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English, Continental or Portuguese, What’s Your Knitting Style?

For many years, English knitting was the only style of knitting most North Americans knitters used. It is how I learned to knit and I still enjoy this style for a wide variety of knitting projects.

With the popularity of how-to videos on YouTube in recent years, other styles of knitting have become popular. Most people now have heard of Continental style of knitting but not many know about a third style of knitting called Portuguese style.

Each style of knitting has it’s merits. If you take the time to learn all three styles of knitting, you can then match the style to your current knitting project. This will allow you to knit more efficiently and complete your projects faster.

English Knitting or Throwing

This is the traditional style of knitting where the yarn is held in the right hand and all of the work is done with the right hand. The left hand just holds the work. Although this is considered a slower method of knitting, many people can zip right along by changing the way they hold the yarn and the needles.

You can see a video here of English knitting.

Continental Knitting

Continental knitting is a style of knitting where the yarn is held in the left hand and the left hand does the majority of the work. It is believed that this is a faster method of knitting because the amount of movement of the hands is reduced. Personally, I do find the knitting to be a bit faster than English style (although I am a pretty fast knitter anyway) but I do find the continental style purl stitch to be extremely awkward.

You can see a video demonstration of Continental knitting here.

Portuguese or Arabic Knitting

Although this is a very new style to many North Americans, it is one of the oldest knitting styles originating in Arabia. Originally, the yarn was passed behind the neck to create tension but in recent times, people use knitting pins or pendants rather than their neck for a more comfortable knitting experience.

Like continental knitting, there is very little hand movement in Portuguese knitting but the biggest advantage is the ease with which you can perform the purl stitch. Purling in Portuguese style is actually faster than knit. This style of knitting has become a personal favorite of mine. Another advantage of this style of knitting is that you get perfect and consistent tension on all your stitches.

You can see a video demonstration of Portuguese knitting here.

I find that I fall back to my old English style knitting when doing intricate knitting. Continental knitting is perfect for garter stitch or knitting in the round. You can blaze right along using this style. Portuguese knitting is the best method for doing stocking stitch or any pattern that requires you to do knit and purl rows.

I find that by using all three styles of knitting I am able to complete many more garments in a shorter amount of time. I hope that you will give them all a try too. Please leave a comment on how you are getting along with the three knitting styles.

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How can I learn how to sew and knit ..need help asap!?

I would like to learn how to sew and knit during my free time.
I have a lot of free time and I already own a sewing machine.
I just don’t know where to start.I don’t know anyone that sews or knit.
Im so interested in both thou and would like to learn.
So where do I start?

Btw I am 18 and live in Antioch Illinois

There are several things I can suggest, Kayla.

One is to visit the biggest fabric store in your area. Ask if they have classes for beginners. JoAnn stores often do, and maybe others, too.

Another is to ask your local high school, area colleges, and any continuing education programs the same thing.

Another is to advertise wherever you can ask for free, like Craigslist or the bulletin board at the library. Wanted: experienced seamstress (or knitter) to teach beginner. Sorry, can’t pay, but promise to pass it on.

And finally, there’s Craftster.org (not .com), a sewing and crafts site with many beginners, and many experience people eager to help them.

I wish you lived here. I’d teach you sewing for free, if you promised to teach someone else for free.

Edit: I just thought of a tip if you end up teaching yourself as best you can. Clothes that fit are way, way harder than making things, like tote bags, pillow cases, etc. Learn to sew on either baggy, fit-free clothes (nightgown?) or something that’s not clothing.

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I want to learn how to knit?

Okay, I’m trying to learn how to knit. I’d like to know what web sites that will show video and give intrusions( for free). Also, I’d like to know what size needle and size yawn is best for a beginner and any other tips you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

a large nesdles and thick yarn will be easiest to learn on, its much easier to see the stitches taking shape. I don’t know any websites, but there are books you can pick up for cheap at most craft stores, and if you get a beginners all in one kit (needles, yarn, pattern etc) they often come with a dvd. Good luck and have fun!

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Does anyone know a website for an easy way to learn to knit?

I’ve tried learning from sites but it seems too complicated.

There are many places online to learn to knit, and all are good — sort of. But you need to know something for them to make sense.

I really strongly suggest that you take a beginner knitting class at your LYS (local yarn store) or church group, or community centre, or library, or continuing education at the local school board. If you see anyone knitting, ask if they could show you a few stitches, or where you can learn. A friend or relative may help too, but they usually are not the best teachers (if you know what I mean). You need a qualified teacher to show you the correct way to do things, and to watch that you have learned it properly. Once you have the basics, then you can go on and do anything else.

A good place to learn some extra knitting skills is at http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/learn-to-knit She does it correctly, and is easy to follow. Not all the videos on YooToob are correct! It is very hard to un-learn when you have learned the wrong way. It’s best to take a class.

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How long does it take to knit a beanie hat and gloves?

I recently learned how to knit and completed a scarf, I would like to know about how long would it take to knit a beanie hat and gloves because I wanted to give them as christmas gifts and need to know if i have enough time.

I just finished knitting a pair of mittens for my granddaughter (an adult). I started the mittens 2 days ago and finished them. You could estimate how long it would take you to knit the hat and gloves by how long it took you to make the scarf. These shouldn’t take more than a week or two depending on how fast you knit. I think you would be finished by Christmas time even if you are slow knitter.

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could someone give me some tips on how to knit this? im just starting to learn?


i love this, and its similar to the the stich that ive been using to learn, but it has a ribbed effect to it, how do i get it to look smoother and more airy?

That scarf is straight stockinette stitch: knit one row, purl one row.

But if you want something just a little nicer try this pattern, I did it in Mohair, size 11 needles and get raves all the time. Make it narrow by only casting on 21 stitches and it goes by really fast and you can get by with only 1 skein.

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I want to learn to knit?

I want o learn to knit but i don’t know some terms can someone please help me..How do you do a purl stitch and a twist stitch..its for a thing I’m making and that’s what the directions say

This use to be at Annie’s Attic, but now they’ve moved it to FreePatterns.com


It’s a knitting stitch guide… here’s the link on how to purl stitch with a quicktime video…

And a twisted knit stitch…

Hope that helps!