Continental knitting, sometimes referred to as German knitting or European knitting, knits with the yarn in the left hand. It’s a very interesting technique which can make knitting up to 25% faster. It is also a popular and more natural style for left handed people. There is less movement in the wrists and less muscle strain, so this can be a great option for people who have arthritis, or carpel tunnel syndrome. The Continental style also allows for a looser tension, so keep that in mind when trying this technique with your garments.
Interestingly it was less popular in England after the Second World War. So the English turned to the English style knitting, with the yarn in the right hand. In this style the right needle is held like a pen. This technique was initially adopted by upper-class ladies in the Victorian era in order to look more ladylike. However, it is now one of the most common techniques used in Australia.
The above depicts some French Ambulance drivers, knitting some socks for the front using the Continental technique.
For those who Fair Isle: Continental knitting can make working with colours a whole lot easier. The Continental style allows you to work with at least three colours at once, and colour changes become quicker and less effort.
Above image is of Fair Isle colour work using both the left and right hand techniques. (Image from: http://www.visitscotland.com/destinations-maps/shetland/).
Morris and Sons is holding a continental knitting class on the 17th of November. In this class you will learn the difference between the “English” or “Throw” style of knitting, and the Continental style. You will learn how to knit and purl comfortably in the Continental style, the easy transitions between the two for ribbing, and how to do the main decreases and increases. So if you’re interested in taking part in the class, hop on to our website, or call us in store to make a reservation on (02) 9299 8588.
The Morris and Sons Team