Continental knitting. Tried it yet?

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.

Drivers of the French Ambulance Corps near the fighting zone, waiting to be called (Italy, 1944). ~Robert Capa photo

Drivers of the French Ambulance Corps near the fighting zone, waiting to be called (Italy, 1944). ~Robert Capa photo

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.fairisle continental

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

 

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A Whole Spectrum of Possibilities

What’s the colour red to you? Is it anger, passion, danger, excitement, love or something different again?

Colour goes beyond just what we see to being something that can evoke emotion. Colour can take a drab scene and turn it into something stunning. So it’s quite natural that colour knitting can produce beautiful results – like this gorgeous jumper from the most recent Rowan magazine:

Rowan Magazine Issue 53

If you want to learn or expand your colour knitting skills, it helps to have a good guide. Color Knitting the Easy Way and Mastering Color Knitting by Melissa Leapman are fantastic for getting into colour knitting and will see you reach a stage where you’re confident in many colour knitting techniques.

Melissa Leapman Books

These books not only teach you how to colour knit, but include projects based on the techniques in the book that you’ll actually want to knit! They also include sections on design and explain how theory about colour itself applies to knitting; helping you to chose yarn colour combinations that will look great knitted up!

More than that, the books include pattern treasuries of stitches, patterns and motifs that form a useful resource to apply to your pattern of choice.

Color Knitting the Easy Way

With everything you need to know to get started, this book is perfect for knitters who want to make a break into colour knitting. In addition to the content mentioned above, it also features a handy glossary of chart symbols and many different stitches that reinvent the humble stripe. Who knew stripes could look so complex and impressive and yet be so easy to knit?

Colour Wheel

Gloves

Mens Jumper

Girls Jumper

 

Mastering Color Knitting

This book takes colour knitting to the next level. Fair Isle, intarsia, knitting using the double knitting technique that gives you a double sided stocking stitch, 100% reversible result… There’s nothing you won’t be able to tackle after going through this book!

The best part? You can pick up this book and your needles and get to work without having gone through the other one; the instructions are nice and clear. Saying that, there are a lot of helpful tips and techniques in Color Knitting the Easy Way that will come in handy regardless of which book’s projects you’re working on!

Mens Fair Isle

Hats

Cardigan

Double Knitting Hat

 

The last thing to mention is to do with an essential part of colour knitting: colourful yarn! These are just some of our 57 colours of Morris Estate 8 ply, which is 100% Australian wool. It’s great for colour knitting, and you’re sure to find the perfect colour combination you’re looking for.

Morris Estate