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  • Writer's pictureClo Tricots

5 tips for knitting (faster) the continental way

Welcome to my blog! Today we are going to discuss a topic that often comes up on my channel: continental knitting and how to improve your knitting speed. Knitting faster is a goal that many knitters strive to achieve, and I'm one of those people who likes speed. If you're new to the world of continental-style knitting, let me explain what it's all about.

Continental knitting is one of the main knitting methods, alongside English knitting. The main difference is how you hold your yarn. In continental knitting, you hold the yarn in your left hand, while in English knitting, you hold it in your right hand. There are other methods, such as Portuguese knitting, but continental knitting and English knitting are the most common.

When I first started knitting, I learned to knit the English way, like most knitters in North America and many countries in Europe. However, I quickly realized that I preferred continental knitting, notably for its speed but above all its comfort. Here are some of my tips for knitting more quickly and comfortably continental style:

  1. Choice of needles: Choosing the right needles can have a significant impact on your knitting speed. Personally, I opt for metal needles because they are very smooth and allow the stitches to slide easily. Less friction means faster knitting. I also like fairly sharp needles, as this makes it easier to insert the needle into the stitch. Needles that are too rounded can slow down the process.

  2. Yarn tension: The tension of your yarn is essential for knitting quickly. Make sure your tension is loose enough so that the thread passes easily through your fingers. Do not tighten too much, otherwise you will encounter resistance which requires more effort and slows down the work.

  3. Cable Length: When knitting in the round, make sure the circumference of your needles is slightly smaller than your project. This reduces the need to change cables frequently, saving time. If your cable is too tight, use the travelling loop method to create a shorter cable.

  4. Position the stitches correctly: When working back and forth or in the round, bring as many stitches as possible close to the point on your left needle. Each stitch will be ready to take the place of the previous one on your needle for quick and fluid knitting.

  5. Practice: Practice is the key to improving your speed. The more you knit in the continental style, the more you will get used to the technique, which will allow you to knit faster. Don't expect immediate results, be patient and keep practicing. Choose a very simple and repetitive knit to start.

Now let's move on to the actual technique of continental knitting. To knit quickly in the continental style, here are some tips:

  • Place the yarn: There are several ways to hold the yarn, but my favorite is to pass it from back to front between your little finger and your ring finger, then front to back between the middle and index fingers. The tension should be loose enough to allow the yarn to slide easily.

  • Keep your left index finger close to the needles: To maximize efficiency, keep your index finger as close to the needles as possible. This reduces unnecessary movements, tension in the forearms and allows for smoother knitting.

  • Use a slight rotation of the wrists: When knitting quickly, you may notice a slight rotation of the wrists. This helps guide the wool around the needle efficiently.

  • The needle does the work: When you make your stitches, think of it as the right needle doing the work of picking the yarn instead of trying to twist the yarn around the needle.

  • Practice, practice, practice: The key to speed in continental knitting is practice. The more you knit, the more you perfect your technique and the faster and more efficiently you knit.

In summary, knitting faster in the continental style requires the choice of appropriate needles, good technique for holding the yarn and regular practice. Be patient, as improving your speed will come with time and practice. Keep knitting and having fun with your projects, no matter if you choose to knit one way or another.

Happy knitting


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