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Learn How to Knit Continental

Recently I had a knitting awakening. Lorilee Beltman, owner of City Knitting in Grand Rapids, Michigan offered to give me a quick “Continental” knitting lesson. As a veteran “thrower” or English style knitter, I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to see how the other half knit. I brought my video camera along to record the tutorial for all of you. And while the video is no substitute for the real-life knitting lesson, I hope this will help take some of the mystery out of Continental knitting.

Here’s a quick primer from Wikipedia to get you ready. The online encyclopedia describes the difference between the knitting styles this way:

Knitting with the yarn in one’s left hand is commonly referred to as Continental knitting,German-Style Knitting, left-hand knitting or European knitting. Unlike English knitting, the yarn is kept in the left hand and more importantly, the left hand never leaves the needle. While the English knitter can work by lifting the one hand up off the needle to wrap yarn around the opposite needle, the Continental knitter keeps both hands on their respective needles at all times.
Most German/Continental knitters feel that this style is more efficient than the English/American method.
Continental/German style knitting is also referred to as ‘picking’, whereas English/American style knitting is referred to as ‘throwing.’”

Okay, let’s roll that tape.

       
Many thanks to Lorilee for agreeing to star in this tutorial. If you happen to live in West Michigan and want to learn more, you can check out Lorilee’s upcoming knit and purl Continential classes on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5.

Comments

Comment from Karen
Time: April 13, 2008, 3:37 pm

Great tutorial — thanks so much! As a “thrower” for many, many years, I’m anxious to try the continental method — it is obviously so much more efficient and less tiring!

Wonderful tutorial!

Comment from Crystal
Time: December 3, 2008, 9:07 pm

this tutorial is great. I’ve been a thrower since I learned 3 years ago, it’s gone really slow. I can’t wait to practice now!

Comment from Janet Stuart
Time: February 17, 2009, 1:29 pm

Hello, I reside in Edmonton, AB, Canada and just watched you podcast by Lorilee on Continental Knitting. Does Lorilee have a podcast site where I can learn the techniques applicable to Continental. The podcast is terrific, however, I would appreciate some instruction on how to hold the yarn properly, somewhat more slowly. Kind regards, Jan

Comment from JoAnn
Time: October 27, 2009, 6:08 pm

By far the best tutorial I’ve seen, and I’ve looked at many. Thank you so much. I’ve been continental knitting for years, and have never mastered the purl, but now I think I’ll be able to do it with your help.

Comment from Louine Teague
Time: January 9, 2011, 10:29 am

I am 60 and have been a “thrower” since I learned to knit at age twelve…….I have tried over the years to learn to knit using the continental style but seemed to be all thumbs….I keep thinking I was “too Right handed” and just could make my left hand work rignt…..I found your video and Lorilee showed how to hold the yarn on the outside of your three fingers and use the middle finger as a landing pad and finally I could manage the stitches…..I have been practicing but plan to start a seed stitch scarf today. The only thing that I still have a bit of trouble with is getting the stiches to move to the end of the needle if there are lots of stiches on the needle but it is like a miracle. Thank you for your blog and posting the video.

Comment from Norma
Time: June 27, 2011, 9:41 pm

Like Louine, I’ve been a thrower for a long while and saw how efficient Continental was and have tried to learn for the past few years. Bought videos blah blah After watching Lorilee I am hoping I finally GOT it !!! At least I know what I saw is more efficient than what i’ve been doing and would be less stressful on my hands . Thank you so very much for such a wonderful video !!! Very much appreciated

Comment from Kerry
Time: April 25, 2012, 11:57 pm

I’ve just been shown this and I’d love to be able to download the video to install on my e-reader so I have it wherever I am (rather than have to be tied to my computer – I elected not to have internet access on my phone or my e-reader). Is there a way I can do this download please?

Comment from Susanne from Canada
Time: January 1, 2013, 12:53 pm

Wonderful!! I am a long time crocheter, never really learned to knit, but have always wanted to. I promised myself I would learn in 2013. MY M-I-L has been trying to show me the English style/throwing and my own mother has tried to show me the “German” way; but she only knows some very basic stuff and can’t read patterns in ANY language.I thought I could never learn, nothing made any sense until I found your BLOG. OMG!! I am so lucky, You are a very good teacher and I can do it!! I’m 50, but feel like this is what I should have learned at 10 years old. It’s never too late, and I am being made an Oma this year, by our beautiful daughter; twin boys will be getting some knitted hats!! Thanks again and Happy New Year!!!

Comment from Jan Henson
Time: January 9, 2013, 8:46 pm

Hi, your YouTube video on the continental knitting method is wonderful. I was wondering if you ever considered making a DVD to sale showing the continental method and now to do everything with it. You could show casting on, decreasing and increasing stitches, binding off, adding different yarns, etc. I live in Northern California and there really isn’t a shop that offers great classes. There are knitting books out there, but I am not good at figuring out a picture even with a description. I l learn best by demonstration and verbal instruction. I would be more than happy to purchase a DVD for $30 whichbI could learn from.

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