As a knitter, we have preferred techniques to use in doing our projects, but it is essential to learn these six different knitting styles. All of these methods help wrap your yarn around your fingers, but they differ on which hand you use to do it.
Generally, English and Continental knitting styles are the most common techniques that knitters use to complete a pattern. However, there are other knitting styles that you should also know, like Combined Knitting, Lever Knitting, Portuguese Knitting, and Shetland Knitting. Each method offers advantages and disadvantages to certain knitting situations.
You might have heard of English and Continental knitting, but do you understand their purpose and when to use each method? What about the other styles of knitting that we just mentioned? Are you also familiar with these techniques? Let us help you get a better grip on the six different knitting styles you can add in your arsenal.
6 Different Styles Of Knitting You Can Learn
We were hoping you could build different knitting projects with these knitting styles that you can learn. So, if you want to take your skills to the next level, here are the six classes of knitting that you can practice for more creative knitting patterns and styles. Let’s not keep you waiting, shall we?
Style #1 – English Knitting (Throwing)
Some call it the “American Style” or the “French” style in Japan, but it is one of the most renowned kinds of knitting for every knitter’s pocket. English knitting is a type of knitting that involves carrying, alongside the working needle, the yarn in the dominant hand. While English knitting is popular in the British Isles and North America, most knitters worldwide practice it, which makes it the most popular knitting style.
Pros And Cons To English Knitting
English knitting is an effortless way to learn, and it can come to you quickly if it’s your right hand that’s dominant. This method will also give you tremendous control over your yarn’s tension because instead of carrying it, your fingers throw the yarn away.
How to Knit English-Style?
If you are right-handed, here’s how you can knit the English-style. Keep the yarn in your right hand to knit in the English style, and carry the knitting needle with the cast-on stitches in your left hand, with the tip pointing to the right. The first stitch should be no more than 1 inch from the needle tip. Next, insert the end of the empty (RH) needle into the first stitch on the LH needle to form a T with the needles’ tips. Make sure that the RH needle is behind the LH needle. Using your right hand, you the yarn to the front from the RH needle’s left side, going over the RH needle to the right and down between the arrows.
You can control the yarn using your right forefinger, or hold it between your thumb and forefinger. It depends on your preferred action. Then, bring the RH needle tip with its wrap of yarn through the LH needle loop. This way, the RH needle will now be in front. To help direct the hand through the old stitch, hold the tip of the left forefinger on the RH needle’s point and avoid losing the yarn wrap.
Slide the RH needle to the right before it drops off the old loop on the LH needle. You now have a new circle on the RH needle, and the existing stitch hangs below it. Voila! You just made your first knitted stitch. Repeat these steps until you’ve knitted all your stitches from your LH needle. Now you have an empty LH needle, and your RH needle is full of beautiful new stitches.
Turn your task, switch hands so that your left hand has the needle with stitches, and knit the new row. The yarn strand coming out of the first stitch to knit is hanging down in the front when you switch your job.
Style #2 – Continental Knitting (Picking)
Continental Knitting, German Knitting, or European Knitting, whatever knitters worldwide call it, this style is perfect for various projects. Continental knitting is a type of knitting in which the non-dominant hand of the knitter carries the yarn. Many knitters find this technique much more comfortable, and crocheters who learn how to knit often find the continental feeling in their hands more normal.
As this style keeps the yarn in the non-dominant side, to switch between knitting and purling, there is no need to move the thread in front or behind the needles. Instead, on the non-dominant side, the yarn is either positioned above or below the needle.
Pros To Continental Knitting
Owing to the working needle’s hooking system, many knitters might say that continental knitting can be the quickest way to knit. Continental knitting, when perfected, can be a perfect way to create garments quickly. For knitters that have a dominant left hand, it is also a suitable technique.
Cons To Continental Knitting
Like any hand-heavy hobby, if you offer no forethought or concern about your body, you can hurt yourself while knitting. Although continental knitting on the fingers is less painful than English knitting, you may damage your wrists if you do not use the correct posture. Continental knitters can also suffer from Repetitive Stress Injury Syndrome after long periods of knitting around the knuckles and forearms.
