Thursday, 31 March 2011

Day 6: a skill I would like to learn 2KCBWDAY6

Is, without doubt, to knit continental style.  I tried to find a picture of the idiotic way I knit, and then realised that I am the only person around to take pictures ha!  So obviously there aren't any really.  This is the closest I could find:
I am a thrower.  A lot of people are throwers, especially I think as a lot of us have had to teach ourselves, and perhaps didn't have a kindly grandmother standing over us rapping our knuckles with a steel knitting needle every time we inclined toward poor knitting technique.  Apparently the world speed knitter (who knew such things existed) is a thrower, so its nothing to be ashamed of.  But it is irritating when someone who knits 'properly' happens to see you, a thrower, knitting.  And you can see them cock an eyebrow, thinking 'tch, she throws the yarn.  She'll come to no good'.

Some people even come right out and say it 'hey, you're holding it all wrong!' I quite appreciate that, at least they are open and trying to share skills.  I always retort 'yes, thats because my mother is an ardent feminist who refused to allow me to learn any traditionally female skills, so I had to teach myself to knit by torchlight under my duvet for fear of being forced to recite the female eunuch as punishment'.  Usually shuts the old bags up.

Anyway, I'm not a slow knitter.  Neither am I a fast knitter, but that might be because I keep stopping to drink coffee or watch a juicy bit of eastenders. 

I observed myself knitting recently and noticed that, although I let go of the rh needle to bring the yarn round, it doesn't really get fully dropped.  Somehow it balances on the knitting, and I bring the yarn round so fast that the needle doesn't go anywhere and is back in my hands just-like-that.  Usually.  Also the left hand needle does a fair amount of the work.

But it would be awesome to be able to knit continental style, because it would make knitting colourwork a lot easier.  I have knitted stranded and woven colourwork, but it takes a bloody long time, which makes me bloody cross.  So I mostly don't.  Or I do cheat's slip stitch colour patterns.  These socks only had one colour per round

Same with these gloves

This isn't such a great picture, but the fair isle style pattern on this dolly jacket also only had one colour per row

I'm not sure I'll ever manage to achieve my goal though, it seems like a whole other language that my hands are not willing to learn.


  1. Nothing wrong with being a thrower, we're just the rebellious cool kids smoking by the side of the school. I sort of taught myself continental for colorwork by practicing whenever I was knitting something in garter stitch. I'd try continental every few rows or so, then switch back. Little by little, I found I could do it longer until I did a whole mini-scarf continental (it is faster--but I literally can't do anything except a regular knit stitch).

  2. I keep thinking I need to find some garter st projects to practice continental on, I am reassured that you've managed it!

  3. I'm sure everyone in the is a thrower except me. I taught myself to knit continental style. Apparently I am object of wonder to other knitters who see me now. Sonic you are happy with the way you knit, stick with it!

  4. I'm a thrower too and like you I would love to learn continental. One day maybe!

  5. I always say that I'm going to learn to knit continental style, always after this project I'm working on right now!

    I don't mind being a thrower :)

  6. U can learn. I learned off of U-tube and practice with a simple garter scarf. Rows n rows of garter stitch. When I finished the scarf, I was a contenental knitter. Took me forever to purl that way, but it eventually happened. Just takes time and a really really long garter stitch scarf -smiles-


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