Happy New Year! Thanks so much to my readers for a great year. It’s been a great thrill sharing crafting ideas. I really appreciate that you take the time to stop here, and I love the feedback you give me. WordPress (this blog’s lovely host) told me today that this blog has received 2500 views, a nice milestone.
And now back to our scheduled programming: today, knitting technique!
I am sure I’m not alone in remembering the great Saturday Night Live sketch, “the Continental.” A seemingly suave gentleman (played by Christopher Walken) opens his apartment door to a lady, seen only as a gloved, outstretched hand, and proceeds to descend from the sublime to the ridiculous in a series of clumsy attempts to seduce said-lady. One constant: he always offers her “fine champagne” (pronounced the French way – sham-pan-nya). Pretty hilarious.
I am channeling that effervescent energy this week in an effort to learn to knit continental-style. I’ve often wondered about this super-speedy knitting technique. Since aches in my neck and shoulder have put a stop to much of my knitting this past year, I’ve decided it’s time to try a method that could take the strain off my right hand and arm.
With continental knitting, you hold your yarn in the left hand, not the right, and you essentially “pick” yarn to form each stitch instead of “throwing” or “wrapping” it as in the more-common English style of knitting. I watched this CraftSanity video to start me off. They do mention that knitters with arthritis and other physical problems should consider continental knitting. And apparently it’s really fast because it requires fewer movements per stitch.
I’m working on a red DK-weight wool hat for my older daughter now as an experiment with this technique. It’s a pretty simple basketweave pattern. Here is how I’m holding my hands to knit continental (I am trying out a few different ways to hold the yarn, but overall this seems to work). Apologies for the grainy images!
Here’s a photo of the work-in-progress.
If any continental knitters care to share their experiences or advice, I’d welcome your comments! I’m also curious if it has helped folks with a neck, shoulder, hand or other injury to continue to knit.