Variations on Continental Style
Due to its popularity, countries worldwide have made several variations of the Continental style of knitting.
- Norwegian Knitting – Due to how most knitters handle purl stitches, the Norwegian knitting style is different. The Norwegian purl is worked back with the yarn; patterns that turn back and forth between knitting and purling are perfect for practicing the Norwegian purl, such as rib stitches. It holds the working yarn in the non-dominant side, making it a continental variant; just like the standard continental type, you have to work on the knit stitches.
- Russian Knitting – Russian knitting is very similar to traditional continental knitting, and knitters work the stitches the same way as they knit and purl stitches. With Russian knitting, the only difference is that you have to wrap the working yarn around the non-dominant hand’s pointer finger, very similar to where the leading leg comes from the fabric. It gives a rather tight grip to the Russian style, allowing you to flip the yarn over the needle tip instead of picking it with the needle. With the string on the non-dominant side, this style is similar to lever knitting.
What Is The Best Use Of Continental Knitting?
Continental knitting is very successful and involves minimal movement, so knitters usually consider the fastest form. This knitting method is famous for its utility, toggling them back and forth on different fingers while choosing the color you like. Continental knitting involves using that bizarre appendage, so learning can be uncomfortable.
How To Knit Continental Style
First, hold the yarn properly. When operating a stitch, there are many different ways to keep the thread. Some individuals wrap their index finger fully around the yarn, while others wrap the yarn around the pinkie and then over the index finger. To discover what’s most comfortable for you, experiment with various approaches. Then, get the string in place by casting on the number of stitches you need.
Keep the yarn together. Next, from front to back, slip the empty right-hand needle through the first stitch. Slightly put forward the left index finger so that the thread is between the two needles.
PRO TIP! Try nudging it from behind with your middle finger if you find it uncomfortable to pass the yarn using only your index finger. With practice, this will get easier and is the primary movement required for success in continental knitting.
Next, to shape the new stitch, carry the right-hand needle down behind the working yarn and through the original stitch’s loop. In English knitting or any other style, this works just the same as it does. You will now complete the knit stitch until you do it. To do so, slide off the left-hand needle with the old stitch. On the right-hand needle is the latest stitch.
Continue through the row in this manner. You would have a Garter Stitch, the most simple knitting stitch, if you repeat this stitch repeatedly, every stitch in every row. If you learn how to continental purl, you can alternate rows of knitting and purling.
Style #3 – Combined Knitting
Combined knitting is a straightforward concept. With this method, you can use two or more yarns to define knitting. This knitting style will help you knit between the left and right hands and balance two strings with different colors. Most experienced knitters use this technique when knitting in the color direction, but you can also start learning when you want to expand your knitting skills.
Pros To Combined Knitting
Combined knitting makes the process much more comfortable than English or Continental knitting, whether you function in the colorway or Faire Isle. If you intend to be an Industrious Knitter, it will make your life much simpler to have this technique in your arsenal, and you will create more clothing in different types and complexities.
Cons To Combined Knitting
As an advanced technique, engaging in mixed knitting has a few downsides. It takes a while to make the initial setup work with your color, and to master, the friction between the colors on different hands takes a lot of practice. Mastering the purling process of mixed knitting can be a daunting prospect for some. Don’t worry, though: once you get comfortable with the shape, you’ll fly with multiple colors across your rows.
What Is The Best Use Of Combined Knitting?
It is a quick technique that produces very even stockinette fabric, proponents claim. You have to remember not to work in the knit stitches’ back when working in the round, which is essential in flat knitting to correct the twisted purls. Otherwise, you might end up with twisted stitches.
Style #4 – Lever Knitting (Flicking)
In other places, they call Lever Knitting as Peruvian, Catholic, Australian, or Irish Cottage. Lever knitting a knitting style in which the knitter keeps the working yarn in the dominant hand and wraps the yarn around the working needle without fully separating the dominant hand from the needle, providing a kind of leverage movement back and forth.
Many knitters hold their working needle like a pencil, which frees their pointer finger to have their yarn tension and “flick” it around the end of the needle, utilizing this design. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, also known as the Harlot Yarn, uses this process for lightning-fast knitting.
