The Editor Wants to Know: Are You an English or Contintal Knitter? The Conversation Continues!

I find the differences in knitting styles to be such a lively topic of discussion, so I wanted to keep the conversation going. I first opened up the subject of knitting styles in this post. I asked: Do you knit English or Continental, and when was the first time you heard that there were even other styles “out there” other than the one you use?

I was taught to knit Continental. I get that the mainstream way to learn is English-style, or in other words the “throwing” method. Knitters who use this version, hold the working yarn with their right hand and “throw it” instead of tensioning it in the left hand the way Continental knitters do.

The “controversy” exists over which method is right for a newbie knitter. I can of course only speak from my own experience as a Continental knitter, or as a “picker.” Like all new knitters, I found knitting awkward and unfamiliar at first, but once I got the hang of it, knitting became second nature. I also think that no matter what knitting style you use, it was because you simply learned what was handed down to you or what you were taught in your local yarn shop. Either way, we all get to the same exciting place!

10 Responses to The Editor Wants to Know: Are You an English or Contintal Knitter? The Conversation Continues!

  1. Marianne says:

    I am a lefty, but knit right handed, I am a “picker” otherwise known as Continental. Being left handed I have a problem with throwing the yarn with my right hand. Just feels very clumsy to me and I have very sloppy stitches when I do try to throw the yarn. By the way, no one can tell I am left handed if they see me knitting, they just think I’m a picker, cause I’m a grinnin!! LOL

  2. kathleen colling says:

    I was taught to knit by my English Grandmother. Therefore I knit English (throwing). Didn’t know there was a different way of knitting until the last few years. Cannot get the Continental method at all. I think I have mastered tension in the English method, so will not be changing any time soon I think. Happy knitting. K

  3. I learned English style … I’m a thrower! I took a Continental class a few years ago at the LYS, but it has just never felt right, even with practice.

  4. Kerry Ayres says:

    I was taught the English style of knitting and have tried the continental style on occasions. I have been knitting of over 50 years and love it as a pastime watching TV or even reading.

  5. Ramona says:

    I was taught when I was only five by my mother who grew up in Italy and Germany and the only way she knows to knit and ever knew to knit is what is considered continental knitting. I find the method of “throwing” (I have tried before) to be much more work than “picking”. I find that I use my hands more the English method and that is not always a good idea for those who have arthritis. I seem to knit faster the continental way and with less motion. I also seem to keep my tension better.

  6. Jennifer R. says:

    I was taught by a “thrower”, but I just couldn’t get the hang of things. I then sought out someone who was a “picker”, and it all came quite naturally. I think it helped that even though I am right-handed, my mother is a lefty. She taught me (by watching her) how to use my left hand quite proficiently. The only time it has been a problem was when she tried to teach me to crochet. It was too difficult for me to learn to crochet with my left hand, as my mother did, but I later learned how to crochet by watching videos on YouTube.

  7. Debbie says:

    I was a crocheter first and am self taught as a knitter. I went right to the continental method. I think it is because I was a crocheter first . Throwing is very unhandy for me.

  8. I learned to knit the English method and then taught myself the Continental method because it was easier on my hands. However, recently I discovered the Portuguese method of knitting using a pin on your shoulder where you flip the yarn over the needle with your thumb. Very easy to knit for long periods of time and much easier on my arthritic hands, as I only use my thumb and don’t move fingers and wrists. I really like this method.

  9. Glenda Freeman says:

    My friend tried to teach me English style. I found out there was another method, and watched many You Tube videos on the Continental Method. I find it much easier especially when doing the seed stitch. I also have more control of my tension with this method.

  10. Barb Mc says:

    I learning English style as a middle schooler. I tried Continental as an adult but my fine motor skills in my left hand are not good so it wasn’t the most efficient for me especially when purling. Thank goodness I discovered Portuguese style knitting! I thought my MS had taken away my last enjoyable hobby but I was wrong! As with Glenda my tension is so much more consistent with this method. I think all knitters should at least try it.

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