Friday, September 10, 2010

Knitting Methods

Did you know there are many different knitting methods? I was taught English style by my gran when I was a kid and that's all I knew up until a few years ago when I discovered the Continental method on the internet and I thought wow that's amazing, I had no idea there was another way to do it.

But at knit camp I discovered there is also Portuguese style! Owlmania, Tricotetal and Tricotadeira were the object of much attention, everyone was saying have you seen those Portuguese girls knitting! They very kindly offered to give Jules a lesson, which then ballooned into a lesson for 10 people :)

So today I was reading Knitting in the Old Way (recommended by Jared Flood) and they were talking about Eastern Style knitting (as opposed to Western style, which continental and English style are versions of) in which the stitches are mounted so that the leading edge is behind the needle instead of in front and you have to wrap the yarn around the needle in the opposite direction. The book says the yarn is held behind the neck as it is with Portuguese knitting but when I tried this I found it impossible to do the knit stitch (in any elegant manner) and when I looked on youtube I found everyone was holding the yarn in the left hand, continental style. So there's two more variations.

And that reminded me that there's combination knitting (which I'd heard of but didn't really understand) which is a mixture of Eastern and Western in which the knit stitches are mounted Western style and the purls Eastern style.

While looking on YouTube at knitting videos I found that when knitting Western style continental there is another method of purling called Norwegian style.

Who knew there were so many ways to knit! Note too that all of these methods produce fabric that looks exactly the same, you can't tell after an item's been knit what method was used to produce it.

In summary, there's:
  • Western English style
  • Western continental style
  • Western continental with Norwegian purl
  • Portuguese style
  • Eastern yarn around the neck style
  • Eastern continental style
  • Combination knitting
So this afternoon I sat down and had a go at all of these, it was fun to break out of my comfort zone and feel like a knitting newbie again :) Out of all of them I think my favourite is Portuguese style, it's very easy to keep the tension , the purl stitch requires very little hand movement and the knit stich just a little more, probably equal to that required in continental style. I'm knitting a simple blanket at the moment, just knit and purl stitches so I'm going to practice my Portuguese style and see if I can get comfortable with it, I'll let you know how it goes.

Any one else game to try a new style? Are there any other's I haven't listed here?

1 comment:

Owlmania said...

Only today i saw your post!