How It’s Done
Lever knitting is a variant of English knitting that allows you to keep the yarn in the right hand. However, it is different since one needle, acting as a pivot or lever, is stationary, while the other needle does all the work.
Usually, you can tighten the yarn around your hand’s lower fingers, and the hand travels back and forth to shape the stitches. It is a movement of fluid which cuts down on repetitive strain. It’s why it’s traditionally used, along with pace, by production knitters who need to be able to work without pain for several hours per day.
Lever knitting is quickly taught on long straight needles, one of which you can pop under your right arm while you practice, keeping it steady. Just the left-hand needle goes that direction. If you want to save a straight needle stationary, and that’s what you’d use if you were knitting while standing or walking, you can use a knitting sheath or makkin belt. You can also do the same acts with circular needles until you’re comfortable working with straight needles.
Learn Lever Knitting
There’s going to be some frustration and a big learning curve if you try to learn a new knitting style. You’ve been preparing your hands for years to operate the needles in a certain way, after all, and now you have to reprogram your brain and muscles to do something different. Practice and a lot of lessons will help if you’re willing to understand it.
No matter where you get tips from, the most important thing is that you do not give up hope. Without reverting to the knitting style you’re used to, continue to practice the technique, and you’ll get it.
Style #5 – Portuguese Knitting
Portuguese knitting does not have any other common names, even though Portuguese knitting is done worldwide and is less attached to a single place than any other knitting type. Portuguese knitting is particularly unusual because the yarn’s tension is not kept in the hands at all. Instead, the wool is wound around the back of their necks by Portuguese knitters.
The explanation of why so many knitters like this style is because it liberates the fingers’ pace. The knitter keeps the hands’ tension in every other knitting style; this gives your hands two jobs to do simultaneously — holding the yarn and working the needles on the stitches.
Since so much of the hands’ tension comes from holding the yarn, this technique is also useful for coping with knitting pain. You can also get a Portuguese knitting pin that sticks to your shirt. Moreover, it keeps the tension if knitting is a bit too out of the box for you.
When Should You Use Portuguese Knitting?
With Portuguese knitting, purling is fast and straightforward. Depending on how you flick your thumb and choose the yarn in front of the job from that flick.
Why Try Portuguese Knitting?
Portuguese knitting is a good option for individuals with carpal tunnel, arthritis, and joint pain since the stitches require little movement to shape. Purling is simpler than knitting, and you’ll often see South American knitters working from the wrong side of the fabric using this technique because purling, even when doing complicated colorwork, is simpler for them.
With this process, it’s also easier to work with colorwork because if you like, you can strand and color through a different knitting pin, which prevents them from getting as tangled as they do when you tense them on your fingers.
Even for beginners, it’s easy to maintain a good tension on the job, and it’s a perfect way for blind or visually disabled people to knit because the working yarn stays put, and you can still quickly find it.
Style #6 – Shetland Knitting
You’re probably not far off if you imagine a woman standing in the Scottish highlands with a knitting needle tied to a belt around her waist and knitting. The Shetland style of knitting goes by many names, but because of how the working needle is placed against the body, it’s identifiable. This knitting style is much quicker because the dominant hand doesn’t have to think about maintaining the tension of the yarn and the working needle at the same time.
One of the new types of knitting that you can quickly do standing up is also Shetland knitting. It has the same plan as a way for knitters to work on garments rapidly when working on other tasks. This style is very similar to the technique used by Hazel Tindall. She is popular as the fastest knitter in the world.
Which Method Should You Choose?
Some people find English knitting easier to understand, while others think it’s easier to learn continental knitting. Trying both styles initially may be worth it to see which one is more relaxed and standard for you. Even if you’ve been happily knitting for a long time in English or continental style, learning the other form or trying one of the lesser-known types is worth it. For one thing, if that’s a concern for you, you can alternate various forms of knitting on different projects, minimizing hand and arm pressure.
