Continental Divide

My new goal is learning how to knit continental style.

I’m an English style knitter, or a “thrower.”  That means that I hold the yarn in my right hand and throw the yarn over the needle with every stitch.  When I first learned how to knit using a combination of a DVD I got in a kit and my mother’s basic knitting skills, that’s what was demonstrated and so I followed it.  (That’s also why I’ve always done the long-tail cast on method for everything and didn’t even know there was such a thing as multiple methods until years after I started knitting.)

But more and more recently I’ve been thinking about how slow of a knitter I am and how this method is the reason I’m slowing down.  I think I’m pretty quick with the method I use, but continental style knitters can whip through stitches like nobody’s business while I’m throwing each one over the needle.

I’ve also realized that I have a pretty strange yarn tension thing going on when I knit: I tuck the yarn under my pinky and ring fingers, but with each stitch, my index finger picks up the yarn to throw it over.  I never noticed this was how I was doing things until I started paying attention to the way I was knitting and how other people were knitting.  It comes very naturally to me, but there are just so many more effective ways of knitting, and I want to know all of them.

So, that’s that.  I’ve been watching videos of people knitting continental style, and I can do it - but not without feeling incredibly awkward.  I know that anything worth learning takes time, and I’m going to stick with it, but for now it’s incredibly annoying that I haven’t gotten the yarn tension right, that my pointer finger sticks out when I’m knitting that way, and that everything feels so wrong.

Patience is key, I guess.  In the meantime, I’m going back and forth between the two, because continental is in no way, shape, or form a quicker method yet.