Exploring Knitting Styles

I’m a “thrower” or “English Style Knitter”…. Sounds like a confession of sorts, but I have recently been looking into alternative knitting styles for a couple of reasons. I would very much like to speed up my knitting, but I also have arthritis in the fingers of my right hand which has been causing me some problems.

I learned to knit when I was 5 years old from my Italian Grandmother who knit like the wind. I remember listening to the subtle, rhythmic “clicking” of her needles as she whipped up slippers, afghans and shawls for the family in no time at all. I knit for a few years as a child and then switched to mostly crochet until I was in my 20’s. By that time, my beloved Grandmother had passed away and all that I had learned from her was unclear in my mind. I do remember her tucking her long straight needle under her arm and taking off like a shot! As I tried to recreate how I was taught, well meaning friends and acquaintances brought to my attention that I was knitting “incorrectly” and gave me an unending stream of “advice”. I adjusted my knitting style to fall in line with the “correct” way to “throw” the yarn and have knit that way since. The next time I saw anyone knit the way my grandmother did was when I saw the Yarn Harlot and her “Irish Cottage Knitting” or “Lever Style Knitting”. It was a complete ah ha! moment for me, as I finally realized that there is no “wrong” way to knit! Unfortunately, I am having a hard time recreating the knitting of my childhood with circulars and dpn’s and am none to smooth with the long straights… yet.

I also forayed into continental knitting by taking a Craftsy Class online. The instructor is fantastic and I had no problem learning this method and picking up some very good speed while doing it. Unfortunately, the arthritis in the fingers of my right hand is very much aggravated when knitting this way. I also have looked into “Portugese” knitting with Andrea Wong, but I honestly don’t know if I want to re-learn how to do every single stitch at this point in my life.

What style of knitting do all of you use, and why? Any suggestions for me on re-learning the “lever knitting”? I would so love to take the Yarn Harlot’s – Knitting for Speed and Efficiency class, but have yet to get into one in my area.

4 responses to “Exploring Knitting Styles

  1. Like you, I also learned to knit throwing style, but now I’ve learnt how to wrap the yarn around my fingers so I can flick. I occasionally switch between throwing and flicking depending on needle size and time constraints, but for the most part, I’m sold on the flicking! 🙂

    • Thanks so much for your input 🙂 Does the flicking work with dpn’s and circs as well? Do you hold your needle like a pencil or from above? Any and all info is greatly appreciated.

      • I think it actually works better with circs, but I find that I switch to throwing when I change to the next DPN to make that stitch extra tight to avoid ladders. Generally, shorter needles are generally easier for this, I think. I hold them from above.

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