Google+ Beverly Is Yarn Crazy!: June 2014

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Continental Envy

Have you ever seen a technique or method of doing something that, in your head, makes perfect sense, but you CAN'T do it?  Can't???  Can't is not permitted.

When I see people knitting in the continental style, I am so envious, because it appears to be a much more efficient way of knitting.  I am told that it is faster and that makes sense to me when I observe how it is done.  My continental knit stitch is passable when I use it in colorwork, but when I try to purl in the continental style, it is tedious, wonky looking, and unevenly tensioned.  Continental purling has been my nemesis.

This week, I have watched every YouTube video that I can find and attempted all of the tips, tricks and acrobatic assaults on yarn that they proffer.  I decided that I would work all these experimental stitches in dishcloths for my own home.  We could use a few more of them and I don't care how bad they look as even an ugly dishcloth will clean the dishes.

My primary difficulties in continental purling are yarn tensioning and wrapping the yarn around the needle without it slipping off.  Most of the videos that I watched neglected to address how to tension the yarn in your hand.  How I tension in my right hand is not working for my left hand at all.  As for wrapping the yarn around the needle, it takes me several attempts with each stitch.  This too, could be a tensioning issue.

To my surprise, Norwegian purling is somehow working for my clumsy hands. When I first watched a few videos of this particular method, I thought, "that doesn't look more efficient!".  I wasn't even going to try it, except nothing else was working for me and it was all that was left.  I gave it a try and it worked for me the very first try!  It isn't as fast as the more traditional purling that I have seen, but it enables me to continental purl so that I can have the benefit of continental knitting.  The technique eliminates the need to move the yarn to the front to purl.  Voila!  If you would like to try this here is a video link showing it:  Norwegian Purling

Another very interesting way that I am trying has the yarn controlled by your thumb.  It isn't as intuitive for me, but it is easier than the traditional method.  You can find a video for it here:  Purling the Easy Way.

I am determined to practice this daily for a few weeks and see if this is really worth all the effort for my knitting.  I won't consider it a waste of time at all, because I got some loosey-goosey, wonky dishcloths to use and, best of all, continental style knitting was not permitted to defeat me.  Stay yarn crazy!

UPDATE:  I only posted this 20 minutes ago and then found a video on Portuguese knitting that is amazing.  I am purling away like a fiend!  Super fast!  Give it a try:  Portuguese Knitting.  For a improvised knitting pin/pendant, I opened up a paper clip and placed it around a necklace I am wearing.  Then looped the yarn through the opening and around my middle finger, the way she demonstrated.  Perfect tensioning!  Even if this method doesn't become my go to, the tensioning method will be investigated further as it is taking a lot of stress off my hands.

I love learning new things!!!

Edited to add:  Russian Purling

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