If you stop and think about it, it’s pretty incredible how many ways there are to knit. Hold your yarn in your right hand, hold it in your left, wrap it around your neck, tension your yarn around your finger, tension with a guide, knit left handed —the list goes on and on.
If your style is working for you, by all means stick with it. But sometimes it’s fun to switch things up!
The defining feature of knitting English style (also called ‘throwing’) is that you hold the yarn in your right hand, and wrap it around the needle. The movement can be subtle or deliberate, and there are endless variations in how that yarn is held in your right hand.
Continental knitting (also called ‘picking’) has a reputation for being fast. The yarn is held in your left hand, and once you get used to this style you really don’t need to move the yarn at all. Just scoop it with your needle and carry on!
This style of knitting is a real attention getter — you wrap the yarn around your neck to tension, and then just flick the working yarn with your thumb to make stitches. Purl stitches are actually faster with this style, so it’s great for working stockinette in the round on the wrong side.
4. Combination Knitting
If you’re looking for ways to make your Continental knitting even faster, try combination knitting. The purl stitches are wrapped the other way, to be more efficient, which means your knit stitches are worked through the back loop.
5. Left-Handed Knitting
While most of the knitting world is geared towards right-handed folks, that doesn’t mean lefties have to fall in line. Learn how to reverse the basic principles of knitting, and let your left hand take the lead.