showed that and then the English, and suggested trying both to see which was more comfortable. I figured I would just get confused, so I skipped the English parts entirely. Of course that was somewhat of a problem when I took a knitting class with my MIL. The instructor taught English and used a cast on method that was more or less knitting on in an English throw. I never did figure it out because everything just seemed backward and awkward. I ended up sticking with the long-tail/Continental/Old Norwegian cast on.
Anissa, I'm moving the conversation to a new thread so we don't hijack, but I wanted to continue & certainly am hoping for input from others.
I've tried a couple of different thread holds. The one I use for English in my right hand works well in my left hand for crocheting, so it's the one I assumed I would be able to use for Continental. Doesn't seem to be the case. I do a single wrap around my pinky, yarn continues on the palm side past the ring & middle fingers and goes over the top of my index finger. Like I said, I have no trouble using it with accurate feed in my left hand while crocheting, but I really haven't been able to adapt it for knitting Continental. Also, I've tried using both middle and index fingers to push the yarn down (using the needle to grab the stitch as you mentioned), as I've seen done. Middle finger is useless for me. Index is not much better. I know from watching Linda Cyr and Jennifer (of Jennifer Knits), that it's really a great method, but it's like learning to write left-handed for me. I don't know where my hang-up is.
As it is, I'm much faster at crochet than I am at knitting, and I really hate purling. At my age, I don't have all the time in the world to complete a knitting project, so I'd like to be able to do it a little faster. LOL!
Someone once told me I knit like Tibetan women. With 14" needles, I tuck the left hand needle under my arm and hold it still. The left needle point never moves. I can't describe it very well, but it's lightning fast.
Last Edited on: 4/25/09 4:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1