Thursday, April 28, 2011

Continental Knitting ~ Practice Swatch

It looks kind of like a pineapple, doesn't it? Actually, it's the result of my first practice session with Continental knitting. I just goofed around going from knitting to purling. I threw in a little two stitch ribbing and even tried increasing and decreasing.

Having the yarn back in my left hand feels good and my fingers have quickly adjusted to their new responsibilities. What I'm struggling with most is tension. When I crochet, I don't wrap the yarn around the outside of my left fingers. I allow it to drop through my hand and then I curl in my ring and pinky fingers to control my tension. I know there are more ways than one to wrap your yarn even as a crocheter, but this is how I've held mine for years.

I totally get why you have to have the yarn on the outside of your fingers when you are knitting. I find the continental method of purling very comfortable and I love how easy it is to switch between the knit and purl stitches. What I'm not loving is the pinky wrap tension. If I wrap the yarn around my pinky once, I feel like I don't have enough tension and the yarn has even slipped of my finger a couple times. If I wrap my pinky twice, it's too much tension. What's a girl to do?

Here's what I did. I looked online to see how other knitters were holding their yarn. I found one video where the knitter wrapped the yarn completely around her index finger. I tried that is it does work. You can still purl without the yarn falling off your finger. I think it looks a little funny though and it's still not quite the tension control I want.

I have noticed that in the demo I shared on my last post, her stitches are very loose. She even comments on this and says that she will often use needles two sizes smaller than the gauge suggests. So maybe this means that Continental knitting is just much looser and I have to get used to that. Mainly, I think I need to keep practicing!

1 comment:

seattleskipastor said...

Hey Jennifer,

Yeah for continental knitting. I tension the yarn over my index finger - 1.5 wraps - and my tension is pretty normal, except when I knit with tiny needles, then I add an extra wrap around my index finger and that helps. I couldn't imagine trying to tension with my pinkie.