But I know many people struggle with learning a different style of knitting. It is possible to change from English style knitting to continental knitting but it takes a lot of dedicated practice. For knitters who do my Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl classes, I recommend casting on a practice project and practice continental knitting at least 10 minutes a day. Little and often is key to learning a new technique. 10 minutes a day is better than an hour once a week.
But many people don't want to change how they knit but they'd still like to knit faster. So in today's Monday Mini Tip, I thought I'd share two tips that will make you knit faster whatever knitting style you use.
1. The main reason continental knitting is faster is because the movements are smaller. So if you want to knit faster work out how to make your movements smaller. Are there things you can do to make your knitting technique more efficient and make movements smaller or even make fewer movements? Watch the video below to see how small my movements are.
2. Keep your stitches pushed up on your left hand needle so they're ready to jump off the needles as you knit them. I bunch up the stitches on my left needle under my left hand and I use my left thumb to stop them jumping off the needle too quickly. When I knit a stitch, instead of pushing the left hand needle tip to get the stitch off, I just do a tiny tug with the right hand needle and the stitch slides off the left needle.
3. Pull plenty of yarn off the ball. It's annoying to have to stop all the time to pull more yarn off the ball so I pull a fairly long length off the ball in one go. This means I don't have to stop as often. Don't pull so much yarn off that you end up with the yarn in a tangle though.
4. Keep your fingers as close to the needle tip as possible. This is probably easier for continental knitter than English style knitters. I keep my needles as close to the needle tips as I can. I also keep both hands on top of my needles and have a fairly firm hold on my needles. This gives me a lot more control of my needles and makes working certain stitches, like decreases, easier.
In the video below I show you how fast I knit (and I can knit faster than I do in the video but to film myself, I hold my arms around a table top tripod and look at my knitting through my phone screen. It's not the easiest knitting position. I also demonstrate my tips for faster knitting.
You can also watch the video here.
Of course it's not all about speed. The main thing is that you enjoy your knitting but knitting fast is an advantage as you can knit more.
If you are interested in learning how to knit continental (I teach Norwegian purl instead of the regular continental purl), I teach 'Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl' in yarn shops regularly. See my Workshop page for up to date listings. You can also take this class online and work through the material at your own pace and when it suits you. You keep indefinite access to the class material and can e-mail me for help. Get more details and sign up here.
Please ask any questions you have in the comments below. You can see all the previous Monday Mini Tips and other tutorials on my Tutorials page.