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The Difference Between Continental and British Knitting?

I’ve always wondered about the differences between continental / German knitting (left-handed) and English knitting (right-handed). I was taught continental / German knitting (being German that obviously makes a lot of sense). It was only when I came to England in 1996 I noticed that there are other ways of knitting, including what seemed to me a rather more complicated way of knitting, which involved rather a lot of moving around.

Naively, I always believed that my way of knitting (German / continental) was quicker and much more time efficient. So, imagine my surprise when I found out that apparently it is, Wikipedia states: “Continental knitting is preferred by professional hand knitters, as it is the more efficient method, requiring the shortest number of specific hand-motions per stitch.” Over on Ackwood’s YouTube channel is a great video demonstrating the continental technique:  

English knitting on the other hand, according to Wikipedia is sometimes referred to as picking as “the yarn is held in the left hand and the motion of bringing the yarn forward with a needle held in the other hand” seems like picking it through. And over on LindsayLew’s YouTube channel a good example of British knitting:

I can’t say that I’ve ever tried using anything else than my German knitting technique, especially as it is so easy to learn. Just check out how easy it is in on TECHknitting. Now it would be interesting to hear what your thoughts are about the different kinds of knitting. Which one do you favour?

2 thoughts on “The Difference Between Continental and British Knitting?

  1. I knit the English way, as that’s how I was taught as a child. However, I want to try continental this year. I knew I’d be slower to start, so I was waiting until after the Christmas crafting was over!

  2. I love knitting continental style – having been taught in Sweden where I am from I always assumed that was the only way until I started knitting again as an adult and now living in the UK noticed the difference! I love the fact that continental style knitting is so fast, but the only downside is that as the knit stitch is so easy i end up not enjoying purling as much. Guess that is why i love any pattern that is in the round! The irony being now that I have my own knitting design company with my sister (www.millamia.com if you are interested!) very few of our patterns are actually done in the round. Go figure as the americans say!

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