Doing the Continental…. or Not…


As some of you may know, 12 days ago I fell off my horse and fractured my right ankle. All I heard from the Doc after the x-ray was, “blah, blah, blah, 4 weeks in a boot (Aircast), blah, blah, blah.” Obviously, no horseback riding and no driving (duh), and pretty much staying off it as much as possible. We set up my campground* to accommodate all that I needed to keep me from going crazy (not a big leap there). Phone, computer, books (a lot), and knitting (more than a lot).

*It’s like camping, because you pack all your stuff and hope that you’ve got it all with you, and if you don’t, well forget about it, because it’s just too much trouble to go back and get it. P.S. I hate camping….


I decided to make the best of this down-time, read, knit, learn some new stuff, etc., so I signed up for a class with Franklin Habit (Yippee!) on the Bavarian Twisted Stitch. Class is the first week of September so, I should be out of this boot and driving by then… I hope. Anyway, I don’t do well in workshops, classes, etc. I get so stressed and fall behind so I thought I would familiarize myself with the BTS technique beforehand. Hello Internet! I went to Ravelry and found a cute little hat pattern with the BTS AND Bobbles! Did I mention that I don’t really like bobbles… Anyway, I cast on and got going but I kept getting messed up with my stitches traveling left when they should have been going right, and vice versa… (tink, tink, tink…) and the bobbles, well, they looked more like hanging chads than bobbles… (rip, rip, rip…) P.S. I hate bobbles! Can I blame this on the pain meds???? Perhaps. Anyway, frustration set in and the partially completed hat is now sitting in the campground “annex”… sigh… and it may sit there until the class in September… double-sigh…


Doing the Continental… Every so often I decide to try my hand at Continental-Style knitting. I knit “American-Style”. I am extremely left-handed, but I knit right-handed, thanks to my ever-so-patient Norwegian grandmother who taught me to knit when I was 7. I am so left-handed, that about the only thing I can do with my right hand is knit, spin and drink. So, technically, I am considered a “thrower”(slow lane) as opposed to a “picker” (fast lane). Just to be clear, it’s not really throwing the yarn, like some exaggerated shoulder/arm action like pitching a ball, it’s more like a lever action with my right index finger. Let me just say that I think knitters are wonderful, kind, talented people, who also have great big opinions (who knew?) on knitting styles. I have had many “pickers” look at me knitting and say “You THROWWWWWW???” in the sort of voice that makes you feel like you were just accused of eating snakes (or knitting with acrylic) or something awful like that. On the other hand, I have NEVER heard a “thrower” suggest to a “picker” that they should try “throwing” because it is slower… I do not knit for speed, hell, I don’t even knit to finish things! I just knit… to KNIT. For the pure joy of wrapping yarn around my needles and making fabric. I love to knit.


So, after a few stressful hours of Continental-Style knitting this afternoon, I reverted back to my old slow way of knitting. I am a “Thrower”. I knit “American-Style” and I am proud of it! This is what I learned today.



6 responses to “Doing the Continental…. or Not…

  1. I’m with you! I get so bogged down in remembering how to pick and trying to increase my speed, it takes all the fun out of it. I am not a fast knitter (I do finish things sometimes) but I can go faster and more even when I throw…so there. Hope you continue to heal 🙂

    • I don’t remember exactly Julie, but I do recall that you have a very special way of holding your yarn in your in your right hand and knitting from your right-hand needle on to your left hand needle…

  2. I’m new here but spent 10 years trying to learn how to knit English style and could never get beyond 10 stitches because they were so tight — I blame learning to crochet first — and then I finally got a book and taught myself how to knit Continental style. I don’t really think it matters which one you use, it was just a matter of that being the ONLY way I could learn and do it. Now I’m “too loose” a stitcher and have to adjust needles for effect. That’s always better than not being able to get the needle in the stitch because there is no room. I hope to stop by today for the first time and am looking forward to it.

  3. I can knit either way. Gauge does not seem to be a problem. Many years ago when I was taking lots of knitting classes there was an instructor who used to give me no end of grief about my “throwing.” So, I’d switch to “picking” to keep her off my case. However, when I took a color work class from her, my ability to pick AND throw made it a breeze for me while the rest of the class struggled mightily. Yes, I gloated. The moral of the story, do what makes you happy.

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