Eastern European Knitting How To Videos

How do you hold your yarn when you knit? Are you a Continental, English or Combination knitter? Do you know the difference? Does it really matter?

This video was submitted to KWU by Stefanie. In the video she is holding her yarn in a traditional Continental fashion. The stitches she is producing are the same as traditional knit and purl stitches, however the method she is using is quite new to me.

Notice the knit stitch she is doing appears to be through the back loop. The difference is that she is wrapping her yarn around the working needle opposite of the way that you normally would if you were knitting through the back loop. This produces the same fabric as knitting through the front loop.

The Purl Stitch is being done in the same “opposite” manner. The purl stitch is done through the back loop, but the yarn is wrapped around the working needle in the opposite direction than it normally would be if purling through the back loop.The Ribbing portion shows the two stitches together for you so you can see the motion with both the knit and purl stitches being worked.

You can find the video here:  Yarns of the Heart


It appears to me that, in these videos, the knitting and purling is basically being done as if in a mirror. I tried it and my wrists did not want to cooperate in the action of working through the “back loops” continuously, probably due to my tendency to knit tightly. Since I hold my yarn English style I cannot attest to the benefits of this knitting style, but if you are interested in the challenge, give it a try and let me know how it works for you. The stitch combination in these videos looks like it would be quite fast to do, which is a plus.

Remember, the way you hold your yarn is not nearly as important as the end result you obtain. Consistency is what really matters in the end. Drop us a line and let us know your favorite style of knitting.

5 thoughts on “Eastern European Knitting How To Videos

  1. This might have been how I learned to knit the first time, over 20 years ago. Except I didn’t turn my work at the end of a row and I didn’t know how to read patterns. Then about 7 years ago I learned to knit and read patterns from the internet and two TV shows. In the first show the instructor held the yarn english, so that’s what I learned. Then a little later on another show the instructor held the yarn continental and I learned that. My most recent technique I learned at the beginning of this year(2008). It’s called production knitting or irish cottage knitting. I learned it from a video of Stephanie Pearl-McPhee/the Yarn Harlot. It took me about a half hour of knitting a garter swatch to get comfortable with this and that’s how I knit now.

  2. Oh, and I tried knitting like the videos just now. It wasn’t too hard for me. I just had to keep saing to myself “around back” to get the hang of the wrapping. I like how the yarn is in back, and how the motion of catching the yarn for the next stitch are both the same for knit and purl stitches.

  3. As I’m German, I was teached and since then used to the continental knitting.

    This other technique looks interesting, but I see no reason to change.

    Have a nice weekend

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