Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Continental Knitting vs. why I knit so slowly.

Home economics classes were my favorite in high school. I loved to sew garments. I enjoyed crochet. I conquered needlepoint during a six week case of mono my during my senior year. But I feared knitting. A family member told me that knitting was a bear to rip out, and so my high school knitting project, a baby poncho, booties and mittens were knit in Red Heart and never did I make one mistake. I painstakingly made sure that no dreaded ripping would occur. It stressed me out so badly, that I never knit again until 30 years later at the urging of my sister who somehow never heeded the myth.

My early years of marriage were spent cross-stitching and quilting, but at the urging of my sister who is an amazing knitter, I decided to give knitting a go again. I got one of those cheap pamphlets that you buy at the fabric store and re-taught myself the "throw" method. Now, there is no wrong way to knit, as long as you get the job done, but one day I experienced humiliation. I had been throwing and knitting happily for several years, but sitting at a piano competition, knitting a sock in public, I found out that I was missing speed. Another mother, waiting for her child had been eyeing me. When the seat next to me opened up, she sat in it. She finally couldn't take it anymore. She did not speak English, so she motioned for me to hand her my knitting. I did and she tried to show me the "right way" to knit. It did NOT involve throwing. She proceeded to whip around my little sock and look at me as though I should be able to learn the right way as she demonstrated on my size 1 dpn's. She knitted a few rows and then handed it back with a smile as though she had helped me learn her fast method in those few minutes. Boy, was she wrong. I don't learn that quickly. LOTS OF REPETITION is my friend.

So, now that I am on row 48 of the Hemlock Ring Blanket and my stockinette rows have 440 stitches, I thought I would practice Continental knitting. I get bored easily and thousands of knit stitches is not my idea of fun. It is excellent Olympic project, but I need a challenge. You Tube is great for watching over and over to master a new technique and this is a good one. Maybe by closing ceremonies, I will be a Continental knitter!


  1. I want to learn, but I don't know anything! Where would you recommend I start?

  2. I throw also. It's how I knit and I knit slowly and it gets the job done, so I don't worry about it too much (except for the fact that you're almost done with your blanket and I'm on, like row 75 of several 100 of my scarf!). Good luck on the Continental knitting!

  3. I taught myself to knit a little over a year ago and because I learned to crochet first continental knitting is a great fit but I started out throwing and noticed that the stitches are a little different you may not want to switch styles in the middle of a project. Any craft is about enjoying the journey it doesn't matter how you get there.


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