Frustration with different technique

scottly's picture

During a recent trip to the LYS I was discussing a problem that I was having with a certain stitch (can't remember which one) and Rachel (my knitting ninja) told me to show her how I knit so I did a quick demo and she told me I was wraping the yarn the wrong way around my needle when doing a knit stitch - OMG I've been knitting this way for years! Anyway, she is also left handed and demonstrated her techique which turns out to be the traditional continental style - feeding the yarn from the left hand and so forth. So I've adopted this style. It's so much more effecient and faster but I'm having a really hard time getting even stitches and they seem so much looser. I'm just really frustrated, I kind of want to go back to my old incorrect method - at least I had even pretty stitches. So if anyone could sort of give me basic tips on achieving nice even stitches I would appreciate it. Then again maybe it's just a matter of practice and experience.


drmel94's picture

First of all, there are as

First of all, there are as many ways to knit as there are knitters, so your "wrong" way of knitting may not be wrong if you're getting the intended result. What is important to understand is how your stitches are being constructed and how the yarn lies on your needle so that you can build your technique (whatever it may be) to producing consistent stitches.

A couple references for you:

First, a video on stitch mount by Cat Bordhi

Then, Annie Modesitt's website with explanations about her "combined" knitting technique.

If you look at the animations on Annie Modesitt's site, you will see that on the knit side, her stitches have the "reverse" or "Eastern" mount. If you are wrapping your yarn counterclockwise around the needle on your knit stitches, then you will be mounting them in this manner. This is not a problem so long as you are aware of how the stitches are mounted and you know how to knit or purl into them to get a stitch that is not twisted (unless, of course, you're working a stitch pattern that calls for twisted stitches). If you're already wrapping them in the combined knitting manner, then you should be set. When you are doing stitches other than plain knit/purl, though, you will need to take a close look at how you are wrapping your stitches and the end result your are trying to get, so that you can figure out the best way for you to get the desired result.

Hope that clarifies things a little.

albert's picture

When I knit two-handed I

When I knit two-handed I wrap the yarn twice around my left wrist and then over my index finger. This gives me adequate tension. On the right hand I wrap the yarn around my pinkie and over my index finger. I once saw a knitting video where the kintter ran the yarn around her neck for tension. Experiment.

BuduR's picture

I went to a little knitting

I went to a little knitting thing about a year ago down state, I was running late, and me and my friend rushed in and sat down. They hadn't begun yet so we of course sat down, got our needles out, and took this time to check out everyone else in the room. See what they are doing, how far they got on pre stuff for the class etc. The woman walks up to the front of the room, everyone says hello to her and the whole room proceeded to throw thier yarn around their necks. We had no idea what they were doing or why, but not wanting to look stupid we did the same, the class was 2 hours long, we knit with our yarn around our necks the whole time and didn't find out WHY we were doing it until about 15 minutes before the class was over one woman leaned over to my friend and said "I would have never thought that putting the yarn around my neck would help my tension so much!" apparently this woman teaches there often and had told them about this before.

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

MMario's picture

You could always stick a

You could always stick a garter border on the thing. But yeah - doing a ribbed one would kill two birds with one stone.
MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

myser10's picture

Knitting continental can be

Knitting continental can be tricky. I've has the same problem of loose stitches, and this was because I wasn't able to keep the yarn taut in my left hand so as to stitch with it. Try different ways of holding the yarn. This is usually the biggest problem, that just because someone else holds it one way it means you have to hold it that way. Play with this style of knitting and have fun. you'll find it easy soon enough.

PeterMark's picture

I vote for practice and

I vote for practice and experience. Once you've mastered continental, you'll love it.

scenter's picture

As a guess, you may need to

As a guess, you may need to pay attention to the way you tension the yarn as it comes through your hand on its way to be knit. Uneven tension = uneven stitches.

I am a continental knitter, and the way I tension the yarn for a knit stitch is to pass the strand between my left pinkie and ring-finger, up across the palm, then over the top of the index finger (from inside to outside), and then onto my knitting. This sets up a strand of yarn ready for 'picking'. The tension can be further tightened, or loosened by pressing the ring-finger and pinkie down on the yarn crossing the palm or releasing that pressure. (my left thumb and middle finger hold the left needle)

There are about as many ways to tension your yarn as there are knitters, so maybe some others will post their techniques and you can try them all, and see what works for you.

MMario's picture

I would suspect it's just a

I would suspect it's just a matter of time and practice - why not do a garter stitch scarf with some cheapo yarn just to practive the new technique?
MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

scottly's picture

Good idea, I'll do it this

Good idea, I'll do it this weekend. But do you think maybe I should rib it so I can practice pearling as well? Maybe a heavy worsted with size 8 or 9 needles? Would a k4, p4 curl too much?


I wish I were knitting now.

RickMartin's picture

Why not really go for some

Why not really go for some practice and do a single stitch rib - knit one, purl one. It lays nice and's reversible......and you'll get no better practice!

scottly's picture

Good idea. I started it last

Good idea. I started it last night and got a couple of inches in and really hated what it looked and felt like. Too stiff and for lack of a better word - constipated, certainly nothing I would want around my neck. I was using #7s, the recommended size for this yarn so I'm going up to #9s and see if I like it any better. I do like the k1, p1 rib - it's fun.


I wish I were knitting now.