Monday, May 24, 2010

Using the Left Hand

Apologies for this late blog. I guess I was a bit distracted with planning a continental and a Fair Isle class. My excuse: since continental and Fair Isle both involve carrying the yarn in the left hand, maybe I got into my right brain ...and couldn't get out!

Seriously, the interest in learning continental knitting has been huge. Perhaps it is because there are so many exciting new projects and techniques to try that we either need more hours in our day or we need to speed up our knitting.

Many people tell us that continental is the way to go: "it's faster and it's more efficient." In many cases, this is true. While I love and usually prefer to knit using the good old right hand carry, I often switch to continental for knitting in the round, for garter stitch, for working on big needles, or when working ribbing or seed stitch.
Like many other knitters, I'm not particularly fond of purling continental. So why do I work ribbing and seed stitch continentally? Because I love the "lazy purl" style of knitting, otherwise known as combination knitting or Eastern Combined Uncrossed.

This method causes twisted stitches which require some simple untwisting maneuvers on the next row or round. It's the quickest, slickest way to rib and it is purported to use less yarn! Because the yarn has less distance to travel between knits and purls, less yarn is used, your tension is likely tighter, your hands have less work to do ...and it's quick.

So if you've ever turned your nose up at the idea of a ribbed or seed stitch scarf ("It's just too much work"), give this method a try and I'm sure you'll feel like you've discovered a better mousetrap!

Designing and knitting these Fair Isle Cowls was lots of fun. The fourth one, which I steeked, is awaiting just the right button.

1 comment:

  1. I still cannot get my head around this method using less yarn. I don't see why it makes a difference.