When working with two colors of yarn in the same row, knitting both ways is also very useful. Without having to swap out yarns or deal with a substantial twisted mess at the back of the job, you can knit with one color in your right hand and one in your left and speed through the process. Plus, even though you usually knit one way most of the time, it’s just fun to learn more techniques and have them in your arsenal.
5 Tips On How To Knit Faster
Speed knitting is not for everyone. For the enjoyment and calm of the repetitive movement, and our well-being, some of us knit. So, if you want to work at a faster pace, here are some tips that you can follow.
Tip #1 – Add Knitting To Your Daily Habit
Knitting takes practice, like all skills, and the more often you knit, the better you’ll get at it. Your stitches are going to get evener, and your rate is going to get better. If you knit every day for a while, the little movements in your muscle memory will stabilize, making it easier and more comfortable for you to execute them. And your knitting needles are going to go a lot faster after a while!
Tips #2 – Practice Knitting Without Looking At Your Needles
It might sound a little strange, but if you become such a confident knitter that you do not have to look at your knitting all the time, you will save a lot of time. You can knit while doing other things, such as reading, watching your children play in the playground, or reading a knitting magazine if you can knit without looking at your job! Having more time for knitting would make things much easier for you. You get done faster if you spend more time knitting.
Tips #3 – More Time For Knitting
You will complete your projects quicker and get frequent practice if you take more time to knit daily, which will make you a faster knitter. You may be able to knit when performing other duties, such as watching children, reading, listening, or watching a course or reading the paper? If you want to become a better knitter, time management is the secret.
Tips #4 – Stop Checking Your Fabric With Errors
It might seem unusual to ask you to stop knitting faster in a post, but it’s much easier and quicker to fix them early if you notice errors! Some knitters stop now and then and check their knitting for any odd-looking stitches and other mistakes. It saves them tons of time, only because it’s so much easier than ripping up later to fix instantly. But in knitting, we all make errors, and the critical part is how we cope with them!
Tips #5 – Take Down Notes Of Your Project
Keep your project notes! When we’re talking about pace, this is another thing that can sound a little misplaced. But if you spend some time on your notes, you’ll be thankful to yourself when you need them.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to be a knitting expert? It depends on how much lessons and experience you’re ready to take. Don’t be afraid to learn and try different styles of knitting for your various patterns. If you are scared of making mistakes, then you won’t progress as a skillful knitter. Be open and always willing to try many things because only then will you learn different strokes and techniques in knitting. Finally, here are some of the most commonly asked questions for knitting styles.
Is it harder to learn to knit or crochet?
Some people find it harder to learn crochet, while others have difficulty understanding how to knit. Both crafts use the yarns and needles, but the process is a little bit different. In the end, learning knitting or crocheting depends on the time invested and the person’s willingness to understand. Knitting can be easier to learn because it commonly involves two stitches – the knit stitch and purl stitch. Find out how long does it take to learn crochet.
What is flicking knitting?
Flicking in knitting refers to the way that is a variation on English knitting. It is a way to hold the working yarn in your right hand without letting go of the right needle. This technique can be hard to learn in the beginning, especially for starters. Moreover, it is a lot challenging for left-handed knitters. Still, anyone can master it with consistent practice and perseverance.
What is Russian style knitting?
Russian knitting is very similar to conventional continental knitting, and the stitches are worked in the same way as the knit and purl stitches themselves. The only distinction with Russian knitting is that the working yarn is wrapped around the pointer finger of the non-dominant hand, quite close to where the leading leg falls from the cloth. It gives the Russian style a very tight grip, allowing you to flip the yarn over the needle tip instead of using the needle itself to pick it.
With the yarn on the non-dominant hand, lever knitting is similar to this type. It’s continental-like, but to behave as a bobbin with the string wrapped around the finger. The Russian style is often knit with purls covered the opposite way around the back to avoid twisted stitches. Usually, knitters call this method as hybrid knitting.
In the world full of choices, we understand that it can be a little bit confusing to choose the right action for every stitch you make – and it is true if there are different styles of knitting that you can use. In the end, it is all about understanding your project and doing the method that you’re comfortable doing. When it comes to learning something new, don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. More importantly, you dare to make those mistakes because you will only know what is right.