Knitting styles: Continental vs English knitting

Many roads lead to Rome and many knitting styles lead to the same result. Have you ever wondered what knitting styles exist and how these differ? In this article you will find out all about Continental Knitting and English knitting.

What is Continental knitting?
Continental style knitting, also known as German or European knitting is a knitting style that supposedly originated in continental Europe and Germany to be more precise. For this method, the yarn is held in the left hand and therefore the tension is also controlled on this side. The yarn is picked or scooped with the right knitting needle and then pulled through a stitch to form the next one.

What is English knitting?
English style knitting is a method that predominates in English speaking countries, where the yarn is held in the right hand and the yarn is thrown over the right needle to wrap the yarn around the needle. The tension is also regulated by the right hand.

Continental vs English knitting
The most obvious difference between the two popular knitting styles is the yarn orientation. This has nothing to do with right or left handedness of the knitter. Most likely, it has everything to do with who taught you how to knit or the area that you just happen to live in.

There is no right or wrong way. However, proponents of English knitting say it is easier to learn and understand. Proponents of continental knitting say it has the potential to be faster as the movements are smaller. Although speed is not the most important thing, the smaller movements might cause less strain and knitting pain. Continental knitting is also said to be easier when it comes to switching between knit and purl stitches. Also, if you already know how to crochet, this method might be easier for you as the yarn orientation is the same.

Combining knitting styles
Why choose between two methods when you can learn them both? The combination is perfect for stranded or multicolor knitting, where two colors are used in the same row. Using both styles, you can hold one color in each hand and prevent the yarn from getting tangled.

What knitting style do you prefer?
I would love to know why you knit the way you do. Which style do you prefer and why? Leave a comment!


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