Continental Knitting: How to Hold Yarn

What if I told you, you could actually knit faster and have more even tension. I'm going to show you how to do that with continental knitting in the video below!

Continental Knitting vs English Knitting Method

If you're knitting the traditional (English) throw method, you hold your yarn in your wrap it around holding the working in your right hand and you wrap it around. So there's a lot of movement with this hand and moving this yarn.

To knit continental style, you're going to move it over to your left hand. Bring the yarn across from the back.

How to Hold the Working Yarn

Some people wrap it around their pinky. Some people wrap it around their finger. What I tend to do when I'm knitting continental is I weave it through my fingers. Then I control my yarn by just slightly moving in and out to feed it.

My fingers maintain the yarn tension and then I lift my finger to control whether I'm knitting or purling. So I'll show you how that's done.

Rather than the large movement you make wrapping the yarn around you're going to be kind of picking the yarn through. Insert into the next stitch and then you just kind of do a quick little pick of that yarn. You are still in essence wrapping it around but the needle is doing all the work rather than your finger or your hand.

You are just pulling up that yarn which is the same thing as wrapping it around the needle and you can see how much quicker that movement is as I'm knitting. You can also see how the yarn is being fed trough my fingers but the whole movement is so effortless.

Give yourself some time to get used to this method but once you get the hang of it, it really is very quick, easy, and relaxing way to knit.

You kind of have to play around with it until you feel comfortable.

Think of it like learning to tie your shoes.

That was not comfortable when you started doing it. But you get it down and now it's effortless.

You don't even think twice about it. This is the same kind of thing.

The index finger maintains the tension of my yarn. This second finger controls the yarn that's on the needle. That's kind of my feeder finger. I feed it with my thumb and my next finger.

But there's very little movement over here. This right hand is now doing all of the work. It's going in and doing all of the picking.

It's a very nice movement. Give it a try. It's called continental knitting and let me know in the comments below how this method is working for you.

Do you want to knit faster and improve your knitting tension? Learn how to knit Continental with this easy video tutorial!